Our Team

Executive Committee

Brenna Doheny, PhD, MPH, Executive Director

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.

Kathleen Schuler, MPH, Policy and Finance Director

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, Communications Director

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.

Toya Lopez, MHA, ISSP-SA, Operations Director

Toya graduated with a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota. Toya has worked as a Sustainability Practitioner since 2016 in Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Currently Toya is leading sustainability efforts at Hennepin Healthcare and serves as the Director of Operations for Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate and Steering Committee Member of the Minnesota Sustainability Practitioners Roundtable. Toya’s work involves 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.

Advisory Council

Macaran “Mac” Baird, MD, MS

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.

D. Eric Beck, MD, FACP

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.

Kathy Iverson

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.

Andrew Jameton, PhD

Andy is Professor Emeritus in the Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health Department at the College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center. He received his B.A. in psychology from Harvard University in 1965 and Ph.D. in philosophy at University of Washington in 1972. His main work from 1973 until his retirement in 2013 has been as faculty in medical centers in teaching, clinical consulting, administration, and research on ethics and philosophy in health care. He serves on the national board of Physicians for Social Responsibility. His current research focuses on the ethical aspects of environmental health, with particular emphasis on the health effects of climate change.

Rachel Kerr, DNP(s), BS, RN, OCN

Rachel iis a Program Coordinator at the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. She has been an oncology  nurse for the past 10 years, and she has been actively participating in the climate change movement for the past 3 years. She is also an active member of the affiliate group Health Students for a Healthy Climate. Rachel is focused on using her nursing expertise to examine and intervene in the effects of climate change on the health of vulnerable and under-served populations, both locally and globally.

Michael Menzel, MD

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.

Phillip Peterson, MD

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 M. Potter, PhD, RN, FAAN

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 D. Snyder, MD, FAAN

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.

William Toscano, Ph.D., Dr. (hc), FAAAS

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.