Category Archives: HCMC Press Releases

Countdown to NASA launch begins with HCMC-trained astronaut aboard

Dr. Kjell Lindgren credits his emergency medicine training at HCMC to preparing him for his May 26 space launch.

16101545838_76bedf4c47_zStaff at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis are counting down the days until the launch of Expedition 45 crew members to the International Space Station on Tuesday, May 26 when they’ll see their student, colleague and friend fulfill his dream of space travel.

NASA astronaut and former Chief Emergency Medicine Resident Dr. Kjell Lindgren will take his medical and aerospace training with him aboard a Soyuz spacecraft that will fly from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Dr. Lindgren and his Expedition 45 colleagues will remain on the Space Station until November 2015.

Dr. Lindgren completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at HCMC in 2005, where he appreciated the opportunity to train in a Level I Trauma Center with one of the most sought-after programs in the country. He is currently assigned as a flight engineer with Expedition 44/45.

“The training I received in the HCMC Emergency Medicine residency program provided me with a suite of skills that I still use today,” explains Dr. Lindgren.

In fact, he thinks it’s great training ground for spaceflight.

“The environment can be stressful, teamwork is critical, the job can be mundane one moment and high stakes the next, the breadth of knowledge required is intimidating, and the coffee is not always great.”

Hennepin County Medical Center is a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital includes a 472-bed acute care hospital as well as primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis its surrounding communities.

See YouTube video about Dr. Lindgren and his crew.

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Removing clots provides additional benefits for stroke patients compared to medications alone

HCMC patients enrolled in study that shows clot-busting medications aren’t the only options in stroke care

Rick and BearTaking his dog out for a walk left Richard Juergensen speechless – but thanks to a life-saving technique and the quick actions of a neighbor, the 55-year-old survived a stroke and is already back to work.

On the chilly -8 below evening of Tuesday, March 4, Juergensen and his chocolate lab, Bear (see photo) began their evening routine going outside for a walk. After Bear made a pit stop in the front yard, Richard remembers his arm suddenly going numb. “I grabbed hold of my arm and it was just kind of flopping around,” he explains. “Then my right leg went numb, too. A neighbor saw me and asked me what was wrong, but I couldn’t answer him. I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn’t say it.”

His neighbor quickly called 911 and Hennepin EMS paramedics recognized his symptoms as a likely stroke so notified the hospital of a “Stroke Alert” and transported him to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was evaluated by their stroke team. “When I was in the emergency department I felt like giving up because people were asking me questions and I knew the answers, but couldn’t articulate them,” said Juergensen. “It was very scary.”

He was found to have an occlusion – a clot – in one of the branches of the middle cerebral artery in his brain and was immediately taken to an interventional radiology suite, where the clot was removed using a Solitaire™ stent retriever and a special suction device called Penumbra™. Because Juergensen was on blood thinners, he could not receive the clot-busting medication, alteplase (also known as tPA), leaving him mechanical thrombectomy as his only treatment option.

“As the only Minnesota hospital to enroll patients in any of four recent research studies about whether clot removal using state-of-the-art devices is as beneficial as IV tPA, we were in a perfect position to treat Mr. Juergensen,” explains HCMC’s Dr. Bharathi Jagadeesan. “The research trials demonstrated that this technique works, and that clot-busting medication isn’t the only answer.”

In fact, if mechanical thrombectomy (blood clot removal) is performed, patients have a longer window of time to receive treatment and more patients have a good outcome when compared to clot-busting medication therapy alone.

“IV tPA, or clot-busting medication, is still our first-line therapy; however, it must be administered within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms and is not safe in patients with a significant bleeding risk, like Mr. Juergensen,” said Dr. Jagadeesan. “So if the patient cannot be given IV tPA or if stroke symptoms persist after tPA is started, it’s great to know that we have the specialized equipment and highly skilled interventional team that are needed to successfully perform mechanical thrombectomy.”

“When I woke up Wednesday morning, everything was back to normal,” said Juergensen. The night before I thought my life was changed forever. Now words can’t express how grateful I am for the care I received.”

Juergensen was discharged from HCMC on March 6, just 3 days after having what would most likely have been a major stroke if he hadn’t received emergency treatment. He returned to work a week later.

“Mr. Juergensen is an excellent example of the life-saving and life-changing outcomes that can be achieved with prompt and precise medical intervention,” said Dr. Jagadeesan.

The Hennepin Stroke Center at Hennepin County Medical Center is a national leader in the treatment of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes with some of the fastest clot-busting drug delivery times in the U.S. HCMC is the only hospital in Minnesota who enrolled patients in the SWIFT-PRIME stroke trial which demonstrated improved outcomes in patients receiving IV tPA plus cutting edge endovascular therapy compared to patient’s receiving IV tPA alone. The Hennepin Stroke Center is nationally certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for rehabilitative care after a stroke occurs.

New clinic and specialty building update

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Clinic and specialty building view from Chicago Ave. & 8th St.

On Tuesday, April 14 the Hennepin County Board approved proceeding with planning of a larger new clinic and specialty building for Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) than was originally proposed as part of the first phase of the new clinic and specialty building project.

Hennepin County Medical Center is consolidating its downtown clinics and specialties into one building for the convenience of patients. The new building, to be located between 8th and 9th streets and Chicago and Park avenues in east downtown, will offer a new, patient-centered model of care in an efficient and accessible facility, featuring expanded evening and weekend hours to meet the needs of patients.

The original plan was for a 322,000 square foot building, at a total project cost of $191.7 million to be built in the first phase, with the possibility of future expansion on the site.

“As we completed a careful analysis of our current needs and the volume growth that we’ve seen in the past two years, it has become clear that we would not be able to consolidate all of the clinics and services that are today spread across nine buildings downtown in the square footage originally proposed,” said Scott Wordelman, Vice President of Ambulatory Services.

Significant additional investment would have been needed to relocate and renovate up to six clinics that did not fit into the new facility.

The footprint of the six-story outpatient care center will now be expanded to accommodate a  367,000 square foot building at a cost of $224.6 million that will include all of HCMC’s downtown campus clinics, as well as relocation of its Comprehensive Cancer Center. This also includes replacement of the linear accelerator that’s used to treat cancer patients, which was due to be replaced.

The county will be asked to issue bonds to finance the project and the healthcare system will pay the debt service on the bonds from operating income.

“Understanding the changing needs and development in the east downtown area, this plan gives us the greatest flexibility for the rest of the campus as we take a fresh look at our facilities,” said Wordelman.

The revised plan is to break ground by November of this year and start seeing patients in the new building in December of 2017.

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Former Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce to visit TBI patients

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On Thursday, April 9, 2015 snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2009 while training for the Olympics, will stop by Hennepin County Medical Center’s Traumatic Brain Injury Center to visit with and encourage TBI patients. HCMC’s TBI Center was chosen as a visit site for Pearce because of its reputation for exceptional care of TBI patients and its leadership in the industry.

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Kevin Pearce

“The care and encouragement I received during my recovery was so important, and now I want to support and encourage others living with a traumatic brain injury,” explains Pearce.

On December 31, 2009, Pearce was attempting a Cab double cork in a halfpipe in Park City, Utah when he sustained a TBI. An HBO documentary about his experience “The Crash Reel – the Ride of a Lifetime” won an Emmy for Outstanding Information Program. Today, Pearce is an internationally renowned sports commentator, motivational speaker, and advocate for TBI education, prevention, rehabilitation and research, as well as a Sports Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society.

About Traumatic Brain Injuries Each year, more than 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Among children and young adults, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability.

In Minnesota, nearly 100,000 brain injuries occur annually. A large percentage of those injuries are mild to moderate cases and often go untreated. As a Level I Trauma Center, Hennepin County Medical Center admits and treats the most traumatic brain injuries in the state.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Center at Hennepin County Medical Center offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary patient care, education and research to serve people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Providing a full range of state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitative services, the TBI Center features caregivers whose expertise spans the entire continuum of care for adult and pediatric TBI patients — from prevention to emergency care, neurosurgery, critical care, rehabilitation and the Mild to Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic. Each year, professionals at the Traumatic Brain Injury Center care for more than 2,000 patients.

HCMC recognized as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility

HCMC_BirthCenter_LogoAfter completing a comprehensive on-site survey, Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. recently announced that Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) has been designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital.

“We are very excited about this prestigious award,” said Anna Mueller, Nurse Manager for Breastfeeding Services. “Making sure moms and babies get off to a great start is one of our priorities at The Birth Center, and being recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital confirms our commitment to providing excellent Family-Centered care.” Continue reading

Study identifies interventions to decrease physician burnout

 A Cluster Randomized Trial of Interventions to Improve Work Conditions and Clinician Burnout in Primary Care: Results from the Healthy Work Place (HWP) Study, supported by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) 

177122975 - CopyPatients often talk to their physicians about how to manage stress, but studies have shown that physicians in clinic practice are having a difficult time of their own balancing work-life issues, schedules and expectations. Perceived failure at meeting these demands can even lead them to consider leaving their profession. Continue reading

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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