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expert-perspectives

Game Changer: Gabe Loor

April is National Donate Life Month, which urges Americans to become organ donors and potentially play a part in saving a life. Gabe Loor, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at University of Minnesota Medical School, is a key cog in improving the transplantation process by helping to develop more effective surgical methods.

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news-and-notes

U of M pediatrician wins prestigious research award

Elizabeth Swanson, D.O., a Fellow within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, was awarded the David G. Nathan Award in Basic Research by the Society of Pediatric Research.

The annual award is given to one abstract out of thousands of submissions.

Swanson’s research focused on cytomegalovirus (CMV), the most common infectious disease causing birth defects and disabilities in the US…

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education

Preventing medical miscommunication means fewer medical errors

For a patient about to undergo surgery, a medical error is just about the last thing someone would want to worry about.

Upwards of 100,000 deaths occur in the United States each year because of medical mistakes. One of the biggest factors contributing to the problem is miscommunication or lack of communication between multiple health care professionals.

To address the problem, University of Minnesota health professional education programs are embracing the age-old mantra of learning to work together in class and competition.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M study: U.S. rates of uninsured kids on the decline

A new report compiled by the University of Minnesota’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) shows the percentage of U.S. children who lack health insurance fell to 7.5 percent in 2012, the most recent year of data available. The percentage of uninsured children nationwide dropped from 9.7 percent in 2008.

The report also shows significant gains in coverage among children who historically have been most likely to be uninsured —including non-white and Hispanic children and kids in low-income families.

The report was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and appears on the SHADAC site.

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u-of-m-voices

Dental Therapy: Filling the gaps in dental disparities

Photo courtesy University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

The next time you’re in a dental office, there’s a chance your clinician might say, “Hi, I’m the dental therapist who will be working with you today.” More of these providers are entering the market each year thanks to innovative programs like the one found at the University of Minnesota. As a result, more and more Minnesotans are getting exposed to dental therapists.

But some patients still have questions around what a dental therapist actually is and the type of work they’re licensed to perform. Here’s some quick background.

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expert-perspectives

Health Talk Recommends: Assessing the ACA’s impact on pregnant inmates

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Jorgensen via flickr

Pregnancy can be hard in the best of circumstances. For a pregnant inmate, incarceration opens up a whole new set of challenges faced only by expectant mothers behind bars.

To coincide with the March issue of Health Affairs, which focuses on issues related to incarceration and health, University of Minnesota researchers Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D. of the School of Public Health and Rebecca Shlafer, Ph.D. of the Medical School wrote about what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will mean for the 6-10 percent of female prisoners who are pregnant during their incarceration.

“Currently, pregnant inmates have increased rates of complicated and preterm deliveries, and mothers and their babies have more risk factors and worse birth outcomes than similar women who are not incarcerated,” said Kozhimannil.

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