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Q & A with Healthy Climate Wisconsin’s René Settle-Robinson, DPM

Updated: Jul 1

Laura: Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

René: I grew up in Washington D.C., but I moved to Southern California when I was 16. I lived in Los Angeles for 7 years and then San Francisco for 4 years, so that I could complete my podiatric medical school training. I moved to Chicago to do my residency in foot surgery, and 11 years later I moved to Milwaukee where I’ve lived now for 30 years. 

Laura: Which place was your favorite?

René: Well, I have to say Milwaukee is my favorite because this is where I live. But I really enjoyed Southern California a lot, and San Francisco was pretty fantastic too. I was attracted to Chicago because I love the architecture. There is such a diversity of architecture in Chicago. And, of course, you have got to love the place where you were born, so I’ve really loved every place that I’ve lived.

Laura: Could you tell me a little bit about the kind of work that you do?

René: I’m a podiatrist, and I do medical, surgical, and biomechanical podiatry. My current practice is very much focused on general podiatry. I don’t do as much surgery as I used to do when I was younger.

Laura: What would you do on your perfect weekend in Wisconsin?

René: My perfect weekend in Wisconsin would include some bicycle riding. I would include some crafting, and I love crocheting, beading, and sewing. I just got an embroidery machine, so I’m looking forward to learning how to embroider now. Of course, there’s a certain amount of great food involved in any weekend. So whether I’m cooking it or eating out, I would enjoy some good food and plenty of rest. Now, ideally, if it was combined with family and friends that would be the ultimate!

Laura: What brought you to Healthy Climate Wisconsin?

René: Dr. Carla Wright was the first person who told me about it. She said you were having a conference, and I should go.

Laura: If you could broadcast something to every Wisconsinite about health and climate what would you say? 

René: Your environment plays a key role in the quality of your health.

Laura: What is a topic that you really geek out about?

René: I guess I geek out about my crocheting, beading, and sewing. One of my favorite times over the winter was when my granddaughter came to visit me, and she said, “Granny, I don’t know how to crochet.” And I was so excited! I showed her how to crochet and let her pick out her favorite color of yarn because I’ve got a lot of yarn around here…She made a pillow, and I’ve got the most gorgeous picture of her with her very first crochet project. Another thing to add is that I love games–any kind of competitive games. Our game is Monopoly…and I love Bingo too!

Laura: What brings you hope?

René: When I see people responding to my health recommendations, it gives me hope.


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