Health News Today – Aug. 25, 2014

Today’s headlines:

  • Farm-to-table in demand at Minnesota State Fair
  • Essentia provided 400k hours clinical education in 2013
  • Neighborhood Involvement Clinic shuts doors citing MNsure success


Minnesotans demanding farm-to-table cuisine, even at state fair (

A lot of folks decide where to grab dinner based on yelp ratings or cravings. But now there’s a growing group of Minnesotans who choose local restaurants based on if it’s “farm-to-table,” basically, the restaurant buys and cooks local food.

Before it’s seared, the pork belly T.J. Rawitzer is cooking was cured and braised, but before that, it was walking around four-days ago.   Read More…



Essentia Health invests 400,000 in medical students (Brainerd Dispatch)

Medical professionals at Essentia Health provided more than 400,000 hours of clinical education to students in the past year.

It’s part of Essentia’s commitment to the future and to ensuring students of today are educated properly for tomorrow’s health care needs.   Read More…


Health care success causes Minn. clinic to close (

A Minneapolis medical clinic is closing, largely because more people are obtaining health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and seeking care elsewhere.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports the Neighborhood Involvement Program provides medical care to thousands of uninsured and underinsured people.   Read More…

Health News Today – Aug. 21, 2014

Today’s health news headlines:

  • New vaccination requirements take effect Sept. 1
  • Mayo meets with Rice County Board of Commissioners
  • Medicare Advantage patients in limbo over payments


New vaccination requirements take effect in Minnesota schools Sept. 1 (

School is just around the corner for many Northland kids and teens.

And with new vaccination requirements taking effect in Minnesota on September 1st, students will need to be up to date on all their shots.   Read More…



Mayo economic development group talks growth with Rice County (

To help secure the Mayo Clinic as a destination medical center, all of southeastern Minnesota needs to contribute — and then can benefit economically.

That was the message a spokesman on behalf of a public/private economic development initiative delivered Tuesday to the Rice County Board of Commissioners.   Read More…



Medicare Advantage patients find themselves in regulatory limbo (

When Minnesota retiree Doug Morphew needed surgery last year, he expected his Humana Medicare Advantage plan to step up and pay the lion’s share of the bill.

Morphew said the health plan had told him over the phone he would owe just $450 for the two days he spent in a St. Paul hospital recovering from the operation to repair an aortic aneurysm.   Read More…


Health News Today – Aug. 13, 2014

Health news headlines today include:

  • State health plans cover 94% of employees health coverage
  • Dept. of Health links E.coli outbreak to traveling zoo


Minnesota State health plan among most generous (

Minnesota state employees get 94 percent of their health care costs covered by insurance, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

That’s higher than the national average for state workers of 92 percent. It’s richer than the average plans offered for sale under the federal health care law, roughly equivalent to platinum plans sold on the state’s health insurance exchange, MNsure. And it’s better than the plans most private employers provide, which are generally in the 80 percent range.   Read More…


Minnesota health officials link E.coli infections to traveling petting zoo (Brainerd Dispatch)

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has identified at least 13 people who have developed E. coli O157:H7 infections as part of an outbreak associated with Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo. All of these cases have infections with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that have the same DNA fingerprint. Two of these are secondary cases resulting from being exposed to one of the primary cases associated with the petting zoo.   Read More…

Health News Today – Aug. 12, 2014

Health in Minnesota remembers Robin Williams today.

Need help? Click here for Minnesota Mental Health Association Crisis Info. Call 1-800-273-TALK to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Robin Williams, an improv genius, forever present in the moment (The New York Times)

Source: Getty

Some years ago, at a party at the Cannes Film Festival, I was leaning against a rail watching a fireworks display when I heard a familiar voice behind me. Or rather, at least a dozen voices, punctuating the offshore explosions with jokes, non sequiturs and off-the-wall pop-cultural, sexual and political references.

There was no need to turn around: The voices were not talking directly to me and they could not have belonged to anyone other than Robin Williams, who was extemporizing a monologue at least as pyrotechnically amazing as what was unfolding against the Mediterranean sky. I’m unable to recall the details now, but you can probably imagine the rapid-fire succession of accents and pitches — macho basso, squeaky girly, French, Spanish, African-American, human, animal and alien — entangling with curlicues of self-conscious commentary about the sheer ridiculousness of anyone trying to narrate explosions of colored gunpowder in real time.  Read More…

Health News Today – Aug. 11, 2014

Health news headlines today include:

  • Le Sueur hospital gets designation as Acute Stroke Ready Hospital
  • $20,000 non-refundable fee for people interested in growing pot in Minnesota
  • Health and wellness programs a success at Brooklyn Center High School


Minnesota Valley Health Center in Le Sueur designated as ‘stroke ready’ (

Minnesota Valley Health Center has achieved Acute Stroke Ready Hospital designation from the Minnesota Department of Health.

This designation means that the hospital is up-to-date on current standards, guidelines, and best practices in caring for patients suffering from a stroke. The nursing staff had training to enhance their existing knowledge to quickly identify stroke symptoms, and administer the proper medications.   Read More…


Minnesota medical marijuana grower application feel: $20,000 (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

There’s a lot of interest in growing medical marijuana in Minnesota.

Whether that interest will translate into applications to become one of two state-registered growers is another question — particularly since there’s a $20,000 nonrefundable application fee.

On Friday, state officials tested the waters with a forum in St. Paul for potential applicants. More than 100 showed up, although some sounded skeptical about the state’s new program.   Read More…


Full-service community schools: Vision is important (

At Brooklyn Center High School, a couple of years ago, a small room was transformed into an optometrist’s examining room. On the first day it opened in January 2013, 18 students were seen, and 15 of them needed glasses. At last, those who needed eyewear had access to it.

The eye doctor who donates a few hours per month of his time to seeing patients, free of charge, at Brooklyn Center High School is part of that school’s full service approach to education. The eye doctor has his own space across the hall from a dental clinic, which shares space with a medical clinic, which extends out to a mental health clinic. This model of comprehensive wellness—designed to help boost the overall success of the school—embraces students, staff, and families.   Read More…




Health News Today – Aug. 8, 2014

In today’s health news:

  • U of M research helps ID gene that turns off cancer
  • Medical pot manufacturers to be selected by state
  • Minnesota Valley Health Center staff train and prepare for worst


U of M research helps solve cancer mystery (KARE11-TV)

Imagine if we had a way to stop cancer before it even started. A new discovery found at the University of Minnesota could someday make this a reality.

“We are very proud. It’s a nice study. The data are super clear,” said Dr. Eric Hendrickson, the lead researcher of the study.

For three years Hendrickson’s team at the University of Minnesota Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics has worked in partnership with Cardiff University in England researching cancer and how one tiny gene could completely shut it off.   Read More…


Interest lights up as state looks to select 1st medical pot manufacturers (KSTP-TV)

Medical marijuana is coming to Minnesota, and the question is, “Who’s going to manufacture it?”

Finding a manufacturer is no easy task.

Dr. Marshall Brinton is a licensed veterinarian who used to operate a veterinary vaccine company in Willmar. He retired after a wakeboarding accident left him disabled.   Read More…


Training helps Minnesota Valley Health Center staff prepare for emergencies (

In the case of an active shooter entering a work place, having staff trained to run an emergency procedure could be the difference, quite literally, between life and death.

In an effort to help ensure a safe environment, theMinnesota Valley Health Center are better educating themselves in the event of an emergency.  Read More… 

Health News Today – Aug. 4, 2014

In health news today:

  • Two clinics get ACA funding for mental health services
  • As we age health care strives to improve while lowering costs
  • Minn. family tries medical marijuana for son’s seizures


Minn. clinics get $500,000 for mental health services (

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $250,000 each to Open Door Health Center of Mankato and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais. The funding comes from the Affordable Care Act.

Rita Plourde, executive director of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, says the family physicians at her clinic are treating a growing number of patients who need mental health services.   Read More…


Late-in-life health care: Initiatives aim to cut costs while increasing quality (

A medical bill is a shocker, even for those with insurance coverage. An emergency-room visit with multiple tests can cost as much as a car. Major surgery? Think mortgage-sized sums.

The sobering reality that Americans could collectively go broke paying such bills for an aging nation has ignited challenges to traditional ways of financing health care.   Read More…


Family tries marijuana treatment for baby Wyatt’s seizures (

The path that Jessica Hauser never expected to travel with her family is approaching a crossroads.

The journey for Hauser and her husband, Jeremy, began when their son, Wyatt, was diagnosed seven months into his young life with infantile spasms, a type of epilepsy that could cause about 200 seizures a day.   Read More…




Health News Today – July 31, 2014

Health news headlines include:

  • 2015 legislation planned to require insurance coverage of contraceptives
  • Minnesota health care startups rank first for venture dollars raised so far in 2014
  • Scientist learn more about the battle in your belly


In Minnesota Legislature, contraceptives coverage bill to be proposed (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Spurred by a recent Supreme Court ruling, DFLers in the state House say they will introduce legislation next year to require insurance coverage for contraceptives by certain employer health plans in Minnesota.

House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, says the legislation is needed because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld a challenge by crafts retailer Hobby Lobby to mandated contraceptive coverage in the federal Affordable Care Act.   Read More…


Med-tech report says midwest health care startups had best half-year in a decade (The Wall Street Journal)

Health-care technology startups in the Midwest are having a banner year so far in 2014, raising more funding rounds of higher dollar amounts than at any time since 2005, a report from Cleveland-based BioEnterprise said.

The top three Midwestern states in terms of health-technology investing this year are Minnesota, with $184 million worth of deals so far; Ohio, with $155 million, and Michigan, with $114 million, the report said.   Read More…


Scientists discover more about the battle in your belly (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Kathleen Pender knew her gut was trying to tell her something. She just wasn’t sure what it was.

The 23-year-old Minneapolis woman had recently returned from a stay in Ghana, where she took antibiotics to treat a bout of food poisoning. Back in Minnesota, she soon developed severe, chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain.   Read More…




Health News Today – July 29, 2014

In today’s health news:

  • MDH working with Liberian officials to solve Ebola outbreak
  • Nearly 9,000 residents get apology letter following MNCare gaffe
  • ZocDoc helps Minnesotans find doctors and book appointments online


Minnesota health officials address Ebola concerns (

The Minnesota Department of Health is working with leaders in the local Liberian community to address concerns about an Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Health officials are meeting with members of the West African community Monday.   Read More…


State issues apology for MNCare error (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

The state of Minnesota is contacting nearly 9,000 recipients of MinnesotaCare health insurance to clarify a letter that incorrectly stated they would lose their subsidized coverage for at least four months if they didn’t re-enroll by July 31.

Minnesota used to make new or tardy MinnesotaCare enrollees wait four months for benefits, but that waiting period went away this year as part of federal health changes and the introduction of the MNsure online health insurance marketplace.   Read More…

ZocDoc comes to Minnesota, helping patients find doctors, book appointments (

ZocDoc, a free online service and app used by more than five million patients each month, arrives in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul areas today, delivering faster access to quality medical care. With ZocDoc, patients can search for nearby, in-network doctors, read verified reviews and health content, see doctors’ availability in real time, and instantly book appointments online. While the average wait to see a physician is over 18 days, the typical ZocDoc patient sees a doctor in under 24 hours.   Read More…

Health News Today – July 28, 2014

Today in health news:

  • MNsure should release cost-of-coverage info sooner, not later
  • State seeks medical marijuana manufacturers
  • Free dental clinic in Mankato once again a huge success


Editorial: A needed push for early release of MNsure rates (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Consumers buying health insurance on MNsure and the Affordable Care Act’s other new online marketplaces had six months to comparison shop and enroll for 2014 coverage.

But for 2015 coverage, that window is half as long, which is why it’s vital that Minnesota repeat the consumer-friendly, nation-leading move of releasing cost-of-coverage information as early as possible.   Read More…

Minnesota looks for manufacturers for medical pot program (

Dr. Marshall Brinton saw the headlines after Minnesota passed a medical marijuana law, looked around at the equipment in his old veterinary laboratory and thought: Yeah, I could do that.

A retired veterinarian in Willmar, Brinton hopes to convert the lab where he once made vaccines for animals into one of Minnesota’s two medical marijuana production facilities.   Read More…


Smiles all around at free dental clinic (

Tim Foskett is a well-educated teacher in Roseville. He’s also without dental insurance.

The lack of insurance brought him to Mankato on Friday for the Mission of Mercy free dental clinic at the Verizon Wireless Center. But the demand was so high he was turned away and had to return in the early morning hours Saturday to see a dentist.  Read More…