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Kevin Haney stood on a mat as Joe Hicks gave him his latest instruction. "You're going to pause in your squat and then jump," Hicks said. Haney, a 47-year-old captain in the Duluth Fire Department, was in the midst of a fitness assessment last week at Fire Station 1. Hicks was one of a handful of graduate students putting Haney and a few of his colleagues through the paces for about 90 minutes apiece.
On top of an expected increase in uninsured patients, proposed cuts to a drug discount program would further threaten their bottom line, local hospital officials say. "The change that was proposed ... I think was somewhere between $3 million and $4 million (impact) on St. Luke's," said John Strange, CEO of St. Luke's hospital. At issue is the 340B drug discount program, created by Congress as part of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 to give hospitals that serve low-income populations a price break.
Bone marrow donors sought A "Be the Match" drive to find potential blood marrow donors will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.
Northland hospitals have been scrambling to cope with a nationwide shortage of injectable opioid painkillers. "The supply is just inconsistent," said Gina Lemke, pharmacy director at St. Luke's hospital. "We can't place an order and trust that it's going to arrive." Given the effort to cut down on the number of opioids that are prescribed, it may seem ironic that there's a shortage of some opioids used in an injectable form. But in that setting, opioids still perform a needed function, pharmacists say.
Courtney Clark knows how attractive tobacco can be to a young person. "I'd be around it, and sometimes I would think, 'It's kind of cool,'" she said. "You have that cool smell, there's that cool taste to it and also sometimes you see celebrities ... (smoking) in the music videos and you'd think, 'Oh wow, that's pretty cool.' " That was a few years back, when Clark was in middle school and early high school. Her friends sometimes had access to flavored cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other products, and she'd occasionally give them a try, she said.
In the sometimes chaotic world of newspaper work, John Krebs was as steady as a clock. "Every morning he would be leaving the door by 7:20," recalled his daughter, Louise Ziegler. "He had to walk up across (Woodland Avenue), and then he would wait for that 7:30 bus and get on the bus, go to work. ... And I remember he would always be off the bus and home by 5 or 5:30." Described by former associates at the Duluth News Tribune as a model journalist and by his children as devoted to family, John E. Krebs died on March 12 at St. Cloud Hospital. He was 85.
The news was devastating. Desperate for any hope to overcome terminal brain cancer, Esko teacher Jess Blake had sought enrollment in a clinical trial that seemed promising. Whatever promise there was vanished when her mother, Kathleen Blake, got a call from the site coordinator as she was driving from her home in Grand Rapids to her daughter's home in Duluth. Because of an unrelated condition for which Jess Blake had been treated 18 months earlier, she would be excluded from the trial.
Officials: Stay away from kratom Officials are warning Minnesotans not to consume the plant known as kratom in any form because it may be contaminated with the salmonella bacteria. A multiple-state outbreak of salmonella infections was linked to consumption of the plant, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Health, which issued the warning along with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
President Donald Trump's proposal to impose the death penalty on certain drug dealers as part of a strategy to fight the opioid crisis drew no support from local and state experts contacted on Monday. "I think it is a typical inflammatory tough-guy remark, and really is an overreach," said Carol Falkowski, director of the St. Paul-based Drug Abuse Dialogues. "It's always a tricky business if you look at a harsh criminal justice response to what is really a public health crisis."
The Ely family was living on the sofas in various relatives' homes for a period of several months. It only made it harder for them to care for their young son, who has disabilities. "They were ... feeling overwhelmed with the prospects of trying to care for him ... (and) he just wasn't doing as well," said Heidi Favet, leader of the Ely Area Community Care Team. The family's difficulties underscore the conclusion that emerges from an annual county-by-county ranking of population health: Poverty increases the chances that people will experience poor health.