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Sheetal Khedkar Rao, MD

Co-Founder & Chief Health Officer

In the clinic, Dr. Sheetal Khedkar Rao regularly counsels patients about individual health factors such as diet, exercise and medications. However, when recurrent “100-year” storms led to her basement flooding three times in a decade, she began to see climate change as a determinant of health and wellness.

In April of 2021, Dr. Rao began working with childhood friend and Nordson Green Earth Foundation co-founder Christine Diploma to set the group’s mission, build the organization and grow the team to what it is today. As Chief Health Officer, she stresses the importance of tree canopy as a direct contributor to health equity.

Dr. Rao has since completed the Harvard-affiliated Climate and Health Community Organizing Fellowship and a University of Colorado Physician Fellowship in Climate and Health Science Policy in order to protect health on an upstream level and a population scale. She currently works with FEMA, the USGCRP and the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs Diffusing Disasters Collaborative on extreme heat

vulnerability and resilience.

Dr. Rao studied medicine at Georgetown University in Washington D.C and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also holds a MS in Physiology from Georgetown and a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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