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Jeremy Olson

Reporter | Newsroom
Jeremy Olson's coverage has taken him from a medical helicopter as it lifted a sick baby out of Sleepy Eye, to an operating room in St. Paul where doctors raced to treat a heart attack, to a living room in Minneapolis where an old man died on his own terms. He seeks to demystify the delivery, politics and business of health care in an era in which consumers are expected to make more of their own medical decisions. The University of St. Thomas graduate has been a reporter since 1995 and earned the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting (2013), the Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Award (2009), and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism (2005).
Recent content from Jeremy Olson
Costly to cure, hepatitis C on the rise in Minnesota

Costly to cure, hepatitis C on the rise in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health identified 51 new hepatitis C infections last year, the highest annual number since at least 1998.
Minn. hospital finds success in opioid fight with focus on mothers

Minn. hospital finds success in opioid fight with focus on mothers

The successful Sanford Bemidji Medical Center program soothing both mother and infant also offers a blueprint for others in the state.
How to survive a 250-day flight to Mars? Mayo tests an answer

How to survive a 250-day flight to Mars? Mayo tests an answer

Considering that astronauts on a mission to Mars will face almost a year of confinement, stress and boredom, an extra bag of peanuts isn't likely to cut it.
Good Friday abortion vigil matched with counterprotest

Good Friday abortion vigil matched with counterprotest

Abortions opponents marched in a vigil outside Planned Parenthood in St. Paul while supporters chanted for the organization's future and imperiled federal funding.
In battle against opioids, Minnesota leaders promote wider use of naloxone

In battle against opioids, Minnesota leaders promote wider use of naloxone

Health officials want people to buy the medication and learn how to use it in an emergency.

HealthPartners' CV Wizard program casts heart health advice, not spells

The Bloomington-based health care provider has received a $3 million federal grant through its research institute to expand access to the program.
Minneapolis heart attack study finds surprising trend among victims

Minneapolis heart attack study finds surprising trend among victims

A look back at 1,000 heart attack victims found that many were not taking statins, lending support to updated guidelines.
Custody dispute preceded fatal shootings of three in St. Paul

Custody dispute preceded fatal shootings of three in St. Paul

A family member said the 20-year-old man suspected of killing her family members was involved in an intense custody dispute with one of the slain young women over a little girl.

Breast-feeding may not raise child's IQ, but it still has other benefits

When the impact of breast-feeding on a child's long-term cognitive gains was still an open scientific question, the absence of knowledge was sort of a…
Union lawsuit contests layoffs at Hennepin County Medical Center

Union lawsuit contests layoffs at Hennepin County Medical Center

Workers presented a petition to HCMC's chief executive Wednesday afternoon, but were escorted out by security after the leader discovered their meeting was appearing live on Facebook.
Obituary: Clayton Sonmore, 92, owned Becky's Cafeteria

Obituary: Clayton Sonmore, 92, owned Becky's Cafeteria

The engineer-turned-restaurateur bought Becky's in 1949 with his wife, Jeanne, and turned it into what AAA called "the most unique cafeteria in the nation" until its closure in 1986.

Cheaper and just as effective, exercise may get federal Medicare backing

University of Minnesota efforts with treating peripheral artery disease are helping to make the link.
Mayo CEO tells business leaders he advised Trump on value of immigration, research funding

Mayo CEO tells business leaders he advised Trump on value of immigration, research funding

Dr. John Noseworthy said he relayed the need for federal research money.
Mayo CEO 'regrets' word choice about Medicaid policy

Mayo CEO 'regrets' word choice about Medicaid policy

A recent speech raised concerns that the Rochester-based health system would be making it harder for Medicaid patients to receive care.
Trump backers see pros and cons in new plan for health care

Trump backers see pros and cons in new plan for health care

Though the latest proposal presents personal risks, some GOP voters in Elk River are eager to see if the White House and Congress can come up with something better.
Gender bias shows up in doctor introductions

Gender bias shows up in doctor introductions

  A doctor often gets called “Doctor” as a show of respect in public and among colleagues — well, at least when he is a…
Mayo to give nod to privately insured over Medicaid patients

Mayo to give nod to privately insured over Medicaid patients

Mayo Clinic's chief executive made a startling announcement in a recent speech to employees: The Rochester-based health system will give preference to patients with private insurance over those with lower-paying Medicaid or Medicare coverage.

Health officials address opioid addiction in pregnant women

A University of Minnesota study found that 2.3 percent of women ages 18 to 44 and 0.8 percent of pregnant women had taken opioids for nonmedical reasons in the 30 days before completing a national drug use survey.
Fairview and HealthEast to form area's biggest network

Fairview and HealthEast to form area's biggest network

Leaders of the two health systems said merging would create efficiencies and save money.

Nurses' union reports a rise in complaints of unsafe hospital practices

Hospital group calls report by nurses' union a "stunt."

U doctors advocate early transplant over dialysis in children

The expertise comes from having performed the first pediatric kidney transplant in 1963 and more than 1,000 since then.

Higher Ground respite unit for homeless seeks to cut repeat ER visits

Patients living on streets struggle with follow-up care, medications.

HealthEast taps controversial company for psychiatry expansion

St. Joseph's Hospital addresses shortage of mental health care, but partner is controversial.

OMG, I don't understand my EOB

At a time crucial to know how health coverage works, many adults, especially the younger ones, are vexed by the lingo.
HCMC cutting 131 jobs through layoffs amid budget pinch

HCMC cutting 131 jobs through layoffs amid budget pinch

Protesting workers fault the Minneapolis hospital's bloated management, spending for the financial problems that cost workers' jobs.
Could mandatory database curb opioid abuse?

Could mandatory database curb opioid abuse?

Required Rx monitoring effective at detecting addicts, but objections center on practicality.

Obesity counseling a bright spot in health equity report

Increased physician counseling in and of itself might not eliminate health disparities, but over time, it could make a dent in child obesity rates.
Minnesota hospital error report sees problems with lost tissue samples

Minnesota hospital error report sees problems with lost tissue samples

State's medical errors report finds that the problem is common.
Explore adverse hospital events in Minnesota

Explore adverse hospital events in Minnesota

Minnesota's hospitals have publicly reported adverse events since 2005. This database allows you to look up adverse events by hospital, year or error type.

U researchers may have found way to predict autism in kids

Measuring changes in infants' brain growth can allow doctors to predict the likelihood that they will be diagnosed with autism in their toddler years, according to two University of Minnesota researchers.
Nursing strikes cost Allina $149 million

Nursing strikes cost Allina $149 million

Hospital hired hundreds of replacements as nurses walked out over health insurance dispute.
New Mayo analysis finds an amazing range of injuries suffered while ice fishing

New Mayo analysis finds an amazing range of injuries suffered while ice fishing

Winter anglers have suffered everything from burns to broken bones to concussions while hunkering down in their shanties, ER data show.
Minn. joins Wis. 'Dose of Reality' campaign on dangers of opiods

Minn. joins Wis. 'Dose of Reality' campaign on dangers of opiods

Minnesota joins Wisconsin's "Dose of Reality" campaign against painkiller abuse.
Vaccines, vital for pregnant women, are often skipped

Vaccines, vital for pregnant women, are often skipped

Public health advocates want to use maternal vaccinations to prevent disabling and deadly diseases from spreading to newborns.
In wake of Dayton's cancer diagnosis, clinic phone lines are lighting up

In wake of Dayton's cancer diagnosis, clinic phone lines are lighting up

Despite extensive research over the years, medical groups have come to different conclusions.
Gov. Dayton seeks quick vote on MinnesotaCare 'buy-in'

Gov. Dayton seeks quick vote on MinnesotaCare 'buy-in'

Dayton, two legislators push MinnesotaCare expansion, creating competition in market.
Mayo, Norway partner up to push the limits of survival for hypothermia victims

Mayo, Norway partner up to push the limits of survival for hypothermia victims

Advances in resuscitating frozen patients are improving the odds for hypothermia victims.
Fairview asks: Can genetic tests improve high blood pressure care?

Fairview asks: Can genetic tests improve high blood pressure care?

A collaboration with a local genetics research firm aims to determine if DNA tests can steer patients to more effective treatment for high blood pressure.
Flu spike prompts hospital restrictions

Flu spike prompts hospital restrictions

13 Allina sites affected after state reports a mild but widespread outbreak.

Medicare disciplines Fairview over patient runaway

Parents say the incident at the University of Minnesota Medical Center last month was only one of the failures that jeopardized their 13-year-old.
Under new leader, U's psychiatry department shifting research

Under new leader, U's psychiatry department shifting research

Industry-funded drug trials and the recruitment of hospitalized patients as research subjects have been curbed.
Prostate cancer strikes many, kills few

Prostate cancer strikes many, kills few

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer, after skin cancer, in American men: Incidence: One in seven men will be diagnosed with the cancer…
Minneapolis therapy for child trauma attracts global interest

Minneapolis therapy for child trauma attracts global interest

A successful approach to treating post-traumatic stress in youngsters, developed at the Washburn Center for Children, is being exported to Japan and China.
Jazz pianist James 'Jimmy' Hamilton played with legends, taught future ones like Prince

Jazz pianist James 'Jimmy' Hamilton played with legends, taught future ones like Prince

Hamilton, dubbed a Minnesota jazz legend, died Dec. 31 after prolonged complications from stroke. He was 80.
Pioneering spinal surgery in the womb boosts babies' odds in Minneapolis

Pioneering spinal surgery in the womb boosts babies' odds in Minneapolis

A team of Minneapolis surgeons is pioneering a bold approach to prenatal medicine — performing "open" surgery on fetuses to fix spinal deformities.
HCMC, U to test new, simpler treatment for brain injuries

HCMC, U to test new, simpler treatment for brain injuries

An electric stimulator, placed twice daily on a patient’s neck, could end up providing effective treatment for moderate traumatic brain injury — a disorder that…
Best preventive care? Get vaccines, and don't smoke

Best preventive care? Get vaccines, and don't smoke

Doctors giving regular checkups will get the most bang for their buck if they advise adults to quit smoking, convince teens to never start, and…
Born conjoined, N.D. girls beat the odds and are thriving at 11

Born conjoined, N.D. girls beat the odds and are thriving at 11

A decade after surgery, once-conjoined North Dakota twins are thriving.
Fairview sees entry-level workers as an answer to shortage in health care

Fairview sees entry-level workers as an answer to shortage in health care

  America has a grave shortage of health care workers but, paradoxically, it contains its own solution: Entry-level workers could serve in critical skilled roles…
Mayo: Yesterday's prep footballers do not make up more of today's brain injuries

Mayo: Yesterday's prep footballers do not make up more of today's brain injuries

  High-schoolers in the 1950s and 1960s who played football did not suffer elevated rates of brain disorders as they aged, according to a Mayo…
Lawsuit alleging price-fixing of generic drugs points to Minnesota saleswoman

Lawsuit alleging price-fixing of generic drugs points to Minnesota saleswoman

The saleswoman, who worked for Heritage Pharmaceuticals, "is central to the allegations," said Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.

Mental health provider seeks state OK to double-bunk young patients

For-profit provider PrairieCare wants to add second beds to 21 of the 50 inpatient rooms at its year-old hospital in Brooklyn Park.
U pioneers new robotic arm — controlled by the brain

U pioneers new robotic arm — controlled by the brain

Researcher Bin He and colleagues reported on Wednesday the successful use of sensors in a cap worn on the head that interpret brain signals and instruct a robotic arm to make corresponding movements.

Report takes deep dive into Minnesota health clinic costs

Nonprofit aims to help consumers shop for care in an era of rising health care costs.

Campaign confronts elderly isolation, which carries health risks

A dramatic increase in the number of elderly Americans living alone — combined with research showing the consequences of social isolation — has resulted in…
HCMC sees cutting 275 from workforce next year

HCMC sees cutting 275 from workforce next year

Despite increasing patient visits, the urban safety net hospital is reporting declining revenue.

Minneapolis day care hanging case raises safety fears

Abuse in licensed child care rare, but 89 cases of licenses lost or suspended this year.

Allina hospitals see progress with stepped-up approach to stroke therapy

  A more aggressive approach to stroke therapy at Allina Health hospitals has helped patients get back up to speed with daily life. Therapists have…
Safety net costs prompt HCMC staff cuts

Safety net costs prompt HCMC staff cuts

Hospital has grown, but not in lucrative areas of medicine.
PTSD is added to Minnesota's medical pot program as qualifying condition

PTSD is added to Minnesota's medical pot program as qualifying condition

Insomnia, arthritis, autism were among other conditions rejected by a state panel.
New Ulm health project paying off seven years later

New Ulm health project paying off seven years later

Blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels have all improved since 2009 in a target population of New Ulm adults, according to study results.
Attorney general examines problems fueling Minn. opioid epidemic

Attorney general examines problems fueling Minn. opioid epidemic

Lori Swanson offered a list of solutions, while two state medical groups drafted prescribing guidelines to give doctors alternatives to opioids for pain relief.
For Minnesotans using Obamacare, election brought only uncertainty

For Minnesotans using Obamacare, election brought only uncertainty

Any changes under President Trump and a GOP Congress will affect 200,000 Minnesotans who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Student mental health survey responses raise concern

Amid lots of good news in the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey — rates of teen drinking, smoking, violence and pregnancy all declined — there was…
Allina spent $104M to keep hospitals open during strikes

Allina spent $104M to keep hospitals open during strikes

October expenses have not been released. Outlay was regrettable, but necessary, company said.
Oct. 13: Striking Allina nurses give their approval to contract offer

Oct. 13: Striking Allina nurses give their approval to contract offer

More than 4,000 of the nurses striking at five Twin Cities hospitals will return to work starting as early as 7 a.m. Sunday.

University of Minnesota dental school closing West Bank clinic

Budget pressures hit practice that specializes in serving patients with low incomes and disabilities.
Methadone is helping Minn. addicts, leaving its own dangerous trail

Methadone is helping Minn. addicts, leaving its own dangerous trail

Austin Paolo had rebelled against previous efforts to overcome his opioid addiction, but his family remained hopeful when he turned to the Pinnacle clinic in…

Genetic tests can be powerful, but they can also be interpreted wrong, Mayo warns

  Imagine the heartache of losing a 13-year-old son to a mysterious heart problem. And then being told that the underlying genetic cause was a…
Unity Hospital activists in Fridley win a round, buying time to fight Allina changes

Unity Hospital activists in Fridley win a round, buying time to fight Allina changes

Residents are fighting Allina's effort to turn Fridley community hospital into an auxiliary campus.

HealthPartners, Hazelden report that financial incentives can improve addiction care

The rewards improved key measures of progress in patients at Hazelden's adult facility in Center City and its youth facility in Plymouth.

Drug error by replacement nurse severely injured patient

Feds cite Abbott Northwestern for a serious medication error by a replacement nurse, but Allina officials deny that it resulted from the nurses' strike.

Minneapolis doctors test, treat monster disease

Vampire folklore may have been inspired by a rare disease called porphyria, which can cause sensitivity to sunlight and protruding canine teeth, but Dr. Claus…

U sued over fetal tissue research

Anti-abortion activists say state statute violated.

Skip the needle – lemony lozenge can now dispense anesthesia

  Hmm, let’s see, should I let a nurse anesthetist stick an IV line in my arm — or should I suck on a lemony…
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