HCMC-trained MD Astronaut Kjell Lindgren launches to International Space Station next week

official Expedition 44 crew portrait. Soyuz 42 (Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko, Scott Kelly) and Soyuz 43 (Oleg Kononenko, Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren).
Official Expedition 44 crew portrait. Soyuz 42 (Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko, Scott Kelly) and Soyuz 43 (Oleg Kononenko, Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren).

Excitement is building at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) as they count down the days to NASA’s Expedition 44/45 launch on Wednesday, July 22. The Soyuz spacecraft will carry a crew to the International Space Station that includes astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD who completed his medical residency in HCMC’s Emergency Department where he was also Chief Resident.

Dr. Lindgren (far left)  and crew.
Dr. Lindgren (far left) and crew.

Dr. Lindgren will serve as flight engineer for this mission, which was originally scheduled to launch on May 25, but was delayed after an unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft failed to reach the International Space Station (ISS) on April 30. An investigation into the malfunction had to take place before Expedition 44/45’s launch could be rescheduled.

Dr. Doug Brunette
Dr. Doug Brunette

“Of course we were concerned about Kjell’s mission after hearing about the Progress 59P problem,” explains Dr. Douglas Brunette, referring to the cargo spacecraft that eventually burned up after re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. “But it’s better to be safe and wait until the cause of the problem was figured out, and we had every confidence that the launch would be rescheduled.”

Dr. Brunette supervised Dr. Lindgren’s medical training in the Emergency Department, and he was invited by Dr. Lindgren to be his guest in Kazakhstan to watch the launch from the Cosmodrome.

“I feel so honored that Kjell asked me to be there. Of course it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, but to see my former resident – whom I now consider a friend and colleague – fulfill his dreams of being an astronaut, it’s just so exciting,” said Dr. Brunette, who leaves for Kazakhstan on July 16.

Hospital employees are counting down the days to the launch with posts on social media and even a Russian-themed menu in the cafeteria. For more information about NASA’s Expedition 44/45 as they prepare for their launch, go to: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/

HCMC recognized as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility

HCMC_BirthCenter_LogoAfter completing a comprehensive on-site survey, Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. recently announced that Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) has been designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital.

“We are very excited about this prestigious award,” said Anna Mueller, Nurse Manager for Breastfeeding Services. “Making sure moms and babies get off to a great start is one of our priorities at The Birth Center, and being recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital confirms our commitment to providing excellent Family-Centered care.” Continue reading “HCMC recognized as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility”

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”