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Dental Therapy: Good news for Minnesota safety net clinics

photo courtesy m01229 via Flickr

Dental therapy, the newest oral healthcare profession in Minnesota, has firm roots in the state’s safety net clinics, found new research from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

Findings from the study indicate dental therapists are being used in innovative and diverse ways, allowing the dental therapy profession to continue to evolve in the way it addresses specific oral health care needs.

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U of M research: Early elective deliveries make up nearly 4 percent of U.S. births

Photo courtesy Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa via Flickr

While the past several years have seen a decline in the rate of elective labor inductions and cesarean deliveries between 37 and 39 weeks gestation, early elective births are still happening nation-wide. Labor induction or cesarean delivery without medical reason before a baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks, or an “early elective delivery,” is associated with health problems for mothers and babies.

New University of Minnesota research published in this month’s edition of the journal Medical Care is the first of its kind to show who is having early elective deliveries, and whether these deliveries happen following labor induction or cesarean.

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U of M graduates first cohort of Saudi Arabia MHA students

2014 Saudi Arabia MHA cohort

A unique cohort of 25 Executive Master of Health Administration (MHA) students graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health having never before stepped foot in Minnesota, and having taken all of their classes while living in Saudi Arabia.

Similar to many students of the stateside MHA program, students of the Saudi Arabian program were all full-time professionals who completed a University of Minnesota MHA degree in 25 months.

The Saudi Arabia Executive MHA program launched at the King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh, Saudi in 2012. The program was the first of its kind available in Saudi Arabia and attracted healthcare professionals who wished to further grow their careers.

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Industrial Hygiene: How to protect workers from everyday hazards

Imagine putting up drywall without wearing a mask to filter out the dust, or cleaning up an oil spill without a full bodysuit to protect you. Sound crazy? As commonplace as health and safety practices are today, industrial hygiene regulations aren’t accidental.

The people responsible for worker health and safety regulations are industrial hygienists. At the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Sciences, researchers like professor Gurumurthy Ramachandran, Ph.D., work to recognize, evaluate and control potential workplace hazards, including chemical, physical and biological agents. They also work to analyze the potential health threats to the community and the environment.

“The types of research that we conduct range from assessing chemical hazards in the workplace, to physical hazards such as noise, to biological hazards such as mold, bacteria and viruses,” said Ramachandran. “In our research we assess the exposures to workers in various situations such as mining, or the clean up efforts relating to the BP oil spill, test how well filters work, see how to reduce coal dust in mines and assess the smoke exposure of firefighters.”

Using mathematical equations, environmental monitoring and analytical methods to detect the extent of worker exposure, Ramachandran and his colleagues can assess and control potential health hazards.

“You can’t just tell every kind of worker to wear a protective mask and expect positive outcomes, because all working conditions are different,” said Ramachandran. “Each situation is different and calls for different protocols to ensure worker safety.”

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Food safety tips for traveling

Headed to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Already thinking about the tantalizing smells of colorful and delicious new foods? For some people, food is the reason to travel. But while the mouthwatering smell of new and exotic treats may call out to travelers’ taste buds, their stomachs may not always be up for the adventure.

It’s a common misconception that food abroad isn’t as “safe” as food at home. While true for some things, more often than not eating food abroad can cause illness because no matter how healthy you are, you haven’t developed defenses against all bacteria — especially bacteria foreign to you. Something as seemingly harmless as a piece of melon can wreak havoc on a person’s system if not properly prepared.

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U of M health sciences researchers achieve greatness every day

Every day, more than 1,500 amazing men and women help grow the health sciences programs at the University of Minnesota. These are the faculty of the six schools and colleges that make up the Academic Health Center (AHC), and each has a story to tell.

Through a new video series titled “Every Day,” the AHC is taking viewers inside the lives of our faculty. Just like middle school teachers with a life outside the classroom, our researchers and physicians live exciting lives outside their daily work at the university. Rather than simply profiling their research or clinical specialties, we focus instead on what drives them to make the world a better place.

In this video series, our experts leave their office walls behind and welcome viewers into their personal lives. We encourage you to watch how these researchers better themselves and the world we share together, every day.

Watch the videos here

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