Climate & Health Stories - Minnesota Department of Health

Climate & Health Stories

Minnesotans are already feeling the impacts of climate change. Our state is experiencing warmer and wetter climate trends, more frequent extreme rain events, and warming winters—which can negatively impact public health.

Professionals across our agency are prioritizing climate resilience and shaping healthier communities. We're excited to share stories of these climate and health champions to showcase their efforts and continue to spark climate action across disciplines! We'll be sharing stories all summer, so check back often!

Staff Stories

Brenda Hoppe

Brenda Hoppe


"People rely on our agency to protect and improve the health of all Minnesotans. Climate change has been identified as the leading health threat of our century, so it makes sense for MDH to be on top of this issue." Read Brenda's story.



Lih in Rezania

Lih-in Rezania


"One of our biggest challenges and opportunities is finding ways to protect our water that meet both our conservation and health protection goals." Read Lih-in's story.



Nissa Tupper

Nissa Tupper


"Climate and health is a cross-cutting issue, it’s not one that a single program or profession can (or should) tackle alone. It’s imperative that we collaborate to make a difference." Read Nissa's story.


Mark Wettlaufer

Mark Wettlaufer


"I enjoy getting to connect with local, rural communities and public water suppliers to equip them with the tools they need to protect the quality of drinking water." Read Mark's story.


Emmy Waldhart

Emmy Waldhart


"With an agency of 1,500 employees, it's tough to know what everyone is working on. The climate change workgroups help us make important connections that strengthen MDH." Read Emmy's story.


Tess Konen

Tess Konen


"While broad environmental changes are hard to comprehend, people understand that the pollen season is lengthening and their allergies are occurring sooner and lasting longer. It’s necessary to consider health in planning for climate changes." Read Tess's story.

John Olson

John Olson


"Climate change is the critical issue of our time—affecting virtually every aspect of life as we know it. The consensus among public health experts is that climate change poses significant population-level health threats, making it priority work for public health agencies." Read John's story.

Molly Peterson

Molly Peterson


"Minnesota is unique in that we have a robust, stand-alone Vectorborne Disease Unit at MDH. It is our goal to maintain strong infrastructure to continue our work. If a new disease emerges in the face of climate change, we will be ready to take it on." Read Molly's story.

Kara Dennis

Kara Dennis


"We have a responsibility to keep drinking water safe for our communities, other states and nations, and future generations. I take a lot of pride in my role of protecting our water resources and the health of Minnesotans." Read Kara's story.

Ellen Pillsbury and Elizabeth Bina

Ellen Pillsbury & Elizabeth Bina


"We know biking and walking are the most sustainable options for transportation—both reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Minnesota Walks is our statewide framework for creating safe, walkable communities for Minnesotans." Read Ellen & Elizabeth's story.

Updated Thursday, 15-Aug-2019 16:04:10 CDT