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HHRI Media Coverage – 2020

HHRI Media Coverage – 2020

2020

August

The immune system overreaction to COVID-19 has become a key target for therapeutic research, including a new trial at the University of Minnesota using stem cells to try to suppress the body’s response to infection and repair the damage it causes. A COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines team formed by the National Institutes of Health has reviewed evidence for using mesenchymal stem cells to treat this hyperimmune response but does not recommend them outside of clinical trials. “It’s very much not ready for clinical implementation and clinical use,” said Dr. Jason Baker, a Hennepin Health doctor who is part of the NIH review team. “There is potential, but it very much needs to be proven.”

Read the story on Star Tribune.

Preliminary research by Mayo Clinic shows that high-dose plasma therapy is correlated with fewer deaths in patients with severe COVID-19. A 10 percentage point difference in deaths was found when comparing hospitalized COVID-19 patients who received donor plasma with high concentrations of virus-fighting antibodies compared with those who received lower concentrations, Mayo reported. HCMC in Minneapolis and Regions routinely screen COVID-19 patients shortly after admission for their interest and eligibility for convalescent plasma. “We’re all kind of waiting for more standard products to come out where you know how much antibody that someone is getting,” said Dr. Anne Frosch, who is leading HCMC’s COVID-19 convalescent plasma program.

Read the story on Star Tribune.

Published in the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs, “Practice and Policy Reset Post-COVID-19: Reversion, Transition or Transformation?” was written by Christine Sinsky, MD, vice president of professional satisfaction at the AMA, and AMA member Mark Linzer, MD, director of the Institute for Professional Work Life at Hennepin Healthcare and professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The commentary examines actions by regulators and payers to modify policies and lift administrative and technological burdens that allow health professionals to meaningfully care for patients with COVID-19. Most ambulatory visits are now being conducted through telehealth and in places where COVID-19 is surging, there is a need for all hands-on deck. This has led health professionals to take on new roles to meet the demand. To support these changes, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other regulators and payers have modified longstanding policies, eliminated some nonessential administrative tasks and reduced preexisting constraints on team-based care.

Read the story on AMA.

July

When Jennifer Bennetch noticed boarded-up houses seemingly everywhere in North Philadelphia, she began documenting them. She noted their addresses and followed up to see the status of the properties: whether new residents had moved in, or if the houses were being renovated or brought to auction. She ultimately found that the owner of the properties, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), had no plans but to let them sit idle—so, in March, she quietly began moving in families. Moms 4 Housing has framed their fight for housing as a human right; their claim to secure and affordable housing is shaped through their identity as mothers with children in their care. Their demand for a home in which they can securely dwell and raise their family is a core component of reproductive justice, defined by SisterSong as the “right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent them in safe and sustainable communities.” Housing functions as an “anchor that families require to build security in terms of shelter, food, education, childcare, and employment,” Dr. Diana Cutts, a pediatrician and co-lead principal investigator for the research group Children’s HealthWatch, told Rewire.News.

 

Read the story on Rewire News.

April

Medical experts have for weeks tested the degree to which anti-viral treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir can prevent the coronavirus from gaining ground inside a patient’s body. With a boost from Bill Gates, two doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical School are challenging the medical community to try a different approach — treatment studies involving common high-blood pressure medications. “This is different than doing what most of the other clinical trials are trying to do right now,” said Dr. Michael Puskarich, associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University and emergency physician at Hennepin Healthcare. “We’re looking at more of the downstream consequences of the virus.” The doctors have launched two multi-site inpatient and outpatient clinical trials involving the drug Losartan.

 

Read the story on Pioneer Press.

Hennepin Healthcare has launched two clinical trials for a drug to see if it will help COVID-19 patients. The trials are being doing through the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute. “The clinical trials will help to determine if remdesivir is a safe and effective drug that can improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 here at Hennepin Healthcare and in the broader community,” principal investigator Dr. Jason Baker said.

 

Read the story on CBS Minnesota.

A new drug is being called a ‘ray of hope’ in treating COVID-19. "This is a medicine that directly attacks the virus," said Jason Baker, MD, MS, Hennepin Healthcare’s infectious disease director. Doctors at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute hope to enroll about 1,000 patients now hospitalized with moderate or severe COVID-19.

 

Read the story on MinnPost.

Initially, remesivir was developed to treat ebola but failed to stop that virus. But now it has been found that the drug affects other forms of coronavirus, including SARS and MERS. “It turned out to be very active against that virus in the lab, so it quickly escalated to human studies for the COVID outbreak,” said HHRI’s Principal Investigator Jason Baker, MD, MS. The drug, which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is administered through an IV and works by preventing the virus from growing.

 

Read the Vaaju story.

Remdesivir was originally developed to treat Ebola, but was unable to stop this virus. However, the drug has been found to affect other forms of the coronavirus, including SARS and MERS. “It was found to be very active in the laboratory against this virus, and it was therefore quickly expanded to human studies for the COVID outbreak,” said HHRI’s Principal Investigator Jason Baker, MD, MS. Hennepin Healthcare wants to determine if the drug is useful and safe.

 

News Source: NewsBreezer

A new drug is being called a "ray of hope" in treating COVID-19. “This is a medicine that directly attacks the virus,” said Jason Baker, MD, MS, Hennepin Healthcare’s infectious disease director. “Rendesivir is one of the only direct anti-viral medicines that’s being studied in the context of COVID-19.” Doctors at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute hope to enroll about 1,000 patients now hospitalized with moderate or severe COVID-19. 

 

News Source: KSTP

Researchers at Hennepin Healthcare are joining sites across the world in studying a drug that could help patients who have COVID-19. The clinical trials now underway at Hennepin Healthcare will study hospitalized patients with severe and moderate cases of COVID-19. They'll get an IV of remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug. It was created to treat Ebola, but wasn't effective for that disease. "It actually blocks the virus' ability to reproduce itself genetically. It blocks that replication," said Dr. Jason Baker, the Director of Infectious Disease at Hennepin Healthcare.

 

Read the story on KARE 11.

Hennepin Healthcare has announced it has launched two clinical trials to study the safety of using an antiviral drug created for Ebola patients on those with the coronavirus. The Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI), the medical research organization based at Hennepin County Medical Center, says it will be trialing the drug Remdesivir on patients with moderate or severe COVID-19. "We are proud to be a site that’s conducting research on this investigational treatment,” said HHRI’s Principal Investigator Jason Baker, MD, MS.

 

News Source: Bring Me The News

A drug that is showing some early success in treating severe cases of COVID-19 is now being studied in trials by Hennepin Healthcare. The Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute has launched two trials to study the safety of remdesivir. The drug had previously been tested on humans for an Ebola treatment. It has also shown some success with in vitro and animal models against other coronaviruses strains including MERS and SARS.

Read the story on FOX 9.

Hennepin Healthcare and Mayo Clinic are participating in an international clinical trial on using the drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis said Friday it will have 70 patients in part of a 1,000-patient worldwide study of the potential antiviral treatment developed by Gilead Sciences in California. Mayo Clinic in Rochester is also among the 133 study locations. Remdesivir showed "antiviral activity" against other coronaviruses MERS and SARS. Gilead and Hennepin Healthcare will look at the safety and efficacy on moderate to severe cases COVID-19 in a FDA clinical study. It started on March 6 and has a primary completion date of May. Hennepin Healthcare expects results on the severe group in early May. "We are proud to be a site that's conducting research on this ... treatment," Jason Baker, MD, MS, Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute's primary investigator, said in a statement. "The clinical trials will help to determine if remdesivir is a safe and effective drug that can improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 here at Hennepin Healthcare and in the broader community."

Read the story on Pioneer Press.

Hennepin Healthcare and Mayo Clinic are participating in an international clinical trial on using the drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Gilead and Hennepin Healthcare will look at the safety and efficacy on moderate to severe cases COVID-19 in a FDA clinical study. "The clinical trials will help to determine if remdesivir is a safe and effective drug that can improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 here at Hennepin Healthcare and in the broader community," said Jason Baker, MD, MS, Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute’s primary investigator.

Read the story on Pioneer Press.

Kelley Baer’s schedule at the Shakopee women's correctional facility doesn’t change. Due to precautions made due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baer’s days are stretching even longer. The gym is closed, inmates can only spend one hour outside each day, and the women are limited to 1.5 hours in the day room. “If there are strong measures in place already, like minimizing groups, isolating older or more sick patients in different parts of the prison, screening staff… it could be that the scope of coronavirus in facilities could be relatively small,” said Tyler Winkelman, MD, MSc, the co-director of the Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab at Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute and a doctor at Hennepin County Jail. According to a notice sent to all DOC staff members, anyone who walks into a correctional facility must first be screened. That screening involves asking each staff member if they are showing symptoms such as a cough, and taking temperatures.

Read the story on Southwest News Media.

March

Upon hearing that a surge of COVID-19 cases could consume all hospital ventilators, Dr. Stephen Richardson rummaged for parts in the medical device lab at the University of Minnesota and built a homemade version. In a first test last week, the prototype kept a pig breathing for an hour and raised the prospect that low-budget ventilators could be built to solve a shortage. The makeshift ventilator was made from $150 in parts, with a motor ripped from another device and a red metal toolbox tray as its base. The university also is one arm of a multisite national trial of remdesivir, an experimental drug that failed in prior studies to treat infections from the Ebola and Marburg viruses. A third U-generated trial, awaiting FDA approval, would test whether a blood pressure-lowering medication, losartan, minimizes the damage of COVID-19. When infection stops ACE-2 receptors from working, there is a buildup of a hormone called angiotensin II that causes lungs to constrict and fluid to build up, explained Dr. Michael Puskarich, emergency physician at Hennepin Healthcare, who will be leading an arm of this trial at Hennepin Healthcare in downtown Minneapolis.

Read the article on Star Tribune.

Physicians and other health professionals are desperately needed during the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals also represent one of the most at-risk populations for acquiring COVID-19. However, they face another risk: added stress. During these trying times, it is important to keep well-being in mind and address stress. “The impact of COVID-19 is overwhelming,” said AMA member Mark Linzer, MD, director of the Institute for Professional Work Life at Hennepin Healthcare and professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “Everybody's wrestling with what's happening and what we can best do to take care of it.”

Read the AMA story.

The next site of a deadly coronavirus outbreak may not be a cruise ship, conference, or school. It could be one of America’s thousands of jails or prisons. Just about all the concerns about coronavirus’s spread in packed social settings apply as much, if not more, to correctional settings. In a prison, multiple people can be placed in one cell. Hallways and gathering places are often small and tight (often deliberately so, to make it easier to control inmates). There is literally no escape, with little to no space for social distancing or similar recommendations experts make to combat coronavirus. Hand sanitizer can be contraband. “We can learn what works in terms of mitigation from other countries who have seen spikes in coronavirus already, but none of those countries have the level of incarceration that we have in the United States,” Tyler Winkelman, MD, MSc, a doctor and researcher at Hennepin Healthcare and the University of Minnesota focused on health care and criminal justice, told me.

 

Read the story on Vox.

This week, a person incarcerated in King County Jail in downtown Seattle was taken to the hospital after they were suspected of having the new coronavirus. The county says there are no cases currently in the jail, but the new virus remains a huge concern for correctional facilities, particularly in outbreak hotspots like King County. With 85 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, the county is home to the largest known hotspot of cases of the new coronavirus in the United States. It’s only a matter of time before the novel coronavirus enters a US jail or prisons, says Tyler Winkelman, MD, MSc, co-director of the Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute in Minneapolis. “All prisons and jails should anticipate that the coronavirus will enter their facility, and they need to have plans for monitoring and treating anyone who has symptoms,” he says.

 

Read the story on The Verge.

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