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Health Notes: Hospitals win kudos for providing birth data

A number of Northland hospitals are among those recognized for providing the state of Minnesota with timely, accurate data on births.

The data are important, the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement, because they can influence planning for the health of mothers, infants, children and families and help to pinpoint areas that may benefit from additional public health measures. For example, information about immunization and tobacco use during pregnancy are included in the data.

But hospitals weren’t doing well in that regard, the health department said, with only 26 percent reaching its standards for birth data in 2007. That increased by 2013 to 57 hospitals, or 55 percent of the state’s birthing centers.

Among other criteria, the hospital is expected to register all births within five days and must achieve at least a 98 percent level to be recognized.

Hospitals that met the criteria in the Northland: Community Memorial Hospital, Cloquet; Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center, Grand Marais; Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth; Essentia Health-Virginia; Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, Grand Rapids; Essentia Health Duluth (Miller-Dwan); Rainy Lake Medical Center, International Falls; St. Luke’s hospital.

The number of births in those facilities last year ranged from five at Cook County North Shore to 1,366 at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center. Statewide, 61,781 babies were born last year, the news release said.

Latest in accessibility

Essentia Health-Medical Equipment and Supplies will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

Display booths will include power wheelchairs, prosthetics, vehicle power lifts and other medical equipment and supplies. Daily living aids, including specialty silverware, reachers, shower chairs and cushions, also will be featured.

The Duluth Transit Authority will have a handicapped-accessible bus on display.

Free ice cream will be offered, too.

The free event has taken place annually for 17 years, said Mary Jo Lindstrom, the equipment and supply facility’s rehabilitation manager, but it was moved to spring for the first time this year.

Read and RIDE

North Country RIDE, the Esko-based nonprofit that uses horses to offer therapy and recreation to people facing life challenges, will benefit from a book fair on Saturday.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in the Miller Hill Mall.

Shoppers who visit the RIDE information booth at the bookstore can pick up a voucher and, while supplies last, a free North Country RIDE bandana.

When a shopper presents the voucher to a sales associate, the store will donate a percentage of the sale to North Country RIDE.

Those who prefer to shop online can visit and enter ID number 11313152 from Saturday through Wednesday.

Nominate a nurse

It’s Nurses Week, and it’s an opportunity to nominate your favorite nurse for Minnesota’s fifth annual Nurse of the Year Awards.

Sponsored by the March of Dimes, the award honors nurses in 16 categories, from advance pediatric to “rising star” to innovative and nontraditional.

Nominations are due by July 1, and winners will be announced Oct. 25.

Complete details and nomination forms can be found at marchofdimes. com/Minnesota.

Help with Medicare

The Senior LinkAge Line again is offering appointments this month to Medicare beneficiaries and preretirees with questions about health insurance.

Help will be offered on May 14 and 28 at the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, 221 W. First St.

To schedule an appointment, call the Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433.