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According to the Cystinosis Research Foundation, cystinosis is a metabolic disease in which an amino acid called cystine gets into cells but has no transporter out. The trapped cystine forms crystals that destroy the cells, and that goes on to slowly destroy the body's organs, including kidneys, liver, eyes, muscles and the brain.
Identical twins Jana and Sara Healy share more than petite builds, reddish-blond hair, a love of artistic expression and careers as cooks. The 33-year-old sisters also share an organ-destroying disease that they have in common with only about 500 people in the United States. It's a lonely thing to share.
For decades, three Lutheran churches stood within four blocks of each other on Third Street in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood, each with its own heritage. Bethany Lutheran, at 23rd Avenue West, was the Swedish church; Zion Lutheran, at 25th Avenue West, was the Norwegian church; Holy Trinity, at 27th Avenue West, was the "English" church, an offshoot from Bethany that formed from congregants who wanted to worship in the English language when Bethany was still Swedish-speaking. But changes came to the neighborhood.
A chemical dependency treatment program in Duluth is appealing the decision of a state agency to place its license on conditional status, the program's director said on Friday. The request for reconsideration means the state's order is stayed and Duluth Bethel Chemical Dependency Service can continue to operate without restrictions, said Dennis Cummings, the program's director, who added he would reserve any additional comment until the appeal runs its course.
Rural Minnesotans who have cancer could get groundbreaking treatment closer to home if a proposal before the Minnesota Legislature becomes law. So says Dr. Brooks Jackson, dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School, who was in Duluth on Thursday to participate in a presentation on rural and Native American health care to the U of M's Board of Regents, whose monthly meeting is underway at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
As an advocate for rural health care, Kristin Wharton could hardly live a more rural existence herself. "We're off the grid," said Wharton, 38, who lives with her husband and three children on a vegetable farm 17 miles northeast of Grand Marais. "We don't have broadband. We don't even have plumbing." Wharton, a registered nurse at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais, is impassioned about health care for rural areas, something she partly traces to two years ago when the board of Cook County North Shore Hospital voted to discontinue obstetrics.
There's flu, and then there's man flu. Whether mythology or scientific truth, there are those who believe flu hits men harder than it hits women. What you think of that idea may depend on whether you're male or female. "When I get sick, I don't deal with it well," acknowledged Dr. Kevin Stephan. "And I want to go to bed and I want to be taken care of. And my wife's like, 'You know what? When we had kids at home, I had to power on.' "If she heard the phrase (man flu), she'd probably roll her eyes and say 'Men are big babies.' "
We're No. 2! Minnesota slipped behind Vermont in the Commonwealth Fund's annual scorecard of "state health system performances," released last week. Vermont and Minnesota were followed by Hawaii, Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the rankings, which combine performance in a wide variety of criteria, such as premature death rates, childhood vaccination and adults who smoke. A year ago, Minnesota ranked first and Vermont second. Wisconsin rose from 13th to 11th in this year's scorecard.
The worst of the 2016-17 flu season could be over. "There's finally been a turn, and it seems like we hit the peak and we're on our way down," said Dr. Kevin Stephan, an infectious disease specialist at Essentia Health. The Minnesota Department of Health's weekly influenza and respiratory illness report, most recently released last Thursday and covering the week ending March 11, showed a significant drop in the number of people hospitalized for the flu for the third straight week, with a total of 90. The season's highest numbers occurred in about the middle of February.
A move to connect Minnesota to the federal health exchange would cost the state millions of dollars and jeopardize health coverage for Minnesotans, state Rep. Jennifer Schultz said on Friday. "We had consultants come in and estimate the cost of going to the federal exchange," Schultz said of a bipartisan panel on the idea of abandoning the state's version of the exchange, which is known as MNsure. "It was going to cost the state more than $5 million a year."