Staff Directory 101258184

Jeremy Olson

Reporter | Newsroom
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Jeremy Olson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering health care for the Star Tribune. Trained in investigative and computer-assisted reporting, Olson has covered politics, social services, and family issues.


A University of St. Thomas graduate, Olson completed fellowships at the Kaiser Family Foundation, Poynter Institute and New York Times. Honors include a Premack Public Affairs award for scrutinizing a schizophrenia drug trial, a SABEW award for uncovering abuses of meatpackers, and a Casey Medal for examining deaths in foster care. His Pulitzer-winning series on child care led to a decline in child deaths. Olson and his family live in Edina.
Recent content from Jeremy Olson
Minnesota is a Lyme hot spot due to the prevalence of black-legged (or deer) ticks that carry the bacteria that causes it.

Minnesota medical board reinstates sanctions on controversial Lyme disease treatment

Research suggests long-term antibiotics are no better than short term.
Elise Haupt, a physician assistant at Regions Hospital, walked in slow motion during an improv training session.

Doctors use improv to combat burnout, build listening skills

The training exercise was the first created by HealthPartners and hosted by the Brave New Workshop comedy theater, but it is part of a national movement in response to studies showing that poor communication is worsening everything from doctor burnout to misdiagnosis.
As many as three in 10 Minnesotans have a diagnosis of high blood pressure, or hypertension, and many more have it without knowing it.

Map of hypertension hot spots in Minnesota reveals surprises

As many as three in 10 Minnesotans have had the condition diagnosed, and many more have it without knowing it.
Tito Reyna watched his son play on the swing at Aamodt's Apple Farm in Stillwater.

New east metro program gets addicts the help they need, when and where they need it

Clinicians were missing the brief window of time when people often seek help for drinking or drugs
Irina Vaynerman, deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the previous lawsuit ag

Plasma chain faces second complaint over gender-ID discrimination

Minnesota lawsuit against national plasma collection firm now seeks compensation for people denied donation opportunities.
Revealing the differences among health care clinics can “start a public conversation about costs and the drivers that increase costs,” said Julie

Health care spending was up sharply in Minnesota last year

State's total cost of care increased in 2018, but clinics vary in how much they charge.
As many as 36% of patients regain weight within five years of their procedure, and as many as 70% suffer complications.

Mayo studying why some patients suffer complications after bariatric surgery

As many as 36% of patients regain weight within five years of their procedure, and as many as 70% suffer complications.
The latest CAR-T therapy, which harvests and programs patients’ own immune cells to attack blood cancers such as leukemia, can cost hundreds of thou

Pilot by Minn. nonprofit helps patients manage cost of cancer care

Angel Foundation hopes others imitate test project.
Robert ‘BJ’ Johnson

Robert 'BJ' Johnson, St. Olaf music manager, dies at 71

He leaves a legacy as an innovator who helped elevate St. Olaf's concert groups on an international stage.
Teen advocates put together safe-safe kits in north Minneapolis in 2016.

Sexually active Minnesota teens are making healthier choices

The findings in the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey are positives for advocates on all sides of the abstinence-vs.-safe sex debate.
Dr. Jakub Tolar, shown in 2017.

U seeks to prepare doctors for next generation of on-demand patients

Global health summit in Minneapolis predicts a future where patients need new breed of doctors.
In this April 18, 2019, photo, cannabis is seen growing in Leafline Labs headquarters, in Cottage Grove. The company announced this month that it was

Minnesota is trying to rule out medical pot in vaping lung-injury outbreak

Health officials can't clear inhaled forms of legal medical cannabis, but won't halt them.
University of Minnesota researchers will use a smartphone app called BrainHQ to see if it can improve cognition, and the PRIME social networking app t

U tests new apps to help teen brains fight psychosis

Teens, young adults test a new non-drug treatment.
14-year-old Little Falls girl found safe, is back at home

14-year-old Little Falls girl found safe, is back at home

Emily Gerwing's family had expected her to return home after the Little Falls high school football game.

Mankato man killed in wrong-way crash with semi in Sibley County

The driver who died was not wearing a seat belt, the State Patrol said.
Chemotherapy is administered to a cancer patient via intravenous drip. A Minnesota hospital consortium that has been testing treatments for years just

Cancer consortium bridges patients and research

A $20 million award from the National Cancer Institute aims to broaden its role of the Metro-Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium.
In this photo taken March 22, 2012, Dr. Wendy Gunther demonstrates how an infant can die due to unsafe sleeping practices. The Minnesota Department of

Sleep positions tied to majority of unexpected infant deaths in Minnesota, study finds

Health officials worry that parents are ignoring doctor tips.

Eden Prairie group launches stillbirth study, create research database

The Star Legacy Foundation this month announced the Pregnancy Research Project, a partnership with the University of Michigan.
The entrance to the campus of the University of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota to test cancer-fighting 'natural killer' cells

The university has been at the forefront of research on unique first-strike cells in the human immune system.
In this file photo, a woman takes a puff from a cannabis vape pen in Los Angeles.

Mayo researchers link vaping illness to toxic inhalation

The finding undercuts some theories linking the outbreak of severe lung injuries to marijuana or nicotine.

New name marks new chapter in partnership for Fairview, University of Minnesota

Leaders unveil M Health Fairview, a new brand and alliance to expand high-level care and fund more research.
Dr. Andre Terzic, left, director of Mayo’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, and Dr. Jakub Tolar, current dean of the University of Minnesota’s Me

Minnesota builds expertise in coaxing the body to heal itself

The Regenerative Medicine Minnesota program has issued 162 grants worth $21.7 million to advance the knowledge and use of stem-cell therapies.
The Edina Girls’ Sports Summit will tackle why a growing number of girls are walking away from athletics, despite many proven benefits.

Edina students tackle pressures that drive girls out of sports

Edina middle-schoolers create sports summit to counter growing pressures and inequities facing girls.
In this April 25, 2014 photo, a sign points the way to Flint River Hospital which closed its emergency room in Montezuma, Ga.

Deaths rise after rural hospitals close, U study finds

Study is among first to link closures of rural hospital to higher mortality rates.
Julie Seydel, who offers child care in her Andover home, said she has discouraged others from doing the same in today’s climate.

Family child care is facing 'quiet crisis' in Minnesota

Parents of infants are struggling to find openings, as are families in rural Minnesota, where many veteran providers are closing and their young replacements last only a few years before burning out, child-care advocates said.
U doctor goes viral with anti-vaping video reaching teens

U doctor goes viral with anti-vaping video reaching teens

Dr. Rose Marie Leslie uses her TikTok account to give people public health messages in a plain-spoken way.
A newborn piglet is held just hours after birth in the CHS Miracle of Birth Center at the Minnesota State Fair.

E. coli outbreak linked to State Fair animal birth exhibit

Minnesota officials have recorded 11 cases so far, including six who were hospitalized. Those infected range in age from 2 to 43.
Matthew Brenengen has prosopagnosia, a disorder making facial recognition difficult.

Seeking cure for rare disorder, Bethel researcher trains brains to recall faces

A facial-recognition disorder could have been a hardship for a wedding photographer, but Matthew Brenengen learned to make do: The bride was the woman in…
This photo shows a closeup of a beam scale.

Growing larger: Three in 10 Minnesota adults now are obese

Minnesota had held the line for several years, but the latest increase closed the gap on the national rate.

Albert Lea recruits new clinic to compete with Mayo

Community activists were upset after Mayo announced consolidation of some hospital services about 20 miles away.
This 2016 photo made with a fisheye lens shows bottles of alcohol during a tour of a state liquor store in Salt Lake City.

Winona State math researcher formulates how to predict addiction relapse

Understanding mood and craving patterns could help break the cycle of addiction.
Elijah McClure, 21, suffered a vaping-associated lung injury that caused severe nausea and prevented him from eating or drinking fluids. He eventually

Minnesota father hopes son's vaping injury will warn others

Vaping-associated injury has caused 21-year-old Augsburg University student to be in intensive care and on mechanical ventilation for 11 days.
In this Aug. 28, 2019, file photo, a man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette in Portland, Maine.

Minnesotan's death is part of five in U.S. tied to vaping illness

The death involved an older person with an underlying respiratory illness who had vaped an illicit THC-containing compound.
This Aug. 29, 2018, photo shows an arrangement of prescription Oxycodone pills in New York.

Docs prescribe more opioids later in the day, U research finds

Hannah T. Neprash, who led the study, hopes her finding will warn doctors that the stresses of hectic days can influence their prescribing judgment.
Vaping has been linked to an outbreak this summer of serious lung illnesses in teens and young adults.

THC compounds might be to blame in Minn.'s illnesses linked to vaping

Interviews with teenagers who suffered vaping-associated injuries are finding marijuana-derived THC in most cases.
Police vehicles remained at the intersection of Midway Parkway and Snelling Ave. near the main entrance to the Minnesota State Fair grounds late Monda

Three shot, one run over outside front gate as State Fair ends

The chaotic scene erupted around 10:20 p.m. outside the gate at Snelling Avenue and Midway Parkway as the fair was closing for the year.
University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview.

U limits off-label use of drug championed by an anesthesiologist paid by its manufacturer

The announcement is a departure for the medical center under Dr. Jacob Hutchins, a medical director of the university's acute pain service. He not only encouraged the use of Exparel in "off-label" ways that the FDA hadn't approved, but at one point in a way the federal agency rejected.
Michelle Fischbach, shown here when Tim Pawlenty introduced her as his running mate, announced Monday she was challenging Rep. Collin Petterson.

Former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach announces candidacy for Collin Peterson's House seat

Fischbach's campaign announcement aligned with President Trump and chastised Peterson's opposition votes in Congress.
he Minnesota Department of Health has required since 2015 that teenagers receive meningitis boosters, but enacted a grace period until fall 2020 befor

Grace period ending for meningitis shot in Minnesota

The Health Department has required since 2015 that teens receive meningitis boosters, but gave until fall 2020 before it started monitoring high school health records.
“She [is] an example … to see beyond her outward appearance and to what is going on in her mind.” Dr. Steven Koop, a longtime caregiver

Golden Valley artist is unable to speak but eloquent on canvas

Observers are often mystified by Kari Wagner as she paints, and not because she has cerebral palsy that prevents her from speaking or using her…
Minnesota's health commissioner has until Dec. 1 to decide about adding moderate to severe chronic pain as well as macular degeneration to the list of

Minnesota group urges cannabis for chronic pain

The pain decision is significant because it could explode the state's number of cannabis users.
A man displays his Juul electronic cigarette while shopping at a convenience store in Hoboken, N.J.

Minnesota teens with asthma more likely to vape

Researchers wanted to find out how vaping affected teens and young adults with asthma.
“Concierge clinics” give patients unlimited access to physicians and other providers for a monthly fee.

A growing model in Minnesota: Paying doctors like fitness clubs

Monthly fees for primary "concierge" care is growing in Minnesota.
After having issued general warnings before, this is the first time Minnesota health officials have issued a public notice directly linking the use of

Teen lung diseases linked to vaping, Minn. Health Department reports

State health authorities are investigating the link between vaping and e-cigarettes and four cases of severe lung disease among teens and young adults that required prolonged hospital treatment.
Fairview Health created 19 free programs, including a 12-week Tai Ji Quan class to improve balance and prevent falls in the elderly.

With kale and tai chi, Minnesota hospitals try a new way to keep patients healthy

Minnesota hospitals have moved beyond fun runs and tree plantings to promote health in their communities.
Researcher Melissa Walls

Johns Hopkins adds Minnesota researchers on American Indian health issues

UMD health researchers join prestigious university — without leaving home.
Hepatitis A spreads primarily through a lack of sanitary conditions and can damage the liver. An adult vaccine is available.

August: Minnesota health officials declare outbreak of hepatitis A

Vaccinations are urged for high-risk people, such as those in homeless shelters and jails.
“If we could show that, we could change the practice of transplantation across the world,” said Dr. Bernhard Hering, a University of Minnesota dia

U achieves transplant in monkeys without long-term immune-fighting drugs

The technique could greatly increase the number and safety of organ transplants.
“Five years ago, this would have been impossible to do, ”nephrologist Dr. Jeffrey Wang said about the donor kidney received by C.J. Dabney, shown,

New hepatitis drugs could cut wait time for kidney transplants

In a Minnesota first, a patient received a donor kidney that was infected with now-curable hepatitis C.

Minnesota to expand testing of chemical hazards for children

Analysis of blood and urine samples has alerted officials in the past to health hazards such as mercury and lead.
Doctors who are burned out from too much work and stress appear to have more racial biases that can affect the quality of care that their minority pat

U, Mayo researchers link doctor burnout to bias

While numerous studies have examined racial disparities in health care, and physician burnout, few had established a link between the two.
President Donald Trump signs an executive order to advance kidney health, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington,

Minn. doctors welcome Trump's challenge on kidney disease

Cutting kidney failure starts with screenings; could save lives and billions of dollars in care.

New research leads hospitals to snuff out surgical smoke

HealthEast's three East Metro hospitals adopted a zero-tolerance policy last year requiring them to use "evacuation" systems in OR procedures.
The medicinal chemicals are concentrated in the flowering buds of a cannabis plants.

Minnesota's medical pot program working for PTSD

More than 70% of respondents say state's medical program lessens their symptoms.
The Mall of America is adding a walk-in medical clinic, which will cater to workers, travelers and shoppers.

Mall of America will add a walk-in clinic

Fairview Health and University of Minnesota partnership will offer basic medical care starting in November.
Quinton Hill, 7, lost movement in one arm due to a mysterious syndrome known as acute flaccid myelitis. Treatment at Children's Hospital followed mult

CDC is on alert for the rare, paralyzing condition known as AFM

Minnesota, which found itself at the center of a national mystery last year, has reported no cases so far in 2019.
The nature of the boating scene on Lake Minnetonka complicates the search for a source of what sickened boaters over the July 4th weekend, public heal

Big Island party scene plays part in outbreak, officials suspect

Officials say investigations are focusing on human sources of contamination.
FILE - This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of Oxycodone pills in New York. A new study shoots down the notion that medical marijuana l

Minnesota saw sharp drop in opioid deaths in 2018

Deaths related to prescription and illicit opioid drugs dropped sharply in Minnesota last year, according to preliminary state figures, giving health officials hope that a two decadelong epidemic has peaked.
FILE- In this July 10, 2018, file photo bottles of medicine ride on a belt at the Express Scripts mail-in pharmacy warehouse in Florence, N.J.

U researcher finds link between doctors' prescribing and payments from drugmakers

U study links spike in use of pain and seizure meds to doctor payouts.
The Center for Women’s Health was launched through a $5 million donation by Penny and Bill George and the George Family Foundation.

Mayo center will place new focus on women's health

Launched in June, the Center for Women's Health seeks to copy Mayo's Executive Health Program.
FILE-The Planned Parenthood Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota headquarters in St. Paul. More than 60% of the 9,910 abortions in Minnesota in 20

Abortions drop in Minnesota despite more women coming from out of state

But more nonresidents travel to the state to get the procedure.
The Mayo Clinic's plan to remove key inpatient and obstetrics services from its hospital in Albert Lea in 2017 caused an uproar.

In Albert Lea, signs of stress and progress for a rural hospital

Some in Albert Lea feel sting of losing services to Austin; Mayo sees pluses all around.
“Healthy, motivated employees are important to a workplace and to a company’s bottom line,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.

State wellness grants are changing Minnesota workplaces

Modest sums help small businesses afford healthier practices, but do they make employees healthier?
While many people died from overdoses of illicit heroin or potent synthetic opioids, doctors have traced many cases of drug abuse back to initial pres

As ODs mount, Minn. is warning doctors who prescribe excessive opioids

Variations in prescribing rates by county or medical specialty underscore the problem. In one Minnesota county, doctors issued 27.4 opioid prescriptions per 100 residents. In another, the rate was 98.6.
In May 2018, Minnesota United goalkeeper Matt Lampson talked with Nathalia Hawley, 14, who was diagnosed with the bone cancer osteosarcoma when she wa

Duluth teen Nat Hawley's life was short, but her legacy lives on

Fundraising in memory of "Nat" Hawley could expand research of rare cancer that took her life.
Twin Cities nurses and their supporters picketed last month ahead of expiring contracts with hospitals.

Four Twin Cities health systems reach tentative contracts with their nurses

HealthEast, Fairview Health and Methodist Hospital negotiators reach tentative agreements.
Rooms at Children's Minnesota Hospital are equipped with a variety of amenities to make patients and their families feel more at home. Each room has a

Big hospital merger shelved between U of M, Children's

The University of Minnesota and Children's Minnesota pursued an agreement last year to combine their competing hospitals into a "new, independent pediatric care system." Management disagreements scuttled the discussions.
Minneapolis Children’s Hospital nurse Pamela Trowbridge, with her dog Frankie, joined others as they picketed Thursday at Children’s St. Paul and

Nurses authorize strike at Children's hospitals in Twin Cities

Despite likely approval, talks will go on. Health insurance is key issue.

Children's nurses set strike vote in deadlock over health benefits

Children's group is first to vote as talks continue at other metro hospitals.
A new study based on search engine activity found that Minnesota is one-of-a-kind in the self-care term it Googles most: setting boundaries.

Minnesotans' top self-care search on Google? Setting boundaries

More than sleep or fitness, we turned to Google for help setting boundaries.
A private Minnesota Medical Association forum will review the evidence regarding marijuana’s impact on health and crime rates, and solicit opinions

Minnesota physicians will study recreational pot

Anticipating further debate over legalization, doctors want to be informed on benefits and risks.
Nurses and their supporters picketed on the sidewalk outside Children’s St. Paul and United Hospital on May 23 in St. Paul ahead of their contracts

Contracts for 13,000 nurses at Twin Cities hospitals expiring with no new deal

RNs at 14 hospitals have not authorized a strike, but some go picketing.
Heat-related illnesses sent a high number of teenagers and young adults from the Upper Midwest to hospital emergency rooms in recent years, new resear

Minnesota-Wisconsin research finds surprising trend in heat-related illness

Researchers in the states found men in rural areas particularly vulnerable.

Nurses picket over staff assaults at Minnesota's treatment center in Anoka

An uptick in assault injuries at the Anoka facility coincide with loss of police security presence on site.
NightWare is an app is loaded onto an Apple watch.

Minneapolis VA tests a local invention to ease PTSD nightmares

Minneapolis VA is testing a device that rouses users from disruptive dreams.