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Vaccines touted at the fair

The Minnesota Department of Health might not be able to compete with tater tot hotdish on a stick, but it has a presence of its own at the Minnesota State Fair.

The health department's booth will offer a variety of games with the purpose of letting fairgoers know they need vaccines throughout their lives, the health department announced in a news release.

"Our need for vaccines never ends," said Kristen Ehresmann, infectious disease director for the health department. "We hope the booth will show people how vaccines work to help protect you, your family and your community from deadly disease."

The health department's booth is in the Education Building, just north of Dan Patch Avenue on Cosgrove Street. It's open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the fair, which ends on Labor Day.

Halfway point for inaugural class

The first class in the physician assistant studies program at The College of St. Scholastica will have their white coat ceremony today.

The 28 students started the program last fall, and they have reached the halfway point in their studies, a St. Scholastica news release said.

A physician assistant is a medical professional who works under the supervision of a doctor. In Minnesota, physician assistants are authorized to prescribe medications.

Physician assistants trained at St. Scholastica are expected to fill health care staffing needs in Minnesota and Wisconsin, particularly in rural communities, the news release said.

The ceremony will be at 5 p.m. in Mitchell Auditorium on the Scholastica campus and will be followed by a reception for family, friends and community supporters.

Teal is the deal for fundraisers

Raising money for ovarian cancer research is the purpose of two events on the weekend of Sept. 8 and 9, the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance announced.

• The Light Duluth Teal Gala will take place at 6 p.m. that Saturday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Attendees will have a view of the Aerial Lift Bridge lit in teal, which is the color signifying ovarian cancer. KBJR-TV anchor Jennifer Austin will serve as emcee. Tickets are $75 per person. A table for eight can be sponsored for $1,000.

• The Elizabeth Busche Scramble for Ovarian Cancer will take place that Sunday at Enger Park Golf Course. Registration is $75 per person, and includes 18 holes of golf, cart and dinner. The shotgun start takes place at 11 a.m.

Learn more or register for either event at mnovarian.org or call the alliance office at (612) 822-0500.

Specialist adds element to stroke care

When it's too late for "clot-busting" medication, Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth has another option for stroke victims, the health system reports.

Dr. Vikram JadhavDr. Vikram Jadhav is a neuro-interventionalist who can perform a "stroke thrombectomy," according to an Essentia news release. The procedure involves inserting a small catheter through the leg or arm artery to reach the brain artery where the clot can be captured and pulled out, Jadhav explained.

The medication only can be used within four and one-half hours of the onset of a stroke, according to the news release. A thrombectomy can be provided up to eight hours after onset, and recent clinical trials suggest t can be used up to 24 hours after onset in some cases, Jadhav said.

St. Mary's is a Primary Stroke Center, a designation from the Minnesota Department of Health, according to the news release.

Autism workshop for parents

A free workshop for parents on the topic of "Autism 101: Introduction to Effective Strategies and Resources" will be offered from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays for six weeks beginning Sept. 11 at the Scottish Rite Clinic, 24 W. Second St. To learn more, call (218) 720-3911 or email Maggie Becker at maggie@scottishriteclinicduluth.org. Free child care is available by request.

Honor at St. Luke's

The St. Luke's Regional Tauma Center has been re-verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons. Learn more at www.slhduluth.com/trauma.