Senator Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights) represents District 52, which includes the communities of Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake, West St. Paul, and Inver Grove Heights. He was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2016, and is serving in his first term. He sits on the Capital Investment, Health and Human Services Finance, and Health Services Reform Committees.
Medical Alley had the pleasure of meeting with Senator Matt Klein this last week during our Day at the Capitol. We had the opportunity to learn more about his career as a physician and how he brings that unique perspective to his work at the Capitol.
1. Tell us about what you do for a living when you’re not serving as a legislator.
When I’m not serving as a legislator, I serve as a doctor. Specifically, I work in internal medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), and I work about two nights a week now along with my legislative duties.
2. What about in your spare time? Any hobbies or interests that we would be surprised to know you enjoy?
It’s not really too surprising, but I’m an avid reader. One of my favorite memories was going deer hunting with some of my friends, and although I didn’t get a deer that year, it was memorable because I remember sitting in my tree stand reading Leo Tolstoy’s Of War and Peace, which was really just fantastic.
3. Why is the health technology community important to you?
The health technology community is important to me because the nature of healthcare is constantly changing. Most days I carry a stethoscope, but nowadays I’m seeing young residents carry portable ultrasounds with them. The very nature of technology means that we’re constantly adapting how we approach health challenges, whether it’s what we carry on us daily or the way we collect data. Health technology is important because it impacts the practice of medicine on a constant basis.
4. What are some of your legislative priorities for this session?
I’d say some of my biggest priorities for the session are dealing with healthcare delivery, and insurance. Specifically, we need to improve on the way we get patients care, and ensure that they’re covered.
5. Use one word to describe yourself as a Senator.
I think people have an inclination to come into roles like this thinking that they know everything, and that they have all the solutions. That’s not me though – I’d like to think that I listen more than I talk, and I think other people have valuable insights and knowledge, and together we can use our collective minds to solve the issues before us.