My Background.

I graduated from Willmar Sr. High School, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College. After college, I spent a year in Copenhagen, Denmark, as a Fulbright Scholar. I then attended medical school at Cornell University in New York City, followed by psychiatry residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Since returning to Minnesota in 2013, I have had the privilege of working throughout greater Minnesota to help patients meet their mental health needs.
I also recently completed a Masters of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and a program in Wilderness Medicine. My work interests focus on mental health and on emerging epidemics that highlight the changing physical and emotional relationship humans have with our environment. I live and work in Prior Lake, where I am a member of the Citizens Engagement Committee. I also serve as a volunteer doctor with the Minnesota Medical Reserve Corps, and I have had the honor of providing volunteer medical care to patients in Africa, where I was moved by the heartbreaking need I saw.

I grew up folding towels alongside my grandparents at Nelsen’s Laundry and Dry Cleaners, a fourth generation family business in Willmar, Minnesota, where I learned the value of hard work, integrity, and customer service. Of course, life wasn’t all work! Along with my brother and many first cousins, I spent summers with our parents and grandparents at the family lake cabin near Willmar, where I gained an enduring love of the Minnesota outdoors.

–Dr. Andrea Nelsen

Why I’m Running.

I was inspired to run after seeing first-hand, in my work as a doctor, the unmet need that afflicts so many patients and families, and the lost productivity that results. I regularly find myself taking care of patients who get sick and have to be hospitalized because they can’t afford their medications. Others tell me about the gigantic medical bills that are bankrupting them. Still others have gone years without needed preventive care. It’s a daily experience for me to go to work and hear these heartbreaking stories, all the while wishing I could help. Meanwhile the inner workings of our healthcare system are plagued with wasteful expenses and unnecessary bureaucracy. We live in one of the richest and most advanced countries on Earth, yet we are falling behind evermore each year in basic measures of health, like infant mortality.

After working in this system for ten years, I decided I could do more for patients and society by changing the laws that regulate health care rather than following them!

Public Education

Fair Economy

Clean Environment

Safe Schools