Mags received her Masters in Public Health in Global Health from St. Catherine University, focusing on Environmental Health, Health Equity, and Health Communication. She has studied extensively on food, water, and climate issues in the context of public health as well as holding background experience in EMS, mental health counseling, and plant medicine. Coming of age as an activist in the anti-globalization movement, she has been a social and environmental justice organizer for two decades. She has dedicated her time to migrant justice including work on the US/Mexico border, climate justice including the fight against the Line3 pipeline, and mutual aid through food solidarity and street medic work in the city. After a year supporting frontline workers in the pandemic, she is humbled and excited to now be working alongside healthcare professionals in the fight for a healthier climate.
Rachel views public health as improving the conditions that we live, work, play, and learn in. Her career has focused on “health equity in all policies,” including experiences in political research and advocacy communications. Rachel brings experience within the sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice movements. She also helped pass legislation that increases access to basic needs for low-income college students — including mental health services, housing, and food access. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in Community and Public Health from South Dakota State University and a Master of Public Health degree from the City University of New York in Harlem. Rachel believes in the power of community and is eager to join HPHC’s members and partners in the fight for a healthier climate and a more just future.
Brenna Doheny earned her PhD at the Medical University of South Carolina in Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences, studying the effects of environmental endocrine disrupting contaminants on female reproductive tract development in a sentinel species, the American alligator. Her interest in communicating environmental health science to the public then led her to pursue a Master of Public Health degree in maternal and child health at the University of Minnesota. Brenna interned with HPHC during her MPH program, and now serves as the Executive Director. She is currently focused on communicating the health impacts of climate change to the public and policymakers and fostering community-based strategies to promote mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.
Toya graduated with a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota. Toya has worked as a Sustainability Professional in the Healthcare Industry since 2016 in Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Currently Toya is a Community Outreach associate at Cooperative Energy Futures, an energy cooperative. In addition to being the vice-chair for the HPHC Board, Toya is also a member of the City of Minneapolis community environmental advisory commission. Toya’s work involves public speaking, partnering with communities and organizations, linking social determinants of health and equity with sustainability efforts, leading sustainability initiatives, and advocacy for a more environmentally sustainable and equitable healthcare industry.
While climate change advocacy is her retirement project, she previously served as Healthy Kids and Families Program Director at Conservation Minnesota and Co-Director of Healthy Legacy, a Minnesota coalition and campaign to advance public policies and business practices that focus on safer products and safer production methods to protect public health from toxic chemical exposures. She was a co-founder of the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum, a collaboration among business, government, NGOs and academic leaders to advance green chemistry practice and policy in Minnesota and nationally. Earlier in her career Kathleen served in various Project Manager positions for Medicaid managed care programs at the MN Department of Human Services. Kathleen has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota and is a former Bush Leadership Fellow in environmental health.
Alex Kim, MPH received his Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Health from the University of Minnesota. He has been active in the pursuit of a more sustainable present and future by working with Abbott Northwestern Hospital to develop more environmentally friendly practices. He is currently an Environmental Health Specialist for the City of Brooklyn Park and has enjoyed being able to actively engage with the community and promote various sustainable practices within the city. He also helps his fellow staff members live and work in a more sustainable manner by spearheading the Green Team.
Bharat received a Master of Public Health in Global Environmental Health in 2019 from the University of Minnesota. Prior to starting graduate school, he spent a gap year to explore his passion for environmental work, where he served as a MN GreenCorps member with the Minneapolis Health Department. During this service year, he worked of a variety of active transportation projects with a focus on improving wellness of employees and Minneapolis residents and reducing emissions. While in graduate school, he was an active member of Health Students for a Healthy Climate, spreading awareness about the link between climate and health. He also worked on a project in a pilot course which helped quantify the sustainability impacts of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. He worked as an intern at Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health, where he developed a climate change vulnerability assessment. Currently, Bharat is an ORISE Fellow at the CDC Climate and Health Program in the Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice. His work focuses on researching the mental health impacts of drought, as well as supporting other climate and health projects which support health departments with climate and health initiatives across the country.
Eric trained in Internal Medicine at the U of MN and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He works as a Hospitalist in several Twin Cities metro hospitals. While studying at the Medical College of Wisconsin, he served as president of the local chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and completed an internship at the United Nations Development Program. During residency, Eric was awarded a Paul Alexander Memorial fellowship and spent three months in Nairobi, Kenya, studying new models of Primary Care delivery. He has enjoyed volunteering with Medical Educators for Latin America (MELA) in Bolivia, and with Common Hope in Guatemala. In November of 2017, he traveled to Puerto Rico to help with recovery efforts in some of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Maria. In addition to his work with HPHC, Eric is interested in Global public health, the environmental impacts of healthcare systems, and in the potential connections between innovative and disruptive technologies and improvements in climate health.
Jo is a Doctor of Nursing Practice student at the University of Minnesota specializing in Health Innovation and Leadership. Jo has focused her studies and doctoral work on climate change and planetary health. Jo’s background in nursing has given her a unique lens from which to understand the connections between human and Planetary Health. Jo works as a Quality Improvement Consultant at a large academic medical center. She has worked on several climate-focused projects including a large-scale decarbonization project for a leading academic medical center, has developed content for leading climate organizations, is a Board Member of Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, and has provided planetary health and environmental justice guest lectures and talks at hospitals, academic institutions, webinars, and conferences. Jo is passionate about educating communities about the intersections of planetary and human health and hopes to create systemic changes that inspire everyone to honor and advocate for the sustainability of our planet.
Mike is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiology. He served as Founder and Director of the Acute Pain Service at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital from 1988-1991, and he served as Founder and Director of Guatemala Surgery from 1997-2005. He also served on the Board of President-Common Hope from 1996-1998, which is a non-profit organization providing healthcare and education to impoverished Guatemalans. He is also a member of the Twin Cities Medical Society (TCMS) Environmental Health Task Force and was co-chair of HPHC’s Code Blue for Patient Earth conference on April 20, 2018.
Mac is an emeritus professor at the University of Minnesota – Department of Family Medicine and Community Health as well as the former CEO of UMPhysicans. He began his medical career in 1978 as a rural family physician. He later received a master’s degree in family medicine and community health, with a minor in counseling. Baird has since held academic positions in Oklahoma, New York, and Minnesota. He has served on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Depression in Primary Care National Advisory Council and co-chaired the 2001 Institute of Medicine report on health and behavior. Baird currently chairs the UCare Board of Directors and is past president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. In early 2015, STFM awarded Baird the Lynn and Joan Carmichael STFM Recognition Award for his contributions to the society and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) awarded him the Thomas W. Johnson Award for Career Contributions to Family Medicine Education.
Kathy worked for the City of Edina as the Chemical Health Prevention Specialist from 1994-2014. In that capacity, she developed and coordinated policy for smoke-free restaurants in Edina, Bloomington, and Richfield as part of a grant for Bloomington Public Health. She also worked with other local communities and health organizations in developing and successfully passing the State of Minnesota – Freedom to Breathe legislation. She now volunteers in a variety of community efforts, including Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate. She continues to focus on supporting clean air policy through initiatives focused on climate change mitigation.
Rachel is the Energy Program Director for Earthworks. She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Minnesota, where her scholarly focus was engaging health professionals around climate justice. Rachel has a background in oncology nursing and began her career providing nursing care for people facing serious health impacts related to community exposure to pollution from petrochemical and oil and gas industry. Galvanized by this experience and her own personal and family health impacts resulting from climate change, Rachel transformed her career to care for people by caring for the Earth. Prior to her employment at Earthworks, Dr. Kerr managed programming focused on environmental health, environmental justice, health equity, and anti-racism with the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
Phil is Professor of Medicine and Distinguished Global Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is the past Director of the Infectious Diseases and International Medicine Division of the Department of Medicine and of the Medical School’s International Medical Education and Research Program. He served as Acting Director of the U of M Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility from 2010-2013. His interests are fostering interdisciplinary/intercollegiate and community partnerships that address the most pressing health problems within the global village. Phil shares his expertise and perspectives on infectious diseases at his blog, Germ Gems.
Teddie is the specialty coordinator of the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership and the Director of Planetary Health in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She co-teaches the U of M Grand Challenge course, The Global Climate Challenge: Creating an Empowered Movement for Change. In addition, Teddie is on the Steering Committee for the Planetary Health Alliance at Harvard.
Bruce is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He has published numerous scientific papers, book chapters and review articles in his field of Neurology. Bruce is a co-founder of HPHC and was a member of the Executive Committee from 2014-2019. He has served as a resource for legislators and agencies; has provided expert testimony on the health effects of climate change; and has written numerous letters and editorials addressing these issues. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and of the American Neurological Association and has served as an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Bill received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1978), and was a Postdoctoral fellow in Pharmacology at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle (1978-1980). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was awarded an honorary Doctor Degree from GEOMEDI University, Tbilisi Georgia citing his contributions to the public health system of the Republic of Georgia. He joined the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public health as Professor and Division Head in 1999. Formerly he was Chair of Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (1993-1999), and an associate professor of Toxicology at the University of Minnesota (1990-1993), assistant and associate professor of toxicology at the Harvard School of Public Health (1980-1990). His research focuses on gene – environment interactions, including climate change and social determinants as exposures and receptor-mediated endocrine disruption.
Urszula joined Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate as an intern in Spring 2022 while a graduate student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in the Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program.
While pursuing my MPH, I also work at the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine & Community Health. Prior to pursuing my graduate degree, I worked at a couple of health equity focused non-profits including Planned Parenthood and Domestic Abuse Project. Throughout my career I have become very interested in public health as it intersects with climate and equity. In 2021, I also became a certified Hennepin County gardener through the University of Minnesota Extension focusing on climate change and community health. Throughout my time at Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, I hope to support the organization by helping educate the public and our state legislators about this significant intersection as well as gain knowledge in public health policy.