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DULUTH — Deb Krause has two words for the results of mental health care in Minnesota: “They’re horrible.” Krause is vice president of the Minnesota Health Action Group, which was formed by some of the state’s major employers to improve health care in the state and help their bottom lines. “It’s very practical because they spend millions of dollars on benefits,” Krause said. “They’re not satisfied with the status quo.”
DULUTH — If you’re older than 50 and you’ve ever had the chickenpox, the good news is that the latest vaccine against shingles is very effective. The bad news is that you’ll probably have to wait to get it. “We need to plan (for shortages) throughout 2019,” said Gina Lemke, director of pharmacy at St. Luke’s.
DULUTH — Already in a relationship, the University of Minnesota Medical School and Fairview Health Services solidified their partnership Friday, Sept. 28. The two institutions had been having a spat, with the university's Board of Regents voting last year not to renew their "M Health" agreement with Fairview, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported in May. They had been operating under temporary extensions of a 2013 agreement. But all was hunky-dory between the two on Friday as they announced a partnership under the name M Health Fairview, with a contract to begin Jan. 1.
DULUTH — When he was 13 months old, Keenan Oswald's mom gave him a taste of a new treat: peanut butter toast. "He stuck it on his tongue, spit it out, and then his head just swelled up with hives all over," said his mom, Alanna Oswald. A doctor told the Oswalds, who live in West Duluth, to keep their son away from peanut butter. A couple of years later Keenan was diagnosed with asthma and a severe peanut allergy.
ST. PAUL—A lawsuit against Essentia Health over denied coverage for gender reassignment treatment in 2015 has been allowed to proceed. Senior U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank on Thursday, Sept. 20, issued a mixed ruling in the case of Brittany Tovar and Reid Olson v. Essentia Health and HealthPartners. He partially granted insurer HealthPartners' move to dismiss the complaint but denied Essentia's motion.
DULUTH, Minn.—The victim of a fatal shooting in downtown Duluth early Saturday was "a big teddy bear" who "could talk to anybody," friends said. Scott Allen Pennington, 31, died on Saturday morning following the shooting that was reported just before 1 a.m., Duluth police said. Jamal Tyshawn Jackson, 25, was booked into the St. Louis County Jail on Monday afternoon on suspicion of second-degree murder related to Pennington's death.
ESKO, Minn. — Ron Buerkle might not remember what you told him a minute ago. But the 76-year-old Esko man remembers, with poignant clarity, how he and his wife, Deb, reacted more than seven years ago when they learned that he had Alzheimer's disease. "In Mayo," he said, referring to the world-famous Rochester clinic, as he stood up and demonstrated his words in the sitting room of the couple's home. "I went and grabbed her like that (holding his arms in a circle). And we both just cried and cried. And it was awful."
DULUTH, Minn. — Four nurses at a Duluth assisted living facility neglected a resident when they failed to perform CPR after the resident was found unresponsive, a state agency has found. The resident at Chris Jensen Health and Rehab Center died, according to a report by the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Health Facility complaints. The date of death is not listed in the report by special investigator Peggy Boeck, which the agency posted online Tuesday. The investigation concluded July 31 after site visits on June 12-13.
HIBBING, Minn. — Amelia Weaver, the Hibbing girl whose fight with a rare form of epilepsy led her parents to the center of the campaign for medical marijuana in Minnesota, died Thursday, Aug. 16. She was 12. "Warrior Amelia, after a lifelong battle with Scn2a, passed away today," parents Josh and Angie Weaver posted on their "Fighting for Amelia" Facebook page. "We did not take one single moment with our Amelia for granted. It was the greatest privilege of our (lives) to be Amelia's parents. There are no seizures in Heaven sweet girl."
DULUTH—Imagine going to your favorite restaurant, ordering a meal and then being asked to pay twice as much as your friend paid for the same meal. That might be unthinkable, but such price differences happen routinely with regard to surgical procedures at Minnesota hospitals, according to a report released on Thursday, Aug. 9, by the Minnesota Department of Health. Actually, it's more extreme than that. A patient undergoing one of four hospital procedures may pay between two to nearly seven times as much as another patient at the same hospital, according to the report.