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July 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

5 Tips for Preventing Eye Injuries

By Micah Dorfner

African-American man with working in garage wearing eye protection goggles

FAIRMONT, Minn. — With the Fourth of July approaching and outdoor activities likely taking up much of your summer fun, it’s time to consider the importance of protecting your eyes. Eye injuries are largely preventable, but you need to be aware of risks and measures you can take to keep your eyes safe. Mayo Clinic Health System ophthalmologist Anna Kitzmann, M.D.,  shares five tips to help prevent eye injuries.

Leave fireworks to the pros

“Unfortunately, I’ve seen many severe eye injuries from fireworks. And most of these injuries resulted in permanent damage or blindness,” says Dr. Kitzmann. “In fact, a lot of people even lose their eye or eyes from a fireworks accident.”

The best method of eye injury prevention from fireworks is to leave these exploding wonders to the professionals. July 4 weekend offers many chances to see a well-orchestrated fireworks show from a safe distance. Take advantage of these opportunities rather than trying to conduct your own show.

If your family must have fireworks for the holidays, stick to sparklers, wear eye protection and make sure an adult supervises all activity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Anna Kitzmann, Eye Injury Prevention, Fireworks, Fourth of July, Mayo Clinic Health System, News Release, Safety

July 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

One in 4 People Prescribed Opioids Progressed to Longer-Term Prescriptions

By Sharon Theimer

pain medication, pills in a bottle

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Opioid painkiller addiction and accidental overdoses have become far too common across the United States. To try to identify who is most at risk, Mayo Clinic researchers studied how many patients prescribed an opioid painkiller for the first time progressed to long-term prescriptions. The answer: 1 in 4. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were likeliest to use opioid painkillers long-term.

The findings are published in the July issue of the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

While the study identified past or present nicotine use and substance abuse as top risk factors for long-term use of opioids, all patients should proceed with caution when offered opioid painkiller prescriptions, says lead author W. Michael Hooten, M.D., an anesthesiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

“From a patient perspective, it is important to recognize the potential risks associated with these medications. I encourage use of alternative methods to manage pain, including non-opioid analgesics or other nonmedication approaches,” Dr. Hooten says. “That reduces or even eliminates the risk of these medications transitioning to another problem that was never intended.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sharon Theimer, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: hyperalgesia, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Minnesota news release, News Release, opioid addiction, opioid painkiller, opioid prescriptions, opioids, W Michael Hooten

June 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Partnership strives to reduce impact of chronic disease on Minnesotans

By Naomi Ogaldez

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic and the George Family Foundation are leading supporters of the newly formed Southeast Minnesota Partnership for Community-Based Health Promotion. A key aim of this partnership is to extend the care that occurs in Southeast Minnesota health systems into the communities. The partnership will focus first on ingym class of people exercising, showing the 'thumbs up' signcorporating clinical referrals of effective, community-based programs into routine primary care treatment strategies. The new program is called Living Well with Chronic Conditions (formally known as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program).

“The goal of this partnership is to fundamentally change the way individuals and communities in Southeast Minnesota experience life with chronic health conditions,” says Aaron Leppin, M.D., a research associate in Mayo Clinic’s Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 out of every 10 deaths in the U.S. are the result of chronic disease. In Southeast Minnesota, Community Health Needs Assessments consistently identify chronic disease management as an area of priority.

Media Contacts: Colette Gallagher and Naomi Ogaldez, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Aaron Leppin, Minnesota news release, News Release

June 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Transplant Programs Rank Among Best in U.S. for Survival Rates

By Lynn Closway

heart transplant surgery with Dr. Daly
PHOENIX — Mayo Clinic, as a three-site organization, remains the largest provider of solid organ transplants in the U.S. and continues to be identified as having patient and graft survival outcomes that rank among the best in the nation.

According to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), a national database of transplant statistics, Mayo Clinic’s transplant programs in Arizona, Florida and Rochester, Minn., score statistically better than expected in terms of patient and graft survivals at the reported time points of one month, one year and three years. Graft survival means that the transplanted organ is still functioning.

The lung transplant program at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus was one of two lung transplant programs in the U.S. with statistically better-than-expected outcomes for one-year patient and graft survival. Florida’s liver transplant program, with  three-year patient and graft survival rates that also are statistically better than expected, is one of only four programs meeting this criteria at that time point.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lynn Closway, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, / 507-284-5005.

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Tags: Arizona News Release, kidney transplant, News Release, transplant

June 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic study suggests which glioblastoma patients may benefit from drug treatment

By Kevin Punsky

Brain Cancer medical illustrationJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Clinicians testing the drug dasatinib, approved for several blood cancers, had hoped it would slow the aggressive growth of the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma; however, clinical trials to date have not found any benefit. Researchers at Mayo Clinic, who conducted one of those clinical trials, believe they know why dasatinib failed — and what to do about it.

In the online issue of Molecular Oncology, investigators report finding that dasatinib inhibits proteins that promote cancer growth as expected but also suppresses proteins that protect against cancer.

The findings suggest that pretesting patient glioblastoma biopsies will help identify who may respond well to dasatinib and who should avoid using the drug, says the study’s senior author, Panos Z. Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: brain cancer, Dr Jann Sarkaria, Dr Panos Z Anastasiadis, Florida, Florida News Release, glioblastoma, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Medical Research, News Release, Regenerative Medicine

June 22nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

MEDIA ADVISORY: Mayo Clinic Director of Diversity and Inclusion Takes Part in White House Forum on Diversity in STEM Workforce

By Sharon Theimer

STEM science technology engineering math written in white chalk on a black chalkboard isolated on white

WASHINGTONMayo Clinic is participating in the White House Forum on Excellence and Innovation through Diversity in the STEM Workforce. Participants will meet tonight and Tuesday to discuss their organizations’ efforts to increase diversity among science, technology, engineering and math professionals. Sharonne Hayes, M.D., director of diversity and inclusion at Mayo, calls medicine the “extra M” in STEM; as an academic medical center focused on health care, research and education, Mayo offers a wide range of STEM-related employment and is working to increase diversity.

WHO:     Sharonne Hayes, M.D., director of diversity and inclusion at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.   

WHAT:  The White House Forum on Excellence and Innovation through Diversity in the STEM Workforce, sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the White House Council on Women and Girls. Participants will discuss the state of diversity in science, technology, engineering and math jobs, how to measure it, and challenges and best practices as organizations work to increase diversity.

WHERE: Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington.

WHEN:    Monday, June 22, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET; Tuesday, June 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Dr. Hayes will be available for phone interviews during and after the forum.

For an interview with Dr. Hayes, please contact Sharon Theimer at 507-284-5005 or

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Tags: diversity, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota news release, News Release, Sharonne Hayes, STEM, white house

June 22nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Family Clinic Kasson Plans Construction Kickoff Event on June 24

By Joe O'Keefe

Artist sketch of outside at Mayo Family Clinic Kasson post-construction.

KASSON, Minn. – Construction plans are in place, and renovations are set to begin at Mayo Family Clinic Kasson in June. Mayo Clinic invites patients and community members to attend an informational construction kickoff event at Mayo Family Clinic Kasson, 411 W. Main St., on Wednesday, June 24, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The event will be held outside in front of the clinic, weather-permitting. In case of rain, the event will be held inside the clinic. Visitors can learn more about the project from clinic staff and see artist renderings of what the clinic will look like once construction is completed late in 2015. Refreshments will be available at this event, and visitors can come and go as their schedules allow.

“We are excited to launch this project, and we want to share that excitement with our patients and the Kasson community at this kickoff event,” says Anne Kramlinger, M.D., Family Medicine, who is medical director at Mayo Family Clinic Kasson. “Our staff is invested in the health and well-being of our patients. This project is also an investment in our patients and the entire community. It will help support our efforts to make our services more accessible and convenient through face-to-face and nonvisit care opportunities, including phone and online options.”

MEDIA CONTACT:  Joe O'Keefe, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Anne Kramlinger, Mayo Family Clinic Kasson, Minnesota news release, News Release

June 22nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Proclaimed a Yellow Ribbon Company

By Mickella Geary

Mayo Clinic Yellow Ribbon Announcement, dignitaries honoring veterans
ROCHESTER, Minn. — On June 19, Mayo Clinic was named a Yellow Ribbon Company — the first health organization in Minnesota to receive this recognition. Mayo received this recognition in connection with its participation in the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program, which was started by the Minnesota National Guard. This program creates awareness of the need to connect service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources.

Being a part of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program enables Mayo Clinic to help those affected by military deployments, support successful transition into the workplace following military deployments and demonstrate a public commitment to supporting military members when they become patients.

“To be named a Yellow Ribbon Company is a distinct honor,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic “Throughout our history, Mayo Clinic has been proud to serve, and serve with, the U.S. military. The risks and challenges faced by our military are very different today, but our passion for supporting the country and aiding and protecting its troops is unchanged.”

Media Contacts: Kelley Luckstein and Mickella Geary, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Commitment, history, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota news release, News Release, Veteran Care

June 22nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Two Cultures, Same Risk For Cognitive Impairment

By Duska Anastasijevic

young Asian woman comforting older woman who is sad

American and Chinese adults with Type 2 diabetes are at similar risk for memory impairment, Mayo Clinic and Shanghai researchers report

Rochester, Minn. – Diabetes is a known risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, age-related conditions that affect memory and thinking skills. However, little is known about how the diabetes-cognitive decline link compares across cultures.

Scientists from Mayo Clinic and Huashan Hospital in Shanghai explored the association between Type 2 diabetes and cognitive impairment to find out if the relationship varies in different populations. Study participants had not been diagnosed with memory-related diseases, such as vascular dementia or Alzheimer's dementia.

For the study, the researchers evaluated data from two large, ongoing, population-based studies: the Shanghai Aging Study (SAS) and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (MCSA). Both use similar designs and methodologies. For example, both studies recruit participants from a defined population, include an on-site, in-person evaluation, use similar or comparable tests of cognition, and include participants over age 50. The SAS uses neuropsychological tests adapted from Western tests to harmonize with Chinese culture.

MEDIA CONTACT: Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

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Tags: cognitive impairment, Dr. Rosebud Roberts, Huashan Hospital, Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, Minnesota news release, News Release, Type 2 Diabetes

June 18th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic and TGen Help Launch Clinical Trials to Combat Advanced Skin Cancer

By Julie Janovsky-Mason

Word cloud definition for skin cancer - melanomaArizonans will receive benefit from recently FDA-approved precision medicine clinical trial to fight a deadly form of melanoma

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) are helping launch a national clinical trial that will apply the latest in precision medicine to treat advanced melanoma skin cancer.

The study leverages advances in genomics, informatics, and health information technology, yielding more precise medical treatments for patients with this devastating disease.

Mayo Clinic is the only clinical site in Arizona to offer this new treatment, sponsored by Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) and the Melanoma Research Alliance. These clinical trials are the culmination of nearly four years of research under an SU2C Melanoma Dream Team grant.

Metastatic melanoma is a type of cancer that has spread from the skin to other parts of the body, most frequently the lungs, muscles, brain, and liver. Metastatic melanoma is responsible for more than 9,000 deaths a year in the United States, so there remains an urgent need for new treatment options.

For interviews with Dr. Aleksandar Sekulic and Dr. Alan Bryce or a patient with metastatic melanoma, contact Julie Janovsky-Mason, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs at (480) 301-6173;

For interviews with Dr. Trent, please contact: Steve Yozwiak, TGen Senior Science Writer at 602-343-8704; Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona News Release, Dr Alan Bryce, Melanoma, TGen, cancer, News Release