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
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.

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.
Read our comment standards

StarTribune.com welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on StarTribune.com.

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We are changing commenting systems. As part of this transition, beginning Thursday the system will not be available. We expect to resume commenting service on Sunday, Nov. 18.
More from Star Tribune