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Amanda Eichmann couldn't get the story, and the young woman in it, off her mind. "I read that article over and over," the 39-year-old Williston, N.D., woman said last week. "Something kept telling me to read it again and read it again." Eichmann's interest led to action, and as a result a Duluth woman with a rare genetic disease has a new kidney, sooner than she had reason to hope.
Northland hospitals, like those around the nation, are responding to a shortage of medical supplies exacerbated by a hurricane that hit Puerto Rico seven weeks ago. "We are experiencing supply shortages due to manufacturing that was affected by the hurricane," said Mike Boeselager, vice president of support services for St. Luke's hospital, in a statement. "We are working closely with suppliers and implementing practices internally to preserve our resources and to avoid any unnecessary interruptions in patient care," he added.
Before Sarah Grenberg gave birth to her first child, she learned that the image of a sleeping infant in a sea of blankets, stuffed toys and pillows is far from the ideal. "You always see pictures of baby stuff advertised, and there's all these toys in there and blankets," the Duluth woman said. "So I was like, 'Oh, really, nothing in there?' when I first learned."
As Essentia Health was in court with one union over its new mandatory flu shot policy on Tuesday, another was challenging the Duluth-based health system over the same policy. The Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents 2,000 Essentia nurses, charged in a statement on Monday that the health system hadn't made good on a promise to hold off on enforcing the policy until negotiations took place. Instead, the MNA said, Essentia was ignoring that process and threatening to fire nurses who did not comply.
The mentally ill shouldn't be stigmatized every time there is a mass shooting, two Duluth mental health professionals say. "Victims of severe mental illness are much more likely to be victims of crime than to perpetuate crimes," said Dr. David Baldes, a psychiatrist at St. Luke's hospital. "On average, mental illness is not associated with violent behavior." As more information has come out, the shooting in a small-town Texas church on Sunday morning during which 26 people were killed has been linked to a domestic dispute.
Grand Rapids seventh-grader Katie McCarroll likes gym class, language arts and science. Actually, she pretty much likes every class she takes at Robert J. Elkington Middle School, she decides upon reflection, except math. But the outgoing, red-haired 12-year-old — she'll turn 13 on Dec. 1 — has had to learn lessons other kids might never think about, such as when she needs to stop and rest. "It's hard to learn. I'm still learning," Katie said as she sat next to her mom, Kasey McCarroll, during a recent interview.
Lung cancer screenings underused? Many people who could benefit from lung cancer screening don't do so because they don't know it might be covered by their health plan and their doctors probably didn't recommend it. So concludes the American Lung Association on the basis of a survey it calls its Lung Health Barometer. Survey results were released last week because November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
A hospice volunteer in Itasca County may lose her role because she's unwilling to comply with Essentia Health's mandatory flu shot policy. "I'm pretty dedicated to this work, and I don't want to have a flu vaccine," said Noreen Hautala, 58, who lives near Cohasset and has been a hospice volunteer for close to 10 years. "I know a lot about taking care of myself."
You have $10,000. How would you spend it to help make Duluth healthier? It's not a hypothetical question. Those who wish can decide how to divvy up 10 grand among four proposals that will be presented on Wednesday during the third Healthy Duluth Ideas Fest. Attendees will hear presentations about the following four ideas, which were selected from among 23 applicants, according to a news release from Zeitgeist, which is hosting the event and is in the running for some of the money: • Community Action Duluth — "Winter Farmer's Market"
Neil Henderson gestured toward the windows behind him. "Very cleverly, we have added a water feature," he said with a grin on his face, as he pointed at the view of Lake Superior through the large windows on the back side of the building at 624 E. First St. Henderson, the director of the University of Minnesota Medical School's Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team, was speaking on Thursday at the grand opening of the program's new home in the space that long was occupied by Expert Tire.