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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

Record numbers of sexually transmitted diseases reported in Minn., again

State health officials hope that aggressive testing and treatment efforts will eventually result in a sustained decline in sexually transmitted diseases.
Tributes from Prince fans adorned the memorial fence outside Paisley Park in Chanhassen on Thursday.

Prince family sues Illinois hospital, Walgreens chain

Suit claims Illinois medical staff could have done more to prevent later overdose.
Nurse practitioner Hannah Balfanz went over the results of Sam Talbot's physical exam at the University of Minnesota Nurse Practitioners Clinic. Talbo

Growth of nurse practitioner field changing patient care in Minn.

Since the Legislature enacted state licensing standards for advanced practice registered nurses in 2014, the number of licensed NPs has increased by more than a third.
FILE - This Aug. 15, 2017, file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen, also known as Percocet, in New York.

Health systems trim opioid prescriptions

The findings this week by two influential health care providers in Minnesota offer further evidence of the overprescribing over the past two decades.
This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. A vaccine to confront addiction mig

U researchers 'getting closer' to trials of vaccine for opioid addiction

Three studies published in the past six months show incremental success.
The Mayo Clinic

Rare partnership to make cancer research, treatment accessible in rural Minnesota

Led by the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic, the consortium is a rare, high-profile partnership between two competing medical research giants.
Jonathan Pitre celebrated his 17th birthday on June 2, 2017, at the University of Minnesota with mother, Tina Boileau.

'Butterfly boy' transplant recipient dies in Minneapolis

A transplant at the University of Minnesota offered hope, but Jonathan Pitre died after a series of complications.
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage increase showed their support before it was passed by City Council in 2017 in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis' minimum wage increase offers rare research opportunity

A team at the University of Minnesota is recruiting 450 low-wage workers in Minneapolis to monitor their health — and hopefully see progress — as their wages increase over the next five years.

Allina hospitals, clinics weather overnight computer network failure

Hospital system relied on backup equipment and rehearsed emergency procedures to maintain patient care.

Losing your midlife nest egg is linked to risk of earlier death

Study is first to connect "wealth shock," death rate.

Minnesota families creating new family legacy of organ donation

More than 32,000 have volunteered while applying online for hunting and fishing licenses.
A national survey last year found that 12 percent of physicians believed that syringes had been reused in their facilities.

Syringe reuse incident in St. Paul rare but concerning

Misconceptions and cost savings still drive some providers to reuse.
Mayo doctors go viral with stirring 'Alright' video

Mayo doctors go viral with stirring 'Alright' video

Orthopedic surgery residents take patient care up a few octaves.

Mom says common virus cytomegalovirus is too little known despite causing birth defects

Abby Stahowiak wants legislation to compel the Minnesota Department of Health and physicians to take CMV more seriously.

Children's in Minneapolis finds a better test for appendicitis

The test could help sort out the many patients with bad stomachaches from the few who need surgery.
Olivia Curtis, 13, watched a calming scene using a virtual reality headset as she was prepped for an infusion by nurse Niki Feran, left, at Gillette C

Gillette tries VR to short-circuit anxiety in young patients

Keeping patients relaxed and amused with virtual reality headsets is part of a new offering at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare
In unveiling results of its State of Science survey, 3M invited astronaut Scott Kelly to speak about the breadth of people needed to achieve breakthro

3M survey shows public has hope for science, if others do it

Too many people think they need to be a rocket scientist in order to become a rocket scientist, said a new survey on global attitudes toward science.
Gov. Mark Dayton

Gov. Dayton proposes 'public option' expansion for MinnesotaCare

Gov. Mark Dayton said that the buy-in option -- allowing people who are otherwise ineligible to buy into the program -- would improve access to health insurance for 100,000 Minnesotans.
High school students walked out of their schools Wednesday and marched to the State Capitol to protest gun violence and pressure lawmakers to enact st

Minnesota doctors push for gun control as public health issue

The Minnesota Medical Association is asking for a ban on assault weapons and more research into gun violence.

After syringe reuse, Allina asks 161 patients to come in for blood tests

Reuse of syringes by a nurse practitioner at an Allina Health dermatology clinic in St. Paul exposed patients to infection risks.
In this file photo, a pharmacy technician poses for a picture with hydrocodone and acetaminophen tablets, also known as Vicodin, at the Oklahoma Hospi

Opioids no better than other painkillers for long-term pain, Minnesota study finds

Minneapolis VA study on chronic pain likely to influence policy across U.S.

Minnesota adds genetic spinal ailment to its newborn health screening system

Approval of the first drug to treat spinal muscular atrophy spurred change.
Justin Siltala of Cokato worked with HCMC physical therapist Kristy Ton Thursday, March 1, 2018, at HCMC in Minneapolis. Sultana sustained a gruesome

HCMC prints 3-D implant to repair fractured skull bone

3-D printing can create replacements for some.

Minnesota researchers seek to use American Indian imagery to cut tobacco use

Tribal leaders seek to increase awareness about growing tobacco and using it for spiritual and ceremonial purposes only.
The medicinal chemicals are concentrated in the flowering buds of a cannabis plants. In Minnesota’s first report card on cannabis and chronic pain,

Minn. patients say medical pot helps with chronic pain

Sixty percent surveyed in Minnesota cited good results and said opioid use fell.
Hospitals have switched from handwritten prescriptions to computerized order entry, but one thing hasn’t changed over the past two decades: the smal

See which Minnesota hospitals had medical mistakes last year

Minnesota's hospitals have publicly reported preventable errors since 2005. Look up how many have happened by hospital, year or the type of error.
Results of depression questionnaires can shock parents, said Connie Blackwell, a nurse practitioner who founded North Metro Pediatrics, a Coon Rapids

Minnesota primary care clinics make big gains in screening teen depression

Rarely has so much progress been made in one area of primary care in so little time.
State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Minnesota's increase in "never events" at the state's hospitals suggests a need for “renewed focus.”

Minnesota hospitals report increase in preventable errors

"Never events" such as surgeries on wrong body part occurred despite prevention efforts.
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.

An Olympic athlete — in your dreams? Startup says it may be key to boosting skills

  Executives at Aladdin Dreamer didn’t win a Super Bowl-weekend entrepreneurs’ contest in Minneapolis with their idea for a headband that improves athletic performance by…
lighting up
In the latest state survey, about 19 percent of high school students reported recent use of e-cigarettes, and more than 26 percent reporte

Teen vaping fuels rise in Minnesota youth tobacco use

After falling for years, overall tobacco use by Minnesota teens turned up again.

Dog food recalled after Minnesota siblings are sickened by salmonella

Recall was issued after salmonella was found in Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Food for Pets.
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's flu season is worse than expected, and it's not done yet

However, the flu seems to be taking an even harder toll on other parts of the U.S.
Dr. Andrew Olson, a U internal medicine and pediatric specialist, co-authored a paper on the topic of misdiagnoses in the Journal of General Internal

When doctors get it wrong, there are clues, U study says

University of Minnesota is at the forefront in national efforts to track and prevent misdiagnoses.
Gabriel Cooper

First days in child care are riskiest for babies, Minn. records show

Transition is when babies are most vulnerable.
A severe measles outbreak sickened dozens of Minnesotans last year and threw a harsh light on activists with vaccination concerns, but now they are ba

Minnesota vaccination activists now are seeking political allies

Leaders of the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota hope to persuade lawmakers to support a bill to require doctors to discuss risks with parents before vaccinating babies.
At the Buck Hill children’s ski day on Jan. 27, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare patients got a chance to try sports. If they get hooked,

With adaptive sports, Gillette helps kids buck disabilities

Gillette is taking on the high cost of equipment, which can make it prohibitive for kids and families.
Judges this year included Minnesota Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman.

Bright ideas surprise, impress judges at small-business bowl

The Super Bowl of small-business competitions took place in Minneapolis Saturday as nine companies were each given five minutes to convince an NFL panel of judges that they had the best ideas to make football players play better, heal faster or stay safer.
One Twin Cities researcher believes the time has come instead for businesses to provide the company chiropractor, or the company massage therapist.

Workplace clinics could be making a comeback

One Twin Cities researcher believes the time has come for businesses to provide the company chiropractor or the company massage therapist.

Brainerd project finds the power in 'three good things'

Listing positive moments might seem too simple to work, but it is supported by a growing body of research.

Minnesota hospitals' spending on community health at risk

A drop in bad debt following the ACA leaves more money for local services, though it's at risk.
FILE -- A 15-year-old boy vapes in Peekskill, N.Y., April 16, 2015. A national panel of public health experts concluded in a report released on Jan. 2

E-cigarette users buoyed by federal report showing less harm

But report finds they have the potential to entice teens to try regular cigarettes.
Child Life volunteer Yesica Mercado Munoz, 16, played with 2-year-old Damian Bridges, who was hospitalized for hypoglycemia at Children’s Hospital i

Children's Hospital support program is winner of Vikings fans' largesse

Outpouring to Saints punter led to more than $100,000 for Children's Hospital program.
Social media has helped spread stories — such as the donation by an ex-football player that resulted in a recent heart and kidney transplant for Min

Success stories like Rod Carew's credited for boost in Upper Midwest organ donors

2017 saw a record number of organ donations in the Midwest.
Elizabeth, a Long Island native in her late 20s, with the Adderall pills she considers a necessity to keep pace with her peers. Interviews with users

ADHD drug use spikes among women of child-bearing age

Effects on pregnancy, fetal health largely unknown.

U tests experimental diabetes transplant treatment

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have studied everything from human organ donors to specially grown pigs as sources of insulin-producing islet cells for people…
The ClearPoint system was federally approved in 2010. But it hadn’t been used in Minnesota until the University of Minnesota recruited Dr. Clark Che

U doctor performs brain surgery through a pencil-sized incision

The brain surgery last month was the first in Minnesota to use a system called ClearPoint.
In this Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 file photo, a nurse gives administers a flu vaccine shot in Washington.

Flu cases spike as Minnesota enters peak season

An increase in influenza-related hospitalizations, and the first pediatric death, suggest a rough flu season ahead.
Despite progress, ethnic health disparities persist in Minnesota

Despite progress, ethnic health disparities persist in Minnesota

Hispanics, Indians, Somali natives still trail in screenings such as colonoscopies.
Oxycodone-acetaminophen pills. A group of Minnesota medical students is hoping to inspire change in the way doctors prescribe opioids by teaching thei

Minnesota medical students want updated teaching on opioids

Better training could help the next generation of physicians avoid the problem.
Young cannabis plants in the Otsego greenhouses of Minnesota Medical Solutions.

Minnesota marijuana advocates react to federal pot policy

A memo removing legal cover from states with marijuana legalization laws is unlikely to hurt Minnesota's medical cannabis system, some advocates say.
Mary Enfield

Mary Lee Enfield, who championed an approach to dyslexia that was adopted nationally, dies at 85

Mary Lee Enfield was a compassionate teacher of children with learning disabilities who prompted the state of Minnesota to become one of the first in…
This 2016 photo provided by ViaCyte shows the Encaptra delivery system, a tightly closed pouch implanted in the arms and backs of diabetic patients. V

U tests new transplant treatment for Type 1 diabetes

A leader in transplants of donor islet cells, the University of Minnesota is among first to test new 'off the shelf' source that could accelerate type 1 diabetes treatment.
Shakopee teen Imani Cornelius needed a donor to give the bone marrow she needed for a stem cell transplant to fight her blood disorder.

Potential donors' empty pledges frustrate patients and officials

As a result, the National Marrow Donor Program next year is revamping the way it recruits donors for its Minneapolis-based registry Be the Match.

HCMC is going green with surgery lighting

Outpatient surgery rooms in Hennepin County Medical Center's new $160 million facility, which opens in March across the street from the hospital, feature LED ceiling lights that go from standard white to green.
Early results of Mayo Clinic research suggest that emojis are just as reliable in providing doctors with meaningful health information.

Why use words? Emojis convey health just fine, Mayo finds

Yellow cartoon faces — and occasional brown poop icons — have become everyday forms of communication for many Americans, and now the Mayo Clinic is…
Jerry Larson waits for his granddaughter Mia, 9, to come home from school as he rests on the couch with a chihuahua he calls Taco. He wished he could

The other side of the opioid debate: What to do about the pain?

Minnesota effort to reduce overdose deaths is putting doctors, patients in a bind.
Khloe Kardashian gave vitamin B7 use a boost when she called it her “super vitamin” for shinier hair and stronger nails.

'Super vitamin' proves disruptive to medical tests, U study shows

A new University of Minnesota study and a federal advisory warn vitamin B7, or biotin, can throw off the results of important medical tests.
A bottle with a hydrocodone, a popular prescription semi-synthetic opioid. The Dayton administration has unveiled new guidelines for curbing opioid pr

Minnesota unveils new guidelines on opioid prescribing

In addition to tighter prescribing, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith promoted a "penny-a-pill" fee on certain prescription painkillers to fund prevention and treatment programs.
Minnesota is expanding the pool of people who will be eligible for medical marijuana to include those with autism and obstructive sleep apnea.

Autism, sleep apnea added to Minnesota list for medical marijuana

Health Department is gradually expanding the list of conditions for medical cannabis.
“We have the tools to end HIV in Minnesota,” said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, state health commissioner.

Quicker HIV detection improves patients' outlook

Earlier treatment can diminish the level of the virus detectable in a patient's bloodstream.
A new state report found that patients from some clinics were three times more likely to go to the ER than patients from other clinics.

ER usage helps explain wide swings in Minnesota medical spending

Annual cost-of-care report shows major savings achieved by some clinics.
LeafLine Labs, which grows marijuana plants at a facility in Cottage Grove, says the shortage of medical cannabis is temporary.

Minnesota patients alarmed at medical marijuana shortage

State-licensed provider blames lack of supplies on holiday, third-party lab.
Brian Madeux, 44, sitting with his girlfriend Marcie Humphrey, waits to receive the first human gene editing therapy. It was based largely on mouse re

U's research was pivotal in landmark gene editing trial

The second, third and additional attempts may occur in Minneapolis as researchers race to prove the safety and effectiveness of editing genes inside patients.
Juliette Marie, 2, hugged her mother, Natalie Anaya, during her physical therapy session.

Tragic year turned hopeful, thanks to U transplant for Puerto Rican toddler

Natalie Anaya's toddler has a rare genetic disorder, one that has killed almost every other child in Puerto Rico diagnosed with it. And that was before Hurricane Maria pounded their home.
A labor union in the Duluth area is suing to keep Essentia Health from requiring employees to get a flu shot.

Essentia fires about 50 workers over refusal to get flu shots

The Duluth-based health system says many employees ultimately got vaccinations, and that patients will be safer.
Oxycodone-acetaminophen pills.

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.
Allina paramedic Diane Bauer checked on cardiac patient Ann Losness at her home to make sure she is OK and at low risk of going back to the hospital.

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.
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2010 file photo, a nurse practitioner prepares a flu vaccination in Rockville, Md.

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.
From his hospital bed, deer hunter Phil Martinson told the tale of his injury to warn others to take safety steps. Deer hunter falling from tree stand

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.
Doctors implant a coronary heart stent.

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.
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