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Jeremy Olson

Reporter | Newsroom

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
Kelly Yun, a prosthetic technician and designer, demonstrated the Modular Prosthetic Ankle Feet System Thursday at Minneapolis VA Health Care System i

This prosthetic leg can wear high heels

Minneapolis VA researchers lead national study in growing female amputee population to prove that more style and variety in prosthetic designs have clinical benefits.
With members standing behind him, Jamie Gulley, President of SEIU Health Care MN & IA voiced his support for a $25 minimum wage and better benefits in

Workers announce one-day strike at 7 Twin Cities nursing homes over pay, staffing

Almost half of nursing home workers make less than $20 per hour, a rate that union leaders believe is driving understaffing and compromising the care of frail and elderly residents.
A health care professional wept Monday near a paramedic vehicle that has become one of three memorials in front of the Burnsville Police Department.

First responder's killing an extreme example of growing dangers for Minnesota's paramedics

Deaths rare, but injuries and violent incidents are becoming more common in a profession that is starting to run short of trained first-responders.
Leah Chapman, an RN, center, confers with a fellow health-care worker after they rotated a COVID-19 patient in the third floor ICU at Bethesda Hospita

U study: Most 'excess deaths' during pandemic were COVID

Results refute theories that pandemic numbers were inflated, highlight problems with the nation's fragmented reporting of causes of death.
This is a magnified image of the legionnaires bacterium made from an electron microscope.

Legionnaires outbreak traced to Minnesota city's water supply

Only link among 14 infected people was exposure to drinking water in a small section of Grand Rapids.
Walt Myers of Lakeville discussed the struggles resolving medical debts from his late wife's breast cancer treatment at a press conference Feb. 9 host

Walz: Ban hospitals, clinics from cutting off patients with unpaid medical bills

Legislation would end controversial practice by some medical providers to deny non-emergency care to patients with substantial unpaid bills.
Attorney General Ellison announced a settlement with Eli Lilly in his litigation against the three largest insulin manufacturers on Wednesday in St. P

Settlement caps monthly insulin price at $35 for Minnesotans with diabetes

The five-year deal with Eli Lilly seeks to keep insulin prices affordable in Minnesota until federal or marketplace solutions take effect.
New public health insurance could reach 100,000 Minnesotans, state estimates

New public health insurance could reach 100,000 Minnesotans, state estimates

DFL leaders want a new public option. But Republicans, hospitals and insurers have concerns.
Because of the shortage of beds, patients are placed and seen in the hallways of the emergency department in Maplewood, Minn., on Thursday, Nov. 3, 20

Minnesota hospitals say care backlog becoming a permanent problem

A chronically ill woman said she waited for hours at a Minneapolis emergency room for an inpatient bed that never opened up.
Evan Fonder (center right) and his wife helped lead a We Are Fosston campaign to try and recruit doctors and nurses with obstetrics training to the lo

Fosston mayor says city will take back hospital if Essentia halts baby deliveries

Local leaders in the small northwest Minnesota community say they can keep labor and delivery services going.
Hand-written signs on the windows of the emergency room at St. Cloud Hospital designated rooms early in the COVID-19 pandemic in which patients were i

COVID infections decline despite viral variant in Minnesota

Why the JN.1 variant hasn't been more of a nuisance in Minnesota is a mystery, along with the state's unusually low influenza rate.
Essentia Health's hospital in Fosston is permanently ending the scheduling of baby deliveries, joining with more than 20 other small Minnesota hospita

Fosston hospital latest in rural Minnesota to stop delivering babies

Rising insurance and staffing costs have fueled the trend among rural Minnesota hospitals, along with competition from larger OB centers.
Certified carpenter Craig Huebschmann worked on a door at the new short-stay observation unit on Wednesday at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood. The

Minnesota emergency rooms get creative to meet ongoing patient overcrowding

The end of the pandemic has offered no respite for emergency departments.
FILE — Newport cigarettes, a menthol cigarette brand, inside a bodega in Brooklyn, Sept. 13, 2016. The Food and Drug Administration on April 28, 202

Smoking deaths increase in Minnesota despite tobacco usage decline

Steady rate of adult tobacco usage maintained number of smoking-related deaths, despite declines among youth.
The Bay View nursing home in Red Wing is the third in the past two years placed in court-ordered receivership in Minnesota because of financial proble

Minnesota takeover of Red Wing nursing home is latest sign of industry trouble

Three receiverships in two years reflect the financial strains of the state's shrinking nursing home industry, even as demand for care grows.
Sanford Bemidji Medical Center is planning to close an acute rehab unit and make room for more inpatient beds.

Bemidji hospital unit closure will further reduce Minnesota's rehab supply

A hearing on Wednesday will give public notice about the hospital change amid the state's growing need for more post-hospital care options.
Allina Health is abiding by a federal labor ruling, issued earlier this week, and will begin negotiating with doctors at Mercy Hospital who voted to u

Allina relents on Mercy Hospital doctor unionization

The ruling against the health system's appeal clears the way for Allina doctors at the north metro hospital to organize.
Be The Match changes name because 'perfect' match no longer as necessary for transplants

Be The Match changes name because 'perfect' match no longer as necessary for transplants

The switch to NMDP reflects a future in which partial genetic matches of donors and recipients could dramatically increase blood and bone marrow transplants.
Minnesota seniors seeking vaccines again as COVID-19 lingers

Minnesota seniors seeking vaccines again as COVID-19 lingers

More than 50% of seniors are back to being up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, but progress varies across Minnesota.
Beltrami County restricts Upper Red Lake access after people found themselves stranded on the ice

Beltrami County restricts Upper Red Lake access after people found themselves stranded on the ice

Two ice fishermen were rescued Friday in Sherburne County after falling into a lake thinly covered with ice.
Metro Transit is offering free bus and train service after 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and extended service times after drawing criticism on social me

Metro Transit extends light-rail hours on its New Year's Eve free rides

The agency added later light-rail times after business leaders and others questioned why train service was scheduled to end at or before midnight.
Three fatal accidents reported on Minnesota roads this weekend

Three fatal accidents reported on Minnesota roads this weekend

The dead included an 18-year-old Rochester man, a 21-year-old man from Madison Lake and and a 37-year-old man from Anchorage, Alaska.
Brian Molohon worked with cardiac rehabilitation therapist Teri Thorstad during his outpatient cardiac rehab session Wednesday at St. John’s Hospita

Minnesotans who survive heart attacks are skipping rehab, risking their lives

While outperforming the nation, Minnesota still reports that the majority of eligible patients skip cardiac rehab.
Andrea Kimlinger, a caregiver at Presbyterian Homes Lake Minnetonka Shores, helped a resident to breakfast on March 1, 2023, following her completion

Lawsuit: Minnesota's free training hurt nursing assistant schools

Small providers seek injunction to program that has hurt their enrollment but ushered more than 2,000 nursing assistants into the job market.
Allina is following Mayo’s practice in charging for certain provider emails.

Allina will start charging patients $49 for certain doctor emails

Patients have been notified in advance that messages could result in bills if they prompt doctors to treat new medical problems.
Hand-written warnings in 2020 indicated rooms in the emergency department of St. Cloud Hospital outfitted with negative airflow systems to prevent the

COVID hospitalizations in Minnesota rise to last winter's level

Minnesota expert points to viral variants, not seasonality, as driver of post-pandemic wave of illness
Access barriers loom in Minnesota for blockbuster sickle cell therapy

Access barriers loom in Minnesota for blockbuster sickle cell therapy

The high cost of therapy could inhibit its use to improve health equity, given the heavier burden of sickle cell disease on Black Minnesotans.
Minnesota reprimands physician assistant for secret use of ivermectin to treat COVID

Minnesota reprimands physician assistant for secret use of ivermectin to treat COVID

Practitioner must review established evidence on how to treat the disease and write a paper on what he learned.
Diabetes patients recruited to answer whether blood sugar monitors are worth it

Diabetes patients recruited to answer whether blood sugar monitors are worth it

Clinic trial in Minnesota evaluates whether pricy glucose monitors pay off compared with old-school finger-stick tests.
Cannabis plants dry in a harvesting room at Leafline Labs in Cottage Grove in 2019. Despite legalization this summer of recreational marijuana for adu

Minnesota expands forms of medical cannabis, but not what it treats

Minnesota's legalization of recreational marijuana this year did not result in more liberal standards for its medical cannabis program.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned consumers not to eat certain whole and cut cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit products linked to

Minnesota is nation's hot spot in deadly cantaloupe salmonella outbreak

Two Minnesotans have died from an outbreak linked to tainted cantaloupe and fresh-cut fruit medleys.
FILE - A sign points visitors toward the financial services department at a hospital, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. More than a half million of the poorest A

Insured Minnesotans' health care cost $581 more per person last year

Prescription drugs drove increase, but variations in clinic care and charges played a role as well.
An artist’s rendering shows the centerpiece of Mayo Clinic’s planned $5 billion expansion: a sweeping two-building patient care complex that conne

$5 billion redo of Mayo Clinic's campus will reshape skyline of Rochester

The project will demolish existing buildings to make way for five others that will offer seamless care for patients.
Visitors in front of the Grand Marais Lighthouse.

ER doctor's dismissal fuels anger in Grand Marais

North Shore Hospital blames a staffing company, but local residents want to hold its leaders and board members accountable.
Officers at the Des Moines Police Department demonstrate how REPULS, an alternative chemical irritant to pepper spray, can be used to subdue an attack

Pepper spray 2.0 could snuff violence in Minnesota hospitals

Security guards are reluctant to use traditional pepper spray, so Crystal, Minn., company invented an alternative.
Imam Mohamed Mahad of the Nurul-Iman Mosque in Minneapolis signed a fatwa document Thursday permitting Muslim parents to use donor breast milk for the

Twin Cities Muslim leaders OK donor breast milk for critically ill infants

The religious decree, or fatwa, is designed to guide local families but is drawing interest from Muslims across the globe.
Dr. Michael Joyner of Mayo Clinic

Prominent doctor says Mayo tried to muzzle him. Clinic says he demanded money.

The dispute centers on Dr. Michael Joyner's criticism of federal health authorities over plasma treatment for COVID.
A still from surveillance video of a patient attacking a nurse at St. John’s Hospital Nov. 2, 2014.

Workplace injuries from hospital violence increase in Minnesota

The problem is compounded as assaulted workers quit, leaving hospitals short-handed to treat complex patients.
Yolanda Pierson testified before a Minnesota Senate committee in March in favor of a requirement that hospitals screen patients for charity care and f

Minnesota hospitals barred from debt collection until screening patients for charity care

Law fills notification gap that left some Minnesota families without help to which they were entitled.
Claire Williams plays with her son Amos,9, giving him some Halloween candy in Arden Hills, Minn., on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. The Williams family will

U doctor's departure is a setback for kids with rare illness

Families are desperate to maintain treatment for PANS/PANDAS, an infection-derived disease that causes violence and compulsion in children.
Dr. Scott Cutover, a gastroenterologist at MNGI, points to a green square on a screen where a GI Genius module is detecting a polyp needing further ob

One Minnesota clinic transcends a race barrier to good patient care

Small Richfield provider outperforms Minnesota's big groups on cancer screening, diabetes management for Black patients.
Michael Culhane sprayed water during a training exercise in May 2022 at the St. Anthony Village Public Works facility in St. Anthony, Minn. Culhane wa

Ceremony completes St. Anthony firefighter's COVID comeback

Once near death at HCMC in Minneapolis, firefighter is now bringing patients to the hospital.
Bed rails are used in licensed facilities to help residents sit up and to prevent them from falling out of bed.

Cluster of Minnesota bed-rail deaths reveals elder-care threat

State investigations of three deaths in assisted living facilities find lack of timely assessments for entrapment risks.
Hand-written warnings early in the pandemic indicated rooms in the emergency department of St. Cloud Hospital outfitted with negative airflow systems

COVID decline in Minnesota wastewater an encouraging sign

Levels were low anyway, but recent dip suggests a fall COVID surge is unlikely for now.
Maja Smedberg, an HCMC social worker, has lost 30 pounds in five months using Wegovy, a weight loss drug HCMC will eliminate from its health coverage

Hennepin Healthcare pulls coverage of 'miracle' drug that helped workers lose weight

Without financial help, workers say they can't afford drug and expect weight and related health problems to return.
John Moeller, 54, works out with weights at LifeTime Fitness in Eagan. Moeller, a pilot, resolved in July to improve his fitness and diet and has lost

Minnesota losing obesity battle: One in three adults fits the bill

Optimists point to new drugs, improvements in diet and exercise, and a body positivity movement that is changing perceptions of obesity.
“We are not doing as good a job as we could in making sure that our courts are a place where everyone gets a fair shot dealing with their debts,”

The dilemma of medical debt lawsuits in Minnesota: Too big to pay, too small to fight

Ordinary medical bills are more likely to end up in court than "astronomical" costs of major surgeries and treatments, study shows.
A lab worker processes donations of breastmilk at the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies in Golden Valley to provide to babies born prematurely.

Minnesota doctors seek religious nod for donor breastmilk to feed Muslim newborns

A fatwa by an imam or scholar could offer local clarification of Islamic teachings and ease concerns of Muslim parents.
The evolution of smartwatches into medical diagnostic machines is in part due to a subsidiary of M Health Fairview and its successful recruitment of m

Diverse group recruited to study how smartwatches can make you healthier

Fairview Frontiers becomes leading national recruiting center for studies of wearable medical and fitness devices.
Paper hearts covered windows at Edina City Hall in 2020 in remembrance of local residents who died of COVID-19. Minnesota has now reached 15,000 COVID

COVID-19 death toll in Minnesota reaches 15,000

The pace of mortality has slowed as the virus evolves, but it's still claiming two lives every day right now.
Ryan Aga, director of simulation at HealthPartners Institute, demonstrated how clinicians can practice on high-tech mannequins to increase accuracy an

Errors in Minn. hospitals caused 21 deaths, 178 serious injuries

The total number of deaths linked to adverse events in the 12 months ending in October was the highest since 2006.
'It's probably not going to be another COVID': U seeks to improve models ahead of next outbreak

'It's probably not going to be another COVID': U seeks to improve models ahead of next outbreak

Projects funded by a $17 million grant include studying human behavior to pinpoint how it affects an outbreak.
Tissue samples being prepared for research at the University of Minnesota’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

University of Minnesota gets $54 million federal grant to hasten medical treatments to Minnesotans

Grant required a U institute to reorganize research priorities around needs expressed by underserved communities.
A machine collected blood platelets last week from a donor at Memorial Blood Center in Eden Prairie.

Memorial Blood Centers expands LGTBQ donor opportunities

The change is based on federal guidance to consider blood donors by individual behaviors, not broad sexual orientation.
Inpatient doctors at Allina Health’s Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, and its satellite campus in Fridley, are voting to unionize.

Federal labor ruling backs Mercy doctors' union vote

Doctors say the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic motivated the union drive to gain more control inside the hospital.
PrairieCare Chief Executive Todd Archbold held the door during Wednesday’s grand opening for more than 100 visitors eager to see the newly expanded

Child psychiatric bed shortage eased by PrairieCare expansion in Brooklyn Park

While more beds and services are needed, state leaders commended the investment in a healing space for children and teens.
Gov. Tim Walz received a flu shot Tuesday from nurse KaLee Medina at the State Capitol in St. Paul.

Walz gets flu shot, promotes use of new COVID-19 booster

The governor said he believes the latest coronavirus vaccine will arrive this week in clinics and pharmacies across the state.
John Sauer, a cardiac arrest survivor, poses for a portrait inside the Minnesota Mobile Resuscitation Consortium, Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2023, at M Health

Minnesota seeks world's best cardiac arrest survival rate, and a big new grant could help

M Health Fairview will use the $10 million grant from Helmsley Charitable Trust to expand its heart-lung bypass capacity and broaden mobile outreach.
Kathryn Kottke graded honors English papers while donating platelets Saturday at Memorial Blood Center in Eden Prairie.

Pandemic still suppressing blood donations in Minnesota

Corporate and school blood drives have declined 63% when comparing 2019 to 2023, according to St. Paul-based Memorial Blood Centers.
Dr. Brooke Cunningham, Minnesota’s health commissioner, urged people to seek new COVID-19 vaccines and called them “one of the best tools in our t

Minnesota promotes tests, boosters to keep COVID levels from rising

Sampling shows less of the strain on which latest vaccines are based, but health officials believe the shots will still offer strong protection.
A record $25 million donation to Allina Health will help finance construction of a new 10-story tower at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Record $25 million gift will help upgrade Abbott Northwestern surgery, critical care capabilities

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze is pivoting his foundation away from medical research and funding projects like Abbott that improve health care access.
Updated COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available in Minnesota, possibly within days.

What Minnesotans should know about the new COVID-19 vaccine

The updated shots could be available within days.
Ronald Rustan is described in a court complaint as a devoted grandfather haunted by alcoholism whose health problems put him at risk of severe COVID w

Lawsuit: Minnesota inmate died from COVID-19 because prison doctors didn't act

Complaint alleges that chronically ill grandfather never should have been sent to Faribault amid widespread prison outbreak.
Blood pressure management is a key component of how Minnesota clinics are graded on their care of patients with diabetes and vascular disease.

Report shows whether your Minnesota clinic has improved or worsened since COVID-19

MN Community Measurement says clinics' scores for care goals for chronic conditions improved in 2022 but still lagged pre-pandemic performance.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

18 charged by Minnesota AG in case of Medicaid caregiver fraud

A criminal complaint says a now-closed Twin Cities firm overbilled or provided substandard care.
Tear gas was commonly used by Minneapolis police and other officers during protests in 2020 over the police killing of George Floyd. Minnesota researc

Minnesota study links tear gas exposure with menstrual disruptions

Results from a nationwide survey are billed as a starting point for research on impact of chemical irritants on reproductive health.
A Mayo study found vaccines also show benefits in reducing a key symptom of long COVID.

Mayo: Vaccines offer benefit against severe long COVID symptoms

Protective benefit reported as COVID-19 levels remain low in Minnesota but tick back up to spring levels.
Allina announced Wednesday it would find alternative ways to collect overdue debts.

Allina cancels controversial policy that denied care to those with debts

Hospital and clinic provider makes change amid an Attorney General investigation into the collection practice.
Candida auris fungi in a 3D illustration.

University of Minnesota tests drug against deadly fungal infection

Successful trial offers hope of a new treatment against a growing problem worldwide.
Attorney General Keith Ellison

Ellison confirms Allina Health debt collection probe, asks patients to share stories

The office is investigating Allina Health's debt collection practices and its now-suspended policy of denying non-emergency care to delinquent patients.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights launched the gender identity discrimination lawsuit in 2019.

Minnesota halts court action against CSL Plasma for discriminating based on gender identity

Florida-based company satisfied conditions of state 2021 consent degree over bias in screening plasma donors.
The Mayo Clinic Gonda building in Rochester, Minn.

Messaging with your Mayo doctor could soon cost you

Convenient option has become popular for patients, time-consuming for doctors in post-COVID era.
COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased in Minnesota in July and early August, but remain far below totals earlier in the pandemic.

COVID-19 bump followed July 4th holiday in Minnesota

Intensive care COVID-19 cases rebound after reaching a low of one this summer, but remain low overall.
FILE Ñ An Allina Health System facility in St. Paul, Minn., on May 20, 2023. Allina Health, a large nonprofit health system based in Minnesota, annou

Allina primary care doctors set for historic union vote

Approval in an upcoming election would create the largest union of private sector clinicians in the nation, union says.
A shortage of post-hospital care options in Minnesota has contributed to a backlog in hospitals that at times has left emergency departments overcrowd

Minnesota considers new way to ease overcrowded hospitals: for-profit rehab beds

Increased state investment in nursing homes could address the problem, along with proposed Regency Hospital move into the east metro.