Will more Americans benefit from cholesterol-lowering therapy?

In Nov 2013, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) introduced new guidelines to reduce heart attack and stroke through lifestyle changes and selective use of cholesterol-lowering  medications.

The ACC/AHA proposed changes to the guidelines for prescribing cholesterol-lowering medications called statins in accordance with the latest clinical study data available on the use of these drugs to reduce heart attack and strokes, due to the high prevalence of heart attack and stroke associated with high blood cholesterol.

Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew

Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew

“For years, the LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol level was the basis for the initiation and follow up of statin therapy,” cardiologist Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew at Hennepin County Medical Center explains. “But the new guidelines de-emphasized the value attached to following the LDL level and instead recommended that the intensity of statin therapy match the risk of stroke and heart attack in an individual. For example, high-intensity cholesterol reduction is now recommended for those who have had prior heart attack or stroke, since the recurrence of such events is highest for those individuals.” Continue reading

Getting a handle on headache


It can start as a dull ache – barely noticeable – but by the end of the day you’re clutching your forehead in pain. Most of the time, headaches are a nuisance and nothing to worry about. If headaches disrupt your life on a regular basis, however, they should be discussed with a physician.

Neurologist Kevin Brown, DO, sees many patients with headaches at Hennepin County Medical Center’s Chaska Neurology and Specialty Clinic. “You should consult a physician if you suffer from persistent headaches that disrupt your daily function or are associated with headache “red flags,” he says. Continue reading

CNO Kathy Wilde recognized by Women’s Health Leadership TRUST

Kathy Wilde, CNO

Kathy Wilde, CNO

Congratulations to Hennepin County Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Kathy Wilde, RN, MA who is one of the women being recognized by the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST on April 29! This organization is celebrating its 35th year of playing an integral role in advancing in women health care executives. Wilde is one of 35 women leaders from across the state who exemplify leadership excellence in the health care industry who will be recognized at the networking dinner at the Minneapolis Convention Center. In addition to the 35 honorees, the annual Jean Harris Award will be announced and presented to a TRUST member for outstanding contributions in health care leadership.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by this organization,” said Wilde. “Networking with leaders in the health care field is a great way to learn more about what’s being done to improve health care for all Minnesotans.”

Wilde joined Hennepin County Medical Center in July 2007 and has more than 30 years of nursing leadership experience.

About Women’s Health Leadership TRUST
Founded in 1979, the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST provides development, promotion and education of women health care leaders. Over the past 35 years, the 300-plus member organization has grown into one of the most influential women’s health care organizations in Minnesota and continues to provide professional networking and leadership support to women across the state. To learn more about Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, visit www.whltrust.org.


Comprehensive Cancer Center awarded arts program

HCMC’s Comprehensive Cancer Center again named LIVESTRONG® Community Impact Project Finalist and Award Recipient

Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) Comprehensive Cancer Center was recently named one of the  Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program sites by theLIVESTRONG®Community Impact Project. It’s the second time the hospital’s cancer program has been selected thanks to an online voting campaign. HCMC will be awarded $15,600 to help replicate and implement the music therapy program at HCMC, one of three proven cancer support programs included in the 2014 Community Impact Project selected by the LIVESTRONG Foundation.  HCMC was one of more than 100 qualified hospitals, cancer centers, university students and community organizations in seven regions across the U.S. were selected to participate in the online voting campaign that determined the award recipients.

“We are so grateful to the LIVESTRONG Foundation and of course the many people who voted for us to receive the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program for our patients,” explains Kelly Porter, Practice Manager of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at HCMC.  “We’ve seen firsthand how much an arts program means to our cancer patients, and we’re so excited to offer this to them.”

The Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program has become an essential component of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center’s integrative approach to caring for cancer patients. The program’s overarching goal is to facilitate relaxation, decrease anxiety and stress, enhance wellness, improve pain management, and provide comfort and support for cancer patients and their caregivers. Music therapy is proven to reduce stress and pain levels associated with illness and hospitalization. For many patients, the simple act of listening to music provides a therapeutic release, promoting healing and overall wellbeing. Clinical music therapy services are provided on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Two part-time music therapists conduct sessions with patients either at the bedside or in common (environmental) areas of the cancer center.

In addition to the Foundation’s financial support, the chosen organizations will receive various materials including facilitator manuals, participant materials; training and support from the model program’s staff; and access to additional tools and resources.

Conveniently located downtown Minneapolis on HCMC’s campus, the Comprehensive Cancer Center is committed to providing the finest in cancer-related services through an integrated system of health and social services. For more information about Hennepin County Medical Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, visit hcmc.org.




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

HCMC plans to expand its downtown campus

Hennepin County Medical Center will build a new 322,000 square foot clinic and specialty center that will expand its downtown Minneapolis campus to meet the growing need for outpatient care and specialty services.

The Hennepin County Board approved spending $10 million to acquire property near the main campus in downtown Minneapolis, directly across from the Emergency Department on 8th St., between Park and Chicago Aves. The total cost of the new building, including the land, and relocation of a helipad, will be approximately $191 million to be financed through the sale of bonds.

“First and foremost this new facility will improve the experience for our patients,” said Jon Pryor, MD, MBA, CEO of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. “Right now our primary care and specialty care clinics downtown are spread across nine buildings that we own or lease. Bringing them together into one building will make it more convenient for our patients and more efficient for our staff.”

The new building will include primary care clinics, specialty clinics and outpatient surgery facilities. It would open in 2016. Continue reading

New colon cancer tests can’t replace colonoscopy

Cancer and precancerous diseases identified, treated during procedure

469902151New tests for colon cancer continue to make headlines – but colonoscopy is the only procedure that can both test for cancer and remove precancerous polyps at the same time. Continue reading