Health notes: St. Louis County employees drop almost 1,000 lbs.Cutting the fat out of government (workers), St. Louis County employees collectively lost nearly 1,000 pounds during the first part of this year.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Cutting the fat out of government (workers), St. Louis County employees collectively lost nearly 1,000 pounds during the first part of this year.
The big losses came during a 12-week weight-loss challenge that ended April 22, said a news release from DailyEndorphin, a private, for-profit company based in Minneapolis and Fort Collins, Colo., that the county works with on wellness programs.
To be exact, participants lost a total of 973 pounds and burned more than
1.5 million calories during the challenge. Many of the individuals lost 5 percent to 10 percent of their body weight.
Health care on stage
A couple of local organizations are turning health care into theater.
The Citizens Federation and CHUM will present what they describe as “a tragic-comic ‘entertainment’ look at the health-care system, with its suffering, craziness and absurdity.”
The event, “Laughing to Keep From Crying” will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesdayat the Play Ground theater in Duluth Technology Village, 11 E. Superior St. It’s free.
The program will include personal stories of health-care woes, as well as skits, songs, insurance company rejection letters and pop quizzes, said Buddy Robinson of the Citizens Federation.
Community Action Duluth is providing some of the talent, Robinson said.
Pine Technical College in Pine City, Minn., announced this week it’s offering a new medical assistant degree: associate in applied science.
The medical assistant program is designed to prepare students to perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and other health practitioners running smoothly, a news release from the college said. Coursework includes phlebotomy and electrocardiography training.
It’s also offering phlebotomy and electrocardiography credential programs for already-licensed health-care providers, such as nurses.
The programs are being offered with support from a federal Department of Labor health training grant.
For more information, call the college at (320) 629-5100.
Helmets and tornadoes
Weather radio? Check. Safe place to take refuge? Check. Bicycle helmet? Huh?
Some safety advocates are calling for people to wear helmets if a tornado approaches. Dozens of free bicycle helmets were handed out for that purpose at a recent minor league baseball game in Birmingham, Ala., National Public Radio reports.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is cautious about the idea. “We don’t have research on the effectiveness of helmet use to prevent head injuries during a tornado, but we do know that head injuries are common causes of death during tornadoes, and we have long made the recommendation that people try to protect their heads,” the CDC said in a statement earlier this month.
Wearing a helmet
wouldn’t replace the need to find shelter in a safe place — ideally, the interior of a basement, the CDC said. If you’re caught outside, the advice remains to lie down in a gully or ditch. If you decide to use a helmet, the CDC said, you should know where it is. “Looking for a helmet in the few seconds before a tornado hits may delay you getting safely to shelter,” the statement said.
The CDC is unequivocal about using bicycle helmets for their original purpose. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of brain injury in a bicycling accident by
88 percent and the risk of injury to the face by 65 percent, the CDC said.
There's a Facebook page for that
Have you or someone you know been harmed because of a hospital’s care?
The website ProPublica started a Facebook page, hosted by two of its reporters, for people wanting to share their experiences. At last count, the page had 154 members. You can check it out on Facebook by searching for ProPublica Patient Harm Community.