Saturday Sports Physicals offered at HCMC’s Downtown Pediatric Clinic

Soccer coach discusses play with team during halftime

School is just around the corner and Fall athletic teams are gearing up for practices. Does your child need his or her sports physical updated? Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is making it easy to get this back-to-school task done by offering Saturday Sports Physicals on August 13 and August 27 between 9:00am and 1:00pm at the Downtown Pediatric Clinic.

Walk-ins are welcome – but are not guaranteed to be seen – so an appointment is recommended. To schedule an appointment on Saturday, August 13 or Saturday, August 27 call 612-873-6963 and ask for a “pediatric sports physical.” (You can also call this number to schedule a weekday pediatric sports physical.)

For your convenience, you can download and fill out the Minnesota State High School League’s 2016-2017 Sports Qualifying Physical Examination Clearance Form and bring it to your child’s appointment for our health care providers to complete.

  • What: Saturday Sports Physicals at HCMC. (Drawstring bags will be given to all athletes who receive physicals on these dates.)
  • Who: Athletes between the ages of 11 and 18 who participate in sports and are required to have a sports physical on file.
  • When: Saturday August 13 and Saturday August 27 between 9:00am and 1:00pm
  • Where: HCMC’s Pediatric Clinic, 7th Floor, Purple Building. Call 612.873.6963 to schedule an appointment.

Hennepin County Medical Center is a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and public teaching hospital located in downtown Minneapolis offering a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient pediatric care. For more information, go to

Sports Physical Web banner.jpg

Posted in HCMC News

Hennepin County Medical Center Named Medical Services Provider for U.S. Bank Stadium

USBS_StackedA partnership announced today with U.S. Bank Stadium and Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) means that guests will be in good hands when the new stadium opens next month. Guest experience, including the health and wellness of guests, is a top priority for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), SMG and the Minnesota Vikings. As the exclusive medical service provider, HCMC will provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and emergency medical response personnel for events in the stadium, backed by the full services of the healthcare system.

“We are very happy to announce our partnership with HCMC,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair of the MSFA. “They have extensive experience as the largest emergency facility in Minnesota and are the best partner to provide unparalleled services to our visitors.”

For HCMC, the new partnership is a natural extension of its health and wellness services into a venue that will bring millions of people from across the state, region, and world to downtown Minneapolis every year.

“Our services span the spectrum of health, from primary and specialty care in our clinics, to emergency medicine, EMS, and disaster preparedness, so it’s a natural partnership for us to support the health and wellbeing of the guests who will attend events in the new stadium,” said Jon L. Pryor, MD, MBA, CEO.

Paramedics and emergency medical response teams will provide care to event participants and fans with EMS coverage or first aid support for Vikings games and other major events at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“We have decades of experience supporting major events at stadiums and arenas,” said Jeffrey Ho, MD, EMS Chief Medical Director. “This is a very large facility, but it was designed to give us the access that we need to provide outstanding care both on the field, in the stands, and within the concourses.”

If ambulance transport is needed to the hospital, HCMC’s main campus, including Level l adult and pediatric trauma care, is just one block away. HCMC serves the healthcare needs of downtown residents, workers, and visitors today and is currently building a new, 377,000 square foot clinic and specialty center close to the new stadium.

“Delivering excellence through guest experience is top of mind for U.S. Bank Stadium employees,” said Patrick Talty, General Manager for SMG at U.S. Bank Stadium. “HCMC will become an extension of that important principle as our medical services provider for events large and small. We are confident in the emergency services, first aid support and overall dedication to wellbeing for our event participants and guests through this partnership.”

About Hennepin County Medical Center
Hennepin County Medical Center is a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital and clinic system includes a 484-bed acute care hospital, EMS service, and primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis and the Whittier and East Lake St. neighborhoods, and in the suburban communities of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Richfield, and St. Anthony Village. HCMC provides home care and hospice services through MVNA and Hospice of the Twin Cities. HCMC EMS serves 14 municipalities within Hennepin County, covering 266 square miles and a population of over 700,000. HCMC is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County.  More information at

About U.S. Bank Stadium
U.S. Bank Stadium, owned and operated by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, is a multi-purpose stadium and home to the Minnesota Vikings. The 66,000+ seat stadium is located in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. With 241,000 square feet of prime exhibition space and six club spaces throughout the building, this state-of-the-art facility will host prominent national and international programming including the Minnesota Vikings, concerts, family shows, college and high school sporting events, conventions, trade/consumer shows, and corporate or private meetings and events. U.S. Bank Stadium is set to open summer 2016 and has been chosen as the site of Super Bowl LII (2018) and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2019.

U.S. Bank Stadium is an SMG managed facility. Aramark’s M Hospitality is the exclusive provider for Food and Beverage at U.S. Bank Stadium.  

For more information:

About SMG
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 240 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering company SAVOR, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide.

For more information:


Posted in HCMC News

Public notification: Study using a medication to improve the mental status of people with traumatic brain injury

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is part of a multi-site study testing whether people who have life-threatening or life-altering traumatic brain injury do better when they receive a medication called Tranexamic Acid (TXA) that is used to stabilize bleeding in the body. Dr. Paul Nystrom is the principal investigator for this clinical study.

The study will be conducted at 12 Level 1 trauma centers in North America including HCMC. Dr. Nystrom and his team will look at the results to determine if the study medication, TXA, given as soon as possible after injury improves the mental recovery after traumatic brain injury. Continue reading

Posted in HCMC News

Good news for people living with Type 2 (adult) diabetes mellitus

Diagnosis diabetes  and pills.In the fight against type 2 (adult) diabetes, the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation recently announced their unanimous support of weight loss surgery as a vitally important treatment. They hope that this announcement will help to educate doctors, other medical providers, and the public about this under-utilized and very effective treatment for diabetes.

The entire June 2016 issue of the American Diabetes Association’s journal Diabetes Care is devoted to a joint statement by these organizations and other articles that provide factual support for this recommendation.

“Weight loss surgeons have known for over 30 years that gastric bypass surgery is the safest and most effective treatment for type 2 diabetes,” explains Dr. Guilford Hartley, an internal medicine specialist and Medical Director for the Hennepin Bariatric Center. “This consensus has now been adopted by those who provide non-surgical treatment for diabetes as well, including endocrinologists and other medical specialists involved in the care of diabetes.”

Dr. Hartley won’t refer to the absence of diabetes symptoms as a “cure,” but it comes close.

“When weight loss surgery patients achieve normal blood glucose (sugar) and can go off their diabetes medications, it sure looks like we’ve found a cure for this deadly disease, but we prefer to say that their diabetes is in remission. No matter what you call it — the absence of having to manage diabetes and being able to avoid its life-threatening complications makes a tremendous difference in the lives of patients.”

When the surgery is done as soon as possible after a diabetes diagnosis, the likelihood of remission is greatest and is most likely to last many years. In most cases, weight loss surgery is appropriate in severely overweight people even before diabetes develops and can reduce the likelihood that a person will ever develop diabetes.

In addition to reducing or avoiding the complications associated with diabetes, studies show that severely overweight people who have weight loss surgery live longer and with better quality of life than they would if they did not have surgery.

Despite all this good news, many people are reluctant to consider weight loss surgery. If you would like to learn more about whether weight loss surgery is a good treatment for you or a loved one, please, call 612-873-5479 to schedule a consultation.


Posted in HCMC News

NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD to visit patients, colleagues at HCMC


NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD

NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD returned from his mission to the International Space Station in December, and now he’s returning to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) for a visit – the Level I Trauma Center where he completed his emergency medicine residency. The NASA astronaut will meet with patients and staff on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

Dr. Lindgren is a member of Expedition 44/45 and served as flight engineer aboard the International Space Station from July-December 2015. He has many colleagues and fans at HCMC who felt immense pride at seeing their colleague and friend fulfill his dreams of space travel – many who watched the launch live at the hospital on NASA TV on July 22, 2015.

“It was truly amazing,” says Dr. Douglas Brunette, who supervised Dr. Lindgren’s medical training in the Emergency Department where Dr. Lindgren was also Chief Resident. “Words can’t even describe how exciting it was to watch the launch, and then to follow Kjell’s experience while he worked on the Space Station. He’s an inspiration to us all.”

Dr. Brunette was invited by Dr. Lindgren to be his guest to watch the launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, and he chronicled the trip on

“We are all eagerly anticipating his return ‘home’ to HCMC to tour his old stomping grounds and reconnect with friends,” Dr. Brunette explains. “Obviously we may think Minnesota is not as interesting as some of the other places he’s visited, but he’s so literally down-to-earth and appreciative of his training here at HCMC that he would probably disagree. We’re very proud of Kjell and look forward to the opportunity to see him again and learn about his experiences.”

He has a full schedule when he returns to Minnesota, but Dr. Lindgren will be available for photo opportunities and questions on Wednesday, May 25 from 2-3:30 PM while he visits areas in HCMC. Please contact Christine Hill, Sr. Media Relations Specialist at 612.873.5719 for more information.

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Teddy Bear Clinic invites children and their friends to explore HCMC’s pediatric emergency department

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Visiting an emergency department for the first time can be scary – but not on Saturday, May 21 from 8-10 AM when kids are invited to bring their Teddy Bears to Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) Emergency Department for a special Teddy Bear Clinic.

“The goal of this free event is to expose children to the medical environment before a traumatic situation occurs,” explains HCMC emergency physician Dr. Ashley Strobel. “In addition to preventing trauma, we hope to help children feel more comfortable in this setting and with the procedures that occur during a typical emergency department visit. Allowing Teddy – or any other stuffed animal – to participate demonstrates the friendly nature and loving goal of a visit.”
Teddy Bears visiting the emergency department on May 21 will be “admitted” and may have a variety of procedures performed including blood pressure and heart rate checks, injections, stitches, x-rays, or a splint or bandage placed on their paws.

The Teddy Bear Clinic may be a special occasion, but Teddy Bears are welcome in the emergency department anytime. In fact, parents are encouraged to have their child bring their Teddy Bear or any item that will add to their comfort (electronic games, favorite toys, blanket or doll). Continue reading

Posted in HCMC News

Keeping pounds off after weight loss win

Word Help written on a weight scale

How common is it to put the pounds back on after losing weight?
People with a significant weight problem who are highly motivated to lose weight using diet and exercise can almost always succeeded in losing some weight during the initial months of their attempt. If, however, you check with them again five years after starting the diet, about 95% of these people will have regained most or all of weight lost during the initial period.

Can our bodies actually resist losing weight?
Normally, a person’s body has a weight “set point,” that is, a weight at which the body prefers to stay. This set point is not set for all time and can change with life circumstances, including stress and age. At any given time, a person’s body resists change in weight, either gain or loss. When a person tries consciously to lose weight against the body’s desire to maintain its weight at that set point, the body slows its metabolism, so that the person has to reduce food intake much more than one would think in order to lose the desired amount of weight. Interestingly, the same thing occurs with weight gain. When people of healthy weight try, as part of an experiment, to gain weight by eating extra food, their bodies become very inefficient at using the extra food, and most of the additional calories are burned off as waste heat.

What is “resting metabolism”?
Resting metabolism is the rate at which the body uses energy (food calories) when not engaged in physical activity, for example in bed at night. The body reduces resting metabolism and makes more efficient use of food calories when a person diets to lose weight. There is no currently known safe and effective way to increase metabolic rate to help with weight loss. Some weight loss medications increase metabolism, but they only increase it a little, and their effects tend to wear off after about one year of use. In addition, for most weight loss medications, we do not have good evidence that they can be used safely beyond the first one or two years.

Do hormones play a role in weight gain and weight loss?ghrelin and leptin

There are a number of hormones that help the body communicate internally. Leptin helps body fat tissue communicate with the brain. When body fat tissue is excessive, leptin is relatively low. When body fat tissue is too low, leptin increases to tell the brain that the person needs to eat more. GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) helps the intestine communicate with the pancreas about when and how much insulin to secrete. It also communicates with the brain about feelings of hunger and fullness. When the body’s ability to regulate these and other hormones is disturbed, it can result in obesity. There are currently some medications that can help to adjust levels of GLP-1 and reduce weight, but the amount of weight loss is fairly modest. There are currently no medications that help with the leptin system or other hormone systems involved in regulating weight. Weight loss surgery has profound beneficial effects on hormone systems that help the body regulate weight.

How can weight loss surgery help?
After gastric bypass surgery, the average patient loses about 60% of his or her starting excess weight. It is then common to regain a little weight and to settle in having kept off about 50% of initial excess weight. So, if a person needs to lose 100 pounds to achieve healthiest weight, gastric bypass surgery is likely to help her or him lose about 60 pounds over the first year or 2 with a slight regain of weight after that, so that, for the long term, that person’s weight is down about 50 pounds compared with prior to surgery.

Weight loss surgery is much more successful at combating the body’s resistance to weight change than dieting. You might consider weight loss surgery if your body mass index (BMI) is over 40 or if it is over 35 and you have other weight related health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea or serious arthritis in weight-bearing joints. A BMI over 40 amounts to about 100 pounds over healthy weight for men and about 80 pounds over healthy weight for women.

People who have weight loss surgery live longer, happier, healthier lives than people who meet the criteria and decide not to have weight loss surgery. People who have gastric bypass surgery are about 40% less likely to die over the next ten years than people who decide not to have surgery. Quality of life studies show that people who have had weight loss surgery are more satisfied with their lives than those who have not. Many health problems, like those listed above, go into remission or at least improve after weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery is, therefore, much more effective in helping seriously overweight people lose a substantial amount of weight initially and much more effective in helping people keep the weight off year after year and decade after decade.

Dr. Guilford Hartley is an internal medicine specialist and Medical Director for the Hennepin Bariatric Center. He has worked in the area of adult and adolescent obesity since 1988, focusing on finding the best solutions suited to individual patients’ needs and with emphasis on weight loss surgery for severely obese people as the safest and most effective treatment now available. For more information, go to


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