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DULUTH — Disparities in health outcomes between Minnesota's "haves" and "have-nots" takes a $2.26 billion yearly toll on the state's economy, contends a leading health insurer. Although the state prides itself in being one of the leaders in national health statistics, people of color and low-income residents are left behind, said Janelle Waldock of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, which commissioned "The Cost of Health Inequities in Minnesota."
DULUTH—Tyesha Nelson isn't down on medical marijuana, even though it didn't help her with her intractable pain. The 31-year Duluth woman "was placing all my bets on the medical marijuana" to relieve the pain from the rheumatoid arthritis with which she had been diagnosed at age 23, she said on Wednesday, Feb. 28. She had a dose in August 2016, soon after intractable pain was added as an approved condition for treatment with medical cannabis in Minnesota. Not only did it fail to relieve her pain, Nelson said, it "gave me the worst anxiety I ever experienced in my life."
DULUTH -- U.S. Rep Rick Nolan is retiring at the end of the current term, he announced Friday, Feb. 9. Minnesota's 8th District representative in Congress served three terms and had previously served from another district. "With deep appreciation and thanks for allowing me to represent you in the Congress of the United States, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election, and will retire at the end of the current term," Nolan said in a statement.
Recovering opioid addicts will have greater access to a maintenance drug, especially in rural areas, under a measure announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23, by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, a Minnesota expert on addictions said. The new regulation gives nurse practitioners and physician assistants the ability to seek waivers giving them authority to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine, a drug used to help people quit or reduce use of opiates, such as heroin.
SANDSTONE, Minn. — A group of Pine County residents who successfully fought to change state law affecting Medicaid payments and their estates now is trying to do the same thing in Washington. "It needs to be removed at the federal level because it can come back to haunt us at any time, really," said Julie Gelle of Sandstone.
DULUTH, Minn.—The flu bug has bitten Minnesota's nursing care residents particularly hard this winter, a state health official said. "We've seen a record number of outbreaks," said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease epidemiology, prevention and control for the Minnesota Department of Health, in an interview on Thursday, Jan. 18. "Our long-term care facility outbreaks are way up."
Nurse practitioner students at the College of St. Scholastica will have more opportunities to train in rural communities, thanks to a $1.4 million federal grant. "Our ultimate goal, of course, is to reduce the health disparities of those who are living in rural areas, or underserved areas," said Julie Anderson, dean of St. Scholastica's School of Nursing. The two-year grant, announced last week, is from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that focuses on underserved areas.
DULUTH, Minn. — It was last June, and Suzanne Keithley-Myers was driving back to her family's Duluth Township home after mushroom hunting in the Aurora area. As she drove, she spotted a few ticks on her body, and she reacted as any Northlander would. "Driving home, pulling ticks off, chucking them out the window," said Keithley-Myers, 40, earlier this month in the woodsy home she shares with her husband, Billy, their three school-age children and their two dogs.
DULUTH, Minn.—When people suggest to Kevin Rodlund that his job must be depressing, he disagrees. "It's not sad," Rodlund said. "There's a lot of smiles and jokes up here at Solvay." That would be Solvay Hospice House, a homelike building on wooded property in Duluth Heights where residents may be infants or very old, male or female, rich or poor — but all, at least in the opinion of their doctors, are in the very last stages of life. For the past couple of years, Rodlund has been nurse manager at Solvay, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
By John Lundy/Duluth News Tribune The most famous pair of missing slippers in the world still are missing. But a diver found an intriguing potential clue in an Itasca County mine pit. Last week, Itasca County Sheriff's Office volunteer divers looked for the ruby slippers that were worn by Grand Rapids native Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" and were infamously stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids almost a decade ago.