Hennepin Healthcare in the News

Hennepin Healthcare in the News
View recent medical stories from local and national media featuring experts from Hennepin Healthcare.

Minnesota schools adjust as temperatures drop to dangerous lows
FOX 9, 1/24/22
The bitter cold changes things for doctors at Hennepin Healthcare too, “I know we’re going to be busy, I know we’re going to be seeing a lot more cases of frostbite than we would normally be, so we’re prepared for it.” Dr. Thomas Masters said on Monday.

“I am seeing a lot of people with permanent disabilities.”
Sahan Journal, 1/24/22
“I am seeing a lot of people with permanent disabilities. They’re not the same people they were before they had COVID,” says Kenyatta Carroll, RN.

Sick with COVID: “I couldn’t break the fever. I thought I was going to lose my life.” 
Sahan Journal, 1/24/22
“After my bout with COVID, I became a vaccine advocate. I started talking to the world about it, encouraging people to get vaccinated.” – Michelle Davenport, 55, registered nurse, professional development specialist, Hennepin County Medical Center.

Minneapolis Team says bittersweet farewell to Hennepin Medical Center
DVIDS, 1/22/22
One of the team members, U.S. Air Force Capt. Jenna Mason, a registered nurse with the 633d Medical Group out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, said that though she’s happy to be headed home for a while, she’s also sad to say goodbye to the hospital where she’s worked to save countless lives.

When will it be over? 
Star Tribune, 1/22/22
“We will see more Greek letters,” said Dr. David Hilden at a Twin Cities forum on Tuesday. Hilden, Hennepin Healthcare’s vice president of medical affairs, was referring to the nomenclature in use to designate emerging variants of concern.

Doctors are seeing more frostbite cases this year due to extreme cold
KARE 11, 1/21/22
“Thirteen individuals are admitted right now for frostbite,” Hennepin Healthcare physician Dr. Thomas Masters says. When you combine alcohol and below zero temps, he says even something as simple as walking a few blocks without hats or gloves can be enough for frostbite to set in.

When death is coming, difficult choices are required
Star Tribune, 1/19/22
John Hick, Michele LeClaire and Heidi Erickson are emergency and critical care physicians at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Updated guidelines for quarantining COVID-exposed kids puts some parents in tough spot
WCCO 4, 1/18/22
Hennepin Healthcare pediatrician and infectious disease expert Dr. Stacene Maroushek says hospitalizations are up among young children but overall Omicron has been milder compared to Delta in kids.

“Most kids are going to be doing okay,” Maroushek said. “The reason we have so many more hospitalizations is the sheer number of people getting infected.”

For coronavirus testing, the nose may not always be the best
1/15/22, Heromag.net (originally in New York Times)
“There was initial concern that saliva was not the gold standard sample, that it was not the most sensitive sample,” said Glen Hansen of the Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minnesota.

Federal, state agencies work to ramp up COVID test availability as demand grows
KSTP 5, 1/15/22
“In the first two weeks, this first part of the month of January, our testing demand has doubled compared to the same time period in the first part of December,” said Dr. Kate Hust, the medical director for Hennepin Healthcare’s internal medicine clinic.

Doctors discuss natural immunity, post-COVID activities
Fox 9, 1/13/22
“If you vaccinated, and you are also boosted, and you got a breakthrough infection, you are about the safest person there is,” said ⁦⁦Dr. David Hilden, an internal medicine physician at Hennepin Healthcare and host of the new HealthyMatters podcast.

Why some doctors are focusing more on hospitalization rates and other data than case numbers during omicron
KARE 11, 1/13/22
It paints a picture, but probably not the whole picture,” said Dr. Deepti Pandita, who is the Chief Health Information Officer at Hennepin Healthcare.

Hospitals, emergency rooms in need of relief as omicron variant surges
KARE 11, 1/12/22
Dr. James Miner, chief of emergency medicine at Hennepin Healthcare, says hospitals are busier than they’ve ever been.

Good Question: What are the health benefits of fresh air?
WCCO 4, 1/11/22
“What we find is that when we’re outside, when we’re interacting, when we’re taking deep breaths outside, playing, we’re breathing a lot more. We’re taking bigger breaths,” said Dr. Krishnan Subrahmanian, a pediatrician with Hennepin Healthcare.

Minnesota hospitals, Red Cross ask for blood donations amid national supply “crisis”
WCCO 4, 1/11/22
Dr. Jed Gorlin, who is both the transfusion service medical director at Hennepin County Medical Center and medical director at Memorial Blood Center, said nobody has been denied a needed blood transfusion at a hospital that Memorial serves.

MDH: At-home COVID tests not included in state data
KSTP-5, 1/10/22
Dr. David Hilden, an internal medicine physician at Hennepin Healthcare who treats COVID-19 patients, suggested looking at other metrics as well, including hospitalizations and deaths.

He said we have to wait and see how the spread of the omicron variant will play out in Minnesota.

“We know the omicron variant is very transmissible. In other words, it’s just highly contagious. I think it’s very likely the official test results will skyrocket up in the next few weeks. We know that because it is so contagious. And even though it’s less severe, so many people are going to have it that it is likely hospitalizations are going to go up and deaths are going to go up,” Hilden said.

Local nurses help new parents and babies stay heart-to-heart in the hospital
KARE 11, 1/10/22
“We would love to have parents here all the time with their babies and bonding with them and enjoying them. But, with COVID, too, having other things on the outside world happening, it’s not always possible, explained Nicole Kunstleben, a NICU nurse.

Parents struggling to keep kids from cabin fever amid COVID and extreme cold
1/9/22
Hennepin Healthcare Pediatrician Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn says right now she tells families three things. First, you can still go outside if you’re dressed properly.
Second, if you do visit places indoors with a lot of people, she recommends a quality, well-fitted mask for your kids, like a KF94 or KN95. Third, stay home if anyone in your family is sick.

As new state sites open, experts explain why it’s urgent to expand COVID testing options
KSTP 5, 1/8/22
“It’s really important that people are able to test for COVID as soon as possible, as easily as possible,” says Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, a pediatric physician with Hennepin Healthcare. “With omicron spreading through the Twin Cities, so many people are getting exposed, or developing some symptoms from COVID.”

Minnesota boy’s COVID-19 journey reflects rare but rising omicron risk
Star Tribune, 1/8/22
“This was the first one we’ve had here that knew from the news what it meant to be sick [with COVID-19] and going on a ventilator,” said Dr. Ashley Bjorklund, an HCMC pediatric intensive care specialist. “He knew what that meant, and he was really scared.”

Even amid overwhelmed hospitals and omicron surge, health care leaders offer cautious optimism
KARE 11, 1/7/22
“It’s much more likely than previous variants to have an end point,” said Dr. James Miner, chief of emergency medicine at Hennepin Healthcare.

Good Question: Do diets really work? 
WCCO 4, 1/6/22
“It’s physiological, it’s not because of some lack of willpower,” says Dr. Iesha Galloway-Gilliam, co-director of Hennepin Healthcare’s Comprehensive Weight Management Center. “That’s why it’s so difficult to maintain these dietary patterns.”

As COVID strains emergency rooms, health officials urge extra precautions during cold weather
KARE 11, 1/3/22
While Dr. James Miner says that’s not an overwhelming amount, he does expect it to get worse as more frigid temperatures are on the way later in January.

How old is too old to shovel snow? Doctors weigh in.
WCCO 4, 1/4/22
Dr. Michelle Carlson says the number isn’t what’s important, what’s more important is how a person feels.

From upbeat to unsure: Vaccine pioneers reflect on pandemic’s rollercoaster year in Minnesota
Star Tribune, 1/3/22
Health care workers are resilient, said Nick Hetchler, a medical interpreter who was one of the first five vaccinated during a ceremony at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis.

In late 2020, the vaccine brightened otherwise dark days as Minnesota was just beginning to come out of its biggest COVID-19 surge thus far, recalled Dr. Shirlee Xie, another of the first five recipients at Hennepin Healthcare.

‘We need to think about other people’: Health care experts advise safe gatherings for NYE
WCCO 4, 12/31/21
“We are very, very busy. We’re holding multiple intubated ICU patients in the emergency department because all of the ICU beds are full,” emergency physician Andie Rowland-Fisher said.

Health officials urge Minnesotans to be safe during dangerously cold weekend
KSTP 5, 12/31/21
“There are outdoor events going on and the concern for frostbite and hypothermia in these conditions, it’s a real risk,” said Dr. Andie Rowland-Fisher, an emergency physician with Hennepin Healthcare.

Minnesota blood supplies at historic lows
Star Tribune, 12/30/21
“We have been holding steady as best as we can,” said Dr. Nancy Van Buren, a medical director at Memorial Blood Centers who also works for HCMC. “It is not a crisis mode but it is a very urgent mode.

COVID in Minnesota: 6,780 new cases and 48 deaths reported, including 1 inmate fatality
WCCO 4, 12/30/21
“ERs are overwhelmed,” said Dr. Jim Miner. 

After quarantine tamped down cases, seasonal flu is back in Minnesota
Star Tribune, 12/28/21
“We are seeing people sick enough with the flu that they are in our emergency rooms and our hospitals already which is a huge change from what we saw last year,” said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, a Hennepin Healthcare physician who specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics.

With bitter blast moving in, plan for safety before heading outdoors
WCCO 4, 12/28/21
With temps hovering in that dangerous zone for several days, Dr. Jim Miner knows he’ll be busy. He’s the chair of emergency medicine at Hennepin Healthcare.

“The stuff we’ve seen show up in our emergency department tends to be ‘I just went out there for a few minutes, I thought I was gonna be OK,’” he said.

Minnesota healthcare providers see a rise in COVID cases among children
KSTP 5, 12/28/21
“We’ve seen it spread really quickly,” said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, who practices internal medicine and pediatrics for Hennepin Healthcare. “I’m most concerned about our kids under the age of five who haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet.”

Minnesota hospitals still battling surge in patients; two hospitals grateful for extension of military assistance
WCCO 4, 12/27/21
“We were able to manage these last 30 days with a little less strain on our staff and a great deal of boost to the morale of our staff,” said Dr. David Hilden, vice president of medical affairs at Hennepin Healthcare, which received one team at Hennepin County Medical Center. “It felt like the cavalry came into help.”

Minnesota surpasses 1 million COVID-19 cases
Star Tribune, 12/27/21
“The folks who have received the booster are disproportionately white compared to groups that have been fully vaccinated,” sad Dr. Tyler Winkelman of Hennepin Healthcare.

“It’s very stressful”: Working moms struggling to find balance amid pandemic
WCCO 4, 12/22/21
Burnout among parents is rampant, according to Hennepin Healthcare psychologist Dr. Talee Vang.

Minnesota COVID patient shares her story of survival, gets Christmas wish of a vaccinated family
Star Tribune, 12/21/21
“The courage to speak up and say, ‘Hey, that wasn’t a great decision I made’ or ‘I regret it?’ For people that are still hesitant, I would hope that would go a long way,” said Dr. Matthew Prekker, an HCMC critical care specialist who treated Bollig.

COVID in Minnesota: Beds not available for ER patients as hospital capacity pushed to limits
WCCO 4, 12/17/21

Hennepin Healthcare shows why prioritizing a diverse workforce is key to health care
Business Journals, 12/16/21
“Organizations that do this work well recognize that DEI is part of their strategic plan,” said Chief People and Culture Officer Tonya Jackman Hampton. “For us, we coin it as health equity. A second strategic pathway is people and culture.”

“Like drinking from a fire hose”: Health care workers traumatized by pandemic
CNN, 12/15/21
“It feels like you are drinking from a fire hose with no way to control that flow,” Dr. John Hick, an emergency physician at Hennepin Healthcare in Minnesota, told reporters Tuesday.

“We’re exhausted, heartbroken”: Minnesota doctors plea for people to get vaccinated
WCCO 4, 12/15/21
“Many of us are starting to feel helpless because we’ve been living this crisis for so long,” said Dr. Shirlee Xie.

“We’re overwhelmed.” Hospital leaders raise alarm on pandemic stresses in Minnesota
FOX 9, 12/13/21
Hospital CEOS from North Memorial, CentraCare, Allina, Mayo Clinic, Hennepin Healthcare, Essentia, Fairview Health Service, Children’s Minnesota, and HealthPartners all signed off on the message.

Psychologist: High-profile cases can cause trauma
CCX Media, 12/13/21
“There’s a lot of vicarious traumas that can happen. Vicarious trauma is just this traumatization that can occur from not being there on your own but hearing the details or seeing images that can traumatize people,” said Dr. Talee Vang, a behavioral health psychologist with Hennepin Healthcare.

COVID-19 death toll hits 800,000 to close out year filled with death
Associated Press, 12/13/2021
Steve Grove has seen his share of coronavirus deaths in his role as a chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Recently, one dying patient’s family gathered in a conference room. One by one they were taken to the patient’s bedside, while the other relatives watched on Zoom.

“It’s a huge pain in the butt and the connection drops and it’s weird,” he acknowledged.

Emergency care exceeding HCMC’s capacity, military begin training in to help
MPR, 11/24/21
Hennepin Healthcare CEO Jennifer DeCubellis says she’s happy to have them.

“Minnesotans need to hear us say, demand for emergency and lifesaving care has exceeded our capacity.”

National Guard to help hospitals as COVID cases remain high
KARE 11, 11/24/21
“Our commitment as we care for Minnesotans is to be here when Minnesotans need us most, as we’ve done for over 130 years here at Hennepin Healthcare,” said Jennifer DeCubellis, CEO at Hennepin Healthcare.

Military medical team begins training to help ease hospital stress at HCMC
KSTP 5, 11/23/21
A military team made up of mostly Air Force doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and support staff began training Tuesday afternoon at Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Federal response teams relieve MN doctors as COVID surge continues
Pioneer Press, 11/23/21
“Demand for emergency and life-saving care has exceeded our capacity,” Hennepin Healthcare CEO Jennifer DeCubellis told reporters, noting the hospital had added 40 additional beds in an effort to meet the growing demand but still has roughly 20 calls it can’t answer each day. “We’ve pushed ourselves as far as we can go.”

We asked a Minnesota family physician how to keep our families safe from COVID-19 this holiday season—without retreating into isolation (again)
Sahan Journal, 11/23/21
Dr. Ndidiamaka Koka, who practices family medicine at Hennepin Healthcare’s East Lake Clinic in Minneapolis, has been working through the whole pandemic. She’s seen how bad COVID-19 can get and wants people to be as cautious as they can to prevent further spread of the virus.

Employers are offering raises, bonuses and training. In the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases, Minnesota still needs tens of thousands more health care workers
Sahan Journal, 11/19/21
At Hennepin Healthcare, that includes recruiting people with no health care experience and placing them in a six-week training program with the Red Cross to get certified as a health care assistant. Tony Campisi, a talent acquisition director at Hennepin Healthcare, characterized the Red Cross training program as a bright spot in recruiting new employees.

Minnesota hospitals get federal help to address staff shortages
Star Tribune, 11/17/21
“Our current reality is that our demand is exceeding the capacity of all hospitals and health systems across the state of Minnesota,” said Jennifer DeCubellis, CEO at Hennepin Healthcare, which operates HCMC in downtown Minneapolis. “The volumes are higher than we have seen across the state of Minnesota in general, both COVID and non-COVID.”

Federal emergency medical teams to help Minnesota hospitals
KARE 11, 11/17/21
“We’re currently having very long wait times in the emergency department — way longer than we would like to see,” said Dr. Daniel Hoody of Hennepin Healthcare.

How to keep your kids warm and safe in car seats without bulky coats
WCCO 4, 11/9/21
Hennepin Healthcare trauma prevention specialist Julie Philbrook says the issue with many winter coats is the unseen gap they create between the car seat harness and the child.

Everything kids and parents need to know about getting the COVID-19 vaccine: a video in Hmong, Spanish, Somali Oromo and English
Sahan Journal, 9/9/21
Jessica Vang, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Hennepin Healthcare, speaks to Hmong children about what to expect from the vaccine.

MN parents can relax now that young children can get COVID vaccine
Pioneer Press, 11/3/21
“I know it has been a really tough two years,” Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD of Hennepin Healthcare said. “This is a moment where we can step out of some of this confusion and gray into clarity and into safety.”

The State of Sleep: Sleep Foundation
Sleep Foundation, 10/31/21
“We have a well-educated, health conscious and well-informed population regarding the importance of obtaining sufficient, high-quality sleep for maintaining optimal health and performance at work and with our family lives, and in other spheres of our lives,” said Dr. Ranji Varghese, Medical Director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center.

Night & Day: More adult women seeking treatment for ADHD able to find clarity
KARE 11, 10/29/21
“The problem is not that people can’t focus, it’s that they don’t have control as much, on what they’re focusing on, and when to pull away,” said Dr. Becca Floyd, a clinical psychologist for Hennepin Healthcare.

Health expert warns flu shots could be crucial to avoid a “twindemic” this winter
WCCO Radio, 10/18/21
“There is a concern about flu,” Dr. David Hilden told Adam Carter on the WCCO Morning News. “Most of us will remember or maybe it didn’t across our minds, we barely had flu last year. It was a handful of cases, but it was basically a non-event and that is likely because one, it was a mild flu season to begin with. But two, we weren’t together. We were social distancing and we were masking.”

Calm in the Storm: How Hennepin EMS is reaching into the community, one patient at a time
Mill City Times, 10/11/21
Riding in an ambulance with paramedic Xander Krohnfeldt, it seems the more agitated his patient gets, the more calm his voice becomes. Krohnfeldt works for Hennepin Emergency Medical Services (EMS), where he provides front line care to people throughout their primary service area in Hennepin County. “A huge portion of the job is being able to talk to people. You’re walking through a crisis with an individual and that varies dramatically from person to person,” said Krohnfeldt.

“We are here for their emergency. Whoever has called us, whether that’s the patient, a family member, or a bystander, we’re here for somebody’s emergency,” said paramedic Becky Kopka. “I don’t make judgments. I understand that I’m there to help them.”

“As you’re getting out of your rig and going up to the apartment, the house, or the side of the road, you try not to get blinders on,” said paramedic Jeremiah Steele.

“We’re there to help,” said Martin Scheerer, Senior Director of EMS at Hennepin Healthcare. “I feel good that we approach each case with compassion and we’re able to help people during their worst days and times.”

Demand for Twin Cities hospital intervention program grows amid violent year
KSTP 5, 10/6/21
“You have to approach it with care, from a trauma-informed care lens and that’s saying, ‘We know something happened to you but there’s nothing wrong with you,’” said Jalilia Abdul-Brown, a senior violence prevention specialist. “Let us help you get back on your feet.”

“If the person doesn’t trust the person who’s treating them, then sometimes people leave [against medical advice],” said Kentral Galloway, the program manager. “When we come in, we start building a relationship with them.”

Hennepin Healthcare partners with MDH to bring routine care to kids
Fox 9, 9/30/21
Hennepin Healthcare started its mobile vaccination clinic in the early months of the pandemic, making home visits. Eighteen months later, they’ve expanded to pop ups.

“I think as word on the street spread about what we were doing, schools (and) head start centers reached out to us,” said Dr. Dawn Martin, a pediatrician at Hennepin Healthcare.

“The school teachers, the school nurses, the social workers — that community is established already, and for that community support to then say, ‘Hey, I’ve got some friends at Hennepin Healthcare. Why don’t you talk to them? That trust then gets extended to us,” said Sheyanga Beecher, a nurse practitioner at Hennepin Healthcare.

Some say COVID-19 vaccine is the “mark of the beast.” Is there a connection to the Bible?
USA Today, 9/26/27
Emergency room physician Stephen Smith at Hennepin Healthcare told USA TODAY he hasn’t heard the ‘mark of the beast’ as a reason to not get vaccinated  but a few other outlandish reasons.

Smith said one woman brought her child in for a fever and cough, and he explained that the toddler might have COVID-19. When he asked the mother if she had been vaccinated, Smith said her response was “Oh no, that turns you into a zombie.”

Young and younger: Minnesota’s latest COVID-19 hospitalizations
Star Tribune, 9/25/21
“The age distribution is really different,” said Dr. Matthew Prekker, an HCMC emergency and critical care specialist who treated Belen-Perez. “It’s almost all people under 50 that we’re admitting — day after day now.”

Midwives celebrate 50 years of service at Hennepin Healthcare
Fox 9, 9/25/21
“You talk to women who are 85 years old and they can tell you about their labor and their birth because it’s such a powerful experience,” midwife Maggie Pastarr told FOX 9.

1 million Minnesotans eligible for Pfizer booster shot
Star Tribune, 9/24/21
“We had many patients at the beginning who had significant co-morbidities but were not eligible,” said Dr. Kate Hust, an internal medicine physician at Hennepin Healthcare. “We certainly see patients at Hennepin who are very sick before the age of 64, and this helps patients make an informed decision.”

Postpartum doulas are the support system all new mothers need
Motherly, 9/20/21
“Doula services are needed more than ever given that the experience of childbirth in the U.S. is increasingly lonely and medicalized,” Helen Kim, a perinatal psychiatrist and director of the Mother-Baby Program at Hennepin County Medical Center said. “In our current system, with more isolated families, distant extended families, and more fragmented communities, pregnant and postpartum mothers and fathers can easily feel isolated and overwhelmed with the task of caring for their baby.”

Pfizer says vaccine is safe for kids; experts say shots are still weeks out
KARE 11, 9/20/21
“The two biggest questions we had with this study was, could they get that immune response with a smaller dose, and will it be safe? And I think right now the data suggests it is,” Hennepin Healthcare Pediatrician Dr. Krishnan Subrahmanian says.

Parents split on whether they’ll vaccinate as Pfizer touts effectiveness with kids 5 to 11
WCCO 4, 9/20/21
“In Minnesota, throughout the state, we are seeing kids hospitalized with COVID, we are seeing kids hospitalized with post-COVID inflammatory condition (MIS-C), and we are seeing kids in the ICUs,” said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn of Hennepin Healthcare. 

COVID-19 or seasonal allergies? Delta making it harder to tell
Fox 9, 9/13/21
“People are having more upper respiratory symptoms with the delta variant and that could be easily confused with a mild cold or allergy symptoms,” said Hennepin Healthcare allergist Dr. John Sweet.

Push continues to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among communities of color
Fox 9, 9/1/21
“I think things could get worse,” said Dr. Andrew Kiragu a pediatric critical physician at Hennepin County Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.

At HCMC in Minneapolis, physicians are seeing a rise in COVID-19 infections in unvaccinated people, both children and adults. Another troubling trend is an uptick in unvaccinated people of color falling seriously ill or dying.

“This variant seems to be causing more severe disease,” said Dr. Kiragu.

Minnesota hospitalizations exceed 600; COVID-19 vaccinations urged

Star Tribune, 9/1/21

Dr. Aaron Robinson, an HCMC emergency physician, related to those concerns from his upbringing on an American Indian reservation in Wisconsin. However, he said it is frustrating to see so many unvaccinated people coming into the emergency department with COVID-19, and heartbreaking to see so many infections in young people of color.

“I understand there is a lot of fear about the vaccine,” he said, “but this is far outweighed by the benefit of the vaccine that is preventing hospitalization, preventing critical illness, and preventing death.”

Plymouth COVID-19 survivor urges unvaccinated to get shots
CCX Media, 9/1/21
“Put aside your political affiliations and get vaccinated if you love your family and love your community,” said Reggie McAllister of Plymouth. “Just be responsible.”

HCMC workers urge minority communities to get vaccinated
WCCO 4, 9/1/21
“Our hospital is full of people in the ICU who are unvaccinated, young, people of color and they’re dying from COVID,” Dr. Nneka Sederstrom said. “That’s what we know today. Today the people who dying are unvaccinated. That truth needs to ring true. Staying unvaccinated today means its very likely that tomorrow will not be promised.”

Research: Black women at higher risk for preterm births during heat waves than white women
MPR, 8/30/21
Dr. Tracy Prosen is a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Hennepin Healthcare. She said there is a good reason for why preterm births can increase during warmer weather.

“We know that when women are dehydrated, they tend to have more contractions,” said Prosen. “And so, in the summer months, people need to be drinking more water and aren’t always drinking more water, to help keep themselves hydrated.”

Volunteers make dozens of “worry monsters” to help ease patient anxiety at HCMC
KSTP 5, 8/20/21
Hennepin Healthcare Child Life Specialist Katie O’Hearn hands out “worry monsters” to her young patients.

“Kids love it, for starters, it’s kind of like a stuffed animal,” O’Hearn said. “They are adorable and cute and squishy and it’s really easy for kids to use their imaginations and imagine that worry monster gobbling up their worries so they can move on to something else.”

Child-care COVID-19 exposures rise in Minnesota amid delta variant
Star Tribune, 8/19/21
Dr. Heidi Erickson, a critical care physician at HCMC who co-authored the study, said she is urging all unvaccinated people to seek shots if they are eligible for them.

“As a physician who takes care of these patients, and who has lost patients in their 30s and 40s to this disease, it’s an existential sort of crisis now of seeing unnecessary deaths and suffering from an illness that is preventable,” she said.

Minnesota State Fair urges but doesn’t require masks, vaccination
Star Tribune, 8/18/21
Hennepin County Medical Center contributed to one of the studies, showing that the two-dose vaccines protected against COVID-19 hospitalizations after 24 weeks. Dr. Heidi Erickson, a co-author, said she is pleading with unvaccinated people to get shots based on her patients in intensive care.

“We’re having patients with life-threatening disease in their late 20s and 30s. They’re younger, most of them are previously healthy, and all of them are unvaccinated,” she said.

CDC now says it recommends COVID-19 booster shots for everyone starting in September
KARE 11, 8/18/21
Hennepin Healthcare’s Dr. Stacene Maroushek says, “A lot of the health care systems are in the same boat as the general public; we’re like ok, what do we do first, so it is confusing, I agree.”

Twin Cities woman hopes her bravery encourages others in communities of color to get vaccinated
KARE 11, 8/11/21
“It’s not really hesitancy, it’s reluctance, and I think the reluctance often comes because of the fear and worry on whether or not the vaccine was created for people like us,” said Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, Chief Health Equity Officer for Hennepin Health.

As the delta variant spreads, a doctor answers your top questions
KARE 11, 8/4/21
Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn is an internist and pediatrician at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis who is trying to educate the community about COVID-19, the new variants and the vaccine.

Twin Cities metro hospitals facing spike in patient intakes
Fox 9, 8/4/21
Hennepin Healthcare told FOX 9 that since mid-July, there’s been a 15 percent increase in the number of patients admitted every day. Allina Health officials says the daily census across its metro campuses has been growing this week.

As school year approaches, COVID developments cause concern for parents
WCCO 4, 8/1/21

Pediatrician Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“I understand the concern, and yes, these vaccines are somewhat new, but they’re not that new anymore, and we have really good experience now,” Lichtsinn said. “And I am confident as a parent and as a physician that they are safe,” Lichtsinn said.

No clear answers as Minnesotans brace for several days of smoky skies
Star Tribune, 8/1/21
HCMC was seeing an increase in patients coming in with shortness of breath, said John Gallagan, manager of the Respiratory Care and Pulmonary Function Lab. “I couldn’t tell you a percentage,” he said. “But we’ve been busy anyway, and this is just creating more business for us.”

Outdoor activities are still on despite poor air quality, but some people are playing it safe
KARE 11, 7/31/21
Dr. Nick Simpson says it might be tempting for people to go running or to do some gardening or yardwork this weekend, but he says it’s probably not a good idea if you have a chronic breathing problem or any other condition that could be exacerbated by the poor air quality.

Face masks can help protect you from smoky air in Minnesota
Fox 9, 7/30/21
“We have definitely seen more people with chronic lung disease, like asthma, COPD, emphysema,” said Hennepin Healthcare Respiratory Care clinical supervisor, Denise Eide.

With wildfire smoke covering the Twin Cities, health impacts can be significant
KARE 11, 7/29/21
Shawna Sheppard, a respiratory therapist at Hennepin Healthcare, said the youth sports community should take the air quality seriously.

“If I were a coach or parent of one of those kids, I wouldn’t want them outside for more than an hour. It’s just so thick,” Sheppard said. “I just worry that these kids could get sick and kids with asthma might have a chance of being even sicker.”

Minnesotans urged to take care of themselves and others during extreme heat
MPR, 7/27/21
“Typically when it’s hot outside not only can you see the heat-related illness, but we also then see the illness to people being active so water sports and people being outside,” says Hennepin Healthcare emergency medicine doctor Stephen Dunlop.

Tired of Minnesota’s streak of hot weather? Here’s why. 
WCCO 4, 7/27/21
“Staying cool when it’s this hot and humid means producing sweat, and that requires energy and over several days of doing that, that redirects energy from other activities and makes us feel more fatigued,” said Hennepin Healthcare ER Dr. John Litell.

Variants, vaccine efficacy, and the tests labs need
CAP Today, 7/18/21
Speaking in a CAP TODAY webinar on variants and their detection, Dr. Glen Hansen said diagnostic manufacturers have shown that variant assays can be brought to market for clinical laboratories. “And we need to support them so that when a clinically valid mutation comes around that we need to look for, we have the chance to do it,” he said in the April 28 webinar made possible by a special educational grant from Seegene Technologies.

Opioid overdoses have spiked in Minnesota during pandemic
WCCO 4, 7/14/21
Dr. Gavin Bart, an addiction medicine specialist at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, says deadly overdoses from illicitly manufactured opiates like fentanyl are way up in Minnesota.

Minnesota summer camps work to keep COVID-19 at bay
Fox 9, 7/13/21
Hennepin Healthcare Pediatrician Dr. Subrahmanian says the most important thing is vaccination. He also encourages parents to ask camps lots of questions.

Can Healthcare have an access revolution on the back of telemedicine? 
Healthtech Magazine, 7/13/21
By Deepti Pandita MD, FACP, FAMIA, Chief Health Information Officer & Ryan Jelinek DO, Clinical Informatics Fellow, Hennepin Healthcare

Urgent need for donations at Minnesota’s blood centers
MPR, 7/5/21
Dr. Jed Gorlin is the medical director of Memorial Blood Centers and head of transfusion at Children’s Hospital and Hennepin Healthcare. He said last week that it isn’t a crisis — yet.

“Bottom line is we are stretched. Nobody is being denied a transfusion, but we have less on our inventories than we would like to see,” he said.

With 29 drownings already this summer, Minnesota officials are bracing for July 4th holiday
Star Tribune, 7/2/21
“The water is obviously inviting and it doesn’t look scary to kids,” said Dr. Ashley Bjorklund, medical director of pediatric critical care at Hennepin Healthcare.

Mixed reactions to Walmart’s new private insulin label
WCCO 4, 6/30/21
Hennepin Healthcare Diabetes Pharmacist Laura Traynor knows the struggle well. “We see all the time patients not taking their medications or rationing their medications because they can’t afford them,” Traynor said.

HCMC awarded for focus on people experiencing homelessness
WCCO 4, 6/24/21
According to a hospital spokesperson, HCMC’s efforts came after an analysis showed housing instability accounting for a high rate of 30-day readmissions; of patient charts reviewed by HCMC, three in four fell into this group.

Mascot at Hennepin Healthcare celebrates 10 years of service
Fox 9, 6/22/21
“We’re really grateful that Bernie is our friend and our community member. He’s an incredible asset to our institution,” said Dr. Krishnan Subrahmanian, a pediatrician at Hennepin Healthcare.

AAP releases new guidance for heart screening for kids
Fox 9, 6/21/21
Dr. Krishnan Subrahmanian, a pediatrician with Hennepin Healthcare, says many young patients aren’t screened until they begin playing sports and need a Minnesota State High School League physical. “The process is simply about asking questions,” Subrahmanian says. “Have you ever fainted or passed out, particularly in response to exercise or loud noises? have you ever had exercise-related chest pain?”

Hospitals, nursing homes in Minnesota not mandating Covid-19 vaccine — yet
Star Tribune, 6/21/21
At Hennepin Healthcare, about 85% of employees had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of June 7, while 81% of staff at Mayo Clinic’s facilities in the Midwest have had at least one shot, health system spokeswomen said. At Allina Health, more than 70% of employees are two weeks past their final shot.

Heat-related illness rise due to extreme temperatures
WCCO 4, 6/18/21
Hennepin Healthcare has also seen a record number of heat-related sicknesses this month. There have been 13 patients since June 4 of this year in comparison to just six patients last June.

“The odd thing isn’t that it’s happening but how early in the year it’s happening,” Dr. Andrew Laudenbach said.

As temperatures heat up, experts offer tips on how to stay safe on the water this summer
KARE 11,  6/2/21
“It takes less than about 15 minutes in 50 degree temperature water for someone to lose their ability to grab things with their hands, to make those fine movements and not too much longer before their ability to swim effectively is impacted,” said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, a Primary Care Doctor with HCMC.

Criminal Justice and Health
MetroDoctors, June 2020
Interview with Tyler Winkelman, MD, MSc, an internist, pediatrician, and health services researcher at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, MN, an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, and a staff physician at the Hennepin County jail. He is the co-director of the Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab at Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute.

Caring for Patients on the Inside: Healthcare Delivery at the Hennepin County Jail by Rachel Silva, MD

A Call to Expand the Patient Bill of Rights Health Justice for Incarcerated MinnesotansHannah Lichtsinn, MD

What is perinatal anxiety and when should you get help? 
KARE 11, 5/25/21
Symptoms of perinatal anxiety, which can affect women during pregnancy and after, are not always physical. The severity of anxiety is a spectrum, says Dr. Helen Kim, co-founder and director of the Hennepin Healthcare Mother-Baby Program and Redleaf Center for Family Healing.

Pregnant women’s brush with death shows how COVID-19 risks endure for younger adults
Star Tribune, 5/22/21
“She’s a walking miracle,” said Dr. Tracy Prosen, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Hennepin Healthcare, which runs HCMC hospital in Minneapolis. “We weren’t sure if mom was going to make it. We weren’t sure if baby was going to make it.”

“We’re still in the storm”: Minnesota students struggle with mental health
MPR, 5/19/21
Kristen Wiik, a pediatric neuropsychologist at HCMC, says her team was working at capacity with kids before the pandemic. Now there’s a long waitlist, and the hospital refers many kids to other practices. She wishes more schools had school-based mental health services and predicts the demand for mental health support has only just begun.

“I think we’re still in it. We’re still in the middle of the storm,” Wiik said. “One thing we’re anticipating is that the transition back to regular full-time school for a lot of kids is going to be really hard.”

Doctors warn parents of dangers of water-absorbing beads
Fox 9, 5/19/21
“The problem with them that we see from Poison Control, it’s not that they’re poisonous per say, they have no poison in them, the problem is they expand and can cause problems if you swallow a lot of them,” said Dr. Ann Arens, the associate medical director of the Minnesota Poison Control System.

What do men and women need to get checked during a routine physical? 
WCCO 4, 5/18/21
“Traditionally we’ve thought that people in their 50s and 60s should start looking for [colon cancer],” said Dr. David Hilden, internal medicine physician with Hennepin Healthcare.

“No place for a child”: Minnesotans languish in ERs while awaiting mental health services
Star Tribune, 5/15/21
“The water was already high, and now the dam has broken,” said Kristen Wiik, manager for neuropsychology and the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic at Hennepin Healthcare.

After vaccination, only 0.1 percent of Minnesotans got COVID-19, April data shows
Fox 9, 5/12/21
“The people I’ve cared for who have been sick or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after having vaccine have had very easy courses, minimal symptoms, if any,” said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, of Hennepin Healthcare.

COVID-19 vaccination efforts now reach middle school students
CCX Media, 5/11/21
“They had what they call 100 percent effectiveness in 12 to 15-year-olds in their study — no one who got this vaccine ended up getting COVID,” said Dr. Krishnan Subrahmanian of Hennepin Healthcare.

Why the COVID vaccine may respond differently in kids versus adults
KARE 11, 5/10/21
Dr. Stacene Maroushek studies infectious diseases in children at Hennepin Healthcare. She says the human body reacts differently to drugs, medications and vaccines at different stages of life.

Minnesota gets creative in COVID-19 vaccine outreach
Star Tribune, 5/8/21
Over the next two weeks, Hennepin Healthcare will offer vaccine at more than 20 events planned at churches, schools, community centers and restaurants, said Dr. Deepti Pandita, chief medical information officer.

Good Question: What if your allergy medicine isn’t kicking in? How can you find faster relief? 
WCCO 4, 5/4/21
When allergy symptoms get so intense, just taking the recommended dose can feel insufficient. So can we pop another tablet before the first runs its course? Allergist Dr. John Sweet with Hennepin Healthcare said if you’re a kid under 6 years old or elderly, it could have adverse effects.

Heart-lung bypass a COVID-19 rescue tool in Minnesota
Star Tribune, 5/3/21
When severe COVID-19 leaves you on a heart-lung bypass machine for 81 days, and you make it out of the hospital alive, you tend to get noticed.

“That’s the longest we’ve had a survivor on veno-venous ECMO so far,” said Dr. Matthew Prekker, medical director of HCMC’s ECMO program, who treated Grubb. “He’s had the longest duration of support and fortunately is going to be a survivor.”

Leveraging data visualization tools to promote health equity
Health IT Analytics, 5/3/21
For leaders at Hennepin Healthcare, a health system in Minneapolis, this meant employing knowledge gained earlier in the pandemic. Deepti Pandita, MD, chief health innovation officer and Nneka Sederstrom, PhD, MPH, chief health equity officer were interviewed.

Health officials push teens to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases spike in schools
CCX Media, 5/2/21
Dr. Stacene Maroushek, pediatric infectious disease specialist with Hennepin Healthcare, says there’s a lot of COVID-19 fatigue going around. She says it could be why many young people are not paying attention to safety precautions.

Doctors brace for questions with return of Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Star Tribune, 5/1/21
It would be “very reasonable” for some patients to opt for Moderna or Pfizer, but that doesn’t mean a woman under 50 would be wrong to select J&J, said Dr. Caitlin Eccles-Radtke, an infectious disease specialist at Hennepin Healthcare. The health system has found the one-shot vaccine helps immunize patients who can’t easily get to the clinic for two shots, so a patient’s access to health care can factor into the choice.

“Transparency and education are really critical in … letting people make a decision they feel comfortable with,” she said.

Where does Minnesota stand in the hunt for herd immunity?
MPR News, 4/28/21
Nneka Sederstrom, the chief health equity officer for Hennepin Healthcare, said that to overcome such barriers, there’s value in proceeding with a sense of purpose: “We have moved from focusing so much on speed to now being more intentional with equity.”

Younger not necessarily healthier in Minnesota’s COVID-19 hospital surge
Star Tribune, 4/28/21
Dr. Matt Prekker co-authored a study released Wednesday by the CDC showing a 94% reduction in hospitalizations for fully vaccinated seniors who had received either the Moderna or Pfizer doses, the first to receive emergency approval in the United States.

“It’s simply heartbreaking”: 1st grader in SW Minnesota dies due to COVID-19 complications
WCCO 4, 4/26/21
“One, I think, is COVID fatigue. That’s a big issue right now, people letting down their guard. Two is there is a new variant going around,” Dr. Stacene Maroushek of Hennepin Healthcare said.

Psychiatrist De. Dionne Hart speaks out about huge gaps in mental health services among communities of color
Star Tribune, 4/16/21
When Dr. Dionne Hart was considering medical school, her high school adviser suggested she choose something more “suitable.” Fortunately, she ignored the advice. Hart, who was “always curious about brain disorders,” is among a tiny group of Black women psychiatrists.

Many protesters have become familiar with the short-term pain of exposure to tear gas. For some, it might turn out to be a long-term problem, too. 
Sahan Journal, 4/14/21
While little is known about the long-term impact of tear gas, health experts know plenty about what happens in the short term. Dr. Thomas Wyatt, who practices emergency medicine at Hennepin Healthcare and treated many patients exposed to tear gas last year during protests, spoke at length with Sahan Journal about them.

J&J vaccine connected to blood clots, doctors break down what you need to know
KARE 11, 4/13/21
“In the end, each of us as an individual has to weigh the risks or benefits of any medical decision being made for ourselves, and the best way to do that is by talking with your doctor,” Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn says.

Are you on the hunt for a vaccine? 
MPR News, 4/12/21
“We’re going to beat this thing. This pandemic is going to end if we can get everybody vaccinated as quickly as possible. But there’s another goal, and that is equity.” – Dr. David Hilden

If parents are vaccinated, and kids aren’t, what is safe to do this summer? 
KARE 11, 4/11/21
Most parents are already accustomed to making sacrifices for their kids. After all, that’s what being a parent is all about right? And pediatrician Dr. Stacene Maroushek at Hennepin Healthcare says the pandemic is no exception.

New prayer stickers in Hennepin Healthcare are a welcome message for Muslim patients
Star Tribune, 4/7/21
Hennepin Healthcare physicians were the first to notice the importance of prayers to their Muslim patients and the additional stress it caused them when they struggled to tell which direction to face when praying. The doctors suggested to the Emergency Management Diversity Committee that it should place qibla indicators in their exam rooms.

New study shows pregnant women and babies have strong immune response to COVID vaccine
KARE 11, 3/27/21
“I totally am with all the moms asking this question right now,” Hennepin Healthcare Emergency Room Physician Dr. Ashley Strobel says. Strobel understands why many mothers are feeling overwhelmed these days.

While several studies suggest the COVID vaccines are safe for adults, expecting mothers like Dr. Strobel were still left wondering. She ultimately decided to get vaccinated and received her first and second doses in February.

Trauma in our streets and in our ED: How a Minneapolis Trauma I Health Center handled 2020
NEJM Catalyst, 3/23/21
As a new leader, I took the CEO role 2 weeks before we did some executive orders here in Minnesota. Early on, it was about this robust 90-day plan I had developed that got thrown out the door and we had to pivot, and do so fast. There wasn’t time as a new leader for me to learn; it was all hands on deck. We needed to trust our instincts and drive and respond, and it was important that we did that as a team in those early days. It was about teaming inside our walls, with other health systems, and with all levels of government to respond to what we know across the nation: none of us knew what was coming ahead of us. I had to trust our team, I had to trust my leaders. – Jennifer DeCubellis, CEO

HCMC respiratory therapist has the ultimate birthday gift for her dad: a kidney
KSTP 5, 3/16/21
Shawna Sheppard is undergoing transplant surgery at HCMC Tuesday in order to donate one of her kidneys to her dad, 62-year-old Dwayne Sheppard.

“It was like a calling. I knew I was the person who was supposed to give him this,” she said.

Baby born in Minneapolis hospital drop-off zone named after security officer who helped deliver her
Star Tribune, 3/15/21
Owen’s performance impressed the staff at HCMC. Kathryn Leggitt, a certified nurse-midwife at HCMC, said Owen did a great job delivering the baby.

“I think she drew on her training, drew on her personal experience and drew on her professionalism to stay calm in an unusual situation,” Leggitt said. “Pulling all those things together, she made a really safe experience for Lacey and for the baby.”

Curbside Delivery: Hennepin Healthcare security officer helps deliver baby in car
WCCO 4, 3/15/21
“One of the most amazing moments of my life,” Officer Owen said.

Newborn named after security officer who delivered her outside hospital
Fox 9, 3/15/21
“She came to the rescue and the whole time I kept looking at her eyes and all I could see was courage,” said Gonzalez of Owen’s poise. “And I knew everything was going to be OK.”

Curbside delivery: Baby named after officer who helped bring her into the world
KARE 11, 3/15/21
Lacey insists she had no doubts she was in safe hands. “She came to the rescue,” she said, speaking of Officer Owen’s steady presence. “The whole time I kept looking at her eyes. All I could see was courage and I knew everything was going to be OK.”

Minnesota agencies launch efforts to vaccinate homebound seniors
Star Tribune, 3/15/21
“It’s no easy task,” said Darla Groshens, a registered nurse with Hennepin Healthcare who helped launch the home vaccine program. “When you go into people’s homes, you can encounter all kinds of problems — lack of food or people not taking care of themselves — that require immediate attention. The reality is it’s really labor-intensive.”

While the work is challenging, Groshens described vaccinating seniors in their homes as “one of the most fulfilling experiences” of her 28-year career as a nurse. Some of the homebound seniors she sees have been living with anxiety for the past year and have broken out in tears of joy and relief after getting their shots.

The importance of creating access to vaccination and rebuilding trust in Black communities
Blue Cross Blue Shield MN, 3/11/21
A critical component of moving towards racial equity in vaccination rates is amplifying the voices  of Black doctors. Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, Ph.D., MPH, MA, FCCP, FCCM, is the chief health equity officer at Hennepin Healthcare and a nationally recognized author and speaker on topics related to racism, racial disparities, bias, crisis, standards of care and treatment. She feels that it is not only important, but essential to have Black doctors as spokespeople when communicating information about COVID-19 in Black communities.

Brooklyn Park Clinic does outreach to diverse groups to reduce vaccination disparities
CCX Media, 3/9/21
“We worked with a lot of religious leaders. So, we’re hoping between the partnerships across all of us that we’ll be able to hit home with how every important this vaccine is,” explained clinic manager Brenda Kennelly.

Dr. Tyler Winkelman with Paul Douglas
WCCO Radio, 3/8/21
Dr. Winkelman from Hennepin Healthcare explains the new Minnesota Electronic Health Record Consortium.

Minnesota’s long haul: One year of COVID-19
Star Tribune, 3/7/21
Israel Pliego was on a heart-lung bypass machine at HCMC for 50 days last spring after catching COVID-19.

Minnesota to address racial and ethnic inequities in COVID-19 vaccinations
Star Tribune, 3/5/21
The results capture about 89% of the nearly 1.5 million first and second doses administered in the state, said Hennepin Healthcare’s Dr. Tyler Winkelman, who is leading the effort.

Walz announces partnership between state, health care systems on race and ethnicity data collection
KSTP 5, 3/5/21
“This important, intentional work to inform the equitable distribution of health care resources for Minnesotans is a true collaboration,” said Tyler Winkelman, MD, MSc at Hennepin Healthcare who is leading the MN EHR Consortium COVID-19 Vaccine Project. “The ongoing partnership will not only guide decision-making processes related to COVID-19 vaccination distribution, but also provides the infrastructure needed for future public health crises.”

Latest on COVID in MN
MPR, 3/5/21
Officials on Friday offered up some data on vaccinations broken down by race and ethnicity.

First doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrive in Minnesota
FOX 9, 3/3/21
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was 72 percent effective in U.S. trials, falling short of some of the other two-dose vaccines. Despite the focus on the efficacy rates, Dr. David Hilden, of Hennepin Healthcare, said it’s the best shot Minnesota has.

COVID-19 in Minnesota, one year later
KARE 11, 3/3/21
It’s hard to process,” Jon Cole, MD. “I remember intubating a patient and having to transfer that patient outside the metro area. And I remember thinking, ‘are we really going to run out of equipment?'”

How can we stop the surge in addiction and overdose deaths? 
MPR, 3/2/21
People with addictions are truly vulnerable, and are hit hard by natural disasters, including pandemics. – Dr. Charlie Reznikoff

Introducing Sahan Journal’s COVID-19 vaccine video series
Sahan Journal, 2/25/21
As Dr. Veronica Svetaz, a family medicine physician at Hennepin Healthcare and co-founder of the Minnesota Immigrant Health Alliance recently told us, public health messaging works best when it comes directly “from people who belong to the same community.”

Walk like a penguin: How to avoid falling during refreeze
WCCO 4, 2/24/21
Dr. Andrew Laudenbach works in the Emergency Department of HCMC/Hennepin Healthcare. “I have seen patients, even today, that have come in after injuries from slipping on the ice,” he said.

Minnesotans weigh whether to travel for spring break
FOX 9, 2/24/21
“If you are making the decision to travel, you are also making the decision to put the people in your bubble at risk,” said Dr. Stacene Maroushek, an infectious disease pediatrician for Hennepin Healthcare.

Our children are in trouble if we don’t pass Biden’s child allowance
The Hill, 2/23/21
Many of the pandemic’s effects are widely known — the lives lost, the businesses that have shut their doors, the families that are going hungry, the women who are being forced out of the job market, and the disproportionate impacts of all of this on lower-income families and communities of color.  By Diana Cutts, MD, the Chief of Pediatrics at Hennepin County Medical Center and Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Drs. Cutts and Sandel are Co-Lead Principal Investigators at Children’s HealthWatch headquartered at Boston Medical Center, a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts.

Hennepin Healthcare names chief health equity officer
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2/22/21
Dr. Sederstrom has a background in program development and speaks nationally on topics including racism, racial disparities, bias, end-of-life care and other aspects of diversity and ethics.

Hennepin Healthcare hires first chief health equity officer
Star Tribune, 2/22/21
“We feel strongly that to change the trajectory of our community, we need to change how healthcare is delivered from the ground up,” Hennepin Healthcare CEO Jennifer DeCubellis said in a statement.

New Hennepin History Museum exhibit honors health care workers of another era
Star Tribune, 2/19/21
The exhibit also features artifacts from the turn of the 20th century, such as equipment and uniforms. The star artifact is the kidney transporter used during the first kidney transplant in the Midwest in 1963. The operation was performed at Minneapolis General Hospital — now Hennepin County Medical Center.

Everyone agrees people of color aren’t getting the COVID-19 vaccine fast enough. How bad the problem is, and what to do about is are less clear.
Sahan Journal, 2/19/21
So just how bad is it? Earlier this month, two members of a state panel of experts organized to give guidelines to ensure people of color aren’t left behind accused the Department of Health of ignoring their recommendations and doing its business in the dark.

“There has been no transparency with the advisory group or the public [as] to how decisions are being made on the methods of vaccine allocation,” Nathan Chomilo, a pediatrician with Park Nicollet, and Nneka Sederstrom, chief health equity officer for Hennepin Healthcare, wrote in a letter to Malcolm. “Right now speed is winning and equity is losing.”

COVID-19 precautions keep flu cases historically low in Minnesota
FOX 9, 2/19/21
“It’s the same swab that we use for the COVID-19 test that we use for influenza, so it’s very easy for us to test for both,” explained Hennepin Healthcare Urgent Care nurse Lisa Gallick.

Dying on the Waitlist
ProPublica, 2/18/21
In 2016, the directors of Minnesota’s six ECMO centers created a consortium to help with pandemic and emergency operations, said Dr. Matthew Prekker, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. The consortium established uniform eligibility guidelines to make sure all critically sick patients get a fair chance at the therapy.

If half the state’s medical centers reach capacity, it triggers an emergency conference call between the ECMO center directors, who steer patients to open beds. “We are well organized,” said Prekker. “We don’t work in silos.”

What growing up in a pandemic is doing to our youngest kids’ brains
MPR, 2/17/21
What mark will the pandemic leave on the generation growing up right now? Dr. Krishnan Subrahmanian is a pediatrician with Hennepin Healthcare and consultant for the Redleaf Center for Family Healing. The center offers mental health services and parenting support to families expecting a baby or raising young children.

Fit February: How much sleep we really need
WCCO 4, 2/15/21
Dr. Ranji Varghese heads up the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center. According to Varghese, children need the most sleep, between nine and 11 hours. Teenagers need between eight and 10 hours of sleep. Adults are recommended to get about eight hours of sleep, with adults 65 years of age and older needing less (seven to eight hours).

Minnesota playing catch-up to get seniors of color vaccinated
MPR, 2/15/21
Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity sent a letter to state leaders urging them to implement better strategies to increase equity in distribution. Among the signers was Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, who is the chief health equity officer for Hennepin Healthcare.

Doctors at HCMC use new imaging technology to treat frostbite cases
KARE 11, 2/12/21
“This cold snap here for the past week has been really devastating,” emergency physician Dr. Tom Masters says.

New device allows for faster treatment of frostbite patients
FOX 9, 2/12/21
“There are a lot of these around the country that are being used in the operating room,” said Dr. Tom Masters of Hennepin Healthcare. “We are definitely the first in the Minnesota – might be the first in the United States – to be using this in an acute setting.”

HCMC treats 33 frostbite cases in 1 week during recent cold snap
WCCO 4, 2/12/21
“The previous [way] took a couple hours to do, we can get this done in less than half an hour and get them their medicines,” said Dr. Tom Masters, who showed WCCO how this scanner pin points exactly where the frost bite is.

Minnesota hospitals start outreach to improve COVID-19 vaccine equity
Star Tribune, 2/12/21
“The populations of people that are getting access to the vaccines are not right now the populations who need it the most,” said Nneka Sederstrom, chief health equity officer at Hennepin Healthcare.

Minnesota falling behind in equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccine
Star Tribune, 2/11/12
Hennepin Healthcare’s Nekka Sederstrom said the state’s recent vaccine allocation decision will leave it playing “catch-up.”

“Equity is not something to do just when things are convenient,” she said. “The normal response is to put it on the shelf for a better date and when you do that you are just continuing to perpetuate the inequities.”

Fit February: Is working from home affecting your snacking habits? 
WCCO 4, 2/9/21
“It’s not a bad thing if you’re hungry,” Dr. Iesha Galloway-Gilliam, of Hennepin Healthcare, said.

Carbon monoxide poisoning: The silent winter danger
WCCO 4, 2/8/21
Expired units are a warning that Dr. Jon B. Cole, director of the Minnesota Poison Control System, is also trying to get out, especially during this extra cold week.

“Carbon monoxide for this kind of moment, is sort of a perfect storm,” Dr. Cole said. “When the cold drops really low like this, we always see more cases.”

Minnesota places of worship will play an important role in vaccination of at-risk populations
FOX 9, 2/5/21
Right now, a medical resident at Hennepin Healthcare is reaching out to local mosques to help spread the word about the vaccine.

“We are focused on trying to ensure that there’s equitable access to the vaccine,” said Dr. Hoda Hassan.

Doctors: Stop focusing on efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine
FOX 9, 2/2/21
“It really doesn’t matter which one you got, it just matters that you got one of them,” said Dr. David Hilden of Hennepin Healthcare.

Advocacy Champions: February Advocacy Champion Maria Veronica Svetaz, MD, MPH
Minnesota Medical Association, 2/1/21
Why is being an advocate so important to you? “Because I always felt like Eldridge Cleaver. ‘There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.'”

Next Step goes to the front lines of gun violence in Minneapolis, starting with the shooting victims
Star Tribune, 1/30/21
It is still dark most mornings when Farji Shaheer drives to HCMC in downtown Minneapolis and goes to his office at Next Step, a five-year-old program that offers support to young-adult victims of violence and their families. His mission is to lower the chances they are shot again and help them heal.

Good Question: What are you safe to do after getting vaccinated for COVID?
WCCO 4, 1/26/21
“It’s not going to be an immediate thing,” said Dr. David Hilden, internal medicine physician at Hennepin Healthcare.

The political divide is threatening relationships among family, friends and co-workers
Star Tribune, 1/22/21
Damaged relationships not only cause hurt feelings. They can lead to significant physical distress.

“This is rampant in my patients,” said Talee Vang, senior clinical psychologist at Hennepin Health Care. “Some notice they feel irritable, exhausted, anxious. Internalized pain may come out in depression, sleep disorders or substance use. They may overindulge in alcohol or food.”

Breaking through the wall of stigma
NIH Heal Initiative, 1/21/21
“I don’t feel comfortable” or “I don’t want those kinds of patients in my practice,” are common sentiments among health providers, explains addiction medicine specialist Gavin Bart, M.D., Ph.D. of Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the state’s largest safety-net hospital, noting that those patients are often already in the practices of these providers.

The role of palliative care during COVID-19
“Palliative care is a multi-specialty care, performed by a team,” Hennepin Healthcare’s division director for Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Tom Klemond said. “Physician, social workers, nurse practitioner, we help out patients and families in teams that are facing serious circumstances, usually serious illness.”

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service
KARE 11, 1/18/21
Dozens of Minnesotans respected the spirit of the day by using their sewing talents to help those who are sick or in the hospital.

Good Question: What do families need to know about kids, masks and sports? 
WCCO 4, 1/4/20
WCCO spoke to Hennepin Healthcare pediatrician Dr. Krishnan Subrahmanian about masks and athletes.

“They are safe. We know that people are going to feel a difference in terms of their exertion and breathing,” Subrahmanian said. “Young athletes are going to have to communicate with their coaches and say, Hey, I might need a little bit more of a breather here and there.’”

Minnesota hospital ICUs became dangerously full in November
Star Tribune, 1/2/21
“The patients in the ICU were so sick and they just didn’t have any beds available,” said Dr. John Hick, a Hennepin Healthcare physician who helped coordinate Minnesota’s response to the pandemic. “No question, every hospital was having to make decisions about who went to intensive care.”

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