By Laalitha Surapaneni
Assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School and MN350 supporter

Human health is inextricably linked to the health and well-being of our planet. The impacts of climate change are already here, and we’re now facing compounding disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme heat waves along with the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions of quarantine and social distancing.

Vishnu Laalitha Surapaneni.

As a physician, I educate my patients on what they can do to protect themselves from the health impacts of environmental damage such as extreme heat and air pollution. However, this is not work that can be done adequately on an individual level. It is also paramount that we build systems that help our communities be more resilient and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This is why I value my grassroots organizing work with MN350 to help develop and promote public policies centered in environmental justice and help protect our water and climate, and thus our health.

Our movement to create resilient communities must be multi-sectoral and requires that all of us work within the systems in which we live and work. See this article I wrote as part of my work at the University of Minnesota, where I’m an assistant professor at the medical school and a practicing hospitalist in internal medicine.

Dr. Surapaneni is an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School and MN350 supporter.