Today, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Deployment John Podesta, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Neera Tanden, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine and other Biden-Harris administration officials met with suppliers of health services, professional societies and associations, philanthropists, and financial institutions to discuss how health care organizations can best take advantage of the opportunities in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Administration officials noted that because health safety organizations serve populations on the front lines of climate change-related health threats, they must be able to support patients affected by storms and heat waves and adapt to the changing needs of their communities. Officials emphasized that the support of these organizations is central to the administration’s continued work to improve health care equity, increase access to affordable, quality health care, and protect the health and well-being of every American. In a context where health safety net providers often face resource constraints and are recovering from the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act can reduce operating costs and free up resources for essential patient services and make them more sustainable. Charge Partnership, Valley Children’s Hospital and the National Academy of Medicine presented their efforts to make the sector more sustainable.
At the event, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that its Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) will lead a catalytic program in early 2024 to help health care organizations network for safety, take advantage of the conversion tax credits and grant programs created by the Inflation Reduction Act. The program will also include member associations of safety net providers, such as America’s Major Hospitals, the National Association for Rural Health and the National Association of Community Health Centers. The three-month program will include national webinars as well as separate sessions for hospitals, health centers and other types of providers to help organizations assess their needs and assets, learn about tax credits and grant programs under the Inflation Reduction Act, and successfully use these opportunities. Interested individuals and organizations can obtain information about the program by visiting the OCCHE website and signing up for the OCCHE email alert list.
Many participants in today’s call made new announcements, including:
- Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, The CHARGE partnership set a goal of facilitating or building clean, sustainable microgrids in 1,000 US community health centers over the next 10 years. Approximately 70% of these, or 700 locations, will be in Justice40 and/or low-income communities. These projects will offset at least 75,000 tons of carbon per year, benefit nearly two million patients, and save these health centers over $150 million in project costs.
- The Commonwealth Fund announced the release of important new resources to help healthcare organizations both understand the potential savings associated with sustainability investments and take advantage of IRAs by offering technical assistance in project scoping and application development.
- Macquarie Capital has committed to support up to $300 million in renewable energy projects for hospitals and hospital systems.
- Invest in our future stressed that its $180 million pooled fund is dedicated to strengthening communities across the country, reducing greenhouse gases and transforming our economy, including prioritizing grants to support communities applying for federal funds by funding technical assistance providers and capacity building.
- Defender of health announced its plan to make the new Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina net zero – building what it hopes will be the first medical school and medical research campus to meet LEED zero carbon specifications.
The Biden-Harris administration is committed to partnering with safety net healthcare organizations and the broader healthcare sector as they use the Inflation Reduction Act to protect the health and well-being of their communities through sustainability, environmental protection environment through sustainability and save on energy bills through energy efficiency.