Mona Arora, PhD, MSPH, assistant research professor in the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Department of Community, Environment and Policy, was named to the Environmental Health and Climate (EH&C) Workgroup for 2022-2023 by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI).
“I am excited for this opportunity to support and mobilize action related to climate change and environmental health across public health systems and structures nationally,” Dr. Arora said. “This workgroup will develop an environmental health and climate strategy to serve as a roadmap for current and future public health practitioners.”
“Climate change is a One Health issue, impacting both animals and humans, that needs integrated, cross-cutting solutions,” she added. “I am hopeful that through this working group we will be able to elevate dialogue on climate and health and inform solutions to prepare professionals to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from climate-driven events.”
Dr. Arora is an applied researcher whose work focuses on building public health and health care system capacity to address complex public health issues such as pandemics and climate change. “My projects are centered on collaborating with public health and health care partners to strengthen existing systems such that they are not only resilient but sustainable,” she said.
“To accomplish this, health, equity and social justice have to be at the center of our work,” Dr. Arora explained. “Any public health stressor, whether it is a natural disaster or a pandemic, impacts communities and individuals disproportionately. Health inequities and social determinants of health are the most common denominators (or factors) influencing individual and community vulnerability and, ultimately, resilience.”
Dr. Arora holds a doctorate in geography from UArizona and a Master of Science in Public Health in tropical medicine from the Tulane University School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Currently, she co-leads the Arizona Department of Health Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ADHS-CDC) COVID Disparities Initiative at the Arizona Center for Rural Health.
“I have been fortunate to have had the support of many colleagues and mentors while at UArizona,” Dr. Arora said. “My experiences at UArizona have showed me what can be accomplished when we work together to solve problems. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is an illustration of what strong academic-practice partnerships can do to address societal challenges.”
“I admire everyone from across campus including my colleagues in the Zuckerman College of Public Health for being the leaders and voice of public health during the past few years,” she said “I am fortunate to be among such a great group of dedicated colleagues who are at the forefront, driving solutions, being champions.”
The NNPHI works to “unite public health institutes, training centers, community organizations, government agencies, health care systems and businesses in advancing public health practice and improving population health,” according to their website. Presently, it connects more than 8,000 subject-matter experts with organizational partners across the U.S.