HPHC in the News

March 1, 2022
Minnesota Medicine
by Linda Picone

In Minnesota, Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, formed in 2015, brings together physicians, nurses and allied healthcare providers to add their voices to the public debate on clean energy and climate change. The thrust of the organization’s work is “education and activation,” says Brenna Doheny, PhD, MPH, executive director.

Several physicians, including the co-founders of the organization, share their thoughts on climate change and health—and the urgency of involvement.

February 7, 2022
Minnesota House of Representatives
by Rob Hubbard

Climate change has been cited as a cause for the increased frequency of some high-visibility disasters like forest fires, storms and floods. But its effects aren’t distributed evenly throughout the state’s population.

That’s according to multiple testifiers at Thursday’s meeting of the House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee. Lower-income Minnesota residents and people of color tend to live closer to sources of pollution and have greater difficulty guarding against severe heat events, they said. And that means more illness and shorter life expectancy.

Kathleen Schuler, policy and finance director for Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, suggested a carbon-free economy would go a long way toward bringing about climate justice.

January 19, 2022
Yahoo! News
by David Knowles

Kristi White, a clinical health psychologist in Minneapolis, also treats many young adults for issues that stem from the changing climate.

“Some of the things in the patients that I work with are things like asthma exacerbation due to poor air quality from wildfires [and] concerns around the risk for heat-related illnesses during extreme heat waves,” White said. “In addition to helping people deal with the stress of the environmental uncertainty, I’m also helping people adapt their care plans so that they can keep themselves safe during these climate-related events.”

November 5, 2021
Sahan Journal

As a young physician in the southeast Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Laalitha Surapaneni treated day laborers who couldn’t cool off after a day’s work in the extreme heat. She saw the temperatures rising and the coastline eroding.

“I could see the changes in the environment that were hurting our health,” Surapaneni said.

September 15, 2021
Star Tribune
by Jennifer Bjorhus

As Minnesota ramps up the fight on climate change it will soon require developers to measure the greenhouse gases from large new projects. The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved the pilot approach Wednesday, after years of work. It plans to collect feedback and make improvements on the revised form, called an environmental assessment worksheet, by the end of 2022 and then set final changes.

In an interview, Kathleen Schuler, policy director at the nonprofit Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, expressed impatience with a pilot project.

“It feels like just requiring this type of information … is like a very small step and they’re not even taking that small step,” Schuler said.

September 8, 2021
University of Minnesota Medical School News
by Brianna Vitands

“There are many ways that health and climate change intersect,” said Anna Rahrick, a third-year University of Minnesota Medical School student.

Rahrick’s interest in the relationship between climate and public health led her to Health Students for a Healthy Climate, an interdisciplinary student group aimed at helping health professionals learn about the impacts of climate change and ways to advance action as future health leaders. The student group is affiliated with Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate (HPHC), a nonprofit organization founded by a number of advocates affiliated with the University of Minnesota, including executive director Brenna Doheny, PhD, MPH, a postdoctoral associate at the Medical School’s Duluth Campus.

August 20, 2021
by Yasmine Askari

The effects of working in this heat can be dire, especially for workers who are not acclimated to high temperatures, said Laalitha Surapaneni, M.D., MPH, an assistant professor and hospitalist at the  University of Minnesota Medical School.

August 18, 2021
Indian Country Today
by Mary Annette Pember

Health professionals and Indigenous activists held a day of solidarity in St. Paul, Minnesota, and other U.S cities on Aug. 17 calling for an end to the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 project. They describe shutting down Line 3 as a critical health protective measure. In St. Paul, a delegation of health professionals delivered a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office calling on the Biden administration to revoke permits for Line 3.

Authored by members of Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, the letter cited the United Nations recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report declaring climate change as a health crisis, noting that burning tar sands oil to be carried by Line 3 would exacerbate the problem.

August 18, 2021
by Joseph Winters

Medical professionals around the country rallied on Tuesday against the expansion of Enbridge’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline, calling it a threat to human and planetary health.

“The health of Minnesotans is at risk,” said Teddie Potter, director of planetary health at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, addressing a crowd in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Tar sands oil threatens the health and wellness of future generations; we must stop the line.”

August 17, 2021
by Jessica Corbett

U.S. doctors, nurses, and other health professionals came together Tuesday for a national day of solidarity against Line 3 that included various events and a letter calling on President Joe Biden to block Enbridge’s tar sands project.

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