Milagros Elia Underscores How Oncology Nursing and Climate Health Are Intertwined


In this episode of "The Vitals," Milagros Elia, MA, APRN, ANP-BC, highlights how oncology nurses play a role in ongoing conversations regarding the intersection of climate change and public health.

For this episode of The VitalsOncology Nursing News® spoke with Milagros Elia, MA, APRN, ANP-BC, about the role that oncology nurses play in increasing dialogue around climate change. Elia recently presented on climate change as part of the 2022 Oncology Nursing Society Bridge. In this episode, she discusses how increases in heat and poor air quality can negatively affect vulnerable populations, and the role nurses play in proactively managing their patients’ health in the context of changing local climates.

Episode Highlights

Top takeaways from the discussion include:

“We know that climate change is damaging human health today and will have a greater impact in the future. These health consequences will inevitably harm some more than others.” Timestamp (TS) 04:46

“As nurses, we realize that extreme heat can take a toll on the body and increase the risk of heat-related illnesses and hospitalizations.” TS 13:37

“How do we allow for the continuation of care when we have an area that has been flooded? Or [where] wildfires have been?” TS 16:22

“[If] you have patients going undergoing chemotherapy, they are extra sensitive to the sun; they need extra [sun] protection, so you tell them about the EPA’s [Environment Protection Agency] UV index application.” TS 21:07

“You don't need to use the word climate change with [your patients] unless they are open to that conversation. What you need to do is you need to address their symptoms and make the connection to their environment.” TS 22:08

Episode Notes

The Vitals Podcast:

Oncology Nursing News® Online Articles

Oncology Nursing News® Publication Features

Video Interviews


  • Climate change and health. World Health Organization. October 30, 2021. Accessed September 22, 2022.
  • Elia MR. Climate change and its impact on health. Presented at: ONS Bridge; September 13-15, 2022; virtual.
  • Nogueira LM, Yabroff KR, Bernstein A. Climate change and cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020;70(4):239-244. doi:10.3322/caac.21610
  • Walker RK, Pereira-Morales S, Kerr R, Schenk E. Climate change should be on every nursing research agenda. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2020;47(2):135-144. doi:10.1188/20.ONF.135-144
  • Butterfield P, Leffers J, Vásquez MD. Nursing’s pivotal role in global climate action. BMJ. 2021;14(373):n1049. doi:10.1136/bmj.n1049. PMCID: PMC8201521.
  • Man RX, Lack DA, Wyatt CE, Murray V. The effect of natural disasters on cancer care: a systematic review. Lancet Oncol. 2018;19(9):e482-e499. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30412-1
  • Turner MC, Andersen ZJ, Baccarelli A, et al. Outdoor air pollution and cancer: an overview of the current evidence and public health recommendations. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020;10.3322/caac.21632. doi:10.3322/caac.21632

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