Making the Connection Conference 2020

Friday March 6, 2019


Registration Not Open

Friday, March 6, 2020

There will be early-bird registration prices.

The Wisconsin Environmental Health Network (WEHN) hosts an annual conference focused on environmental health. The conference features recognized speakers and an environmental justice panel. This conference also provides an opportunity for scientists, researchers, healthcare professionals, environmental advocates and concerned citizens to network and make connections. 

Thank you to our joint sponsors for the 2019 conference!

Physicians for Social Responsibility Wisconsin

Wisconsin Environmental Health Network

Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Department of Pediatrics

SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - Madison, Department of Continuing Professional Development

Global Health Institute

Thank you to our Supportive Sponsors of the 2019 MTC conference!

| Clean Wisconsin | Citizens Climate Lobby | Family Farm Defenders | Gene and Linda Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability | Group Health Cooperative of SCW | Healthy Lawn Team | Madison Manual Medicine | Midwest Environmental Advocates | Mother’s Milk Alliance | Nelson Institute | Out of Hospital Madison Area Midwives Association | Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter | SSM Health | UnityPoint Health - Meriter | University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Department of Pediatrics, & Department of Population Health Sciences | UW Health, UnityPoint Health - Meriter & Quartz | Wisconsin Guild of Midwives | Wisconsin Conservation Voters | Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program |

Special thank you to:

Susan and Richard Davidson

MTC 2020 General Information


Friday, March 6, 2019


12:00 PM - 5:30 PM


Health Sciences Learning Center, University of Wisconsin - Madison


Registration not available at this time

Conference Attire

Casual attire is appropriate for this conference.

Parking & Bus Service

Parking is available for an hourly fee in the UW Hospital parking ramp next to the Health Sciences Learning Center. Bus service information will be available as the event approaches.

Conference Housing

We recommend the Best Western Plus InnTowner, 2424 University Avenue, Madison, WI.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns, please call 608-232-9945 or email at


Featured Speaker

Devon Payne‐Sturges, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., M.Engr

Assistant Professor MIAEH & Assistant Professor Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health

PayneSturges206_PublicHealthDSC_0034 (1).jpg

Dr. Payne-Sturges is an Assistant Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health. She holds joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Maryland, she served as Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Health with the Baltimore City Health Department then later as the Assistant Center Director for Human Health  with U.S. EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research where she focused on biomonitoring for policy analysis, cumulative risk assessment, health impact assessment, environmental health indicator development, children’s environmental health and environmental health of minority populations.

Her research focuses on racial and economic disparities in exposures to environmental contaminants and associated health risks with the aim of improving the science our society uses to make decisions about environmental policies that impact the health of communities and populations, especially vulnerable, low income and minority populations. She was awarded a NIEHS K01 Career Development award to evaluate the combined effects of ambient air pollution exposures and psychosocial stressors on disparities in children’s neurocognitive functioning using epidemiological and systems science modeling approaches. Additionally, she received a Fulbright Senior Specialist award to work with Hochschule für Gesundheit (HSG) - University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany on cumulative risk assessment and environmental justice. 

Featured Speaker

Pat Breysse, PhD

Director, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) picture.jpg

Pat Breysse, PhD, joined CDC in December 2014 as the Director of NCEH/ATSDR. Dr. Breysse leads CDC’s efforts to investigate the relationship between environmental factors and health. He came to CDC from the Johns Hopkins University where his research focused on the evaluation and control of chemical, biological, and physical factors that can affect health, with a particular concentration on risk and exposure assessment. Under Dr. Breysse’s leadership, the agency has prioritized work on exposure to lead, safe drinking water, initiated new ATSDR actions to address exposure to hazardous chemicals, and has played a critical role in CDC’s emergency preparedness and response to natural disasters and chemical exposures.

Dr. Breysse received his PhD in Environmental Health Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1985 and completed postdoctoral training at the British Institute for Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Lightning Presentation

This will be a series of 4 speakers with 10 minutes each for their presentations.

  1. Steve Carpenter, Ph.D

    Steve Carpenter is the Emeritus Director and Stephen Alfred Forbes Professor of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Current research topics are controls and dynamics of blooms of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in lakes, causes of collapse in  recreational fisheries, and global tradeoffs among energy, food, and water resources. Carpenter’s research has been recognized by international awards, including the Stockholm Water Prize, the Margalef Prize, and the research awards of professional societies. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

  2. Janean Dilworth-Bart, PH.D

    Janean Dilworth-Bart is the Department Chair and Professor in Human Development and Family Studies at UW-Madison. Her scholarship revolves around how early developmental contexts help or hinder children’s development into competent, productive members of society. She addresses this broad issue by focusing on how parents and co-parents engage with children, especially in the Black community, and how multiple environmental pollutants and social risks impact young people’s school readiness, academic achievement, and court involvement. This work has earned her awards including the Wade and Bev Fetzer Fund for Excellence (2017), a fellowship in the Big Ten Academic Alliance–Academic Leadership Program (2017-18), and the Faculty Diversity Award from the UW System Institute on Race and Ethnicity (2009).

  3. Tracey Holloway, ph.d

    Tracey Holloway is an air quality scientist, working at the intersection of air quality, energy, climate, and public health. She was honored as the 2017-2021 Gaylord Nelson Distinguished Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and she is appointed in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences.

    Tracey leads the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team, which connects NASA data with stakeholder interests in air quality management and public health ( She co-founded and served as the first President of the Earth Science Women’s Network “ESWN”, which has a mission of supporting the scientists of today and welcoming a diverse community of scientists for tomorrow. Tracey now leads Science-a-thon (, a public outreach event and fundraisier for three major women-in-science non-profits: ESWN, Girls Who Code, and the Society of Women Engineers. In college, Tracey majored in Applied Math from Brown University, then continued on for a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University.

  4. Susan Paskewitz, PH.D

    Susan Paskewitz is chair and professor in the Department of Entomology. She also co-directs the Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease. Her research program focuses on the ecology, epidemiology and control of human disease transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes and she teaches undergraduate classes in global health and medical entomology. Dr. Paskewitz serves on the Advisory Board for the UW-Madison Global Health Institute. She is a program faculty member for the Master’s of Public Health and the Parasitology and Vector Biology training programs, and a faculty affiliate in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW.

Environmental Justice Panel

This is a two-person panel with individual presentations and question and answer discussion to follow. This panel is focused on local and state issues featuring experts, citizen activists, and professionals from Wisconsin.

  1. Doug Oitzinger, former mayor of Marinette and member of local citizens’ action group Concerned Friends and Neighbors for Safe Drinking Water (S.O.H2O)

  2. To Be Announced.