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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
Opioid limits sought for Minn. prescribers to fight abuse

Opioid limits sought for Minn. prescribers to fight abuse

A state task force has set new limits on doctors who participate in the state's Medicaid program.

Antibiotic overuse is a risk in dentistry, too

Health authorities in Minnesota have been trying to reduce the spread of antibiotic-related germs by discouraging doctors from overprescribing the drugs — but new data…
Park Nicollet comes up short in first year of Medicare program

Park Nicollet comes up short in first year of Medicare program

  Public debate over the federal Affordable Care Act has centered on the highly politicized efforts to insure all Americans, but its long-term success hinges…
Infant deaths linked to sleep positions

Infant deaths linked to sleep positions

State health officials urge doctors and other health care providers to teach new parents.
Rare medical alliance boosts care in northwest metro

Rare medical alliance boosts care in northwest metro

Two competitors — Allina and HealthPartners — joined forces and have successfully reduced hospital visits and cut health costs.

Federal audit finds hazards in adult foster homes in Minnesota

Federal audit finds vulnerable adults in state have access to knives, pellet guns, other possible hazards.
Should flu shots be mandatory for health workers? Jury is out

Should flu shots be mandatory for health workers? Jury is out

The evidence isn't strong enough, said Kris Ehresmann, who directs immunization programs for the Minnesota Department of Health.
Minnesota hunter who slipped from deer stand shares safety warning

Minnesota hunter who slipped from deer stand shares safety warning

A Cokato man is fortunate that his broken back didn't leave him paralyzed and wants others to learn from his story.
Heart stents fail to ease chest pain, landmark study says

Heart stents fail to ease chest pain, landmark study says

The findings in the study of nonemergency chest pain contradict widespread assumptions that using the metal mesh tubes would allow patients to exercise more by providing better blood flow.
Price-fixing lawsuit targeting Minnesota drug reps is expanded

Price-fixing lawsuit targeting Minnesota drug reps is expanded

Swanson says companies' practices were "brazen."
New U of M medical school dean brings infusion of energy

New U of M medical school dean brings infusion of energy

Dr. Jakub Tolar promises to raise U's profile at high-stakes time.
Jicama? White Bear Lake kids discovered they love it

Jicama? White Bear Lake kids discovered they love it

In Michelle Selb-Sack’s household, nobody knew what jicama was until her kids were challenged at school to taste it. “They found out they just love…
Minn. experts welcome Trump opioid declaration, hope for more funds

Minn. experts welcome Trump opioid declaration, hope for more funds

Opioid deaths in Minnesota have risen six-fold in the last 20 years.
U's 'super ambulances' could improve survival odds after heart attacks

U's 'super ambulances' could improve survival odds after heart attacks

Equipped with enough technology to be a small hospital, a super ambulance could hasten treatment and improve patients' survival odds.

South Dakota man has chest pain and wires in his stomach – but he's glad to be alive

Man with months to live got implant in September.
Princeton couple were in plane that crashed near Ramsey in river

Princeton couple were in plane that crashed near Ramsey in river

A woman's body has been recovered, and attempts continued Saturday to find the body of a second victim, presumed to be her husband.
Depression, hilarious? MPR podcast seeks to lift the stigma

Depression, hilarious? MPR podcast seeks to lift the stigma

MPR uses comedians to open a conversation.
Albert Lea, Mayo agree to talks over fate of hospital

Albert Lea, Mayo agree to talks over fate of hospital

'Facilitated dialogue' arranged by Rep. Tim Walz, who hopes Mayo Clinic, Albert Lea come to better understanding on future of community hospital.
Minn. concussion researcher looks to enlist NFL players in hunt to understand brain injury

Minn. concussion researcher looks to enlist NFL players in hunt to understand brain injury

Dr. Uzma Samadani made a breakthrough in detecting concussions; now she wants to compare injured athletes and their siblings.
Nurses file complaint over Allina staffing

Nurses file complaint over Allina staffing

Union says contract violated over workloads of supervising nurses.
Opt-out provision for contraceptive coverage not likely to cause many changes in Minnesota

Opt-out provision for contraceptive coverage not likely to cause many changes in Minnesota

Business leaders in Minnesota said Friday they doubt that President Donald Trump’s new opt-out provision would cause a wave of companies to drop birth control…

Physician licensing rules could impede mental health care, Mayo study concludes

Surveying 5,800 physicians, Mayo researchers found that nearly 40 percent would be reluctant to seek care because they would be compelled to disclose any diagnosis in most states, including Minnesota.
Former U psychiatry chief at center of controversy dies

Former U psychiatry chief at center of controversy dies

Recruited to raise the profile of the University of Minnesota Psychiatry Department, Dr. S. Charles Schulz did just that until an ethics scandal flared.
Chaska doctor offers new way to snuff out body odor

Chaska doctor offers new way to snuff out body odor

After years of sweat equity, Dr. Shannon Klingman created Lume, a bacteria-disrupting cream that will compete in the $4 billion deodorant market.
Successful Little Falls effort to curb opioids gets big notice in D.C.

Successful Little Falls effort to curb opioids gets big notice in D.C.

Congressional leaders will hear about a program that has cut opioid use and addiction.

Male contraception gaining sex appeal, Gustavus survey finds

Male equivalents of the female birth control pill are coming closer to reality through research at the University of Minnesota and other institutions, and perhaps just in time, as pressure grows on men to take more responsibility for pregnancy prevention and family planning.
Breast cancer screening risks not swaying women, U survey finds

Breast cancer screening risks not swaying women, U survey finds

University of Minnesota researchers expected some resistance among women to warnings that breast cancer screening could result in overdiagnosis and overtreatment. But they were surprised…
Two Legionnaires' cases reported at Maple Grove care facility

Two Legionnaires' cases reported at Maple Grove care facility

Health officials are investigating, suspect the presence of bacteria in the facility's plumbing system.
Having dogs in bedroom doesn't hurt your sleep quality, Mayo study says

Having dogs in bedroom doesn't hurt your sleep quality, Mayo study says

The new Mayo Clinic study could have a big impact on sleep medicine, given that 43 million American homes have dogs.
Minnesota teen driving deaths plummet: Better drivers or fewer teens?

Minnesota teen driving deaths plummet: Better drivers or fewer teens?

The trend seems to reflect more restrictive licensing laws and changes in teen interests and behavior.
HealthPartners, U will study the role of childhood stress in adult disease

HealthPartners, U will study the role of childhood stress in adult disease

A group of Minnesota families that tested an approach to preventing child obesity several years ago is being recruited for the new research.
Tragic death of Maple Grove mom steps up Minn. fight against sepsis

Tragic death of Maple Grove mom steps up Minn. fight against sepsis

The condition, triggered by an overwhelming immune response to infection, was the primary cause of 439 deaths in Minnesota in 2015.
Hold that corn dog: Minnesota obesity is on the rise

Hold that corn dog: Minnesota obesity is on the rise

After declining slightly between 2014 and 2015, the share of Minnesotans who describe themselves as obese edged up to an all-time high of 27.8 percent in 2016.
State Fair a destination for those in search of good health? You betcha

State Fair a destination for those in search of good health? You betcha

The University of Minnesota has unveiled a new research building where fairgoers can volunteer to participate in studies on anything from dentistry to memory loss.

Gut bacteria may play role in fighting MS, Mayo researcher says

Dr. Joseph Murray and colleagues from Mayo and the University of Iowa detailed that one of a series of poorly understood gut microbes known as Prevotella bacteria might inhibit the immune system's role in causing MS.
Mayo dispute with Albert Lea draws 'concern' from Dayton

Mayo dispute with Albert Lea draws 'concern' from Dayton

Gov. Mark Dayton's administration expressed "serious concerns" Monday over Mayo Clinic's plan to remove key inpatient and obstetrics services from its hospital in Albert Lea,…
Mayo, U develop 'robocop' stem cells to fight cancer

Mayo, U develop 'robocop' stem cells to fight cancer

The researchers say they're on the brink of a new era in cancer care.
Could insulin fight dementia in patients with Down syndrome?

Could insulin fight dementia in patients with Down syndrome?

Bloomington-based HealthPartners has launched a clinical trial to see if insulin, taken in inhaled doses, can stop the degenerative process. But it needs help.
Minnesota pays huge price for diabetes, Blue Cross study finds

Minnesota pays huge price for diabetes, Blue Cross study finds

But Blue Cross officials argue that discovering pre-diabetes can be "good news," because the condition is reversible once people know they have it.
U researchers look into how fear spreads and maybe can be controlled

U researchers look into how fear spreads and maybe can be controlled

Whether people are more afraid today is a matter of dispute, but one researcher said mass media exposure to traumatic events is increasing the opportunities for people to react unreasonably.
Medical pot growers approved to continue as Minnesota's registered suppliers

Medical pot growers approved to continue as Minnesota's registered suppliers

Health commissioner cites medical and economic contributions, though one company was linked to smuggling charges.

Minn. small-town clinics outperform big-city rivals in handling patient care

One of the largest patient experience surveys in the nation shows wide differences in how patients rate doctors and clinic staff.
Baby deliveries to end at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul

Baby deliveries to end at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul

Decision continues trend of hospitals halting core services in response to changing demand and demographics.
Study: Gay men eager to donate blood, at times ignoring federal policy

Study: Gay men eager to donate blood, at times ignoring federal policy

  Most gay men are enthusiastic about giving blood — that’s the good news in a new University of Minnesota-led study on attitudes toward blood…
If repeal has failed, Minnesota leaders say, try repairing the federal health law

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.

Albert Lea group fights Mayo consolidation

Albert Lea is the latest to protest as Mayo plans to consolidate some services in nearby Austin.
Summer swimming comes with reminder of deadly lake ameoba

Summer swimming comes with reminder of deadly lake ameoba

Advances in treating the deadly but rare infection make it even more important for swimmers and doctors to understand the symptoms, health officials say.
New measles case in Minnesota extends threat

New measles case in Minnesota extends threat

Infection involved a white adult who had been in a variety of public settings in the Twin Cities while infectious and around several people known to be unvaccinated.
Surgery isn't always best for prostate cancer, new study says

Surgery isn't always best for prostate cancer, new study says

The study, led by the Minneapolis VA, could sharpen a dispute between health economists and urologists over the best treatments for prostate cancer.
Minnesota officials look into concerning numbers in national opioid report

Minnesota officials look into concerning numbers in national opioid report

The state's rates for opioid-related hospital admissions for residents 24 and younger as well as senior citizens bother were seventh-highest in the U.S.
After long decline, Minnesota abortions showed slight uptick in 2016

After long decline, Minnesota abortions showed slight uptick in 2016

More women reported economic concerns as a reason for terminating pregnancies, while fewer reported pregnancies that occurred despite the use of contraception.
Compounding pharmacist sentenced to nine years, but Minnesotans still pained

Compounding pharmacist sentenced to nine years, but Minnesotans still pained

Twelve Minnesotans were among the hundreds to develop fungal infections. A Brooklyn Park woman who still is living with the consequences feels injustice.
U discovers 'powerhouse' new treatment in fight against deadly skin disease

U discovers 'powerhouse' new treatment in fight against deadly skin disease

Since the U received federal approval last fall to offer the treatment experimentally, seven patients have undergone the procedure.
'Little Frankenstein,' conceived to save sister, is now a happy teen

'Little Frankenstein,' conceived to save sister, is now a happy teen

Adam Nash was conceived via in vitro fertilization — specifically so doctors at the University of Minnesota could collect stem cells from his umbilical cord blood to save his sister, Molly. Today, back home in Colorado, he has a driver's license and helps disabled children ski.
Meal sizes, sugary drinks closely linked to childhood obesity

Meal sizes, sugary drinks closely linked to childhood obesity

Key family counseling messages on healthy eating are linked to reducing childhood obesity.
At Mayo, pitcher finds relief in lifelong battle with colitis

At Mayo, pitcher finds relief in lifelong battle with colitis

Jake Diekman has struggled since he was 10 with ulcerative colitis and the abdominal pains, diarrhea and emergency bathroom trips that it can cause. But…
Minnesota nurses raise money to pay off medical debts of 1,800 patients

Minnesota nurses raise money to pay off medical debts of 1,800 patients

On the anniversary of a major strike, the Minnesota Nurses Association announces payments to forgive $2.6 million in medical debt for patients.

Teen births down in Minnesota, but sexually transmitted diseases up

U report paints complex picture of teens' choices.

High cancer treatment costs get a closer look

Cancer treatment can be toxic to the body, but also to the family bank account — especially in an era of high and rising drug prices. That's the concern driving a new national study by cancer centers.

PrairieCare gets green light to add beds at Brooklyn Park psychiatric hospital

Adding second beds to 21 patient rooms at a child psychiatric hospital in Brooklyn Park would address a continued shortage of mental health services, the Minnesota Department of Health concluded.

Hypnotism: A safer kind of painkiller?

An audience is building as doctors and patients seek alternatives to opioid painkillers.
Minnesota opioid deaths climbing despite attention, intervention

Minnesota opioid deaths climbing despite attention, intervention

The trend suggests that efforts to reduce painkiller prescriptions won't be enough to reduce fatalities
University of Minnesota is nerve center of brain-mapping research

University of Minnesota is nerve center of brain-mapping research

The U's expertise in high-tech medical imaging led to the first detailed mapping of the functions and neural activities of brains in ordinary middle-aged adults.

Fairview hospital at U sued over alleged sexual assault of disabled teen

Lawsuit claims disabled minor was sexually assaulted twice in 30 minutes by an adult patient.
Rare heart valve procedure at Abbott saves mother and baby

Rare heart valve procedure at Abbott saves mother and baby

The transaortic valve replacement (TAVR) bought the 28-year-old mom time, and a successful pregnancy, until open heart surgery is needed.
State Fair sunscreen experiment reveals people don't slather on enough

State Fair sunscreen experiment reveals people don't slather on enough

U researchers found most people didn't slather up enough for full coverage.
Minnesotans with preexisting conditions fret over GOP health bill

Minnesotans with preexisting conditions fret over GOP health bill

Minnesotans with preexisting conditions worry that health insurance will soon be priced beyond reach.

Mpls. VA researchers explore electrical current to treat dangerous impulses

The tests of low-level electrical brain stimulation aim to reduce problem for some soldiers who struggle with tame civilian life after the chaos and trauma of war.
Northern Minnesota campaign reduces fish-related mercury consumption

Northern Minnesota campaign reduces fish-related mercury consumption

Elevated levels in babies led to changes in eating habits on the North Shore.

Using new questions, U clinics probe for domestic partner violence

The University of Minnesota is studying a more deliberate approach to identify patients who might be hesitant or afraid to admit to abuse.
Mpls. VA study finds opioids no better for chronic pain than other meds

Mpls. VA study finds opioids no better for chronic pain than other meds

Patients with chronic pain fared no better with the potentially addictive painkillers than they did with non-opioid meds.
Mayo looks to shake up cancer care with single test to find multiple types

Mayo looks to shake up cancer care with single test to find multiple types

Simple blood draw could allow screening for a dozen types of the disease.
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.
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