Category Archives: HCMC Press Releases

HCMC first in the Twin Cities to offer new heart failure monitoring solution

Goldsmith and patientHennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is the first facility in the Twin Cities to implant a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF).

The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians in conjunction with standard treatments to manage heart failure.

Heart failure has many causes, but always involves either an inability of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands, or of an inability of the heart to pump blood adequately without an excessive rise in intracardiac pressure. In either case, patients develop severe shortness of breath and accumulate fluid in their lungs and other body tissues when the condition progresses or becomes unstable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.

The CardioMEMS HF System features a tiny sensor that is permanently implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries.

Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CardioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to their medical team on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure before symptoms worsen and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized. In the pivotal study of this device (CHAMPION), active management based on the sensor readings reduced hospitalizations by nearly 37% over 15 months in patients with moderately severe HF who had been admitted to the hospital at least once in the preceding year.

Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have HF comparable in severity to those in the CHAMPION trial. Historically these patients account for nearly half of all heart failure hospitalizations. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion, much of it for hospitalizations, and that number is expected to more than double by 2030. Any treatment or monitoring strategy which can reduce the burden of hospitalizations could have a significant impact on health care costs.

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Dr. Steven Goldsmith

“Heart failure causes enormous suffering and is responsible for tens of billions of dollars in health care costs,” explains HCMC cardiologist Dr. Steven Goldsmith, who is the Director of both the Heart Failure program at HCMC and the Minnesota Heart Failure Consortium. Dr. Goldsmith and his colleagues at HCMC and the University of Minnesota participated in the CHAMPION trial.

“Having a new tool to manage heart failure on an individual basis which prevents patients from developing severe shortness of breath and the need for hospitalization is very exciting, as it promises improved quality of life and as well potentially huge savings to the medical care system. We are delighted to be among the first centers nationally and the first in the Twin Cities to be able to now offer this technology to qualifying patients.”

The Hennepin Heart Center at Hennepin County Medical Center has a long tradition of delivering innovative, patient-centered, high-quality cardiovascular care. Using the latest interventions, cardiac specialists provide expertise in the care of patients with coronary disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and arrhythmias. Visit www.hcmc.org for more information about Hennepin Heart Center.

The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.heartfailureanswers.com/.

 

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Hennepin Healthcare System to integrate with MVNA

Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. (HHS), the public subsidiary corporation that operates Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), and MVNA have signed an agreement to integrate their operations, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

MVNA is a provider of specialized services including home healthcare, community palliative care, family health services and other specialty home-based and community health services. Through its subsidiary, Hospice of the Twin Cities (HOTC), MVNA provides hospice services as well. Last year, MVNA and HOTC provided more than 80,000 visits to almost 19,000 clients. Continue reading

International Walk to School (Safely!) Day

St. Anthony Village Children Join Safe Kids of Hennepin County and FedEx on International Walk to School Day October 8, 2014

57568515Safe Kids of Hennepin County (Hennepin County Medical Center) and FedEx volunteers will be participating in the International Walk to School day on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 to raise awareness about pedestrian safety. More than 250,000 children across the United States will participate in the annual event to learn safe walking skills and to encourage the creation of safe walking environments.

The team of volunteers from the school and FedEx will be teaching the kids at Wilshire Park Elementary School (3600 Highcrest Road, St. Anthony, MN ) about safe walking that morning. Beginning at 8:00 a.m. children from the neighborhoods surrounding the school will form a “Walking School Bus” and pick-up walkers along the way. They will be greeted by emergency vehicles as well as the schools and hospital’s mascots in the parking lot of Elmwood Church (located behind the school at 3615 Chelmsford Rd) for a photo and then head into the school.

Julie Philbrook, Safe Kids of Hennepin County Coordinator, emphasizes the importance of showing children how to walk safely. “Our children learn by mimicking what they see. By walking with them on International Walk to School Day, we can show them how to make good choices when it comes to safety.”

In 2000, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities.  Safe Kids and FedEx address the issue through research, physical improvements to school zones, and education and awareness campaigns throughout the year, such as International Walk to School Day.

About Safe Kids of Hennepin County
Safe Kids of Hennepin County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Its members is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. The Coalition is led by Hennepin County Medical Center. For more information, contact Julie.philbrook@hcmed.org

About FedEx
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $46 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.

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DOT physicals available at Golden Valley Clinic

DOT physicals are now offered at HCMC’s Golden Valley Clinic, conveniently located in Spring Gate Shopping Center, 5653 Duluth Street in Golden Valley.

85449789Commercial drivers are required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to pass a physical exam and receive certification that they are in good enough health to be safe driving a commercial vehicle. A standard certification is good for two years, but people with certain health conditions must have a DOT physical more often. This year, there’s a new wrinkle in getting a DOT physical.

“Now you can’t necessarily just go to your primary care doctor to get a DOT physical,” explains Bryan Nelson, MD, Family and Community Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center. “As of May 21, 2014, health care providers must be specially licensed to give DOT physicals. There’s a surprisingly rigorous test you have to pass to become one of these providers.”

Dr. Nelson is licensed to perform DOT physicals, and has been offering this service at the Golden Valley Clinic since mid-August. He describes the exam: “In many respects, it’s like a routine annual physical exam. But there are a couple aspects of an annual physical that are not done as part of the DOT physical. There’s no blood draw. We do a urine test, but it’s just to make sure there’s no glucose or protein in the urine.”

How to get a DOT physical

Health insurance doesn’t cover DOT physicals. Dr. Nelson and the Golden Valley Clinic offer DOT physicals for a flat fee of $109. Assuming you pass, you will receive a certificate at the end of the exam.

You can schedule an appointment by phone or email. Call 612-873-6963 or email gvdotphysicals@hcmed.org to schedule your DOT physical.

Golden Valley Clinic, conveniently located in the Spring Gate Shopping Mall on Duluth St., partners with patients of all ages to maintain and improve their health by offering comprehensive primary care services as well as complementary treatment options.

 

Dr. Michael Belzer receives Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers Award

Dr. Michael Belzer

Dr. Michael Belzer

The West Metro Medical Foundation and the Twin Cities Medical Society have selected Dr. Michael Belzer, Chief Medical Officer at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), as the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers Award.

Dr. Belzer has served as HCMC’s Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer since 1990. He also serves as Medical Director for Hennepin County’s Community Health Department and Associate Dean for the University of Minnesota Medical School. Prior to becoming Medical Director, he served as the Associate HCMC Medical Director for Academic Affairs. Dr. Belzer is a practicing Medical Hematologist and Oncologist with subspecialty and specialty board certification in Medical Oncology, Hematology, and Internal Medicine. He served as President and Chairman of the Board of Hennepin Medical Society (now known as the Twin Cities Medical Society) that represented over 4000 Metro physicians. Dr. Belzer is on the Executive Committee Board for America’s Essential Hospitals, and was the former Board Chair of Hospice of the Twin Cities and the National Public Health and Hospital Institute. Dr. Belzer is past recipient of the Minnesota Medical Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award and he won the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award from the University Medical School in 2004.

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MyChart E-Visits are here!

e-visits-iocNo time to go to the clinic? MyChart E-Visits are a convenient option!

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is now offering a new feature within its MyChart patient portal to make it more convenient for patients and families with uncomplicated medical histories to get care for some common, non-emergent conditions.

An E-Visit is online medical advice and treatment with an HCMC provider – now available 7 days a week (Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5:30 PM and weekends from 10 AM to 5:30 PM). Cough/colds, allergies, diarrhea, heartburn, red eye, sinus problems, urinary problems and vaginal discharge/irritation are some of the non-emergent conditions that can be treated by a provider via E-Visit.

To sign up for the E-Visit, the patient must:

  • Have been seen at HCMC within the past 3 years
  • Not have been seen at HCMC for the same condition or symptoms within 7 days of the E-Visit
  • Be at least 18 months old
  • Not be pregnant or breast-feeding

E-Visits can be requested through HCMC’s MyChart system. For more information, go to hcmc.org and take the E-Visit link.

 

HCMC marks 25 years of Level I Trauma care

PrintIn 1989, Hennepin County Medical Center HCMC) was the first hospital in Minnesota – and one of the first in the country – to be verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level I Trauma Center.  This year the Level I Adult and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center marks its 25th year with this distinction. Continue reading