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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?

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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U of M researchers unveil nation’s first porcine virus rapid detection test

Mere months after porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) was first confirmed in theUnited States swine population, University of Minnesota researchers have developed a PEDV rapid diagnostic test.

The first-of-its-kind test, which is available now, provides a way to quickly and cost-effectively identify the presence of U.S. PEDV strains.

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Number of independent Minnesota pharmacies on the decline

New data shows the neighborhood corner pharmacy is becoming more and more a thing of the past.

A recent study led by University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy researcher Jon Schommer, Ph.D., found the number of independent pharmacies in Minnesota fell from representing one-half of all Minnesota community pharmacies to representing only one-quarter over a twenty-year period spanning from 1992 to 2012.

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Twin Cities: Fittest cities in the USA

Go ahead Minneapolis-St. Paul, give yourselves a pat on the back. You deserve it. For the third year in a row the Twin Cities were ranked as the healthiest, fittest cities in the USA.

Yes, a “boo-yah” may be appropriate.

According to USA Today, Minneapolis-St. Paul “out-fit” the other top fit cities – Washington, D.C., Portland, San Francisco and Denver – in an analysis of the fitness levels of residents in the 50 most populated metropolitan areas in the USA.

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A search for the culprit behind Minn. moose deaths

Minnesota’s moose population has dropped by 52 percent since 2010, and no one knows why.

To find out, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is working with collaborators at the University of Minnesota to investigate the species’ decline.

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