U receives grant to assess needs of business community to address pandemic influenza
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) has been awarded $99,250 to conduct a Pandemic Influenza Business Sector Needs Assessment.
State budget threatens medical education
The Governor’s proposed supplemental budget contains a $55 million (83 percent) reduction in the state’s funding of medical education.
Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) is one of two sources of funding for medical education. MERC is the state fund that provides financial support for medical education to hospitals, clinics and other health care providers (including the AHC) for some of the costs of clinical training for health professional students and residents. The other source of funding is federal – through Medicare’s Graduate Medical Education.
Health Care Reform: What Just Happened? A discussion with Sen. Al Franken
Sen. Al Franken discussed Minnesota and federal health reform efforts at the April 9 Public Health Roundtable.
Study finds more Minnesotans lack health insurance
The percentage of Minnesotans without health insurance rose from 7.2 percent to 9.1 percent between 2007 and 2009, according to the results of a new survey by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
An estimated 480,000 Minnesotans were uninsured in 2009, compared with 374,000 in 2007. In both years, about two-thirds of people who were uninsured reported having been without coverage for a year or longer.
The increase was primarily due to a decline in the percentage of Minnesotans who had health insurance through an employer (57.2 percent in 2009, compared with 62.5 percent in 2007
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory critical to disease surveillance and emergency response efforts
The University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) serves the agriculture industry and the public’s health by acting as the testing laboratory for the state’s Board of Animal Health.
This long-term partnership has served the state well in the past, however, cuts to University funding overall require a more direct financial link for the VDL to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
Contributing to Minnesota’s growing biosciences industry
The University of Minnesota’s Biomedical Discovery District provides collaborative research space for leading scientists studying diabetes, cancer, infectious disease, heart disease, and brain sciences.
By 2014, more than 700,000 square feet of research space located north of the TCF Bank Stadium will house hundreds of scientists who drive discovery, cure disease, improve health—both human and animal, and grow Minnesota’s bioscience industry.
New cattle facility poised to transform how veterinary medicine is taught
The College of Veterinary Medicine and Davis Family Dairies recently opened the New Sweden Dairy Facility in Nicollet County.
The dairy facility houses more than 4,000 cows, serves as a birthing center for more than 6,000 calves per year, and milks 3,000 cows daily. It also includes dormitory facilities, classrooms, and teaching laboratories.
Veterinary medicine students from throughout the Midwest will go to the facility to train and learn about agriculture and large animals for up to 6 months.
U part of a global pandemic team
The University of Minnesota is part of a $185 million cooperative project awarded from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats Program. The University of Minnesota is expected to receive more than $55 million for its part of the project.
As a part of the cooperative project—called RESPOND—University of Minnesota experts will travel to hot spots (Southeast Asia, the Congo Basin, and the Amazon Basin) to combat the first stages of emerging zoonotic pandemics. These are diseases that can spread between animals and humans. Faculty from the following Academic Health Center colleges and schools will be involved:
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- School of Public Health
- School of Nursing
- Medical School
Creating new therapies and cures with stem cells
Amid the fanfare over the University of Minnesota’s new TCF Bank Stadium, scientists working in labs across the street from it are engaged in quieter but higher stakes activities. These leading researchers at the University’s Stem Cell Institute along with others performing stem cell research across the campus may hold in their Petri dishes the keys to unlocking the mysteries of diabetes, cancer, heart failure, brain injury—even aging.
The objective at the Stem Cell Institute is to further understanding of stem cells’ potential to improve human and animal health. In recognition of the seemingly unlimited potential of stem cells in the treatment of human and animal diseases, the University of Minnesota established the Stem Cell Institute.
Fueling the research are promising new discoveries using all types of stem cells, embryonic stem cells—which have become more available under revised federal guidelines—as well as stem cells from skin, bone marrow, and umbilical cord blood.
Improving access to care with dental therapy program
The first-ever class of dental therapists started school this fall at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Once trained, dental therapists will perform preventive dental services, restore primary and permanent teeth, and extract primary teeth with supervision of a dentist.
The populations to be served by dental therapists include clinics or practices in which at least 50 percent of the dental therapist’s patient base is enrolled in one of Minnesota’s health care plans for the poor and underserved, have a family income equal to or less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, reside in a military or veterans hospital or clinic, or live in a dental health shortage area. In the end, dental therapists and officials at the School of Dentistry are aiming to tackle access to care with this new member of the dental team.