Staff Directory 10645091

Glenn Howatt

Editor | Computer-Assisted Reporting
phone: 612-673-7192
Glenn Howatt joined the Star Tribune's business section in May 1990. He was a co-winner of a 2004 Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Award for coverage of questionable medical and business practices of a Roseville-based cancer center. As the computer-assisted reporting editor, he specializes in acquiring and analyzing data that leads to investigative journalism. Howatt holds two master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: one in urban geography and the other in journalism. He is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Howatt previously worked at Minneapolis-St. Paul CityBusiness, now the Business Journal.
Recent content from Glenn Howatt
Ron Chastain

Linguist and professor Ron Chastain dies at 79

Later, academics became central to his professional life, but it also opened up a new understanding of family.
Dr. Nathan Chomilo gave 15-month-old Tedra Gbelia a book at the beginning of her well-child visit with her mother Lorpu Cyrus.

Minnesota pediatricians promote reading for young patients and their parents

A growing number of pediatric and primary care clinics in Minnesota are using children's books to improve health care and enhance child development.
Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles in his St. Paul office.

Minnesota government health program passes legislative audit

Examination of Medical Assistance program uncovered a few errors.
Kids jumping into the swimming pool.

Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find

Chlorine doesn't kill all the things that can make swimmers ill, studies find.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison outlined some of his stances Monday in his bid for the state attorney general’s position.

Ellison: State attorney general's office should fight Trump on health care

Competing candidates also weigh in on election issues.
This image provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows what the new Medicare cards will look like. The cards are getting a makeover

New Medicare card coming to Minnesotans in July

The card, in a national fraud prevention measure, will no longer include a Social Security number.
In this photo taken on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 Doctor Roberto Ieraci vaccinates a woman in Rome.

New shingles vaccine in short supply at Minnesota clinics

There has been a run on the new vaccine, which is about twice as effective as an older version.
Brandon Waters led the Family Tree Clinic group at the 2017 Twin Cities Pride march. About 60 percent of the St. Paul clinic's 4,500 patients are from

Growing 'PRIDE Study' aims to improve LGBTQ health care

Instead of getting health care advice from her doctor, Nathalie Crowley, a transgender woman, has found herself being the one who does the teaching."A lot…
Lab specialist Elizabeth Cebelinski used new technology as she tested for the Cyclospora parasite at the state Health Department.

Disease detectives get new tool to fight food-borne bugs

Minnesota Health Department lab can run a single test that will detect up to 22 different types of bacteria, viruses and parasites.
A Kwik Trip store in Minnesota.

Three dozen Minnesotans sickened by food parasite in 2 separate outbreaks

Two separate outbreaks were linked to the Sonora Grill in Minneapolis and Kwik Trip stores statewide.

Blue Cross mental health cuts leave some Minn. clinics struggling

The health insurer cut therapy rates at the same time it asked clinics to return payments made in error.

Union workers settle contract dispute at Mayo's Albert Lea hospital

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members approved the new contract Monday.
Adrienne Frank was fired amid treatment for oral cancer. Said a legal expert, “12 weeks is not a lot for people with a lot of cancers.”

As more cancer patients survive, workplace protections fall short

It's unclear how many cancer patients lose employment because they're not ready to return to work. But studies show that just 40 percent are back at work within six months.
Jewelean Jackson found medical and legal help at Community-University Health Care Center. Theresa Hughes, left, of Stinson Leonard Street said helping

Legal help can be the prescription for health at Minneapolis clinic

A Minneapolis clinic is leading the way in providing pro bono help to patients.
Shriners continually work to raise awareness of the free care at their hospitals. Now they are rethinking treatment plans.

Shriners Hospital for Children planning to shift to outpatient care only

Goal will be less hospital care, more outpatients and same-day surgeries.

Medicaid work requirements hotly debated at Legislature

Will work requirements save money or penalize those most in need?

State says it will write off $30 million in unpaid MinnesotaCare premiums

A troubled computer system could not send bills to some enrollees, officials say.
Dr. Bruce Blazar is director of the U’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which manages the grant.

U wins $42M in federal funds for biomedical research

The NIH grant, one of the two biggest from the feds received by the university, backs work of applying medical research in real life.
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm

State solicits feedback to improve elder abuse response

As part of its effort to improve the state's response to allegations of elder abuse, the Minnesota Health Department is seeking public comments about a new computer system to handle complaints filed against senior care homes.

Medicaid work requirements proposal advances in the Legislature

The proposal is supposed to increase the state's workforce, but critics say it will take health care away from the sick.
In this Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 file photo, a nurse gives administers a flu vaccine shot in Washington.

Mapping the flu? Minnesota says there's an app for that

Flu Near You partnership expands the reach of state's disease monitoring.

Proposed Medicaid work rule could end up costing state

Some fear administrative costs might erase any savings.

Hennepin Healthcare opens new downtown clinic

The $225 million facility is across the street from the Hennepin County Medical Center's south entrance.

GOP proposes work requirement for Minnesotans getting medical assistance

Medical Assistance recipients who are not working, job hunting or volunteering could lose their benefits under a measure Minnesota legislators proposed Monday.Republicans in the House…

Number of Minnesotans lacking health insurance increases

Minnesota's uninsured rate went from 4.3 percent in 2015 to 6.3 percent in 2017, fueled by a drop in the number of employers who offered coverage as well as people exiting the individual market.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar addressed the flu season last week during a news conference at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina.

Chasing a better flu vaccine, with science and guesswork

In their first assessment of this season's influenza vaccine, federal health officials said last week that the current vaccine is 36 percent effective overall.

Federal cuts leave future of MinnesotaCare insurance in question

$800 million in federal cuts creates a challenge for MinnesotaCare funding.
FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The U.S. government's Friday, Feb. 9,

Minnesota reports three new child deaths as flu season worsens

The flu has also caused a record number of hospitalizations this year.
Richard Kormanik

Richard Kormanik, retired South High teacher and coach, dies at 75

As a business education teacher at South High School in Minneapolis, Richard Kormanik spent 35 years instructing students on topics like accounting and stock market…
Hennepin County Medical Center burn unit's Sarah Blake addressed frost bite wounds on a patient, Wednesday, January 10, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN.

Minnesota hospitals — surprise — have made new discoveries on frostbite

HCMC, where 38 patients were hospitalized during the last cold snap, had to open a new unit because the burn ward, which treats frostbite as well as burns, ran out of beds.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, shown in 2017.

Minn. attorney general sues Trump administration over cuts in federal health funds

State is concerned about long-term federal funding for MinnesotaCare.
An HCMC paramedic prepared an ambulance for service as HCMC prepped area media members on operations leading up to and during the Super Bowl.

HCMC plans for downtown gridlock during Super Bowl

If the downtown hospital becomes overwhelmed, emergency managers will shift patients to other metro hospitals.

Minn. study shows surgery costs vary widely: $6,200 to $47,000 for knee replacement

First study of its kind shows wide range in prices for Minnesotans.
Dr. Xieng Lee checked Marcia Hokenson's teeth at Southside Community Health Center in Minneapolis in 2011. The community clinic gets 30 percent of its

Congress indecision paralyzing Minnesota safety net clinics

Nearly 70 of Minnesota's safety net medical clinics, with thousands of patients, face an uncertain future because Congress has failed to reauthorize their federal funding.
Mara Glantz, RN, CNP, gave patient Page Cowles a flu shot Thursday, October 4, 2012 in St. Paul, MN. As millions gain insurance under the new health l

Minnesota flu cases jump sharply

This year's outbreak is now 'widespread' in the state, health officials said.
In 2008, President George W. Bush was joined by Minnesota's Jim Ramstad, right, in a ceremonial signing of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental

Rising cost of mental health care vs. other services draws Minn. scrutiny

A study says options are more costly compared with other medical treatment.
Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota commissioner of human rights.

Fairview settles state human rights lawsuit over deaf interpreter services

Fairview will better address training for all hospital staff, clarify policies and report to the state.
Minnesota health officials in the past few weeks have seen several signs that more people are getting sick from the flu.

Health officials expect Minnesota flu cases to rise

Hospitalizations from flu-like symptoms jump 38 percent

Blue Cross trying to recoup $4M in overpayments to therapists

Therapists say repaying Blue Cross for its error creates financial burden.
Como Park Senior High teachers and upper class students welcomed new students at a freshman orientation event in August that included a stretch.

Exercise improves test scores, study of Minnesota students finds

Schools incorporate physical activity in the classroom, plus yoga and other activities, in three-year study.

Congress' inaction on CHIP would cost Minnesota $178 million

New state forecast shows the cost for continuing health coverage of 125,000 children.
A blood glucose level test is administered on a participant in a research trial that provides appropriate food, doctor referrals, diabetes education a

Minnesota slows per-patient spending on chronic diseases

A report card had good and bad news for the state. Though it cited innovations in care, "even if we are more successful at controlling per-person spending, the increase in prevalence ... is going to ruin us in the long term."

For thousands of Minnesota patients, Medicaid will have a new look

Plan lets patients choose their clinic while raising accountability of care.
Barbara Scherek

Barbara Scherek, lifelong nurse and teacher, dies at 85

She had travelled the world, taught scores of nurses and helped lead a major Twin Cities nonprofit, but Barbara Scherek wanted to learn more. So…

Ramsey County tuberculosis outbreak has health officials on alert

The outbreak has primarily affected elderly residents in the Hmong community, with 10 cases linked to a senior center where the first case was detected in 2016.
Jakub Tolar

University of Minnesota names new medical school dean

Dr. Jakub Tolar is a renowned stem-cell researcher.
Gov. Mark Dayton

Dayton, client advocates blast Minnesota HMO for $120M transfer

The move by Medica Health Plans is also reigniting a debate about the role of Minnesota's nonprofit health plans.
U's medical school dean is leaving for Iowa

U's medical school dean is leaving for Iowa

Dr. Brooks Jackson, a prominent researcher from Johns Hopkins, leaves after three years in Minnesota.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced Friday she'll join a lawsuit with California and other states challenging President Donald Trump's d

Minn. joins suit against Trump's halt to health insurance subsidies

The state health insurance program receives much of the "cost-sharing reduction" money marked for elimination by the Trump administration.
Minnesota DHS Commissioner Emily Piper, shown in July, called the federal government's approach to the states "incredibly frustrating."

'Blindsided' by Washington, state officials scramble to save MinnesotaCare

For the consumers who rely on MinnesotaCare, it means another stressful time.

Minnesota AIDS Project, Rainbow Health announce merger

The name of the new organization has yet to be determined. The merger will take effect in early 2018.
Gov. Mark Dayton

Gov. Dayton makes second plea for MinnesotaCare

In a letter to federal regulators, he asks Washington not to cut off funds for the health program.
Nurse practitioner Jara Rice, right, examined patient Arthur Price Jr., 11.

Federal health funds for low-income kids, uninsured expiring

Congressional debate about Obamacare has delayed action on bills. Programs are set to end Saturday with the end of the fiscal year.
A drug discount program that helps safety net providers save millions could be significantly weakened under new regulations proposed by the Trump admi

Health safety net providers fear dwindling savings from drug discounts

Medicare payment decreases could stifle safety net savings from drug discount program under new regulations proposed by the Trump administration.
Dr. Michael Kamp examines a patient Thursday at Open Cities Medical Center. The low-income clinic in St. Paul would face major funding losses under th

Latest health bill in Senate could end up costing Minn. billions

The Graham-Cassidy bill could defund MinnesotaCare and shift funding from Minnesota to states like Wisconsin. "This takes us back several steps." a Minnesota health official says.
Minnesota's drug overdose deaths continued to climb in 2016, Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger, left, revealed during a press conference T

Minnesota drug overdose deaths rose sharply in 2016

Health Department calls the extended streak 'alarming.'
Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota, is shown in 2014. Abderholden said health plans such as Blue Cross should be encouraging patien

Blue Cross payment cuts prompt protest by Minn. mental health providers

State's biggest health insurer says Minnesota has exceeded national averages.
Shirley Lockwood Larson

Obit: Shirley Lockwood Larson, singer and vocal coach

Shirley Lockwood Larson was one of those kids who loved to sing for guests who visited her parents' home.That love began a lifelong dedication to…
Rep. Ilhan Omar, center, and Abdisalam Adam Dar Al-Hijrah, right, laughed as they talked with Abdirizak Bihi, left, with the Somali Education and Soci

Measles outbreak is over, Minnesota health officials say

Last new case was reported 42 days ago, so epidemiologists don't expect more infections.
State Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann led a May conference call with counties and local health agencies to address the measles outbreak. Af

After nearly five months, Minn. measles outbreak may be over

State health officials have scheduled an announcement for Friday if no new cases are reported.
Kade and Kallan Maresh

Source of E. coli that killed 3-year-old Wright Co. girl still a mystery

Tests rule out petting zoo as site where two Wright County siblings picked up bacteria that killed one.
The Planned Parenthood Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota headquarters in St. Paul.

Planned Parenthood announces $6.5M gift, new Mpls. clinic

A new clinic will be built in the Uptown neighborhood and other facilities in the 19-clinic network will be modernized.
Dr. Sagal Nur, right, prepared to work on a patient at her Open Cities Health Center dental office in St. Paul on Thursday with assistant Rita Robinso

Safety net clinics in Minnesota face loss of federal funds

As Congress debates health care, $27 million in federal aid for state's rural and needy is in jeopardy. Cutbacks and closures could follow.
From left, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and Senate Majority Whip Sen. John C

If repeal has failed, Minnesota leaders say, try repairing the federal health law

They point specifically to stabilizing insurance markets and addressing rising health care costs and premiums.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after a Republican luncheon meeting on Capitol Hill, in Washington, July 13, 2017. Senate Republican le

Two Minnesota CEOs weigh in against Senate GOP health bill

Repealing Obamacare would cut coverage, undermine medical reforms and raise consumer costs, they argue as U.S. Senate leaders ready a new bill.
Annette Leduc, a medical laboratory technician for the Minnesota Health Department processes tubes with saliva from patients to test for measles, Thur

Minnesota Health Dept. seeks extra $600K to stop spread of measles, tuberculosis, syphilis

State seeks extra $600K to control measles, tuberculosis, syphilis.
Gov. Mark Dayton, at left, with U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, listened as James Robinson, right, spoke of how Medicaid helped him.

Minnesota set to lose $2 billion, then more with GOP health bill

The estimate by the Department of Human Services found those funding losses would multiply in subsequent years.
Kim Battern, diabetic and a recent retiree, found that the price of a three-month supply of testing strips had jumped from $80 to more than $200.

Minnesota diabetics are in peril as price of insulin spikes

Patients put health in peril as they struggle to pay bills. "I only get so much money a month," said one retiree.
Annette Leduc, a medical laboratory technician for the Minnesota Health Department processes tubes with saliva from patients to test for measles, Thur

With no new cases in two weeks, state's measles outbreak is tapering off

No new cases in weeks after authorities rushed to contain the outbreak.

State's day care centers have troubling gaps on immunizations

Centers that ignore rules can act as unwitting incubators for the measles virus.
Marvin Ack

Psychologist Marvin Ack, who dies at 93, gave wisdom to parents, voice to troubled kids

A pioneer in children's health care, he had received training in Freud's method of psychoanalysis — even working with Freud's daughter, Anna.
State health officials continue to reach out to parents who are skeptical of the measles vaccine.

Harmless measles? Minn. officials want parents to know it's a deadly virus

Measles' impact on children, even after they recover, can last for years.
Netsanet Bekele, cq, a clinical lab scientist for the Minnesota Health Department test for measles as he places the tubes into a robot, Thursday, May

Four new Minnesota measles cases reported, including two in Le Sueur County

Minnesota's measles outbreak has expanded into Le Sueur County with two new cases in unvaccinated children, a development that was expected by health officials as…
Netsanet Bekele, a clinical lab scientist for the Minnesota Health Department, tested for measles as he placed the tubes into a robot at the MHD labor

Minnesota's 'incident team' races to stop measles outbreak

For nearly four weeks, the Minnesota Department of Health had been battling a measles outbreak that is now the state's worst since 1990.
A pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

3 measles cases in Crow Wing County bring Minnesota total to 54

The latest three cases — all family members — are in Crow Wing County.
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