Minnesota Public Health Association

Since 1907, MPHA has been dedicated to creating a healthier Minnesota through effective public health practice and engaged citizens. 

2019 to 2021 Policy Forum Series: Environmental Health: Is There Justice for All?

This year’s forums explore the intersection between environmental health and health equity. The six forums are sure to be thought‐provoking explorations of the challenges we face in ensuring that the public health needs of every Minnesotan are addressed.

All forums are held at the New Brighton Community Center, located at 400 10th St. NW in New Brighton.

Breakfast and on‐site registration begins at 7:30am. Each forum starts promptly at 8:00am and concludes at 9:30am.

Environmental Health: Is there justice for all? Video Playlist

Is there justice for all ... in the food we eat? - November 8, 2019

Panelists and forum participants discussed topics related to equity and our food supply and distribution. How, where and who grows and distributes the food Minnesotans eat?

Is there justice for all in the food we eat? Video Part 1

Is there justice for all in the food we eat? Video Part 2

Moderator

Annie Halland, MPHA Policy and Advocacy Co-Chair 

Panelists

  • Saba Andualem, Cook Fresh Program Manager, Urban Roots
  • Sophia Lenarz-Coy, Director of Programs & Operations, The Food Group MN
  • Erin McKee, Community Food Systems Program Director, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy

Is there justice for all ...in the air we breathe? - January 17, 2020

Our panelists and forum participants explored issues related to concerns about air and air quality. Who bears the greatest burden for Minnesotans’ treatment of the air we breathe? 

Is there justice for all in the air we breathe? Video

Moderator

Ken Bence, MPHA Past President

Panelists

  • Dr. Teddie Potter, Director of Planetary Health, U of M School of Nursing
  • Jessie Shmool, MPH, DrPH, Environmental Epidemiology Unit Supervisor, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Dr. Monika Vadali, Coordinator for Air Risk Assessment, MN Pollution Control Agency

Is there justice for all ...in the water we use? - December 4, 2020

This forum’s panelists and participants addressed the equal distribution of Minnesota’s water resources. Is there equal access to clean water? Where is the greatest impact of water pollution felt?

This event was rescheduled from March 20, 2020.

Moderator

Jean Streetar, MS, CHES, MPHA Policy Forum Committee Member

Panelists

  • Dr. Lucia R. Levers, Research Associate: Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota
  • Ceil Strauss, CFM, State Floodplain (NFIP) Manager, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-Ecological and Water Resources Division
  • Ginny Yingling, Hydrogeologist, Site Assessment and Consultation Unit, Minnesota Department of Health-Environmental Health Division

Is there justice for all in the water we use? Video

Is there justice for all ...in the places we live? - January 15, 2021

Making sure that there is a fair distribution of the environmental resources needed for good health takes planning. Our panelists considered environmental health topics related to waste treatment and landfill properties, road and bicycle routes, and green space. Do we have equitable distribution of these resources?

This event was rescheduled from May 8, 2020.

Moderator

MPHA Past President Ken Bence, MHA, MBA

Panelists

  • Jennifer Hassebroek, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Eden Prairie
  • Lisa Smestad, Healthy Homes Coordinator, Minneapolis Health Department

Is there justice for all in the places we live? Video Part 1

Is there justice for all in the places we live? Video Part 2

Is there justice for all ...for our vulnerable populations? - March 5, 2021

Our panelists, moderator and participants explored the distribution and impact of environmental health burdens and resources for our most vulnerable populations groups. In what ways do environmental concerns influence social determinants of health?

Moderator

Jaime Martinez, Past MPHA President, MPHA Health Equity Co-Chair

Panelists

  • Sharon Day, Executive Director, Indigenous Peoples Task Force
  • Martine Smaller, Executive Director, Northside Residents Redevelopment Council
  • Chao Yang, Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention, Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health

Is there justice for all for our vulnerable populations? Video Part 1

Is there justice for all for our vulnerable populations? Video Part 2

Is there justice for all …in our public health response? - May 7, 2021

The final forum of this series examinede the public health response to environmental health. We pondered together the question, "What can we do better?"

Moderator

Ed Ehlinger, Past MPHA President

Panelists

  • Marguerite Mills, Department of Geography, Environmental & Society, University of Minnesota. Mapping Prejudice Project
  • Ben Passer, Lead Director, Energy Access and Equity, Fresh Energy
  • Kristin Raab, MN Climate & Health Program Director, Minnesota Department of Health

Is there justice for all in our public health response? Video Part 1

Is there justice for all in our public health response? Video Part 2

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