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

    Laalitha Surapaneni ∙ Co-Chair ∙ Bio

    Brian Hilliard ∙ Co-Chair ∙ Bio

    Carol Kampa ∙ Internal Sustainability Coordinator

    Lindsey Otte ∙ Building Efficiency


The CHAP Climate Justice Lecture Series, is being presented by the University of Minnesota Medical School’s, Climate Health Action Program. This lecture series has been developed to build community, raise awareness within the healthcare community about the intersection between climate change and social determinants of health using the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

We know that creating true partnerships with the community requires listening, therefore we want to hear about the lived experiences of our community members and learn from their expertise. The seminar series helps highlight the work of community groups leading the way in climate efforts, and showcase actions those in academia can take to bridge the gap.

If you would like to make suggestions for speakers/topics or you would like to work with us, contact: Colleen Doyle.

Waste Justice 7-28-2021

Register Here

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.


Wednesday, August 25

Register Here

By 2050, it is expected that two thirds of the world population will live in urban areas. While cities provide much of the world’s economic growth, they also account for 70% of global carbon emissions and 60% of resource use. Making cities and human settlements more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable not only benefits citizens, but it benefits the planet as a whole!

It is important that health professionals address sustainable development goals #9 related to industry, innovation, infrastructure, and #11 related to sustainable cities and communities. This includes promoting solutions like city planning to reduce disaster risk, promote walkable cities, improve bike infrastructure and mass transit, and provide green spaces. In turn, these solutions will positively impact the health of the communities we serve.

Please join community and University leaders working at the intersections of climate change and city and state level climate resilience in a discussion on August 25th from 12 noon- 1:15PM.



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

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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.



  1. Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II 
    “The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), completed in November 2018, is a comprehensive and authoritative report on climate change and its impacts in the United States.” It is authored by the “U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) which comprises of 13 Federal agencies that conduct or use research on global change and its impacts on society”. 

  2. Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change
    “Established to provide an independent, global monitoring system dedicated to tracking the health dimensions of the impacts of, and the response to, climate change. The Lancet Countdown tracks 41 indicators across five domains: climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerability; adaptation, planning, and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; finance and economics; and public and political engagement.”

  3. 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Brief for the United States of America
    “This Brief focuses on connections between climate change and health in the United States (U.S.) in 2017. It draws out some of the most nationally-relevant findings of the global 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change report with U.S.-specific data to highlight the key threats and opportunities climate change poses for the health of Americans.”



  1. Safety and sustainability impacts of isolation gown use in inpatient settings
    Synopsis: This project aims to elicit the safety and efficacy of isolation gowns in the inpatient setting while simultaneously addressing the cost-benefit analysis of using single-use isolation gowns.

  2. Reducing paper use at Clinics and Surgical Center
    Synopsis: Appointments are routinely confirmed by paper mail. This project aims to reduce paper use by promoting electronic media for communication.


If you wish to take action on climate, please email Dr. Brian Hilliard for more information.