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‘Safety net’ health care changing lives in south Minneapolis

The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is known nationally for great health care.

But when it comes to health disparities, Minnesota still has some growing to do. Minnesota ranked 15th nationally in health equity in The Commonwealth Fund’s latest 2014 State Scorecard.

So, Health Talk is taking a moment out, in tandem with National Health Center Week, to shine a light on one of the University of Minnesota’s own affordable and accessible health care providers. Located in south Minneapolis, the U of M Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC) is on the frontline of public health care. Their work reduces health disparities, improves lives and saves costs by encouraging regular health care visits for patients, thus providing preventative care and fewer hospital and emergency room visits.

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E. coli in our lakes: What does it really mean?

Image courtesy Death to the Stock Photo

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the personal blog of University of Minnesota associate professor of biosciences Timothy Johnson, Ph.D.
Johnson’s research at the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine includes investigations into antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens, microbial communities in the animal gastrointestinal tract, and multidrug resistance of E. coli and Salmonella in both humans and animals.

If you follow the local news, or have children that love swimming, you have probably noticed an increasing number of beaches in Minnesota closed recently due to high E. coli levels. Just in Minneapolis, Lake Hiawatha Beach and Lake Calhoun’s Thomas and 32nd Street beaches were recently closed in response to high E. coli counts in the water. The simple phrase “E. coli” strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who has ever experienced gastrointestinal distress. However, it is important to understand what E. coli actually is and what “high E. coli levels” actually means to our lakes.

What is E. coliE. coli stands for Escherichia coli. This is the formal name for a species of bacteria in honor of the German-Austrian physician Theodor Escherich, who first identified the bacteria associated with digestion in infants. Here are the important take-home messages about E. coli:

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In The News: Innovative U of M clinical trial offers hope for rare skin disease

Children with epidermolysis bullosa (EB) face large life challenges from the get-go. The genetic disorder leaves skin extremely fragile and with visible rashes and painful blisters. According to an NBC News report, approximately 25,000 to 50,000 Americans, mostly children, live with EB and people who don’t receive treatment often die by the age of 30.

But a clinical trial led by Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., professor and pediatric blood and marrow transplant physician at the University of Minnesota Medical School, may help improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with EB.

“This is one of the most difficult to treat disorders and a very painful disorder,” Tolar said in the NBC News report. “Before we started, there was absolutely nothing that would change the outcome of these children.”

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Research Snapshot: Media coverage of Affordable Care Act implementation varied by region

The legend of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox came to life in Minnesota last year, with MNsure advertisements featuring the mythical duo in a campaign titled, “The Land of 10,000 Reasons to get Health Insurance.”

Nine million dollars were spent on the Minnesota advertisements, which popped up on every medium from billboards to television. While some parts of the country experienced advertising and media coverage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) taking effect similar to Minnesota’s, other regions of the United States saw much more or much less coverage according to new research led by Sarah Gollust, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

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In the News: Getting your baby to sleep through the night

One of the trickiest parts of parenthood, especially new parents, is getting your baby to sleep through the night. Not only is it important for your little one to get the sleep they need, it’s important for parents to get enough rest so you can continue to care for your new addition.

University of Minnesota neurologist, sleep expert, and father of three, Michael Howell, M.D., combined personal experience and years of research to develop a five step process to keep babies sleeping throughout the night.

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University of Minnesota research finds ACA insurance expansions reduce health care spending burdens for young adults

A new study published today in the August issue of the journal Health Affairs by Ezra Golberstein, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in collaboration with Susan Busch, Ph.D., of Yale University and Ellen Meara, Ph.D., of Dartmouth College, found the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they turn 26, was associated with significant reductions in the likelihood that young adults had to pay high out-of-pocket costs for health care.

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