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The room is large and airy, with wood floors. Windows high on the north-facing wall let light in, adding to the roomy, spacious feel. The walls are painted in soft gray and brown tones. An open-designed kitchen occupies a corner of the room. On Friday morning, a tour of the space was accompanied by the sound of power tools as workers from Johnson-Wilson Constructors methodically went about their appointed tasks.
Four-year-old Ina Halfkann walked over to Merissa Edwards, giving her a plastic Easter egg from a display in the lobby of the Edgewater Hotel. It was Thursday afternoon, and the little girl from near Cologne, Germany, and the 40-year-old Duluth woman had known each other for less than 24 hours. But it was obvious that Edwards already had bonded with Ina and her little sister Mila. They were together because the girls' mother had given Edwards a much greater gift: the gift of life.
Checkups for 'Melanoma Monday' Free 10-minute skin checks will be available by appointment on May 1 at Essentia Health's Center for Renewal. Known as SPOTme screenings, the checkups are being offered in observance of what the American Academy of Dermatology designates as "Melanoma Monday," according to an Essentia Health news release.
From Ely to the Twin Cities, people responded on Monday to an act of vandalism with acts of generosity. "This has become a whole lot more than I ever imagined," said David Starkman, co-owner of Ely Flower and Seed. Last fall, Starkman had volunteered his services to plant five flowering crabapple trees as part of a veterans memorial that is being developed at the trailhead of the Trezona Trail, a path that goes around Miners Lake in Ely. The trees, which were budding last week, were donated by a group called Friends of the Trees of Ely.
As a nurse, Heather Miller had talked to patients who had seen themselves approaching a light as they went through near-death experiences. The Iron River woman had no reason to suspect it would happen to her. And then it did. Three times on May 26 of last year, as her colleagues at St. Luke's hospital in Duluth labored furiously to save her life, the unconscious Miller saw herself in darkness, being drawn toward a warm, comforting light. It has changed her perspective, Miller said, on her work, on her family, on life and on life after death.
Even before hospitals in Ely and Grand Marais stopped delivering babies except in emergency circumstances, use of their facilities for obstetrics was declining. Nonetheless, the loss of the services is dismaying to those it affects the most — women who now have to travel from one hour to 2½ hours or more to give birth in a hospital setting. Those were among the findings of a study presented on Friday at the Annette L. Boman Memorial Medical Student Research Symposium on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Docs paid best in Dakotas You're a beginning doctor, and you want to pay off those massive student loan debts as quickly as possible? Head west — but not too far west. In a report issued last week, Medscape found that the state with the highest average pay for physicians in 2017 is North Dakota ($361,000), followed by South Dakota ($354,000) and then Nebraska ($346,000). It's all about supply and demand, according to Medscape. States with the most acute shortages of doctors offer the best pay.
When people suggest to Kevin Rodlund that his job must be depressing, he disagrees. "It's not sad," Rodlund said. "There's a lot of smiles and jokes up here at Solvay." That would be Solvay Hospice House, a homelike building on wooded property in Duluth Heights where residents may be infants or very old, male or female, rich or poor — but all, at least in the opinion of their doctors, are in the very last stages of life. For the past couple of years, Rodlund has been nurse manager at Solvay, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Author David Kessler will be featured speaker at an April 20 event to mark the 10th anniversary of the Solvay Hospice House and the kickoff of a drive to create a $2 million endowment for the facility's patients. Kessler's first book, "The Needs of the Dying," won praise from Mother Teresa, according to his website, and he co-wrote two book with psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who pioneered the concept of the five stages of grief.
Walking advocates gather A six-person team from Duluth is in Georgia this week, for pedestrian purposes. Led by Josh Gorham, a St. Louis County public health nurse, the six are attending the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors' 2017 Walkability Action Institute in Decatur, according to a St. Louis County news release. The focus is on improving the transportation system for those who rely on walking to get around, Gorham said in a news release. It noted that: