Academic Health Center
Stay Connected
news-and-notes

A Retrospective: 75 Years of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota

Since 1937, neurosurgery has been an integral part of the University of Minnesota. In that year, William Peyton, M.D., was appointed head of the division, launching a line of effective and accomplished leaders that would carry the division forward.

Over the span of 75 years, the Department of Neurosurgery was established within the Medical School and continued to make a name for itself as an incubator for innovation and the most advanced patient care options available.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: People of color still drastically underrepresented in NIH clinical trials

New numbers from the Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT) consortium show less than five percent of National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial participants are non-white and less than two percent of clinical cancer research trials focus on non-white ethnic or racial groups.

Author and principal investigator Jasjit Ahluwalia, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of medicine in the University of Minnesota of Medical School, expressed his displeasure with the results.

“These new findings highlight the continued disparities in the enrollment of ethnic minorities into clinical trials,” said Ahluwalia.  “Scientists, patients and communities must work together to ensure a reversal, to achieve our goal of health equity.”

Read more
patient-care

U of M’s health care “big data” push to produce better patient care, research

If you’ve followed health reform efforts, you know that every policy debate and system change center around one set of objectives: better outcomes at lower costs with improved patient experiences. The “triple aim” of health care.

But often overlooked in the reform discussion is the question of just how we’ll assess the impact of system changes. How will we know what we’re doing is working? The answer, quite simply, lies in unprecedented access to data.

Through an intensive focus on data and health informatics, the University of Minnesota is front and center in shaping how data is leveraged within research and clinical care. The University has long maintained a robust health informatics program and has also made substantial investments in technology to position itself as a leader in both data collection and analysis.

Our friend and colleague Kevin Coss, from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), recently highlighted a variety of University informatics efforts in a piece for the OVPR blog Research @ the U of M. Within, Kevin quotes Dr. Genevieve Melton-Meaux of the U’s Institute for Health Informatics and the chief medical information officer for University of Minnesota Physicians, who said that the “repository and analysis of the large amounts of clinical data will help with clinical research discovery and help forecast what kind of care patients will need, which in turn improves the patient’s treatment.”

We encourage Health Talk readers to visit Kevin’s profile of University efforts within the field of health informatics. His piece can be viewed in its entirety here.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more