Inside your health: More than medicine

Courtney Baechler, MD

Courtney Baechler, MD

[KSTP-TV, February 16, 2015] Traditional Western medicine concentrates on conquering disease.
But sometimes that comes with unpleasant side effects. Courtney Baechler, MD, of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, part of Allina Health, was interviewed about the growing use of integrative therapies to improve the patient’s experience. Watch the story at kstp.com.

Kirby Puckett Eye Mobile gives free exams, glasses to students

[WCCO-TV, Feb. 12, 2015] Optometrists say poor vision can easily affect a student’s performance in school. But if you don’t have insurance, it can be a struggle to pay for an eye exam and prescription glasses.

About 20 St. Paul kids who failed vision screenings at their school last fall got a follow-up exam Thursday with an optometrist.

The doctor came to them, thanks to the Kirby Puckett Eye Mobile. The clinic on wheels is funded by a partnership between the Phillips Eye Institute Foundation, Major League Baseball, the Minnesota Twins and the Pohlad Foundation.



KSTP-TV also covered this story. Watch it here.

Woman surprises doctors with heart healing

[KMSP-TV Fox 9, Feb. 11, 2014] Three years ago, Collette Koskinen was in a hospital bed, barely able to move. Her heart was giving out because of a virus. She was too sick for a transplant. To keep the single mom alive, doctors cut a hole in her heart muscle and installed a mechanical pump so her blood would still circulate.

As the pump worked to keep her alive, her heart became stronger. Doctors said Collette’s heart was strong enough that it should be able to work without the assistance of that little jet engine implanted in her chest.

“In a small group of people we’re finding that the heart recovers and in those individuals we’ll take it out,” said Dr. Benjamin Sun at Allina Health‘s Minneapolis Heart Institute.

Minnesota quad rugby team No. 1 in the country

[KMSP-TV Fox 9, Feb. 11, 2015] Quad rugby is a mixed team sport for both males and females and it combines the elements of rugby, basketball and handball, and of course, a little bit of trash talk.

While the spectator’s mind is racing to keep up in this Steelheads chess game, it’s a physical game, too. Chuck Aoki is the superstar. He was a member of the 2012 Paralympic team and a bronze medalist in wheelchair rugby.

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is their home with open doors and healthy competition. These athletes are No. 1 in the country for a reason, and they have fun doing it.

KMSP-TV

Yoga spreads with wave of ‘complementary medicine’

Sally Wheaton Hushcha, foreground, was among the participants in a yoga class at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in Minneapolis Tuesday. The center offers various movement therapies to help with chronic pain and other ailments.  JEFF WHEELER , Star Tribune

Sally Wheaton Hushcha, foreground, was among the participants in a yoga class at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in Minneapolis Tuesday. The center offers various movement therapies to help with chronic pain and other ailments. JEFF WHEELER , Star Tribune

[Star Tribune, Feb. 11, 2015] The share of Americans practicing therapeutic yoga has nearly doubled in a decade as adults seek ways to reduce stress, alleviate chronic pain and improve their outlook on life — a trend toward “complementary’’ medicine reflected at leading Minnesota clinics and hospitals.

Overall, about a third of U.S. health care consumers reported using complementary therapies in addition to traditional Western medicine during the period 2002-12, according to a federal survey released Tuesday.

The findings came as no surprise to officials at Allina Health in Minneapolis and its Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, which has bought into so-called “integrative therapy” at all of its hospitals and clinics. Read more at Star Tribune online.

Good Question: How big is average now

[WCCO-TV, Feb. 9, 2015] When it comes to just how big an average sized American woman or man is, just what is average? That’s the Good Question posed to Allina Health’s Barb Brower, a nutrionist and dietician at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing.


New technique has stroke patients on the mend

[WCCO-TV, Feb. 9, 2015] Cutting edge technology being used at Abbott Northwestern Hospital could change the treatment for stroke patients.

Doctors use a machine with a catheter and suction to remove the stroke-causing blood clot, essentially like a miniature vacuum.. The recovery time can be much quicker than the traditional procedure of using medication to dissolve a clot.

Few understand the impact of a fast recovery better than Kyle Smith. Two months ago, Smith was being rushed into Abbott Northwestern. A blood clot in his carotid artery caused a massive stroke, paralyzing the right side of his body and his ability to speak.

“I’ll tell you, it’s a life changing experience, for sure,” Smith said. Dr. Yasha Kadkhodayan performed the mechanical thrombectomy.


Hospital tones down alarms to reduce fatigue, enhance safety

Nurse Todd Ostlund is so happy about the Abbott Northwestern alarms project that he e-mailed his thanks to his supervisors.

Nurse Todd Ostlund is so happy about the Abbott Northwestern alarms project that he e-mailed his thanks to his supervisors.
Photo: Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

[Star Tribune, Feb. 9, 2015] After a night shift at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Todd Ostlund would go home and switch off his phone ringer and anything else mimicking the many, many alarms a nurse hears while on duty.

And still, on many nights, he’d be roused from sleep by a “beep, beep, beep” in his dreams. “I’m never having peace,” he said.

Medical device alarms play critical roles in a hospital — to signal trouble with a patient’s vital signs or medical equipment, and to draw caregivers to the bedside in time to help. But too often, alarms have been nuisances.

The resulting problem, known as “alarm fatigue,” can prevent nurses from responding to real patient emergencies, with fatal results.

Now, a study from one of Allina Health’s intensive care units suggests that less, indeed, can be more. Read more at the Star Tribune online.

Family history, not lifestyle, may cause high cholesterol in some kids

[KSTP-TV, Feb. 8, 2015] You’ll find Grayce Limpert at the gym in St. Louis Park several nights a week. She is young and active. You would never be able to tell that this 16-year-old has a cholesterol problem, which is why we are telling you.

Grace has a disease called familial hypercholesterolemia, or FH. FH makes it difficult for her body to remove low-density lipoproteins, or “bad cholesterol,” from her blood.
Most people don’t associate high cholesterol problems with kids, which is why so many FH cases go undetected.

Dr. Thomas Knickelbine of the Minneapolis Heart Institute looks for it. “We need to find your children and get them screened for this disorder, and that doesn’t happen a lot,” Knickelbine said.


Penny George opens in Owatonna Hospital to offer acupuncture, massage therapy

Employees with the Owatonna Hospital and the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism gathered on Friday to celebrate the opening of the Penny George Institute of Health and Healing outpatient clinic at the hospital. The institute offers integrative therapies. (Ashley Stewart/People’s Press)

Employees with the Owatonna Hospital and the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism gathered on Friday to celebrate the opening of the Penny George Institute of Health and Healing outpatient clinic at the hospital. The institute offers integrative therapies. (Ashley Stewart/People’s Press)

[Owatonna People’s Press, Feb. 6, 2015] A different style of care has arrived at Owatonna Hospital, part of Allina Health.

And on Friday morning, hospital employees gathered with Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Ambassadors to celebrate the opening of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing outpatient clinic, located at the hospital.

“We’re excited to bring acupuncture and medical massage therapy to the community,” said Anne Draeger, director of Patient Care at Owatonna Hospital. Read more online at Owatonna People’s Press.