February 19, 2015

Mayo Clinic In the News Highlights

By Karl Oestreich

Mayo Clinic in the News Logo



Editor, Karl Oestreich; Assistant Editor, Carmen Zwicker

Mayo Clinic in the News is a weekly highlights summary of major media coverage. If you would like to be added to the weekly distribution list, send a note to Laura Wuotila with this subject line: SUBSCRIBE to Mayo Clinic in the News.


USA Today
Man gets bionic eye, sees wife for first time in a decade

A technological breakthrough is allowing a grandfather who's been blind for 10 years to see again. USA Today Newspaper Logo

Reach: USA TODAY  has the highest daily circulation of any U.S. newspaper with a daily average circulation of 4.1 million, which includes print, various digital editions and other  papers that use their branded content.

Additional Coverage:

Man gets bionic eye, sees wife for first time in decade

A blind Forest Lake man's sight is restored after he became the first person in Minnesota, and 15th person in the country, to receive KARE-11 TV, Minneapolis-St. Paula bionic eye…Allen Zderad, 68, hadn't seen his wife or grandchildren in more than a decade, until the new device was turned on at Mayo Clinic earlier this month. “Yeah," Zderad exclaimed, as his wife of 45 years slowly came into focus. He then could find no more words, embracing her. "It's crude, but it's significant. It works," he rejoiced, through tears.


Context: Raymond Iezzi, Jr., M.D., is a Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist. Mayo Clinic eye experts provide comprehensive care for people who seek answers about conditions and diseases of their eyes. Each year doctors in the Mayo Clinic Department of Ophthalmology help nearly 80,000 people who need healing. Dr. Iezzi's clinical interests include retinal degenerative diseases as well as all aspects of vitreoretinal surgery, with a special interest in complex retinal detachment repair associated with diabetes, trauma and proliferative vitreoretinopathy.

Public Affairs Contact: Bob Nellis


Wall Street Journal
Innovation Is Sweeping Through U.S. Medical Schools

Wall Street Journal Life and Culture logoCritics have long faulted U.S. medical education for being hidebound, imperious and out of touch with modern health-care needs. The core structure of medical school—two years of basic science followed by two years of clinical work—has been in place since 1910. Now a wave of innovation is sweeping through medical schools, much of it aimed at producing young doctors who are better prepared to meet the demands of the nation’s changing health-care system…. “The reality is that most medical schools are teaching the same way they did one hundred years ago,” says Wyatt Decker, chief executive of the Mayo Clinic’s operations in Arizona, which include a medical school in Scottsdale, Ariz., that is scheduled to enroll its first class in 2017. “It’s time to blow up that model and ask, ‘How do we want to train tomorrow’s doctors?’ ”

Reach: The Wall Street Journal, a US-based newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, has the largest print circulation in America with 1.4 million (60 percent) of a total of 2.3 million. Its website has more than 4.3 million unique visitors each month.

Context: Mayo Clinic College of Medicine is developing leaders in medical and biomedical research careers.

Public Affairs Contacts: Traci Klein, Jim McVeigh


Wall Street Journal
Can 3-D Printing of Living Tissue Speed Up Drug Development?

Every year, the pharmaceutical industry spends more than $50 billion on research and Wall Street Journal Life and Culture logodevelopment. But the path to drug approval by the Food and Drug Administration is laden with abrupt failures in late-phase testing. Only one in 5,000 drugs will make it to market, according to one estimate…Christopher Moir, a professor of pediatric surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., says he has used 3-D printing to produce plastic models of organs used to prepare for surgeries. “Bioprinting is going to be a huge aspect in terms of implants and surgeries,” Dr. Moir says.

Reach: The Wall Street Journal, a US-based newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, has the largest print circulation in America with 1.4 million (60 percent) of a total of 2.3 million. Its website has more than 4.3 million unique visitors each month.

Public Affairs Contacts: Traci Klein, Kelley Luckstein


Wall Street Journal
How to Make Surgery Safer

Hospitals are trying to make it safer for patients to go under the knife. Surgery can beWall Street Journal Life and Culture logo risky by its very nature, and the possibility of error or negligence makes it even more so. According to an analysis last year in the journal Patient Safety in Surgery, 46% to 65% of adverse events in hospitals are related to surgery, especially complex procedures... Two studies published in early February in the Journal of the American Medical Association appeared to challenge the approach, finding that outcomes have improved in hospitals generally in recent years whether they participated in NSQIP or not. One, by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, compared billing claims data between participating and nonparticipating hospitals and found no statistically significant differences in the likelihood of complications, or death.

Reach: The Wall Street Journal, a US-based newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, has the largest print circulation in America with 1.4 million (60 percent) of a total of 2.3 million. Its website has more than 4.3 million unique visitors each month.

Context: Mayo Clinic is one of the largest and most experienced surgical practices in the world. Mayo has more than 300 surgeons and 122 operating rooms among its three locations in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Mayo surgeons perform high volumes of complex operations. In 2005, Mayo Clinic surgeons treated nearly 73,000 patients using the latest technology and innovative procedures. Mayo Clinic evaluates quality by looking at outcome measures, process measures, patient satisfaction and quality rankings.

Public Affairs Contacts: Traci Klein, Sharon Theimer


WXTJ, Running with Donna — Thousands turned out this morning to run the Donna marathon in an effort to raise funds and awareness to breast cancer.

Star Tribune, Deadlock leaves 7 finalists in running for 5 seats on U’s Board of Regents — A joint committee of House and Senate members split, largely on party lines, on whether to reappoint Simmons, a Mayo Clinic physician, for another six years, or replace her with Randy Simonson, CEO and president of Grazix Animal Health in Worthington, Minn.

Washington Post, 7 odd inventions that we’ve come to love — Credit James Levine, an obesity researcher at the Mayo Clinic, for popularizing the benefits of a workstation workout. In 2007, he published a study showing that subjects who spent three hours a day on treadmill desk, on average, lowered their harmful cholesterol levels by 37 percent.

Washington Business Journal, Can Inova Health Build the Mayo Clinic of genomics — Here’s why experts say it has a shot, As President Barack Obama laid out his priorities in his State of the Union address last month, he said he planned to devote big money to "precision medicine," using genetics to better understand how to treat patient maladies … It's not a standard of care yet. But experts believe gene sequencing will play an increasingly central role in medicine. "We all attempt to individualize our approach to treating our patients. But we haven't had the tools to do that," said Dr. Richard Weinshilboum, acting director of the Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine. "

Owatonna People’s Press, Owatonna man battles rare blood disorder — It’s not every day that breaking a hip would be looked upon as a godsend, but for Jose Suarez of Owatonna that broken hip might very well have saved his life. But he’s still not out of the woods. Suarez, 65, is in Mayo Clinic in Rochester where he’s been since mid-January, battling a rare blood disorder that was discovered quite by chance.

Nebraska Radio Network, Filibuster succeeds in shelving meningitis vaccine bill — A bill mandating that Nebraska students be immunized against meningitis has been killed, by its sponsor … According to the Mayo Clinic, meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes (meninges) surrounding your brain and spinal cord. Most cases of meningitis in the U.S. are caused by a viral infection, but bacterial and fungal infections also can lead to meningitis, according to Mayo.

KTTC, Mayo Clinic helps Google with new health-related search result feature — Google has started rolling out a new feature for health-related searches that will help Internet users get medical facts fast. Rochester's Mayo Clinic had a hand in helping shape the new feature. Additional Coverage: Fox 28

Post-Bulletin, Mayo Clinic first to offer more-private colorectal screening test — Mayo Clinic has signed a five-year extension of its contract with Exact Sciences Corp. of Madison, a collaboration that last year led to the first ..

Louis Post-Dispatch, New Medical Review Refutes Link Between Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Heart Disease — Though his clinic and most like it accept health insurance, there are still widely held reservations about hormone replacement therapy; mainly, that the therapy increases the risk of heart disease in men. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings recently weighed in by publishing a medical review on its website on January 27, 2015.

News 4 Jax, “Jolie effect’ on awareness of breast cancer genes — Optum Labs was established through a partnership between Optum, a leading information and technology-enabled health services business, and Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research, and education, as an open center for research and innovation. AARP joined the collaborative as Founding Consumer Advocate Organization in late 2013.

Post-Bulletin, Funding for Mayo’s Ebola preparations caught up in salary fight — A bill loaded with $413,000 in Ebola-related funding for Mayo Clinic is at the center of a legislative fight over the governor's salary increases.

Northwest Herald, Stanford researcher: It’s time to put dangers of high school football in perspective — Over the past week, the column has been passed around the coaching profession and through social media, most notably when coaching news site Football Scoop sent out a link to the story saying “Study reveals that playing HS football is just as safe as band, glee club, or choir” based on a 2012 study by the Mayo Clinic of football players from 1946-56 in Rochester, Minn. Read that data here. That post has more than 400 retweets.

WEAU, Embracing your figure — Curvier women are taking over national headlines: from music to magazines. Earlier this week, Ashley Graham made history by becoming the first plus- size model in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Jennifer Wickham, a psychotherapist at Mayo Clinic Health System, says images on TV and in magazines make 80 percent of women feel insecure. "1st and 3rd graders 42 percent of them already want to be thinner than they already are, and that's a time in our life when we're getting ready to grow," Wickham said. She says it's important to define a woman not by looks but by personality.

Red Wing Republican Eagle, Kind-hearted woman improves her own heart — Throughout her entire life, Ardis Kyker has been a strongwilled woman who puts the needs of others first. While working a full-time job and into retirement, the now 78-year-old Red Wing native was responsible at different times throughout her life for the care of her father, an ailing uncle and her mother, who suffered from memory loss.  She’s also an active volunteer. She’s a member of the Kiwanis Club, serves as a valet parker at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, reads to a woman with sight impairment at a local nursing home on a bi-weekly basis and serves on the volunteer board at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing.

WJAX,  'Jolie effect' on awareness of breast cancer genes — In a study released Feb. 11, 2015, the AARP Public Policy Institute reported that BRCA genetic testing among women without breast cancer increased dramatically in the days after Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she carried the BRCA1 mutation and had an elective double mastectomy... Optum Labs was established through a partnership between Optum, a leading information and technology-enabled health services business, and Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research, and education, as an open center for research and innovation.

Post Bulletin, Dayton vows to veto bill related to Ebola-related funding — A bill with $413,000 in Ebola-related funding for Mayo Clinic is at the center of a political fight over the governor's decision to give $800,000 in raises to his cabinet members…That includes $413,000 for Mayo Clinic Hospital — Saint Marys Campus. Mayo Clinic has spent more than $ 1 million preparing to treat Ebola cases, according to clinic spokesman Bryan Anderson.

WBEZ, Doctors grapple with how to talk to vaccine-hesitant parents — Nina, who attends Chicago Public Schools, only received her MMR shot, against measles, mumps and rubella, a few months ago. Worried that her daughter would not be allowed to participate fully in school activities, Jakubek had her inoculated just before she started kindergarten. There are physicians who have just given up,” said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Jacobson says he looks at the recent resurgence of measles, as well as dismally low vaccination rates for other diseases, such as the flu, and he blames his fellow medical community.

Post Bulletin, Mayo Clinic first to offer more-private colorectal screening test — Mayo Clinic has signed a five-year extension of its contract with Exact Sciences Corp. of Madison, Wis., a collaboration that last year led to the first home-screening test for colorectal cancer. The extension involves "broadening their efforts to develop screening, surveillance and diagnostic tests beyond colorectal cancer to address other diseases within the gastrointestinal tract," according to a news release.

Arizona Daily, Eat your heart out to get turned on — Somewhere between an evening of wining, dining and wooing, it becomes your obligation to produce a night your partner won’t soon forget. If you find your desire for your beloved insufficient after gifting bodega-bought flora and consuming half a box of artisanal chocolates, then some would urge you to consider a naturopathic approach. Enter stage right: aphrodisiacs…Though there have been several studies conducted in the arena of aphrodisiacs, actual evidence is weak to support any claims. Janice Swanson of the Mayo Clinic writes that “research has shown [supplements and foods thought to affect libido] to be largely ineffective at producing a sexual response in either men or women.”

Washington Business Journal, Can Inova Health build the Mayo Clinic of genomics? Here's why experts say it has a shot — As President Barack Obama laid out his priorities in his State of the Union address last month, he said he planned to devote big money to "precision medicine," using genetics to better understand how to treat patient maladies. Then just this week, Inova unveiled its own plan to bet large on this fast-growing field with its own Inova Personalized Medicine Center on the Exxon Mobil campus in Fairfax. "We all attempt to individualize our approach to treating our patients. But we haven't had the tools to do that," said Dr. Richard Weinshilboum, acting director of the Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine. "But now [Obama] and Francis Collins, the head of [the National Institutes of Health], believe we're in a position to take a big step forward and bring this to the bedside."

Fox News, Hormone replacement therapy linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer, study finds — HRT for menopause is meant to replace hormones that the body no longer makes after menopause. Doctors used to prescribe it as a standard treatment to relieve hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Tech Times, Google's New Health Feature To Provide Common Medical Information — Google is introducing a new feature that will provide information on "common" medical conditions in response to related searches by users…Google says it developed the new capability with input from physicians from the Mayo Clinic, who will monitor and check data added to the Knowledge Graph database for accuracy.

KTTC, British Consul General from Chicago in Rochester to forge economic connections with Mayo Clinic — British Consul General in Chicago Stephen Bridges is in Rochester this week to get acquainted with local business and political leaders. Visiting both Minneapolis and Rochester, he met with Mayo Clinic leadership on Thursday, sharing technologies and treatments, forging economic connections, and speaking about the challenges facing both nations.

First Coast News, Can a broken heart actually break your heart? — If you find yourself alone on Feb. 14, you probably aren't a big fan of the so-called "holiday" and perhaps you're even sick about it. If that's you, you may have a very real condition that results from, believe it or not, a broken heart. "It's supposed to be a joyous holiday, like other holidays, but it's not always joyous for people," says Dr. Vandana Bhide with the Jacksonville Mayo Clinic. "These stress hormones can be so severe and at such high levels they can actually cause damage to the heart."

Post Bulletin, Providers in region eager to attract more nursing staff — For the first time in their history, the Franciscan sisters of Rochester will host a job fair on Tuesday. They need another six to eight licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants and meds-passers to regain full staffing of about 40 for the 50 sisters who live in skilled-nursing and assisted-living settings at Assisi Heights…"The unprecedented number of retirees that they had at the end of 2014 left them in a position to be able to hire lots of folks," Buckingham said of Mayo Clinic.

CNN, Staying safe when the lights go out — The Mayo Clinic suggests stocking up on condiments, particularly those that are vinegar-based and have a long shelf life, such as ketchup, mustard and soy sauce. Keep canned protein such as chicken, salmon, beans and peanut butter on hand, the clinic recommends, and keep boxes of powdered milk or shelf-stable milk cartons handy. Also, don't forget a manual can opener. Eating out of a can doesn't have to be boring, says Ron Stone, assistant director of nutrition at the Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Florida Times Union, 2 With Donna marathon all about making strides in fight against cancer — For thousands of runners at Sunday’s eighth annual 26.2 With Donna marathon, the focus is making new strides in the fight against breast cancer. That cause keeps thousands of runners pounding the pavement from Ponte Vedra to the finish line at the Mayo Clinic.

CNN, Snowed in? Here's how to beat the winter blues — According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is diagnosed more often in women than in men, but men typically experience more severe symptoms. Younger people have a higher risk of SAD, and those affected are more likely to have blood relatives with SAD or another form of depression.

KCCI, Iowa family using medical marijuana hopes to return home — Braedy’s parents said he had between two and 10 seizures every day for the first three years of his life. They said he has only had four seizures in the past nine months because of cannabis oil. Neurologists at the Rochester, Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic had tried 10 different medications over the years but none had worked. Braedy’s parents said they are weaning their son off the final two medications and doctors at Mayo have given them the OK for him to be off all medications.

The Guardian, Virtual cadavers may help surgeons save limbs and lives — Four of the imaging tables belong to the Mayo Clinic in the US, and they can also be found at Imperial College, London.

Here & Now, Shortage Of Nicorette Lozenges Prompts Hoarding — A shortage of Nicorette lozenges has led some ex-smokers to hoard them. The lozenges have been disappearing from shelves since the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKine, halted production of the lozenges last February for quality-control reasons. Dr. Taylor Hays of the Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain why.

Alzheimer’s Today, Mayo Clinic Launches Lewy Body Dementia Program, Funded by The Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation — The Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation has granted the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida, a $5.75 million gift to fund research on Lewy body dementia. Mayo will be launching a new program dedicated to advancing knowledge on diseases that cause a progressive decline in mental and physical capacities, as well as finding treatments for them.

Mason City Globe Gazette, Gifts from the Heart — Drew Prestholt, 16, was born with severe heart defects. The main arteries leaving his heart were reversed, seriously affecting his internal oxygen flow. According to Mayo Clinic cardiologist Nathaniel Taggart, Drew’s ascending aorta had narrowed as a result of the valve replacement surgery, creating extra work for his heart. A stent was needed to correct the problem.

Vancouver Sun, Stephen Hume: New research on hockey-related brain injuries suggests recovery time may be longer than thought — As the minor hockey season shifts into playoff mode across British Columbia, there is yet more alarming medical evidence of the extent of the brain injuries that Canada’s game inflicts on kids Other studies in Minnesota tracked injuries to minor hockey players over a 16-year span. Unsurprisingly, injuries to limbs proved most common. Traumatic brain injury ranked second. Almost one in four injuries required major medical interventions. Eight of every 100 injured players required intensive care. “Most injuries resulted from intentional contact,” said the research team, which included medical scientists from the world-famous Mayo Clinic.

International Business Times, Scorpion Sting On Woman Forces Oregon-Bound Alaska Airlines Plane To Return To LA — According to Mayo Clinic, only the sting of the bark scorpion is fatal for residents of the US. That particular specie is found only in the desert southwest. Deadly scorpion stings are usually those in Mexico, South America and portions of Africa, India and the Middle East.

WEAU, Mayo Clinic supports heart health on Valentine's Day — This Valentine’s Day Mayo Clinic Health System is sending a heartfelt message to people, encouraging them to stay healthy. Mayo's annual Heart Fair allows people to receive free health screenings, watch live demonstrations, and talk one on one to healthcare staff. Jan Favret, a nurse at Mayo, says the Healthy Heart Fair is a time to answer questions for people who are worried about their own health.

Leader-Telegram — Off Beat: Menomonie woman to share story of surviving a heart attack — Michelle Kennedy of Menomonie lost her dad, Roy Orlowski, almost 29 years ago. The 62-year-old Orlowski suffered a heart attack at his job in Kansas City, Kan., and died. Like her father, Kennedy had a heart attack at work. But thanks to her actions and those of her co-workers and a number of medical professionals, the 52-year-old assistant manager at Walmart in Menomonie survived. Kennedy will share her story as part of “Her Story, Her Heart” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Luther Building Auditorium at Mayo Clinic Health System, 1221 Whipple St. The annual event aims to raise heart health awareness through women’s personal stories and input from a medical panel of experts.

ABC2News, Experts: Many with heart issues, conditions don't fit stereotypes — The signs were there. Breanna Sudano and her parents just thought they were signs of something else. Breanna, now 17, had been playing sports since she was 5. Sometimes while playing lacrosse and field hockey, she’d feel dizzy, and her heart would beat extremely fast. They assumed it was because of physical exertion, Breanna said. ...According to the nonprofit medical group The Mayo Clinic, sudden death due to hidden heart defects or overlooked heart abnormalities is rare.

Post Bulletin, Hospitals in Lake City, Wabasha to drop labor-delivery services — Jolie Berktold sees both sides of the decision to end labor and delivery services at hospitals in Lake City and Wabasha. She is a nurse at Mayo Clinic Health System - Lake City and specializes in lactation counseling. Her own children were delivered in the Lake City hospital. "It saddens me we are discontinuing labor and delivery services," she said.

WKBT, New Study: Shorter shifts not improving Doctor fatigue — In 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education changed the rule that interns could not work more than 16 consecutive hours, down from 30 consecutive hours.  The focus of recent changes to shortening shifts is based on the idea that doctor fatigue might lead to more mistakes. "Even with the shorter hours which are significantly shorter than in the past, they're still by some people's standards relatively long hours.  Residents are limited to 80 hours a week but by most people's standards, 80 hours a week is a pretty long week," said Dr. Thomas Grau of Mayo Clinic Health System.

WEAU, Teenager in hospital after sledding accident at Pinehurst Hill — For the third time in a year, rescue crews were called to a sledding accident at Pinehurst Hill in Eau Claire. Eau Claire Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Dezial tells WEAU that crews were dispatched at 1:55pm Sunday afternoon to Pinehurst Hill after receiving a report of a teenager hitting a tree while sledding down the hill. The patient was transported by ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire with unknown injuries.

Huffington Post (Reuters), Flight Delayed Due To Rampaging Scorpion — A scorpion stung a passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight to Portland, Oregon, delaying a flight that originated in Mexico, the carrier said on Sunday. Flight 567, which originated in Los Cabos, Mexico, was taxiing for takeoff on Saturday at Los Angeles International Airport when the woman was stung, airline spokesman Cole Cosgrove said…Only about 30 of about 1,500 species of scorpions can cause potentially fatal stings, according the website of the Mayo Clinic. "Scorpion stings, although painful, are mostly harmless," a clinic posting said.

Bring Me the News, Taking off: Cirrus Aircraft seeks state money to expand in Duluth — One of the most successful businesses in Duluth is looking to expand its operations there, and is asking the state for some funding to help pay for it. Cirrus Aircraft officials announced Friday the company wants to build a new $10 million production facility near the Duluth airport, which would house the final stages of the aircraft manufacturing processNess compared the request to the Legislature’s $585 million support of the Destination Medical Center in Rochester, a multi-billion dollar project to support the expansion of the Mayo Clinic there. “Just as [the state] stepped up for Rochester and Mayo to facilitate that project, we need the state to help Duluth, to fulfill our tremendous potential in aviation,” Ness said, according to MPR News.

Healio, Model improves prediction of breast cancer risk after benign biopsy — A model that consisted of demographic and histologic features more accurately reflected a woman’s risk for breast cancer after receipt of a benign biopsy than the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, according to study results. “Physicians routinely perform biopsies to evaluate concerning findings in the breast, either felt on exam or seen on mammogram, for the presence of a breast cancer,” researcher Amy Degnim, MD, a surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said in a press release. “However, about three-quarters of these biopsies prove to be benign and are referred to as benign breast disease.”

Post Bulletin, Mayo Clinic Biobank nears goal, expansion possibilities considered — Increasing attention to individualized medicine after President Obama's State of the Union address has shined a spotlight upon the Mayo Clinic Biobank. Mayo has asked for blood samples from thousands of volunteers. "We expect to achieve our goal of 50,000 by the end of the year," said Stephen Thibodeau, program director of the Mayo Clinic Biorepositories Program in the Center for Individualized Medicine. "This will be great for us."

Star Tribune, Hormel, General Mills among food companies fighting label changes — For Mayo Clinic’s Donald Hensrud, labels that list the amount of sugar added to food and beverages are a no-brainer. Like most physicians working in public health, Hensrud sees a link between consumption of added sugars and the country’s problems with obesity, diabetes and heart disease. “The science is pretty clear, ” said Hensrud, a professor of nutrition and preventive medicine. “If you do good science, that should stand.”

Le Sueur Herald, MVHC in Le Sueur converting to electronic health records — In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law by the United States Congress. This act was a part of a concerted effort by the government to create a nationwide network of electronic health records, and it means hospitals and clinics across the United States must work to eliminate paper records. Minnesota Valley Health Center in Le Sueur is the latest facility to make the conversion, and it will go live with their new electronic health record software on Sunday, Feb. 22. ... It’s not just small organizations that are making the change, and it’s not only because of government requirement. Mayo Clinic, one of the world’s most expansive health care organizations, has already implemented multiple electronic health record systems across various locations, and will soon convert to Epic for all facilities. They plan implementation of the new system for 2017 to continue into 2019. “Moving to a common electronic health record and revenue cycle management system will help us enhance services, provide a better experience for our patients, and accelerate innovation,” said Mayo Clinic CIO Cris Ross.

ABC15, Mayo Clinic cardiologist talks atrial fibrillation in athletes — Komandoor Srivathsan, M.D., Mayo Clinic Cardiologist joined the cast of Sonoran Living Live to talk about the atrial fibrillation in athletes. Learn about heart disease and treatment by joining ABC15's Rally for Red, and from Mayo Clinic staff members each month on Sonoran Living Live.

The Spectrum, Follow Mayo plan for a healthy heart — Having a healthy heart is about eating right, getting exercise and proper rest. Dr. Rekha Mankad, of the Mayo Clinic, said even small basic steps can have a dramatic impact on someone’s heart health.

WGRZ, Warsaw Woman Diagnosed With Dysautonomia — A Western New York woman who got sick while on a mission trip to Haiti is finding strength through her community. Holly Todd's diagnosis remained a mystery for nearly a year as dozens of doctors could not figure out what was wrong. Finally, after losing more than 170 pounds, Todd was told she has an auto immune disease…Finally, with the help of a Go Fund Me website set up by her friends, Holly was able to pay for a trip to the Mayo Clinic, which was a cost her insurance would not cover…"There is no reason somebody should have to lose over 170 pounds before somebody would look at them and say I know that you're sick, it's not in your head. I get that dysautonomia is not well known many doctors don't know about it, but nobody cared until I went to Mayo," says Todd.

KEYC, Breakthrough Research Revelation Births Alan Watsons 14-Day Reverse My Tinnitus Program — James Phillips an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist consultant with over 25 years’ experience in the field is the expert at the centre of the Reverse My Tinnitus Program. It is based on his breakthrough research with a team of established researchers and doctors in an Oxford University research laboratory that the Reverse My Tinnitus Program by Alan Watson and all it entails is hinged. Dr. James Phillips’ research was further spurred by a US based Mayo Clinic research in 2007 that concluded that “… a human antibody administered in a single low dose in laboratory mouse models can repair myelin…” a process that is called “Remyelination”.

WWNO, Shortage Of Nicorette Lozenges Prompts Hoarding — A shortage of Nicorette lozenges has led some ex-smokers to hoard them. The lozenges have been disappearing from shelves since the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKine, halted production of the lozenges last February for quality-control reasons. The pharmaceutical company says it plans to have the lozenges back on shelves later this year, but in the meantime, people who rely on the lozenges to ease their cigarette cravings are jittery about the dwindling supply. Dr. Taylor Hays of the Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center explains.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Studies find exercise is the best medicine for many ills — More and more studies are demonstrating the benefits of exercise. And as awareness grows, more doctors are urging patients to incorporate exercise in their daily routines as a cheap and effective treatment for a wide assortment of ailments and diseases…If doctors “medicalized” physical inactivity, exercise could be the prescription of choice for heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers, wrote Michael Joyner, professor of anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic, in a commentary in the Journal of Physiology in 2012.

Yankton Daily, A Song For Kaitlyn — “Sometimes when words fail, music can still speak.” When Dr. Kurt Runestad, director of the Doane College choir of Crete, Nebraska, heard this old adage, he thought of a very special student who has touched the lives of many. Kaitlyn Ann Erickson of Yankton passed away Feb. 28, 2014, after a nine-month battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, a very rare form of soft bone tissue cancer…“A friend of ours at Avera got us into the Mayo Clinic,” Lisa said. “Two weeks later, Kaitlyn was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma Cancer.” This very rare form of soft tissue bone cancer was even more rare because Kaitlyn was in the top age bracket for this pediatric cancer.

Chicago Tribune, Southland native heads Chicago heart care institute — When Palos Park native Patrick McCarthy began his cardiology career more than three decades ago, heart surgery had a high mortality rate — one in five patients died, he said. McCarthy, the executive director of Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, has seen great advances in heart surgery during his long career, to the point where it has exponentially less risk…McCarthy joined the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 1980. Back then, heart surgery was still considered so dangerous that only the patients with the most severe cases were considered, he said, adding that it was common for patients to die on the operating table.

WDAF, Extreme generosity enables young man to have surgery for extreme pain — A young man had some of the worst pain known to man.  It was facial pain resulting from damage to a nerve after he was hit in the head with a basketball seven years ago.  But since October, when we met Nathan Pieper,  his life has greatly improved…In January, doctors at Mayo Clinic placed a grid of electrodes over one part of Nathan’s brain.  It’s called motor cortex stimulation, and is designed to interfere with pain signals.  The electrodes are connected to a pacemaker-like device in the chest.  Nathan controls the stimulation with an external device.

PennLive, Penn State's newest walk-on, Jackson Erdmann, overcame plenty of obstacles to win Minnesota player of the year honors, land with Lions — Jackson Erdmann wasn't guaranteed a senior football season, let alone a life on the gridiron after high school. It wasn't so long ago that the Rosemount, Minn., High quarterback was battling mononucleosis in January 2014. Then came a diagnosis of acute cerebellar ataxia, according to the Pioneer Press, which leads to a loss of muscle coordination and control, according to the Mayo Clinic.

LA Times, To lose weight, experts suggest a focus on fiber — If you’re trying to lose weight, you could count your calories, keep track of precisely how much salt and sugar your eat, and make sure you hit certain targets for protein, carbohydrates, cholesterol and the various types of fat. Or you could set all of that aside and concentrate on just one thing: Eating at least 30 grams of fiber each day…Feeling inspired to eat more fiber? The Mayo Clinic has a list of fiber-rich foods, as does the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

New York Times, Pills Found to Help Chances of Quitting Smoking in the Future — Doctors typically wait until smokers are ready to quit before prescribing pills to help them do it. But a new study has found that even for those who are not ready to stop smoking immediately, medicine taken over time can substantially improve their chances of eventually quitting….“It’s a paradigm shift because instead of only giving the medication to patients who have set a quit date, you are potentially giving it to every smoker,” said Dr. Jon O. Ebbert, one of the authors, who is a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Minnesota. “It opens the door to a much larger population of smokers that we can treat.” Additional coverage: Reuters

KFVS (HealthDay), Kids can get migraines too — Migraines aren't just a problem for adults -- about 6 percent of children and more than one-quarter of teens aged 15 to 17 have migraines, according to the American Migraine Foundation (AMF). "There are many things that can be done if your child suffers from migraine, or if you suspect that he or she does," foundation chair Dr. David Dodick, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz., said in an AMF news release.

Post Bulletin, Answer Man: Mayo Clinic research farm is hush-hush — Dear Answer Man, while wandering Rochester one day, I came upon the Mayo Institute Hills Farm, tucked back in a residential area with sheep roaming the property. There are two or three buildings off of 18th Street Southwest on Institute Road Southwest. I'm wondering what these facilities are used for…Shhh! Mayo would prefer to keep Institute Hills off the map. It's a hush-hush operation tucked away in the hills south of Bamber Valley Road, at 1800 Institute Road SW, and one of its missions has been to raise disease-free pigs as part of research into developing transplantable organs for humans.

WBAY, Beating the Winter Blues with Exercise — Beating the winter blues may be as easy as taking a trip to the gym. Experts at the Mayo Clinic say physical activity releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel better. It also increases your body temperature, which can be calming.

Healthcare DIVE, Top 10 EHR vendors in physician offices — There's little question that Cerner and Epic are the giants in the EHR field. Epic is dominant not only in the scope of its market share but also in the depth of its client base. Mayo Clinic announced last month that it would be abandoning its three current EHR systems in favor of a new contract with Epic, which will now be the healthcare icon's sole EHR provider and strategic partner. Jilted in the deal were GE and Cerner, who were the providers of Mayo's current systems—although if you tallied the figures when Cerner acquired Siemens' EHR unit for $1.3 billion, it still had the largest US market share of any vendor, with 1,132 acute care hospitals.

WXOW, State legislators propose bill to allow Minnesota doctors to provide care across state lines — At the state capitol a bill has been introduced that would allow Minnesota doctors to counsel their patients who may live in different states…The bill would expedite the process for Minnesota doctors to become licensed in other states, making it easier to communicate with patients across state lines by using advanced technology while keeping the standards of our state's medical licensure. "In the modern era, we're more used to connecting remotely," said Dr. Steve Ommen, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic.

ChicagoInno, Google Gets an Update, Doctors Get a Market — Last week, Google, in a partnership with the Mayo Clinic, unveiled a new format for health-related search content. Now, curated health information for over 400 different medical conditions will appear in a panel alongside Google search results, giving users faster access to quality health information. But what does this new search feature mean for doctors? Ostensibly, this is only greater fuel for hypochondriacs and potentially risky self-diagnoses.

Kansas City Star, There’s no trick to drinking gluten-free spirits — There are plenty of places to find gluten at a bar — it’s in most beers, bowls of snack mix and even your Bloody Mary, depending on which brand of Worcestershire sauce is used. Where won’t you find it? In distilled spirits. Probably…The Mayo Clinic’s “Guide to Eating Gluten-Free” labels distilled spirits including brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey as gluten-free,

Huffington Post, Hot Flashes Can Last Up To 14 Years, Soul-Crushing Study Says — The common menopausal symptom that drives many women into the arms of hormone replacement therapy just got a little harder to bear: A study recently published in JAMA found that hot flashes can last up to 14 years, especially if you start having them while you are still peri-menopausal…Hot flashes and night sweats are among the menopausal symptoms most likely to cause women to seek medical help. Another study, this one led by the Mayo Clinic, found that caffeine -- no matter what time of day it was ingested -- triggered hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women.

WWSB, Suncoast Pet therapy dog in Westminster show — Thunder is one of nine Suncoast therapy dogs whose visits delight residents of Pines of Sarasota. He is among the more the than 3,000 dogs competing in the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Show in New York City. But his star may shine brightest when he and other therapy dogs put on their vests and bring smiles to those whose lives they touch. According to the Mayo Clinic there are many health benefits associated with pet therapy. The Mayo Clinic research finds animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue. ..

The Express Tribune, Anti-smoking drug helps reluctant quitters: study — The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) was funded by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which makes Chantix, but was led by doctors at the non-profit Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. More than 1,500 smokers enrolled. All said they were not ready to quit in the next 30 days, but did want to kick the habit within three months.

Washington Business Journal, What the fiercely independent Virginia Hospital Center says it gets out of joining up with Mayo Clinic network — One thing Virginia Hospital Center officials have been clear about in this age of health care mergers is their passion for remaining independent. In recent weeks, however, the Arlington hospital joined up with the Mayo Clinic Care Network, comprised of a little more than 30 health organizations around the country and giving member physicians access to Mayo Clinic expertise. It is the only D.C.-area hospital that is part of the network…"It certainly helps us remain independent," said Dr. Jeff DeLisi, chief medical officer at Arlington-based Virginia Hospital Center. Mayo has the scale to employ the most specific of medical specialists, and "we have access to those world-class specialists, patients can get access to that expertise, but they are able to remain here for their care" rather than head to other hospitals around the region for a second opinion.

U-T San Diego, Aromatherapy breathes new life into patients’ well-being — As the clinical nutrition program manager at Sharp Coronado, Barbara Bauer has done leading research on ways to stimulate the appetite of patients who are not interested in food, such as those undergoing cancer treatment. For many patients, she’s found the solution is simple: aromatherapy. As of now, research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy — which involves the therapeutic use of essential oils from plants — is not wide-ranging, but some health care providers are using it to their benefit to encourage eating or diminish headaches. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, studies have shown that aromatherapy’s potential health benefits may offer relief from anxiety and depression while improving quality of life for those with chronic health conditions.

US News & World Report (HealthDay), Chantix Linked to Higher Quit Rates in Certain Smokers: Study — The anti-smoking medication Chantix can boost the likelihood that cigarette smokers who aren't ready to stop cold turkey will cut down gradually, a new study suggests…Study lead author Dr. Jon Ebbert, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., explained, "Some smokers prefer to reduce the number of cigarettes that they smoke before quitting smoking completely." He said research is divided over whether this is a good idea compared to quitting completely. U.S. health guidelines recommend quitting abruptly.

ABC News, Dentist Visit Tips Family Off to Daughter's Grapefruit-Sized Tumor —  A trip to the dentist saved an 11-year-old's life, tipping her doctors and mother off to a grapefruit-sized tumor that could have killed her. At a routine dental cleaning on Jan. 28, the hygienist told Journee Woodard's mother that the whites of Journee's eyes looked yellow, and suggested taking her to a doctor -- just in case…The Whipple procedure is necessary because the pancreas is so "integrated" with other organs, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Montgomery Advertiser, Think sleep apnea — and the sleep lost from it — only affects your mental and physical health the following morning? It could also lead to heart diseases including high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure. And large-scale studies should be conducted to determine the exact link between sleep apnea and heart disease.. We feel it is important to alert the cardiovascular community to the implications of this emerging area of research," Virend K. Somers, a professor of medicine and cardiovascular diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., stated. "It is possible that diagnosing and treating sleep apnea may prove to be an important opportunity to advance our efforts at preventing and treating heart disease."

WTJA, Drug Helps Smokers Quit Long-term — Almost half of cigarette smokers try to quit a couple of times each year.  Many say they'd  prefer to  cut back on their smoking  before trying to quit completely. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association looks at whether the smoking medication varenicline (Chantix) can help them reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke and eventually quit all together. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic studied a group of smokers, willing to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked with the intention of trying to quit within three months.  Half the smokers took varenicline and the other half, a placebo, for six months. The proportion of patients who quit smoking was measured at six and 12 months.

KAAL, New Blood Labs at Gift of Life House — Mayo Clinic patients at the Gift of Life Transplant House often make a trip outside to get blood work done.  However, starting this spring, that will change. Every day, a shuttle picks up stem cell and organ transplant patients by the hour. "Heading down to the clinic all the time. Blood drives, a lot of the time they want them at 6:40 a.m. in the morning," said Kevin Dotson.

Wichita Business Journal, An accident, paralysis, then an idea: How this entrepreneur created the Open Table of health care — Jessica Harthcock knew it was bad when her body went numb. She was stunned and couldn't speak. But she'd heard the crunch. "I knew I just broke my neck," Jessica said. Jessica was a varsity springboard diver. Cross-training was encouraged, so Jessica also practiced gymnastics. And on the night of the accident, she over-rotated on a front double-tuck with a layout twist — and fractured her spine. From the X-rays, it almost looked like the spinal chord had been pushed off to the side, she said. The prognosis was grim…The network is part of the Mayo Clinic's sweeping $5.6 billion effort to expand its brand for medical care and research in an era of rapid health care change, without the expense of building or acquiring new hospitals, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported late last year in a series about Mayo.

Kansas City Star, Step up for square dancing fun — Temperatures are hovering around freezing and rain is obscuring the roads on this winter night. Even so, more than 50 cars coming from around the metro area fill the Gashland United Methodist Church parking lot in Kansas City, North. Inside, dozens of couples are ready to square dance for hours, with breaks for a nonalcoholic drink or a piece of red velvet cake. He also stressed the health factors documented by no less than the Mayo Clinic, whose study showed that square dancing can burn as many calories (200 to 400 per 30 minutes) as walking, swimming or biking. In one study, researchers attached pedometers to square dancers and found that each person covered 5 miles in a single evening.

New York Times, Medicine Given Even Before Smokers Are Ready to Quit Is Found to Help Them — Doctors typically wait until smokers are ready to quit before prescribing pills to help them do it. But a new study has found that even for those who are not ready to stop smoking immediately, medicine taken over time can substantially improve their chances of eventually quitting…“It’s a paradigm shift because instead of only giving the medication to patients who have set a quit date, you are potentially giving it to every smoker,” said Dr. Jon O. Ebbert, one of the authors, who is a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Minnesota. “It opens the door to a much larger population of smokers that we can treat.” Additional Coverage: The Globe and Mail, WDAF, NY Daily News,

Tri Cities, We consume food additives that are banned in other countries — Sodium benzoate (used as a preservative) is an ingredient that Coca-Cola actually removed from their Diet Coke product overseas several years ago and has recently removed it from their products in the U. S. Unfortunately, it is still in some of the most popular sodas on the market today. I did some of my own investigating and went to a local grocery store to read the label on some popular sodas. All of them contained either sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate in their ingredient list. The Mayo Clinic reported that the preservative sodium benzoate, increases hyperactivity in children. Also, when sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which is also in most sodas, it can form benzene, a carcinogen that damages DNA in cells and accelerates aging.

Park Rapids Enterprise, Veteran’s death raises awareness of rare disorder — On a bitterly cold Valentine’s Day in Minnesota, Robin Howard bid farewell to the love of her life. Her husband, Mikey Howard, passed away Feb. 8 of a neurodegenerative disorder that caused him to experience dementia in his mid-40s. Symptoms of the disease began to manifest themselves after Mikey’s second deployment to Iraq in 2011…“In Lewy body dementia, protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in nerve cells in regions of your brain involved in thinking, memory and movement (motor control),” said the Mayo Clinic.

The State Press, The United States’ addiction to overmedication — The Colorado Rockies arrived in the Valley a short while ago to begin their annual spring training at the Salt River Fields off the 101. For a little over 20 years now, the Rockies have been training in Arizona, first in Tucson, and then, starting in 2011, at their current location in Scottsdale. There’s nothing more American than hot dogs at a baseball game and a slice of apple pie — with sharp cheddar, if you’re a Yank — after the game. It’s not difficult to think of the quintessential U.S. citizen: Blue jeans, golden retriever, Ford pickup truck, white picket fence and 2.5 children. Many would be shocked to find prescription pills added to the list of the quintessential American, according to a study done by the Mayo Clinic.

Medical News Today, Fecal matters: treating infection with stool transplants — Having someone else's stool placed inside your body sounds more like grounds for treatment rather than treatment itself. Yet fecal microbiota transplant is a procedure that has been found to be a particularly effective for treating Clostridium difficile infection. The micro-organisms living in the gut play an important role in the body's defenses against infection…FMT could offer an effective solution to these problems, and according to research cited by the authors, the process is safe, inexpensive and effective with success rates of over 90%. The Mayo Clinic even describe a randomized controlled trial that had to be stopped early due to overwhelmingly positive results.

KSHB, Newsome tumbles into new information about congenital heart disease from teenage workout buddy — Reagan Getman, 13, experienced a life-threatening medical problem that most people never face their entire lives. Reagan was born with a congenital heart defect. She had open heart surgery, and 13 years later, Reagan is a heart-healthy teen who is active in school and gymnastics…According to the Mayo Clinic, congenital heart disease (congenital heart defect) is an abnormality in your heart's structure that you're born with. Although congenital heart disease is often considered a childhood condition, advances in surgical treatment mean most babies who once died of congenital heart disease survive well into adulthood.

Metro News Canada, How music can actually help your productivity at work —  Breaking the silence could be your key to productivity. For many workers, the sound of a busy office can be incredibly distracting. But for others, an environment that’s too quiet can be just as unsettling. In either case, this results in many professionals reaching for their headphones. Dr. Amit Sood from the Mayo Clinic told the New York Times that melodious sounds can help release dopamine, which is associated with reward.

MobiHealthNews, Fitness device makers say engagement, not accuracy, is most important — It seems like everybody’s talking about fitness device accuracy these days. A small study at the University of Pennsylvania found that out of clip-on pedometers, wristworn wearables, and apps, the wristworn devices were the least accurate. Another study, from the American Council on Exercise, found a range of accuracy levels for step counting on wearable devices, but found them lacking when it came to tracking calories…The Mayo Clinic has famously used Fitbits to track surgical recovery time in its heart patients (though they used the clip-on Fitbit One, which actually scored very high on accuracy in the U of P study).

WLWT, Children need to dress warmly in bitterly cold temperatures — The cold and snow can be fun, especially for children, but in weather like this, they can also be the most vulnerable…But the problem in this weather is staying warm while outside. According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk of frostbite dramatically increases at temperatures below 5 degrees.

Health Canal, Molecule that Provides Cellular Energy Found Key to Aggressive Thyroid Cancer —  Cancer researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, have identified a molecule they say is important to survival of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) — a lethal tumor with no effective therapies. The molecule also seems to play a role in a wide range of cancers. In an online issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, they identify Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) as an oncogenic enzyme that when inhibited and paired with another targeted drug effectively shuts down ATC cell growth and induces cell death.

US News & World Report (HealthDay), Light Activity a Boost to Seniors' Hearts — Light physical activity may benefit older adults' hearts -- even if they have mobility issues, a new study suggests…Still, the findings should encourage doctors and families to help older adults find ways to stay active, said Dr. Gerald Fletcher, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.

Star Tribune, Minnesota needs to lead the way in curing dementia — As legislators who are concerned about the human and fiscal costs associated with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, we have authored the Alzheimer’s Research and Support Act (S.F. 247.) We are two daughters who have seen this disease up close and in person. We know Minnesota must act to combat this disease of long goodbyes and exorbitant costs…Just last month at a hearing in the Minnesota House, researchers from HealthPartners, Essentia, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota were cited for their cutting-edge work. According to Dr. Ron Petersen, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Mayo Clinic, we know a great deal about the underlying biology and are now about to detect the proteins that cause the disease in the brain, even when a person is still cognitively normal. This is critical progress that must be leveraged.

WJCT, Jacksonville Medical Tourism Gets Boost From State Grant — First Coast tourism marketers are getting an injection of state money to help promote Jacksonville’s medical services. Area medical providers are helping match a pair of state grants totaling more than $100,000…State tourism board Visit Florida awarded the grants to Jacksonville totaling more than $100,000 dollars. Visit Jacksonville and medical providers including Mayo Clinic are providing matching funds to double that amount. Amelia Island also received nearly $43,000 to market as a medical convention destination.

WJXT, New movie sheds light on Alzheimer's disease — A movie that's shedding light on the deadly Alzheimer's disease is set to hit theaters this week and it's already creating a huge buzz. The movie's star, Julianne Moore, has already won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of a young woman dealing with the disease. On Wednesday evening, the local Alzheimer's Association sponsored a special screening of the movie….Before the start of the movie, the crowd of invited guests were treated to a presentation by two of the nation's leading Alzheimer's researchers from the Mayo Clinic,  Dr. Neill Graff Radford and Dr. Rosa Rademakers.

Winona Post, Winona competes with Rochester for rail — Winonans of all stripes — industrialists, environmentalists, commercial developers, city and county officials, and average citizens — packed city hall for a Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) meeting last month to advocate for a safer, faster, and less congested future for rail traffic in Minnesota and debate over what projects on the state's long wish list of unfunded rail infrastructure improvements Mn/DOT should tackle first. The most expensive projects stirred up rivalry between Southeast Minnesota's largest city, Rochester, and its neighbors in the Mississippi River Valley.

KAAL, Trauma Center Doctor: More Frostbite Injuries with Traffic Crashes this Winter — A Mayo Clinic trauma center doctor is noticing an alarming trend with traffic crashes. Dr. Donald Jenkins says he's seen more frostbite injuries from traffic-related crashes this winter than in his past seven years working at Mayo Clinic - St. Mary's Campus. He doesn't have an exact number on frostbite injuries, but Jenkins estimates it to be about five times more this year compared to last. Jenkins says people who are trapped inside their cars can become injured because their blood circulation is minimized.

Capitol Hill Times, Editorial | People need to catch on to vaccinations — It’s time to get serious about not letting people opt out of vaccinations for non-medical reasons. If you choose to participate in public schools and public society, then you have a mutual obligation to ensure medical safety to the best of your ability. The Seattle Times has created a tool that allows parents to search the vaccination exemption rates at their neighborhood schools. At Lowell Elementary School, 10.4 percent of the students aren’t vaccinated; of those 64 students who aren’t vaccinated, 59 are for personal reasons, with only three children exempted for medical reasons…Not that long ago, measles was an incurable disease that killed millions of people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it a very infectious disease. The vaccine for it is very effective, and in 2000, measles was considered eliminated from our country. But it’s still a deadly disease, killing about 100,000 people worldwide each year, according to the Mayo Clinic.

LA Times, Superbug linked to 2 deaths at UCLA hospital; 179 potentially exposed — Nearly 180 patients at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center may have been exposed to potentially deadly bacteria from contaminated medical scopes, and two deaths have already been linked to the outbreak. The Times has learned that the two people who died are among seven patients that UCLA found were infected by the drug-resistant superbug known as CRE — a number that may grow as more patients get tested. The outbreak is the latest in a string of similar incidents across the country that has top health officials scrambling for a solution…ERCP is a common and critical procedure in most hospitals today,” said Dr. Bret Petersen, a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic's division of gastroenterology and hepatology in Rochester, Minn. “It's not a procedure we can allow to be constrained, so this is a serious issue we need to address.”

KAAL, Group Brings Accessible Transportation Concerns to Rochester City Council — As plans for Mayo Clinic's DMC project progress, much of the discussion has centered around transportation and how the city will handle the growing population. But one group in particular feels their transportation needs are already going unmet. On Wednesday, a small group went before the Rochester City Council to talk about the need for expanding transportation for people with disabilities who say a lack of viable options make for long wait times or expensive alternatives.

WQOW, Health officials reconsider cholesterol restrictions — very five years, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines are due for an update, and the 2015 report could change the way people view cholesterol. The current report suggests people limit their intake to 300 milligrams a day, which is about one egg. WQOW spoke with a cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic Health System who said health officials have tried to limit the amount of cholesterol we eat in the past because too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to heart disease, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is the leading cause of death for Americans.

Leader-Telegram, Health issues not keeping former top-notch skier from returning to Birkie — Kurt “Charlie” Steil would be the first to admit that he’s not the elite athlete he was as a young man. He used to run competitively in marathons and ultramarathons, including a grueling race up Pikes Peak and a 100-mile endurance test. He won regional cross-country ski races with regularity, among other achievements, and was the 1988 Leader-Telegram Male Athlete of the Year….In 2012, not long after co-workers and family members began noticing his memory lapses, he retired as supervisor of cardio-pulmonary services, rehabilitation and diagnostics at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and went on disability. He had worked at Mayo for 26 years.

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