Keeping a stick on the ice

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Dr. Daniel DiBardino
is a double board-certified physician in both adult and congenital cardiothoracic surgery – in other words, he fixes hearts and where they live – both big and small.

“Every heart is precious and I understand the enormous responsibility of caring for every inch of this important organ,” Dr. DiBardino explains, “that’s why I’m so passionate about providing the most advanced surgical care to all patients with heart disease.”

Using extensive training from some of the best centers in the U.S. including Harvard Medical School and the University of Michigan, Dr. DiBardino works with Dr. Domenico Calcaterra, the Chief of Cardiothoracic Care at HCMC, to provide cutting edge care to patients such as valve repair and replacement, coronary bypass surgery, ECMO, and cardiothoracic trauma care. He’s also currently completing advanced training at the Minneapolis Heart Institute in minimally invasive valve surgery and heart transplant surgery.
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In 2010, Dr. DiBardino practiced at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he was featured in an episode of the TV series, Boston Med. But “Dr. DiBar” (as he was called on the show) feels right at home here in the State of Hockey – both on and off the ice. That’s right, he plays the sport and has already connected with some colleagues to chase pucks.

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Ashley and Daniel DiBardino

“I’ve been playing hockey for 30 years, including in areas where it’s not as popular,” he says. “It’s great to be able to live and work in Minnesota where everyone knows the game and there are so many opportunities to skate, watch hockey and be a hockey fan.”

Dr. DiBardino and his wife, Ashley, live in the Mill District/North Loop area of Minneapolis with their Papillon-mix dog, Gizmo. When he’s not working (or skating), Dr. DiBardino enjoys lifting weights at the gym, taking Gizmo for walks, and finding new places to eat out for dinner. For more information about Dr. DiBardino, check out the recent blog written by Dr. David Hilden after Dr. DiBardino was a guest on his radio show. The post can be found at myhealthymatters.org.

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Gizmo DiBardino

 

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

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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 hcmcnews.org.

“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.

Healthy work/life balance is essential for caregivers

Office for Professional Worklife is the first of its kind to address physician stress

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For many professions, finding the right balance between work schedules and home life can be challenging. Health care providers are not immune to this issue. In fact, stress and burnout are prevalent in the medical field and if left unaddressed, can affect both providers and patients.

“Physician burnout is  an epidemic,” explains Dr. Mark Linzer, an internal medicine physician and nationally recognized expert on issues surrounding physician burnout. “But research has shown that there are effective ways to improve the workplace and decrease clinician stress.”

After researching the topic for 20 years, Dr. Linzer is bringing his expertise home to focus on a new innovation at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) – the creation of the Office for Professional Worklife (OPW).

“We believe healthy providers are essential to achieving our organizational goals of providing outstanding patient and family centered care,” says Dr. Linzer. “In doing this, we want our clinicians to feel supported when they provide high quality care to their patients.We also want them to be available for their families and their own self-care.  This will result in more energy for patient care, better recruitment and retention, more loyalty to the organization, and better morale among clinicians and staff.”

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Dr. Mark Linzer and Sara Poplau

Dr. Linzer and his colleague Sara Poplau, Senior Research Project Manager and Assistant Director of the OPW, will head the program that focuses on offering wellness services that improve the work lives of all HCMC providers. There’s a national need for this type of focus on stress and burnout, and they hope this program will become a model for other care systems.

“Providers need to know their workplace is supportive of  work life balance,” says Dr. Linzer. “This can be accomplished by implementing wellness initiatives that redesign workflow in the clinics and improve communication between provider groups.” Linzer and Poplau  hope to create a model of the supportive organization that promotes humanism in medicine and the highest quality care for patients.

Services offered by the OPW will include: one-on-one discussions about work-life; advocacy for ways to improve balance between work and life for providers; and partnering with the HCMC Provider Wellness Committee, Wellness Champions and Department Chiefs to ensure that the needs of providers are heard and addressed. “We hope by elevating work-life balance to the level of this office that providers will know this is a serious issue and there is help,” said Sara Poplau.

One unique feature of the OPW will be a “reset room” where providers can go for quiet time to recharge during the busy workday. It will serve as an “oasis” for providers during stressful times.

“Our providers work very hard and are dedicated to delivering compassionate, high-quality care for those in need,” Dr. Linzer says. “We all come with the best intentions, but sometimes we get stressed. Addressing issues before they cause burnout is critical to making sure that providers are practicing medicine in the best environment possible.”

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Dr. Michael Belzer receives Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers Award

Dr. Michael Belzer
Dr. Michael Belzer

The West Metro Medical Foundation and the Twin Cities Medical Society have selected Dr. Michael Belzer, Chief Medical Officer at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), as the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers Award.

Dr. Belzer has served as HCMC’s Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer since 1990. He also serves as Medical Director for Hennepin County’s Community Health Department and Associate Dean for the University of Minnesota Medical School. Prior to becoming Medical Director, he served as the Associate HCMC Medical Director for Academic Affairs. Dr. Belzer is a practicing Medical Hematologist and Oncologist with subspecialty and specialty board certification in Medical Oncology, Hematology, and Internal Medicine. He served as President and Chairman of the Board of Hennepin Medical Society (now known as the Twin Cities Medical Society) that represented over 4000 Metro physicians. Dr. Belzer is on the Executive Committee Board for America’s Essential Hospitals, and was the former Board Chair of Hospice of the Twin Cities and the National Public Health and Hospital Institute. Dr. Belzer is past recipient of the Minnesota Medical Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award and he won the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award from the University Medical School in 2004.

Continue reading “Dr. Michael Belzer receives Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers Award”

Sleeping for Success

139247666We’re tired, so we sleep. But is sleep always a response to fatigue, or can we be more strategic about it? Dr. Imran Khawaja, Medical Director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center at Hennepin County Medical Center, explains why we should consider “sleeping for success.”

“We know that sleep improves cognition,” says Dr. Khawaja. “If someone is a good sleeper, he or she tends to have better alertness, thinking and concentration during the daytime. This means that they will perform better, and if they are learning something, they will understand concepts better and be able to apply them to their careers. They will have more energy to take care of things and be more efficient. All of these benefits ultimately translate into being more successful.” Continue reading “Sleeping for Success”

Golden Valley Clinic is open!

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Starting Monday, March 31, 2014 there’s a new choice for primary care in the Golden Valley area at Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) Golden Valley Clinic, conveniently located in the Spring Gate Shopping Center at 5653 Duluth St. Continue reading “Golden Valley Clinic is open!”

$99 lung cancer screenings offered at HCMC

For more information, call 612.873.2065

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is offering $99 lung cancer screening for people who may be concerned that they are at risk for the disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the USA, and it kills more patients every year than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined.

Dr. Gopal Punjabi
Dr. Gopal Punjabi

“We know that by the time lung cancer causes symptoms like cough and chest pain, it’s usually advanced and has spread to other organs,” explains radiologist Dr. Gopal Punjabi. “For years, there has been tremendous interest in catching lung cancer early, so this test is a very important development.” If you’re between the ages of 55 and 79 and you smoked for more than 30 years, or you quit less than 15 years ago, you may be eligible for this low-cost, low-dose CT scan. Continue reading “$99 lung cancer screenings offered at HCMC”