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Health Notes for March 27, 2018

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. The impetus for the drive came from Sheryl Homan, a Cloquet woman...

Essentia Health-Grand Rapids Clinic offers primary care services to residents of Grand Rapids and surrounding communities. essentiahealth.org
Essentia Health-Grand Rapids Clinic offers primary care services to residents of Grand Rapids and surrounding communities. essentiahealth.org

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.

The impetus for the drive came from Sheryl Homan, a Cloquet woman whose 9-month-old granddaughter Henley in Dickinson, N.D., was diagnosed with a rare congenital disorder called Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome. Doctors said a bone marrow donor was needed to help save Henley's life. Fortunately, a donor was found through the International Bone Marrow Registry, and Henley will receive a stem cell transplant in May.

But Henley's mother, Jess Homan Johnson, knows that matches haven't been found for many patients, especially those who are mixed races. "I know there are matches out there," Johnson told the Dickinson Press. "They just weren't found in time to get on the registry."

The registration process takes only a few minutes and requires taking a cheek swab to provide tissue samples. People from ages 18-44 are sought.

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Those who cannot swab in person can join online at www.Join.BeTheMatch.org/FDLTCC .

Johnson, who also is the mother of 2½-year-old twin girls, studied law enforcement at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and was a Fargo, N.D., police officer for more than a decade.

Hunting, fishing and donating organs

More than one out of every three Minnesotans who purchased hunting and fishing licenses online over the past year also registered to potentially donate their organs, eyes and tissues when they die.

LifeSource, a nonprofit donor organization, reported in a news release last week that 32,350 people registered from March 1 of last year, when the system went online, through Feb. 28 of this year. That amounted to 34 percent of those who purchased licenses online during that time.

The registration system is a collaboration between LifeSource and the Department of Natural Resources. Minnesota is the first state in the country to offer online donor registration for hunters and anglers, according to LifeSource CEO Susan Gunderson. The Minnesota Legislature in 2016 passed a law enabling the state to offer the option.

Overall, more than 2.5 million Minnesotans are registered as donors.

Grand Rapids clinic expanded

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After a $14 million expansion, the renovated Essentia Health-Grand Rapids Clinic is almost ready to open, the health system announced.

The new clinic space, adjacent to the existing clinic at 1542 Golf Course Road, will open April 9, according to an Essentia news release.

The renovation brings the number of exam rooms to 25, up from the original six. Once the new section opens, the existing clinic space will be remodeled and then reopen for patients in early June.

New specialty services will be offered, including cardiology, podiatry and orthopedics.

An open house will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. June 19 at the clinic.

Help with Medicare offered

New to Medicare? A presentation on Medicare Parts A through D, Medicare insurance options, supplemental insurance and related topics will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on April 5 at the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, 221 W. First St.

To register and learn more, call the Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433.

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