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DULUTH—Benjamin Clarke's bank doesn't make loans, and it doesn't have a drive-through window. He does want deposits, although he's a bit picky about what he'll take. "I really prefer the deer tick," said Clarke, in his office on the third floor of the University of Minnesota Medical School's Duluth campus. "I'm after Lyme disease. It's very particular about what tick it's in."
DULUTH—On the forehead I put the statement, "But you look OK." ... Because it just makes you feel crazy, like, "Is it me? Am I just crazy? Why can't I override whatever's happening in my brain?" My particular mask is unequally divided into two sides. ... I literally feel sensory-wise like I have two halves of a body that don't feel the same. I had one side that was a bright, happy side. ... The other side was a darker side with tears. I had an out-of-order sign put on me, so people would understand that I'm still not the same person.
DULUTH — 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."
ST. PAUL—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.
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."
DULUTH—Almost three years after marijuana was legalized for some medical purposes in Minnesota, some providers, patients and patients' loved ones say the program is frustrating, and the medicine, for many, is unaffordable. "I just think it's so sad why we can't set up a program that someone would find easier than (it is)," said Pat Mullen of Duluth. "They've got to find a way to inform people."
DULUTH — On top of an expected increase in uninsured patients, proposed cuts to a drug discount program would further threaten their bottom line, local hospital officials say. "The change that was proposed ... I think was somewhere between $3 million and $4 million (impact) on St. Luke's," said John Strange, CEO of St. Luke's hospital. At issue is the 340B drug discount program, created by Congress as part of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 to give hospitals that serve low-income populations a price break.
DULUTH—Hospitals in northern Minn. and across the state have been scrambling to cope with a nationwide shortage of injectable opioid painkillers. "The supply is just inconsistent," said Gina Lemke, pharmacy director at St. Luke's hospital. "We can't place an order and trust that it's going to arrive." Given the effort to cut down on the number of opioids that are prescribed, it may seem ironic that there's a shortage of some opioids used in an injectable form. But in that setting, opioids still perform a needed function, pharmacists say.
DULUTH—Tyesha Nelson isn't down on medical marijuana, even though it didn't help her with her intractable pain. The 31-year Duluth woman "was placing all my bets on the medical marijuana" to relieve the pain from the rheumatoid arthritis with which she had been diagnosed at age 23, she said on Wednesday, Feb. 28. She had a dose in August 2016, soon after intractable pain was added as an approved condition for treatment with medical cannabis in Minnesota. Not only did it fail to relieve her pain, Nelson said, it "gave me the worst anxiety I ever experienced in my life."
DULUTH—Olympic-sized triumph echoed from South Korea to the Duluth International Airport on Monday, Feb. 26, as four members of the gold-medal-winning U.S. men's curling team were welcomed with cheers, chants and hugs. "Give me a U!" a pint-sized voice whooped shortly after John Shuster of Superior, Wis., and Tyler George, John Landsteiner and Joe Polo of Duluth came through the doors. "U!" a crowd of several hundred people responded. "Give me an S!" "S!" "Give me an A!" "A!" "What are we?" "USA! USA! USA!"