Throughout his life, Paul McCarron served as an advocate for public health and human services. As a Minnesota legislator, he was the architect behind the Community Social Services Act (CSSA), landmark welfare-reform legislation. For another project, he went undercover as a janitor so he could see firsthand the conditions at state hospitals.
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Russell Johnson, '13 M.D., took a year away from his formal medical education to be part of a clinical research team at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, situated in the heart of Bangladesh's capital city, Dhaka -- one of the world's most densely populated and rapidly growing cities.
Thomas J. Crowley, '62 M.D., discovered the joys of mountain skiing through the University of Minnesota Ski Club. The Minneapolis native's first trip west took him to Aspen for some traditional downhill skiing. But over time he discovered his true passion was for the backcountry. He did worry, however, about the very real and ever-present danger of avalanches. After a fair bit of tinkering, Crowley invented and patented the AvaLung.
The debilitating, often deadly disease of type 1 diabetes mellitus still has not been conquered. But 40 years ago, because seven forward-looking patients volunteered to be injected with tiny clusters of cells from donated pancreases, University of Minnesota scientists took a huge step toward taming diabetes.
The University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP), and Fairview Health Services in February launched a new brand, University of Minnesota Health, representing the closer integration of the three organizations and their shared commitment to delivering the best possible care to patients.
A team of University of Minnesota cardiothoracic transplant experts in November performed the Midwest's first "breathing lung" transplant, an innovative surgical approach that uses technology capable of keeping donated lungs warm and breathing during transportation -- which also keeps them healthier before transplantation.
Author Brian Lucas, who is senior director of communications for the U's Academic Health Center, recounts his family's story through a new book, Here Comes the Sun. He says he wanted to offer a clear and honest look at what happens when an illness throws life off track and show how a combination of science, love, and serendipity can put things right.
Medical themes are threaded throughout PBS's wildly popular "Downton Abbey," from Matthew's temporary paralysis during the Great War to Sybil's tragic death from eclampsia. The Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine illuminates medicine of Edwardian England through its current exhibit, which is free and open to the public.
For decades, researchers have focused much of their energy on minimizing the impact of diabetes. Because people with diabetes do not have functioning pancreas islet cells--essential for producing the insulin our bodies need--physicians and scientists have found ways to help them manage their blood sugar levels through lifestyle changes, medications, and insulin injections.
But Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of Minnesota's Stem Cell Institute, wants to think much bigger. He doesn't just want to make it easier for patients to live with their diabetes; he wants to cure them of it.
He has toured 47 states and 23 countries to increase awareness of cystic fibrosis (CF)--a genetic disorder that causes mucus to build up and clog some organs of the body, primarily the lungs--and he gets hugs everywhere he goes. This furry advocate is Burke P. Bear, a cuddly teddy bear named in honor of Burke P. Derr, who died two days before his 19th birthday in 1997 from complications of CF.
When scientists talk about "environmental" causes of cancer, they don't mean that carcinogens lurk in every tree and stream. They're referring to anything that enters or interacts with the human body--sunshine, food, water, alcohol, radiation, cigarette smoke--and examining them for their potential to cause renegade cell growth. And as they now know, environmental factors are linked to as many as two out of every three cancers diagnosed.
Brad Hoyt fell in love with racing as a boy when his father took him to see the movie "Grand Prix." So when he found himself the winner at the finish line of the premier Historic Grand Prix of Monaco in 2008--in a 1969 Formula One Ferrari similar to the one in the movie--he had to pinch himself. After returning home to Minnesota, all Hoyt wanted to do was get back to Monaco and win again. But a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in April 2011 threatened that plan--and his life.
At 78, volunteer Hinda Litman now has a shock of snow-white hair but retains the same joyful energy she brought to University of Minnesota hospitals more than 35 years ago, when she first volunteered as a patient visitor. Since then, she's worked in the surgery lounge, with hospice patients, and now in the Masonic Cancer Clinic--wherever there has been a patient in need, Litman has shown up.
Since scientists now know that between 5 and 10 percent of all cancers are caused by abnormal genes inherited from a parent--often called hereditary cancers--Masonic Cancer Center researchers and clinicians are increasingly focused on making sure that patients understand their family history to minimize their cancer risk.
Camie and Jack Eugster believe that children deserve a comfortable environment when they’re sick that can cheer them up. That’s why, through their family foundation, the Eugsters sponsored an Adopt A Room on the hospital’s blood and marrow transplant unit—to brighten the days of children who typically face long hospital stays.
By the time Milton Oran arrived at the University of Minnesota-affiliated Neurosurgery Clinic in early October 2013, he was in so much pain that he could barely speak. The 88-year-old Oran, a retired mechanical engineer, had been diagnosed four years earlier with trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic disorder of the facial nerve. In its classic form, trigeminal neuralgia causes intense, sudden electric shock-like pain. Oran's condition had been kept largely under control with medication, but the nerve had started acting up, this time more severely than ever.
Dr. Anne Keating has been recognized for her participation in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) XV, Class of 2013. All LDP alumni were recognized with the 2013 Special Recognition Award during the opening session. Dr. Keating was among a select group of 18 participants chosen for the LDP XV, Class of 2013, from among a large group that was nominated by state, subspecialty, and specialized interest societies.
When Marc and Mandy Seymour brought their infant daughter, Quinn, across the country to University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital to be part of a groundbreaking clinical trial aimed at curing her devastating skin disease, the hospital did not yet have an on-site chapel. Today the Seymours are honoring Quinn’s memory—and providing a place of peace and hope for others—by raising $500,000 to build a chapel at Amplatz.
"Healing is the most important ingredient in Native American cooking," says chef Jason Champagne, a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and student in the School of Public Health who is pursuing a master's degree in public health nutrition. "Indigenous foods are a path to health and a way for us to recover our communities."
No one was more stunned than Tom Maloney when his wife was diagnosed with appendix cancer nearly three years ago. Betti Boers Maloney had always been fit, active, and health-conscious. At 60, after raising four children (a blended family, formed when the couple married in 1984) and working as the office manager for her husband's medical device materials business, she looked like the picture of health.
Agnes Johnson spent decades worrying about her daughter, Ana Belle, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 16. As Johnson aged, she decided to set up a fund to ensure that Ana Belle would always be cared for; in the event of Ana Belle's death, her mother wanted the money to go to the University of Minnesota, where it could support schizophrenia research. When Ana Belle died two years ago, Johnson's careful planning resulted in a generous gift to the U.