Recent Articles

What will you find during Medicare Open Enrollment?







By Marilyn Tavenner

Contributing Writer

Your health needs change from year to year. And, your health plan may change the benefits and costs each year, too. That’s why it’s important to review your Medicare choices each fall. Compare your current plan to new options and see if you can lower some costs or find a plan that better suit your needs. Open Enrollment is the one time of year when all people with Medicare can see what new benefits Medicare has to offer and make changes to their coverage. Continue Reading →

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More babies not born in hospitals

More than 1.3 percent of births (904 babies) in Minnesota in 2012 occurred outside of a hospital — mainly in homes and freestanding birth centers — up from 0.5 percent of births (366 babies) in 2004. “As the numbers of freestanding birth centers and midwives providing planned home births continue to rise, women and families have more choices for safe and individualized maternity care,” said Kate Saumweber Hogan, certified professional midwife, licensed midwife, and member of the Minnesota Council of Certified Professional Midwives. “The type of care midwives are trained to provide has been proven to reduce complications, interventions, birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section, while providing greater client satisfaction,” said Saumweber. Births occur outside of hospitals more frequently in greater Minnesota than in the Twin Cities metro area. In 2012, 1.7 percent of babies born in greater Minnesota counties were born outside of hospitals, while one percent of babies in the seven-county metro area were born outside of hospitals, according to health department data. Continue Reading →

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Gary Cunningham named Metro State Alumnus of the Year

In recognition of his strong commitment to serving the Twin Cities community both as a professional and as a volunteer, Metropolitan State University recognized Gary Cunningham as its 2014 Alumnus of the Year at the 2014 Celebrating Service to the Community Scholarship Luncheon on October 16 at Travelers in Saint Paul. Cunningham has built a distinguished career strengthening communities of color and working toward economic justice. He is the president and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA). Prior to coming to MEDA, he was the vice president and chief program officer for the Northwest Area Foundation, where he was responsible for carrying out the foundation’s mission to support efforts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable prosperity in the foundation’s eight state region. Previous to his work at the foundation, Cunningham served in many leadership positions with various public and nonprofit organizations. Continue Reading →

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No bones about it — vitamin D is good for your health!








Vitamin D has been well known for its ability to help build strong bones. Vitamin D assists the body in using the calcium we eat for good bone production. A severe lack of vitamin D has been associated with the disease “rickets” when

bones don’t form properly and are very weak and soft. We have come to realize that vitamin D has many other health benefits in addition to good bone health. It is formed in the skin in response to sunlight. It is also found in some foods including oily fish (e.g. halibut, salmon, etc.), egg yolks, and in fortified grain and dairy products, most commonly milk. Continue Reading →

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Turning Point announces ‘big-time’ partnership with North Memorial

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Chemical healthcare needs in the Black community historically have been emphasized less than they should be. Turning Point since 1976 has provided both culturally specific inpatient and outpatient chemical dependency treatment services and other related programming. It served nearly 500 clients in 2013; 42 percent of the provided services were chemical dependency treatment with 94 percent of its clientele Black. The nonprofit agency’s mission expanded several years ago with the establishing of its Culturally Specific Services Center (CSSC) for “providing social services, public health programs, and culturally specific solutions” to meet the community’s needs. One result is that Turning Point and North Memorial Medical Center have joined forces. Continue Reading →

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The Good Wife Works: On memories and fear of loss

Wilt Chamberlain said it: “Important to you, irrelevant to others.” Experts agree, and advise you to get rid of your junk so as not to burden your family with your stuff. Americans are, after all, five percent of the world’s population consuming 30 percent of its resources, always replacing, upgrading, then throwing away the outmoded. Don’t throw it away, there is no away, reads a New York Times ad. But are we what we hang on to, hold in our hand, and look at in order to reminisce? In his essay Treasure Hunt, Umberto Eco (b. Continue Reading →

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Domestic violence is a public health threat that affects us all

Each year since 1981, October has been the month dedicated to promote awareness and prevention of domestic violence. However, we need to keep our focus on the impact of domestic violence in families. Domestic violence has been defined as a “pattern of coercive and assaultive behaviors that can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, psychological attacks and economic coercion that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partner.”

Domestic violence, a public health issue, cuts across every segment of society and occurs in all age, racial, ethnic, socio-economic, sexual orientation, and religious groups. According to Safe Horizon, a domestic abuse advocacy organization, domestic violence is a social, economic, and health concern that impacts an estimated 35 percent of the world population. As a result, many communities across the country are developing strategies to stop the violence and provide safe solutions for victims. Safe Horizon also presents the following statistics about prevalence and severity of domestic violence:

Statistically, 85-90 percent of victims are women, and over 20 percent of women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience domestic violence. Continue Reading →

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Back by popular demand: Recognizing and treating Molluscum Contagiosum

What is Molluscum Contagiosum? 

Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral infection that produces small, flesh-colored, dome-shaped bumps that can often become irritated or painful. They may appear to have a shiny surface in a small central indentation, or white core. Why should I care about Molluscum Contagiosum? Molluscum Contagiosum is a benign condition that will spread through direct skin contact. This contact can be in the patient’s own skin spreading to other areas, or from direct skin-to-skin contact, especially in children. Molluscum Contagiosum can also be transmitted through swimming pools and shower room floors. Continue Reading →

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A thought caused it all

As I sit here at my desk in Lino Lakes Correctional Facility, I watch the mid-afternoon traffic of Highway 35 pass my window. I’m subdued by the sound of early October rain as it hits my window sill. I can hear the sound of jangling keys as they pass my door, the ever-present presence of the correctional officer. Usually it makes me nervous, but today it does not. Continue Reading →

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