Fall 2018

Making headlines

Emmy Reeves

Hugs without pain 

A University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital team undid years of pain for 13-year-old Emmy Reeves in one four-hour surgery.

Emmy had type 1 diabetes but was allergic to insulin shots, which resulted in rashes, breathing problems, and constant pain. The U team, led by Raja Kandaswamy, M.D., agreed that a whole-pancreas transplant offered Emmy the best chance for relief. 

After her surgery, Emmy, highlighted by CNN in June, became the youngest person nationwide to receive this type of transplant in nearly 25 years. She no longer needs insulin injections and can hug her parents without pain.

Healthier food shelves 

The first-ever statewide survey of Minnesota food shelf users revealed both a demand for healthier foods and confidence for healthy cooking at home. 

Featured in MinnPost in August, the research also showed that about two-thirds of food shelf users struggle with chronic health conditions, most of which are affected by the quality of available food. 

Hunger Solutions Minnesota and SuperShelf, a partnership that includes the University of Minnesota Extension and Medical School Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, conducted the survey.

Alternatives to opioids 

A year-long study led by Erin Krebs, M.D., M.P.H., of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and University of Minnesota Medical School followed 240 patients in two groups: those who used opioid medications to manage their chronic back, hip, or knee osteoarthritis pain, and those who used other types of medication, such as ibuprofen. 

The study, noted by The New York Times in July, reported no difference between the groups in how much pain affected their activity. 

Pain intensity was actually lower for people in the nonopioid group—plus, they avoided the risk of opioid addiction.