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Health Notes for Jan. 16, 2018

Go outside and play It has been a cold winter so far. But that shouldn't keep you from playing outside, an Essentia Health doctor says. "If you're wondering whether you should get outside this winter, I say go," said Dr. Dan Ostlie, a Fargo, N.D....

Wear cleats or spikes on your shoes — such as Yaktrax — to reduce the risk of falls on the ice. yaktrax.implus.com
Wear cleats or spikes on your shoes — such as Yaktrax — to reduce the risk of falls on the ice. yaktrax.implus.com

Go outside and play

It has been a cold winter so far. But that shouldn't keep you from playing outside, an Essentia Health doctor says.

"If you're wondering whether you should get outside this winter, I say go," said Dr. Dan Ostlie, a Fargo, N.D.-based orthopedic and sports medicine specialist, in an Essentia news release.

"If you wear the appropriate gear, you can enjoy the outdoors and stay fairly warm at the same time."

Ostlie's tips:

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• Wear appropriate layers: a light, thermal layer close to your body; an intermediate layer of fleece; and an outer shell.

• Wear a face mask, hat, warm socks and gloves.

• Wear cleats or spikes on your shoes - such as Yaktrax - to reduce the risk of falls on the ice.

• Before exercising outside, warm up indoors. A few jumping jacks or push-ups will start your run or walk with a little more energy and warmth.

Docs make the economy feel better

Doctors are good for the economy.

So says the organization representing Minnesota's physicians.

Doctors create more than 171,000 jobs and generate $30.5 billion in economic activity in the state, according to "The Economic Impact of Physicians in Minnesota," a report released last week by the Minnesota Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

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Minnesota has more than 13,400 active patient-care docs, and their work produces a ripple effect for the economy, according to an MMA news release citing the study.

In addition to jobs and economic activity, Minnesota physicians generate $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenue, it said.

Health info in 'near real-time'

Crucial health information will be available for treating Carlton County patients in critical care thanks to a new health care notification system, according to a news release from Integrity Health Network.

A consortium of health providers, Integrity was awarded three grants from the Minnesota Department of Health to develop a Health Information Exchange for the Carlton County Collaborative. The latter consists of 10 organizations, including Integrity, as well as hospitals, primary care, public health, long-term care, behavioral health, Indian Health Services and social services.

Given patient consent, it allows "near real-time" electronic information to be sent to a patient's primary care provider or other health care service when the patient seeks critical care, according to the news release.

Carlton County is one of the first rural counties in the state to develop such a system of communication among health providers, said Melissa Larson, vice president of operations for Integrity.

The doctor will text you now

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Essentia Health is offering an online diagnosis and treatment service to allow patients to access care via their smartphones, tablets or computers.

It's called Essentia E-Visit, according to an Essentia news release. After logging on, patients complete a brief online interview, answer questions about their symptoms and provide health history information.

An Essentia doctor or advanced practitioner will review the information and respond with a diagnosis and treatment plan within an hour, 24 hours a day. It's good for more than 20 health conditions, including colds and flu, pinkeye, bladder infections and minor skin conditions.

The service is available in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota for a set fee of $30 payable by credit, debit or health savings card.

Workshop leaders sought

The Arrowhead Area Agency of Aging is looking for professionals or volunteers to lead workshops in the seven-county region on living with chronic conditions and on chronic pain.

The requirement: a four-day classroom training for "Living Well With Chronic Conditions" with an optional two-day cross training on the "Chronic Pain" course.

The next four-day class will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 22, 23, 26 and 27 in Duluth, and the next two-day cross training will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 28 and March 1 in Grand Rapids.

The deadline for leadership training registration is Feb. 16 and is limited to 16 potential leaders. The cost is $200 for chronic conditions training and $100 for chronic pain cross training. Limited scholarships are available upon request.

For more information or to register, visit yourjuniper.org or contact Georgia Lane, (218) 529-7525 or glane@ardc.org .

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