After ‘death panel’ nonsense, Medicare adopts improved hospice policy

Allina_Hospice_Caregiver_Guide (2)[Star Tribune, August 30, 2015] Norman Mossberg of Coon Rapids was a loving husband and father. Still, the Vietnam combat veteran and retired bricklayer grew up at a time when men were taught to be taciturn. That makes one of his last gifts to his family, and to his fellow Minnesotans, even more extraordinary.

Months before he died in 2012 from pulmonary fibrosis, Mossberg, 65, opened his home to a camera crew to share his experience with hospice care. The resulting video, now on the Allina Health Hospice’s website, movingly shows how this type of medical care for the terminally ill focuses on quality of days left, not just the quantity. Read the rest of the editorial at

Allina launches program to recruit diverse EMT candidates in Mpls.

[KSTP-TV, Aug. 28, 2015] Creating jobs and saving lives for and with people of diverse ethnicities—Allina Health EMS partnered with St. Paul Fire to do so last year.

Now, Allina is kicking off a first-of-its-kind Emergency Medical Technician training in Minneapolis, called Allina Health EMS Freedom House EMT Academy.

Allina psychologist reacts to killing of Virginia journalists

[WCCO-TV, Aug. 26, 2015] The bizarre on-air murder of a television news reporter and photographer in Roanoke, Virginia has left people around the country in shock.

Allina Health Clinics psychologist Dr. Cheryl Bemel says events of this magnitude are “a shock to our mind and body.”

“When those feelings come up, whether it’s a feeling in the gut or the mind or emotions to, instead of fighting those just allow them to happen,” Bemel said. “That’s how we process trauma.”

Bemel admits even she got chills when she heard about the killings of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, adding that the gunman’s actions go far beyond being a disgruntled worker.

Also see Dr. Bemel interviewed on the shootings at KARE 11.

Swim at your own risk as Minnesota lakes turn green

Star Tribune photo illustration

Star Tribune photo illustration

[Star Tribune, August 26, 2015] Beware, swimmers. Something may be lurking in the water, waiting to strike. Cue the “Jaws” music.

Unlike the predator from the granddaddy of all shark dramas, this menace to swimmers has no fins. In fact, it can’t even be seen. Worse, it takes many forms — parasite, bacteria or virus — and can make you really sick.

Dr. David Romans, an emergency physician at Unity Hospital in Fridley, was interviewed for this story. Read it at

You can’t out-exercise a poor diet according to report

[KARE 11, Aug. 25, 2015] Exercise vs. diet- the debate over which is more important has been going on for years.

But now, new research adds to a body of evidence that finds no matter how much you hit the gym, you can’t out-exercise a poor diet, at least when it comes to your heart health.

Dr. David Hurrell from the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern joined KARE 11 News @4 to talk more about the study and how what we eat impacts our heart.

Study shows how palliative care can improve life for heart failure patients

heart in hands[MedicalXpress, August 25, 2015] A recent randomized trial conducted by researchers at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, part of Allina Health, found that inpatient palliative care (PC) visits were associated with improved quality of life and symptom burden for patients with heart failure (HF).

Because of these results, Abbott Northwestern conducted a new study, “A Description of Inpatient Palliative Care Actions for Patients with Acute Heart Failure,” published June 30 by the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The study aimed to identify and describe what actions PC providers took to create positive outcomes among study patients in the trial.


Baby Wearing grows in the Twin Cities

[WCCO-TV, Aug. 24, 2015] If you haven’t done it yourself, there’s a huge chance you’ve seen someone else doing it at the zoo, the grocery store or a restaurant. It’s called babywearing. It can look like a frontal swaddle or a structured backpack. Just like with other clothing, the options are endless. Some wraps are woven, and some are structured carriers.

You may be wondering whether too much closeness could be a bad thing. Dr. Eric Barth, pediatrician at the Allina Health Ramsey Clinic approves. “It is a way of keeping the babies close so you can have that bonding, which is so important.”

Vision quest: a simple initiative by the Phillips Institute is making a big difference for public school kids

[MinnPost, August 21, 2015] A few years back Dr. Irving Shapiro asked his good friend Peter Heegard to go for a walk. Heegard is an author and retired investment banker with a toe in pretty much every civic initiative a person could name. The founder of the Phillips Eye Institute, Shapiro wanted to show him the affordable housing built with the help of the hospital’s charitable arm.

While they walked, Shapiro picked Heegard’s brain. With the housing project done, the institute’s foundation was considering new initiatives. Read the rest of the story at

ReWalk machine helps paralyzed patients walk again

[Star Tribune & Fox 9 News, August 22, 2015] Isaac Schreurs races sprint cars and likes to downhill ski. “Not even scared” is his personal motto.

This week, the 24-year-old walked down a long hospital corridor in Minneapolis as his mom and girlfriend cheered him on. A TV crew captured the event. Afterward, Schreurs described the experience as exhausting and overwhelming.

Read the story at Watch the the Fox 9 story below.

Allina Health cancer specialist talks about melanoma treatment

[KMSP-TV, August 20, 2015] Former President Jimmy Carter held a news conference today to say he has cancer in the brain. It’s actually melanoma which is a skin cancer but it can spread inside the body quickly. Tim Blotz talked to Thomas Amatruda, MD, of Minnesota Oncology and Allina Health, who says the treatment for this kind of cancer has gotten a lot better. Here’s the story from