Hennepin Healthcare expands community testing for COVID-19

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Dr. Glen Hansen (left)

One of the first testing labs in the state to offer COVID-19 testing has expanded to more clinic locations and is now supporting testing in long-term care, shelter and other settings by deploying teams of paramedics and nurses to do onsite collection. This expansion is vitally important to bring testing to underrepresented populations in our community and reduce transmission and outbreaks in long-term care facilities, group homes and other types of congregate care settings.

“This information will help us identify where the virus is, how prevalent it is and where it’s going,” explains Dr. Glen Hansen, Director of Hennepin Healthcare’s Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostic Lab.

When it began testing for COVID-19 in March, Hennepin Healthcare was one of the largest laboratories at the time to offer testing for the virus. More than 200,000 tests have been secured and Hennepin Healthcare now has the capacity to test more than 1000 patients daily – helping to meet to Governor Tim Walz’ request that 20,000 daily tests to be completed in Minnesota.

Hennepin Healthcare offers testing to symptomatic patients from the community at its Viral Screening Clinic in downtown Minneapolis, as well as at its clinics in Whittier, Brooklyn Park and Richfield. Testing is also conducted on patients admitted to HCMC and the lab processes tests for several other healthcare systems, community clinics and correctional facilities.

“We’re getting rapid turnaround from our lab – literally getting results within 6-7 hours, which is crucial not only for screening asymptomatic inpatients but also for those with symptoms whose course of care is determined by this diagnosis,” said Dr. Hansen.

The lab also has capability to conduct rapid COVID-19 testing that turns around results within 67 minutes, and it’s the only hospital in the Twin Cities to offer a full respiratory panel that can rule out 16 viruses (including COVID-19).

Dr. Hansen says that the ability to simultaneous detect COVID-19 while examining other circulating respiratory viruses will become “even more important if the outbreak extends past the summer into the traditional respiratory virus season.”

The Microbiology Laboratory at Hennepin Healthcare provides a full range of services including diagnosis of bacterial, viral, mycotic, and parasitic infections, as well as extensive testing and reporting of antimicrobial susceptibility results.

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Firefighters For Healing donates $10,000 to support Hennepin Heroes

FF4healingFirefighters For Healing is donating $10,000 to the Hennepin Heroes campaign to show their support for the many men and women within the hospital walls of Hennepin Healthcare who are facing the challenges of COVID-19 head-on.

“We want to bring relief and support to the frontline,” said Firefighters For Healing Founder, Jake LaFerriere, who was hospitalized in Hennepin Healthcare’s Burn Center in 2010. “I’ve seen firsthand their dedication and resilience, bravery and sacrifice. To mark our 10th anniversary of service, we are donating $10,000 to help provide supplies and meals to ease the daily pressure for frontline workers.” Continue reading “Firefighters For Healing donates $10,000 to support Hennepin Heroes”

Hennepin Health and Hennepin Healthcare get top prize in Healthcare Innovation awards program

Hennepin Health and Hennepin Healthcare earned first place in the 2020 Innovator Awards Program presented by Healthcare Innovation. The award recognized the team’s work to integrate health care and social services by expanding access to housing navigation, and to reduce the readmission rate for Hennepin Health members who use Hennepin Healthcare’s flagship hospital, HCMC, for hospital services.

An analysis of 2018 Hennepin Healthcare readmissions data showed higher group readmission rates for Hennepin Health members receiving hospital services at HCMC. It also showed that homelessness was a leading risk factor.

Armed with this knowledge, Hennepin Health and Hennepin Healthcare worked together to build a comprehensive, multilayered initiative to address this leading contributor to high healthcare use. The two organizations:

  • Developed a tool to identify patients experiencing homelessness. The tool overhauled screening processes to include information about housing status and the use of other social assistance programs.
  • Improved service coordination by introducing patients experiencing homelessness to outpatient community care management during hospitalization. Patients received care management for 90 days or more following discharge.

The results of the program are notable – of the participating patients engaged in care management through the first 37 weeks, no one was readmitted within 30 days. In addition, social workers helped to house 16% of participants and connect many more to other services, such as transportation or food assistance.

“Our Hennepin Health Accountable Care Organization was key in this work,” explains Danielle Robertshaw, MD, Senior Medical Director, Hennepin Healthcare Community Connections Care Ring who was the project’s co-leader. “The close partnership between Hennepin Healthcare and Hennepin Health allowed us to be creative and think differently about how we could connect shared patients to needed, appropriate and high impact services at the right time to improve outcomes.”

The organizations undertook the program without additional staffing or funding.

Overall, the program reduces medical costs and improves health outcomes for underserved members. It now includes Hennepin Health members admitted to Hennepin Healthcare for substance use disorder.

About Hennepin Health

Hennepin Health is Minnesota’s only county-owned, state-certified health maintenance organization that provides coverage to Hennepin County residents who qualify for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. Hennepin Health operates an accountable care model for health coverage and health care delivery with Hennepin Healthcare, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Hennepin County Public Health and Hennepin County Human Services.

For more information about Hennepin Health, visit hennepinhealth.org.

About Hennepin Healthcare

Hennepin Healthcare is an integrated system of care that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and acute care hospital, as well as a clinic system with primary care clinics located in Minneapolis and across Hennepin County. The comprehensive healthcare system includes a 473-bed academic medical center, a large outpatient Clinic & Specialty Center, home care and hospice, research institute, philanthropic foundation, and Hennepin EMS. The system is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County.

For more information about Hennepin Healthcare, visit hennepinhealthcare.org.

Look for more news at hennepin.us/news. 

Jennifer DeCubellis named CEO of Hennepin Healthcare

Jennifer_DeCubellisThe Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. board of directors selected Jennifer DeCubellis to be the new Chief Executive Officer of the Twin Cities healthcare system. DeCubellis is currently the Hennepin County Deputy Administrator responsible for the health and human services divisions of the county.

“We had a strong pool of candidates from across the nation to choose from and Jennifer DeCubellis stood out among them. She has passion for the Hennepin Healthcare mission and a proven record of collaborating to create healthcare delivery models that improve patient outcomes, reduce disparities, and improve the health of the community,” said Diana Vance-Bryan, Hennepin Healthcare System board chair and leader of the CEO search committee. “Jennifer has the ability to listen and truly connect with people. That is a critical skill for a leader of this vital community resource.”

The search committee was most impressed by her role creating Hennepin Health. She was a leader in developing the nationally recognized partnership between the county and the healthcare system that integrates medical and behavioral care with social services for patients on Medicaid. Addressing issues of equity, disparities in care and social determinants of health, while also developing broader population health solutions, are keys to improving the wellbeing of the community while controlling costs.

“Hospitals and healthcare systems operate in a very challenging financial environment today. As an industry, we have a huge problem with cost and lack of payment for those in need,” said Brock Nelson, former CEO of Regions Hospital, who serves as vice chair of the Hennepin Healthcare board and was a member of the search committee. “Jennifer stood out among the candidates because of her track record as a community collaborator and problem solver. She asks the right questions and gets the right people involved to find solutions that are big, bold, and have improved care and lowered costs to the system.”

In addition to her decade of experience as a health and human services leader with Hennepin County, DeCubellis has worked as an Innovation Advisor at the federal level for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, where she created and tested system changes designed to improve quality and slow the escalation of costs. She also led Mental Health Authority Services in Harris County, Texas. She is looking forward to leading Minnesota’s largest public healthcare system.

“Hennepin Healthcare is a premier institution that leads with both hearts and minds,” said DeCubellis. “The opportunity to connect a solid, forward-facing strategy with the passion of the people who work there is exciting. In partnership with our patients and the community we can realize the full potential of this vital institution to reduce systematic health inequities and improve the health of the communities we serve.”

At Hennepin County, DeCubellis oversees all of health and human services, including the Public Health Department and the Federally Qualified Health Centers NorthPoint Health & Wellness and Healthcare for the Homeless. She leads a staff of 3,800 people who focus on ensuring health and wellbeing so people are able to thrive in the community.

In her role at Hennepin County she focused on disparity reduction as the executive sponsor of countywide disparity reduction efforts in education and health that seek to change policies and practice racial equity. She sponsored systemic pilots to change practice and policy in Child Protection, in Child Support, and in culturally responsive mental health. Through their Health in All Policies work, the division now looks at every decision in budgeting, program development, and evaluation through the lens of equity and inclusion.

In making the appointment, the Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. board accepted the unanimous recommendation of a search committee that was led by the healthcare system board chair, and included a system physician, nurse leader, patient, retired hospital CEO, foundation board chair, and Hennepin County Board Chair Marion Greene.

“This is bittersweet. Jennifer accomplished so much during her tenure at the county, measurably improving the lives of Hennepin County residents with her vision and leadership. We will miss her,” said Greene. “This is, however, a big win for Hennepin Healthcare. She‘ll be a tremendous leader for this crucial community resource.”

DeCubellis, who will start February 17, currently serves on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Health and Human Services appointed by Governor Walz and the 2019 Legislature and is on advisory committee of the Minnesota Homeless Fund.

John Cumming, MD, MBA, who has been serving as Interim CEO since February, 2019, will remain during a brief transition period.

Hennepin Healthcare is an integrated system of care that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and acute care hospital, as well as a clinic system with primary care clinics located in Minneapolis and across Hennepin County. The comprehensive healthcare system includes a 473-bed academic medical center, a large outpatient Clinic & Specialty Center, and clinics in the North Loop, Whittier, and East Lake Street neighborhoods of Minneapolis, and in the suburban communities of Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Richfield, and St. Anthony Village. Hennepin Healthcare has a large psychiatric program, home care and hospice, and operates a research institute, philanthropic foundation and Hennepin EMS. The system is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County. 

Heart Month activities with an International Flair

Heart_Month_Bundle_0120_EmailAll around the world you’ll find people with unique personalities, passions and talents – each of them with a heart that they could not live without. Hennepin Healthcare has a month full of free, heart-healthy activities planned to celebrate these multi-chambered organs responsible for love – and life itself! Check out our exciting schedule and discover a way to treat your heart – and mind – this February.

Learn Hands-Only CPR and Save Lives
Wednesday, February 5
12pm to 1pm | HCMC Red Building, 2nd-floor skyway, public seating area
No mouth-to-mouth assisted breathing needed for this type of CPR! Learn this simple, life-saving technique from our Hennepin EMS team. Every second counts!

National Wear Red Day
Friday, February 7

Hennepin Healthcare is going red! Wear red on the first Friday in February to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and save lives. Email photos of your group wearing red to events@hcmed.org.

Two Daves with Heart: David Fine, MD on Healthy Matters with David Hilden, MD
Sunday, February 9, 7am to 8 am | WCCO-AM Radio (Listen LIVE)
Tune in to hear cardiologist David Fine, MD kick off National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week and hear how this essential intervention following a heart attack, cardiac surgery or other heart issue helps patients regain strength and confidence.

Quigong with Acupuncturist Steve Compton
Wednesday, February 12,
12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center

Qigong is a mind-body-spirit practice with origins in China that improves mental and physical health by integrating posture, movement, breathing technique, self-massage, sound, and focused intent. Join Steve Compton as he leads a Shibashi (18 Harmonizing Movements) Qigong class – great for beginners! Register early – class may fill up. RSVP

Zumba with Patient Services Coordinator Deanne Flomo
Thursday, February 13, 12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center
Zumba, developed in Colombia, is a fitness program that combines Latin music with dance moves. Join Deanne Flomo for this “dance party” and get your heart moving! Register early – class may fill up. RSVP

Food is Medicine with Certified Executive Chef Antonio Sanchez and Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Rosenstein
Thursday, February 20, 12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center

Eating heart-healthy can be flavorful! Learn how to prepare heart-healthy meals and get cooking tips from Certified Executive Chef Antonio Sanchez and Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Rosenstein. RSVP

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Physician Assistant Natalie Ikeman
Friday, February 21,
12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of timed cardiovascular high-intensity exercises with short periods of active recovery. Natalie Ikeman will teach this HIIT class using bodyweight only and modifications will be provided for all fitness levels. RSVP

Yoga with Cardiology Physician Assistant Jill Jordan
Wednesday, February 26, 12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center

Yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in India more than 5,000 years ago. Join Jill Jordan as she leads a yoga class combining physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. No mat required. Register early – class may fill up. RSVP

The Hennepin Heart Center provides comprehensive care for your heart by specialists in all areas of cardiovascular medicine. Caring for common cardiovascular problems such as blocked arteries and abnormal rhythms, we also evaluate and manage heart failure as well as complex heart and arterial disease.

Diana Cutts, MD appointed Chair of Pediatrics

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Diana Cutts, MD, has been appointed Chair of Pediatrics at Hennepin Healthcare. Dr. Cutts served as Interim Chair since 2018 and was selected as permanent chair following a national and local search process.

Dr. Cutts joined the Department of Pediatrics in 1992 as a staff pediatrician and Medical Director of the Growth and Nutrition Clinic. She is the Pediatric Consultant to the Mother-Baby Program/Redleaf Center for Family Healing and has served as the director of the department’s Office of Pediatric Research and Advocacy since 1998. Prior to serving as the Interim Chair of Pediatrics, Dr. Cutts served as the Assistant Chief of Pediatrics for 11 years.

Dr. Cutts is a national leader in childhood growth and nutrition and is the Co-Lead Principal Investigator for Children’s HealthWatch, a network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and serves on the Child Health Advisory Committee at the U of M and the board of directors of Minnesota Hunger Impact Partners. Of particular note, Dr. Cutts was recently recognized with the 2019 Safety Net Champion Award at the Many Faces of Community Health Conference for advancing research, policy, and programming for children and families.

Dr. Cutts completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and studied medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine. She completed residency training and chief residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston City Hospital in 1986. ​

Hennepin Healthcare sees more than 100,000 patients from birth to young adulthood across our system every year. More than half of them are seen by providers from the Department of Pediatrics. From general primary care to a large array of sub-specialty care, a developmentally-appropriate, family-centered focus brings this vital expertise to the community, trainees, and research.

Firefighters for Healing Gift Donation, Ice Foot Challenge warm hearts (and feet)

On Tuesday, December 17, 2019 Firefighters for Healing will ring in the holiday season with their annual Gift Drop to patients in Hennepin Healthcare’s Burn Center. The excitement begins when the firefighters and gifts arrive on a Minneapolis Fire Department truck at Hennepin Healthcare’s 717 S. Sixth St. entrance between 10:45 and 11:45am.

“This is the 8th year Firefighters for Healing has brought gifts to our patients,” explains Dr. Ryan Fey, Burn and Critical Care Specialist at the Burn Center. “Their generosity and dedication is simply overwhelming, and our entire staff is uplifted by seeing the joy experienced by our patients. We cannot thank them enough.”

The Hennepin Healthcare Burn Center provides intensive, acute and rehabilitative burn care to children and adults from the Twin Cities and surrounding states who have sustained burn injuries and other complex wounds, including frostbite. In fact, they care for an average of 25 patients with frostbite each year requiring hospitalization. Many of these injuries are to the toes and feet.

Dr. Fey describes how this happens: “From the heart, these body parts are the last in line for blood supply. So they’re more likely to freeze up quickly – literally forming ice crystals inside the tissues – and cause blood flow to cease. Depending on how long the tissue is without blood, this process can lead to unrecoverable tissue death and amputation.”

Ice Foot Challenge
Icy FeetMaking sure those extremities are protected from the cold is essential. That’s why Hennepin EMS in partnership with the Hennepin Healthcare Employee Advisory Council is having an Ice Foot Challenge to raise awareness of their Hennepin EMS Holiday Sock Drive. Two groups will participate at 12:20 and 12:40pm and photo opportunities will be available immediately following the Firefighters for Healing Gift Drop event. Participants will experience what patients may feel when they don’t have adequate footwear to keep their feet warm and dry.

“Hennepin EMS frequently treats individuals with inadequate footwear and socks,” explains John Sylvester, Hennepin EMS paramedic and event organizer. “In the winter this can cause serious problems that can affect the whole body. One solution is high-quality, wool winter socks which are great insulators and moisture absorbers.”

To emphasize this point, Sylvester has invited Ice Foot Challenge participants to put on plastic “foot bags” and then submerge their feet into buckets of icy water for a goal time of 2 minutes. After the 2-minute Ice Foot Challenge, participants will be given warm socks to put on so they can experience what a difference high-quality winter socks can make in extreme cold conditions.

“Taking this challenge to really understand what it’s like to ‘walk in our patients’ shoes’ will hopefully raise awareness of this important need,” said Sylvester. “If we can prevent even one person from experiencing the pain of frostbite, then this campaign will have been a success.”

Firefighters for Healing is also making a generous donation of new socks for this effort today that will be given to patients in need served through Hennepin EMS and HCMC’s Emergency Department. New wool sock donations are welcomed and can be brought to the collection bin on the Skyway Level of HCMC’s Red Building. The Hennepin EMS Sock Drive runs through January 3, 2020.