Climate Health Action Program (CHAP)


As concerned citizens and M Health Fairview employees, we strive to empower our colleagues and system to commit to meaningful action that protects the health of our patients and delivers healthcare sustainably.


To achieve a carbon-neutral healthcare system by 2040 that supports optimal patient and community health.

  • Provide education to medical students, residents and providers on geographically specific climate-health impacts
  • Counsel patients on protecting themselves from health impacts of climate change
  • Implement projects that reduce the carbon footprint of the healthcare system while providing safe and effective care to patients
  • Develop community partnerships to develop implementation research projects
  • Advocate for clean climate policies that yield immediate and sustained health benefits to our patients while preserving planetary health

Expand all



Image for Waste managment lecture

A big part of addressing the threats of climate change includes addressing how we dispose of our waste.  A 2009 report entitled “Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices” found that approximately 42% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were associated with the energy used to produce, process, transport, and dispose of the food we eat and the goods we produce and use. 

Addressing food waste, ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, and embarking on waste-to-energy processes (incineration, gasification, pyrolysis) to combust waste and convert it to heat/electricity are just a few solutions aimed at addressing this problem. 

As health professionals, it is important that we are aware of waste disposal practices in our community impacting our patients.  In addition, we must be aware that hospitals generate over five million tons of waste each year, from ordinary trash to medical waste! 

Please join community and University leaders working at the intersections of climate change and waste justice in a discussion on July 28th from 12 noon- 1:15PM and learn how you can get involved.  Thoracic surgeon Rafael Andrade, MD from MHealth will discuss waste reduction in the OR, Nazir Khan from HERC will discuss healthcare and community impacts of waste and incineration, and Bridget Rathsack from the Environmental Initiative will highlight her work on the concept of a circular economy.  April Schumacher from Fairview sustainability will be moderating.


Energy Justice Lecture

View Recorded Lecture 

Held on June 23, 2021

When we think of climate change, a typical image that comes to mind is thick black smoke from the chimneys of a coal plant. Today, most of us recognize that we need to move beyond the individual solution of “changing a lightbulb” and address climate change at a systemic level- especially when it comes to our electrical grid.  

As health professionals, it is not uncommon for us to encounter patients suffering impacts of energy insecurity. We often see patients suffer an asthma attack on a hot summer day due to the lack of air conditioning. Some of our patients have to choose between paying their utility bills or purchasing medications. At the same time, we learn, teach, and practice medicine in buildings that are air-conditioned and lit 24 x 7 whether or not they are occupied, raising questions of energy conservation, distribution, and justice. 

Join community and University leaders working at the intersections of climate change and energy justice in a discussion on June 23, and learn how you can get involved. Our webinar panel will include Shane Stennes, the director of sustainability at the University of Minnesota, who will discuss the University’s plan towards net-zero emissions in keeping with the IPCC recommendations, Robert Blake from Solar Bear, who will be sharing about energy independence as the CEO of the only Native American owned solar installation company in the state of Minnesota, and Carmen Carruthers from CUB Minnesota and will be speaking about the electrical grid and what role consumers play in energy justice. Lindsay Otte, a nurse practitioner in the division of hospital medicine, will be moderating this panel.



Food Justice Lecture May 26, 2021

View Recorded Lecture

Held on May 26, 2021

According to a recent study in Nature Food, food systems were responsible for a third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, 34%, in 2015. Carbon emissions from food systems are more than just energy used for food production itself. Global food systems are incredibly complex with emissions from fossil fuels used for fertilizer manufacture, changes to the soil from land-use management, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, retail, consumption, and waste management.  

News stories on food systems are often dizzyingly complex, such as the Amazon rainforest being mowed down to grow soybeans for pig feed in China or extractive fishing practices leading to ripple effects in the oceanic ecosystems.  

As health professionals, we also see our communities struggle with food insecurity, including right here in Minnesota.  

Join community and University leaders working at the intersections of climate change and food justice in a discussion on May 26, and learn how you can get involved. Our webinar panel will include Dr. Kate Shafto from Hennepin Healthcare, a regenerative farmer and a practicing Med-Peds physician, Ms.Catherine Fleming, CFO of the Sweetie Pie project, seeking to end food insecurity in North Minneapolis, and Mr. Ben Rolland from MN350. Tess Gessler, Physician Assistant in the Hospital Medicine division, will moderate this exciting session.


Youth Action Lecture April 28, 2021

View Recorded Lecture

Held on April 28, 2021

Climate change is the biggest threat to public health in the 21st century. The 2019 Lancet Commission Report on Health and Climate Change states that the life of every child born today will be impacted by climate change, and that the actions we take today will determine how those health impacts shape up. Along with the growing scientific evidence, we have also seen youth take climate action into their own hands. Global youth climate protests drove climate change to the top list of voting concerns for the American public. 

Join Akilah Sanders-Reed from the Power Shift Network and Shelli-Kae Foster from YES! To learn about what the climate crisis means to them, how they are taking action to change systems and policy, and the role health professionals can play to augment their efforts. We will also hear from a medical student, Aaron Rosenblum, from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus and learn about why health professionals need to be trained in the health impacts of climate change, and what efforts are underway at this time.



Please email Lindsay Otte for more information.