Contents:

SPRING 2011

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DIRECTOR'S COLUMN

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Mark Schoenbaum

DEMANDS MOUNT ON MINNESOTA'S HEALTH CARE SAFETY NET

Though Minnesota is slowly recovering from the Great Recession, the stability of the state’s health care safety net remains fragile as demands on it rise. The 2010 census confirmed both population loss and a growing proportion of older residents in many rural Minnesota counties, creating rising senior health needs in communities with fewer people overall to use and support the local health system. At the same time, uninsurance rates are up for Minnesota’s population; for example, the rate of uninsured children in Minnesota jumped 20 percent from 2008 to 2009. Read the rest of the story.

Mark Schoenbaum is director of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care and can be reached at mark.schoenbaum@state.mn.us or 651-201-3859.

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PARTNER FOCUS


MEDICAL STUDENTS MEET RURAL

by Michelle Juntunen, Communications Director, University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth

“You lost your insulin pump to the wood chipper?” exclaims my mentoring physician. The patient, sporting a plaid shirt and thick boots covered in a layer of manure that wafts up to my nose replies from behind his burly beard with, “Don’t worry doc, I was able to fish out enough pieces to please the insurance company.”  Read the rest of the story.

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PROGRAM FOCUS

 
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FINDING WORKING CAPITAL

by Ashley Schweitzer, marketing coordinator, Nonprofits Assistance Fund

A decision to pursue a new opportunity often involves weighing the pros and cons. Occasionally after scenario planning the right strategic and financial decision is obvious to everyone involved. Such was the case when Rum River Health Services assessed whether to take on full management of an existing jointly-run program. In order to move forward, the organization needed working capital. Jeff Larson, executive director, reached out to the Nonprofits Assistance Fund’s Minnesota Primary Care Fund, which provided financing and much more. Read the rest of the story

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SPECIAL FEATURE

 

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HOW CLINICS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

Alcohol use and abuse is pervasive. Prenatal care that includes thorough and regular screening and prevention of prenatal alcohol use—as a standard of care for all clinics, medical providers, health departments and health insurance companies—is a starting point for change. Primary care clinics have an opportunity to take the lead on preventing fetal alcohol syndrome and its devastating and widespread consequences.

Lydia Caros, D.O., executive director of the Native American Community Clinic in Minneapolis, sees the impact of brain damage due to prenatal alcohol exposure. She believes that of all the systems providing services to families and children affected by alcohol use, primary care clinics are in the best position to make a real difference. Says Dr. Caros, “Women struggling with alcohol use will continue to use during pregnancy until we change our clinic systems to address this issue.” Read the rest of the story.

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COMMUNITY FOCUS

HEALTH CARE HOMES: GROWING AROUND MINNESOTA

 “Patient involvement leads to increased confidence and reduced anxiety. Patients and their families feel more in control,” explains Connie Blackwell, director of North Metro Pediatrics, an urban health care home.

"I feel better than I have in a really long time," said Mary Falk, a patient at Lakewood Health System, a rural health care home.

Read the rest of the story.

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View online all previous issues of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care publications.

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REGISTER NOW: THE MINNESOTA RURAL HEALTH CONFERENCE IS JUNE 27-28 IN DULUTH


Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
P. O. Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0882
Phone 651-201-3838
Toll free in Minnesota 800-366-5424
Fax: 651-201-3830
TDD: 651-201-5797
www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc

  MISSION: To promote access to quality health care for rural and underserved urban Minnesotans. From our unique position within state government, we work as partners with communities, providers, policymakers and other organizations. Together, we develop innovative approaches and tailor our tools and resources to the diverse populations we serve