Staff Directory 10645091

Glenn Howatt

Editor | Computer-Assisted Reporting
Phone: 612-673-7192
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Glenn Howatt has been with the Star Tribune since 1990. In addition to covering health care, he served as the newspaper's data editor for several years.


Howatt is a recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize and was named a Pulitzer finalist in 2015. A native of Chicago, he has master's degrees in urban geography and 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
Prescription drugs at Express Scripts, one of the biggest pharmacy benefit managers in the drug world, in St. Louis, Mo.

Minnesota is aiming for more transparency on drug prices

Minnesota is joining a growing number of states that regulate pharmacy middlemen.
Quinn Nystrom of Baxter, Minn., looked over an insulin pen she purchased last month in Fort Frances, Ontario.

Diabetics turn to internet black market for insulin

Faced with soaring costs and insurance restrictions, Minnesota diabetics are turning to Facebook, eBay, Craigslist and other lesser-known markets where they can offer medication they no longer need and ask others for help.

Minn. takes step toward broader use of highly effective hepatitis C treatment

The state could remove limits to getting effective drug under Medicaid.
Allina Health

Supreme Court rules in favor of Allina in suit over Medicare pay

The decision reverses a move by federal Medicare authorities to cut billions of dollars in payments supporting hospital care for low-income patients.
Testing has been a longtime goal in HIV prevention, but many people shy away from it, and doctors often don’t encourage it because of the stigma ass

Minn. health leaders hope to cut state HIV cases via tests and treatment

Some have the virus and don't know it, others have the diagnosis but aren't getting care.
Justice David L. Lillehaug

Minnesota Supreme Court ruling causes stir in health care

In a ruling that is ruffling feathers in Minnesota's medical and legal communities, the state Supreme Court has said that a doctor can be sued for malpractice even in the absence of a traditional physician-patient relationship.
Quinn Nystrom, left, Travis Paulson, Vicky Luedtke and Nicole Smith-Holt reached their destination, Shoppers Drug Market pharmacy in Fort Frances, Ont

High cost of meds is driving Minnesotans across the border

Diabetes activists head to Canada to snare affordable medicine and supplies.
Carol Colleran

Carol Colleran, who beat addiction and changed treatment industry, dies at 82

Colleran went on to advocate for treatment programs for older adults and hold leadership positions at some of the nation's most prominent addiction treatment organizations.
“We definitely have a way to go to make sure the community is fully vaccinated,” said Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director at the Minnesota

Minnesota has 'many pockets of concern' in fight against measles

Minnesota so far has escaped measles infections at a time when the country has seen more than 700 cases, the highest number in the past 25 years. But health officials here know that the seeds of an outbreak could be just a plane ride away.
FILE - This July 23, 2018 file photo shows packets of buprenorphine, a drug which controls heroin and opioid cravings, in Greenfield, Mass.

While opioid epidemic rages, much of Minnesota is a treatment desert

Amid opioid crisis, many rural areas lack providers of updated drug therapy.
HealthCare.gov was set up under the Affordable Care Act. And under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the federal government provided nearly 90 percent of

Budget shortfalls loom in Minnesota's health care fund

After federal cuts, money for MinnesotaCare will be $900 million short in 2023.
Linsey Rippy’s daughters, Madi, 12, and Sydney, 9, have both had heart transplants. The girls take anti-rejection drugs that sap their ability to fi

With fewer kids vaccinated, more Minn. schools vulnerable

"Herd immunity" is lost in one-third of state schools, several of which have had chickenpox outbreaks since 2017. That's the same year unvaccinated children helped drive a measles outbreak.
Deaths by suicide and related to alcohol and opioid abuse are continuing to rise in Minnesota.

Minnesota suicides and other 'preventable deaths' reach record levels

Continual uptick is a "worrisome long-term trend," health officials say.
Quinn Nystrom recalled having to switch diabetes drugs at least seven times over the last several years. Two years ago, she appealed a drug change, an

Minnesota patients are paying the price of drug roulette

When health insurers change the list of drugs they will pay for, that can mean higher costs, more co-payments and medical complications.
A Mayo Clinic building

Mayo Clinic called out for use of live animals to train doctors

Clinic says its practices comply with the law.
Cigarettes seen behind the counter at a Vernon BP gas station in Edina.

Minnesota asks Big Tobacco firms: Where's the money?

Shortfalls in historic 1998 settlement putting Minnesota's quit-smoking efforts in jeopardy.
Gabriel Bliss, 31, with his daughter Liberty, 3, is a recovering heroin addict who contracted Hepatitis C from a shared needle. Bliss, seen at the hom

Tough choices over a pricey but effective drug for hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is one of the most common infectious diseases, with the potential to cause serious liver damage, so patients were thrilled when a set of revolutionary new medications became available five years ago.
A hedgehog seen at the Minnesota Zoo.

Pet owners beware: Don't kiss that hedgehog

Salmonella outbreak from pets prompts warning.
Unpaid hospital debt in Minnesota surged 25 percent in 2017, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Hospital Association.

Minnesota hospitals see spike in unpaid bills

It is the biggest jump since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2013, according to a report released by the Minnesota Hospital Association.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz

MinnesotaCare for all? Lawmakers pitch a way to broaden health coverage

Proposals to expand MinnesotaCare face uphill fight in GOP-led Senate.
A photograph of the HealthCare.gov website in October 2018.

Affordable Care Act's fate worries many in Minn.

Breadth of 2010 health care law means many will be affected if it's struck down in the courts.
A vial containing the MMR vaccine is loaded into a syringe before being given to a baby at the Medical Arts Pediatric Med Group in Los Angeles on Febr

Heavy drinking, lack of vaccinations hurt state's health ranking

Minnesota hit No. 7 due to excessive drinking, obesity and lower rate of immunizations.
File photo of travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Holiday travel expected to bring more flu cases to Minnesota

The annual illness season in Minnesota has gotten off to a slow start, but that's likely to change.
President Donald Trump signed the farm bill Thursday in Washington. The signing came after Congress dropped a proposal to toughen work requirements. B

New Trump rules for food stamps would mean changes in rural Minn.

Single adults in 30 Minnesota counties and on 11 American Indian reservations have been exempt from work requirements due to scarce jobs.
Oliver Rodriguez-Ocampo has spent each of his 515 days of life at Hennepin Healthcare since his birth on July 20, 2017. On Tuesday, he celebrated his

Preemie graduates from HCMC after 515-day hospital stay

Oliver Rodriguez-Ocampo's stay at the downtown Minneapolis hospital was the longest for a preemie for the past 18 years.
Nurse Heather Grace demonstrated how to change a tracheostomy tube on Pediatric Hal, a simulated 5-year-old patient who helps health care providers tr

Meet Hal: A robot that helps train health workers for a crisis

Increasingly sophisticated simulators are on the front lines of health care workers' training.
Nine years into a robust economic expansion, with Minnesota’s unemployment rate at historic lows, the number of people on public health insurance fo

Minnesota has plenty of jobs, but health insurance? No

Despite a strong economy, 1.1M Minnesotans rely on public health insurance.
James Holt Jr. and Nicole Smith-Holt, parents of Alec Smith, rallied at the Minnesota state Capitol in May against the high and rising prices of presc

Soaring insulin prices cause Minn. lawmakers to draft remedies

Many diabetics say they need help, with the price having tripled since 2002.
A Portico Healthnet adviser assisted people signing up for health insurance at the Ramsey County jail.

Released Minn. inmates may end up 'back in prison' if they don't get health care

Lack of necessary health care can undercut inmate's re-entry into society.
Romaine lettuce still sits on the shelves in the produce area of an Albertsons market Tuesday in Simi Valley, Calif. Health officials told people to s

E. coli alert causes grocers, chefs to dump romaine lettuce

Kowalski's and others clear their shelves; a Lake Elmo restaurant is reworking its salads for Thanksgiving.
EpiPens are among the drugs affected by a nationwide shortage of critical-care medications.

Twin Cities hospitals face critical shortage of pain medications

Workarounds are helping, but common drugs scarce.
Glynn Crooks

Tribal leader and proud veteran Glynn Crooks dies at 67

Glynn Crooks, a longtime leader of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, was passionate about passing on Dakota culture and traditions, as well as expressing his…
Republican Jeff Johnson, left, and DFLer Tim Walz faced off Tuesday night in a “Greater Minnesota Debate” in Willmar, Minn.

Health care becomes flashpoint in Minnesota governor's race

With Affordable Care Act still jarring U.S. politics, access to health care and how to pay for it a major issue dividing Tim Walz, Jeff Johnson.
Kim Gregg had imaging work done at the mylife Dental clinic in Eagan.

'Teledentristry' expands preventive care to more Minnesota families

Remote exams, lower costs regaining favor.

HealthPartners gets $7.9 million grant for health co-ops and care centers in Uganda, 3 other countries

With its own roots in the co-op movement, HealthPartners spreads the model overseas.
mug

A beloved mentor, he mixed engineering with dentistry

Dr. Robert Isaacson was a "modest, self-effacing person," according to his wife, but he had an amazing ability to bring people together and inspire them…
Signs are displayed for the needle exchange program at the Austin Community Outreach Center, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Austin, Ind. Participants in

Needle-related infections soar in Minnesota as opioid epidemic lingers

Minnesota hospitals are seeing a rise in costly illnesses related to syringe-sharing.
Mary Schlief, who has a medication allergy and also has two sons with food allergies, understands that Mylan's EpiPen can be a life saver for her and

EpiPen shortage has Minnesota parents, pharmacies scrambling

National shortage is the latest of many to hit the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.
Judge Donovan Frank’s ruling settled a key legal question that could have implications for future transgender health litigation, attorneys said.

Minnesota judge: Federal law bars denying insurance coverage for transgender medicine

A woman sued her Duluth employer when its health insurance didn't cover her son's treatment.
An arrangement of aspirin pills

That daily aspirin isn't necessarily helping prevent heart attacks

Latest data suggest that, for healthy people, there's no benefit – but some risks.
A health worker prepares a syringe with a vaccine against measles.

Third Minnesota measles case prompts warning about international travel

Unvaccinated children at risk in some overseas nations, officials say.
The number of Minnesotans without health insurance rose last year for the first time since 2013, when the Affordable Care Act took full effect, accord

Number of Minnesotans without health insurance grows by 18,000

Despite the increase, Minnesota still has one of the lowest rates of uninsured in the country at 4.5 percent.
Hydrocodone is a popular prescription semi-synthetic opioid that is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Minn. will speed access to patients' opioid treatment drugs

Minnesota's Medicaid program will remove one of the biggest obstacles facing patients who need drug therapy, cutting the red tape that doctors say has impeded their ability to prescribe treatment medications for opioid addiction.

HealthPartners to study community health interventions

HealthPartners study to see if community workers affect heart outcomes.
Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said her department is assessing whether the $85 million is sufficient to address Minn

Minnesota will get $85M in health care funding from White House

The state sued after feds sought to withhold support of the MinnesotaCare program.
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Second measles case puts Minnesota officials back on alert

New infection underscores growing global threat.
Lake Harriet Bandshell.

Bat found on path near Lake Harriet tests positive for rabies

Health officials urge shots for anyone who might have come in contact with the animal.

Minn. health officials, campground owner spar over disease outbreak that made 72 sick

Minnesota officials say the intestinal infection has sickened 72 campers; facility's owner challenges their science.
Hospital bills for similar patients getting the same type of surgery at the same hospital differ by as much as $65,000, according to a new state of Mi

Rare look at Minnesota hospital costs finds huge swings

Four common procedures can cost wildly different amounts — even within the same hospital.
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridg

Measles sickens 5-year-old child in Hennepin County

Health officials link the infection to overseas travel but warn others who might have been exposed.
OxyContin, in 80 mg pills

Anti-addiction drugs proving tough for state's poor to obtain

Despite Minnesota's professed commitment to battling opioid abuse, the state's own health insurance program for the poor is among the biggest barriers in getting anti-addiction drugs to patients, according to doctors at several clinics across the state.
This is a magnified image of the Legionnaires bacterium made from an electron microscope.

Legionnaires' outbreak at Albert Lea elder care facility sickens 2

Public health officials seeking source of infection at an elder care facility.
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.
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