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Disparities in health outcomes between Minnesota's "haves" and "have-nots" takes a $2.26 billion yearly toll on the state's economy, contends a leading health insurer. Although the state prides itself in being one of the leaders in national health statistics, people of color and low-income residents are left behind, said Janelle Waldock of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, which commissioned "The Cost of Health Inequities in Minnesota."
The perception that most high school kids drink alcoholic beverages isn't true, the Minnesota Department of Health reports. And it's less true now — much less true — than it was at the beginning of the century. "It's important that kids know, that contrary to public belief, a majority of high school students don't drink alcohol," state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said on Thursday in a news release as the health department released an analysis of the latest data on teen drinking in the state. For example, among the state's ninth-graders:
Mary C. Van Evera, who grew up in one of Duluth's most prominent families and threw her energies into philanthropic causes and outspoken advocacy, died on April 13 at her home in Duluth. She was 96. The daughter of Dorothy House and Edward Chester Congdon, Van Evera was the granddaughter of Chester A. Congdon, who made a fortune investing in the Iron Range and built Glensheen Mansion, completed in 1908 and now the most visited historic home in Minnesota.
An e-cigarette that looks like a pocket-sized computer device is alarming health officials because of its potency and popularity among teenagers. But area school officials say so far they haven't found the vaping pod known as Juul in their facilities. "We're familiar that they're out there," said Tim Rohweder, principal at Proctor High School. "I haven't seen one or confiscated one here at our school. I know that they're around."
A new law in Wisconsin is good news for heart attack victims, according to the American Heart Association. The bill, which Gov. Scott Walker signed into law on Monday, offers training for dispatchers in guiding people through the CPR process, explained Krystal Webb of the heart association in Wisconsin. It also gives dispatchers the option of immediately transferring a call to someone with expertise when CPR is required.
A vaccine for opioids? A Minnesota research team is working to develop a vaccine to fight the opioid crisis. The vaccine, which would use the body's immune system to produce molecules that target, bind and prevent opioids from reaching the brain, is being developed by scientists from the University of Minnesota Medical School and Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation at Hennepin Healthcare, according to the university's news service.
Here's the thing about eating when you cannot see: After a while, the satisfaction of the delicious food is outweighed by the work involved in getting that food into your mouth.
For Susan Sauls and ReBecca Paddock, it's not enough just to come to the Sea of Bowls, the Monday evening preview ahead of Tuesday's Empty Bowl fundraiser for Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. They have to be first. "There's a competition of who gets in front of the door first to wait," Sauls said, as the Blue Water Big Band offered brassy accompaniment in the Duluth Depot's Great Hall, where tables were covered with eye-catching pottery.
Minnesota and Wisconsin residents who are 65 and older will start receiving new Medicare cards in the mail this summer, a change that's intended to reduce fraud. But local experts say the changeover may bring some headaches of their own. "Any time you have a big change, that's when the scammers seem to come out of the woodwork," said Marjori Bottila, contact center coordinator in Duluth for Senior LinkAge Line, the Minnesota Board of Aging's free information and assistance service.
Perhaps you want to know the percentage of Douglas County residents older than 18 who don't have health insurance. Or the percentage of households in the 55806 ZIP code (Lincoln Park and the Central Hillside) with incomes that are less than $15,000. Or the infant mortality rate in St. Louis County and how that compares with the state and nation as a whole.