[People] Community Programs Come Together for Advocacy Day 2017

EM1HealthPartners CEO Mary Brainerd attending the 2017 Advocacy Day Conference at the Minnesota State Capitol last month

The emergency medicine residency programs at Regions Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center partnered for the 2017 Emergency Medicine Residency Advocacy Day on March 23 at the Minnesota State Office Building.

The event was attended by emergency medicine residents and faculty from Regions Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center, University of Minnesota medical students, HealthPartners leaders, and lawmakers. Drew Zinkel, MD, and Felix Ankel, MD, introduced students and residents to advocacy leaders and emphasized the importance of advocacy.

Mary Brainerd, President and CEO of HealthPartners spoke to the residents about HealthPartners’ patient-centered priorities and how our mission, vision, and values guide policy and agenda.  She provided an update on current initiatives that are HealthPartners’ priorities in the legislature and also emphasized on the need for involvement from healthcare professionals in public policy.

Advocacy day was started in 2008, to educate and inform emergency medicine residents about policy and legislation that affect both patients and medical professionals. It has served as an opportunity for residents to learn about advocacy and to share ideas directly with lawmakers.

Senators Scott Jensen, MD (R) and Matt Klein, MD (DFL), both first term senators with a special interest in health care reform, shared their experience of being policymakers as well as medical professionals.  Senator Jensen has a BA and MD from the University of Minnesota and MBA from the University of St. Thomas. He’s the founder of the Catalyst Medical Clinic in Watertown, MN and serves as Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee and member of the Higher Education Finance and Policy, Human Services Reform Finance and Policy, and Transportation Finance and Policy Committees. Senator Klein has a BS from the University of Wisconsin, MD from Mayo Medical School and completed his residency at HCMC. Senator Klein is a hospitalist at Hennepin County Medical Center and also serves on the Capital Investment, Health and Human Services Finance and Policy and Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committees.

Ramnik Dhaliwal, MD, Hennepin County Medical Center, presented an update from American College of Emergency Physicians Leadership and Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC. The presentation informed residents about the current state of policy at national and state level, as well as policy changes and how they affect emergency medicine residents and patients.

Members of the HealthPartners Government Relations team provided additional insight and updates from the legislature for the residents. Following the session, residents had an opportunity for a one on one session with their choice of legislators.

The event was made possible in part by the Mark Bernas Endowment and Regions Hospital Foundation.

The Search is Over! Librarians are your best partner for MedEd!


Pictured above from left to right: Mary Wittenbreer, Jennifer Feeken, Jacqueline Linn. (Missing is Carol Sylvester.)

Tucked in the east part of Regions Hospital is a gem for health professionals across the HealthPartners enterprise: the medical library. Anyone who enters this library will be sure to leave having found what they were first looking for when they connect with any one of our four masters prepared librarians. Three of our librarians were able to share a bit about themselves and share some tips for any health professionals looking for support in the hunt for the most reliable articles and journals.

Know your topic before you bring your topic to the librarians.

Before you connect with a librarian, be prepared to give them an idea of what success looks like to you. If you clearly communicate your goals, you can both jump in and partner to reach them more efficiently. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! Jennifer Feeken noted, “It’s helpful if they’ve thought about their topic, but sometimes that comes out when we talk.” They may be able to ask the right questions to help you realize your goal.

If you’ve started searching on your own, document where you’ve searched.

This is helpful so that the medical librarian can dive deeper into your search, rather than repeating what you’ve already done. It can save you both time and won’t be frustrating to you if you receive the same search information you have already obtained on your own.

Librarians have access to searches that are more sophisticated than Google.

Better than Google? Yes! Our librarians not only have access to the most reliable databases, but they have an awareness and skills in maximizing the search process. When asked, “What if your favorite part about being a medical librarian?” Jacqueline Linn did not hesitate before saying, “I love a good search.”  Partnering with a passionate librarian will not only speed the process of your search, but will bring out the highest quality of material you will be able to find. “You can get a pretty good start on your own,” Mary Wittenbreer assures us, “but we can do very sophisticated search and obtain articles and journals that would cost you upwards of $60 each.”

The search is over! Connect with our medical librarians today by clicking here.

Follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook! We’d love to connect.

If you are on the HealthPartners enterprise network you can view our intranet site here.

Hand washing: There’s an award for that?

YES! There is! And our residents won the award for the month of September 2015!


At Regions Hospital, we work hard to foster a culture of accountability. A current patient safety initiative encourages respectful reminders to communicate the importance of hand hygiene. Each month, a rotating plaque is awarded to the department or patient care unit who excels in this communication around hand washing. In September, the Regions Hospital Residents and Fellows received the award. Great job!

Check out the Center for Disease Control Website for more information on hand washing: http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/ 

Do you have a great handwashing story to share?

MedEd People: Karen Lee AKA “Momma Lee”

Meet Karen Lee.  She is the Residency Program Site Coordinator for Internal Medicine and Neurology at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN. Our team member, Char, sat with her for a bit at the end of April and asked her about her contribution to medical education.

What are the two biggest things you do for your residents?

She’s there for them.  This can mean anything work related like a paper that needs to be signed or a meal ticket. Or it can mean being there for them personally—it can be as simple as a piece of candy or as warm as a hug.

She has years of experience.  Karen has been at Regions Hospital for over 30 years! She has been known to get calls from all parts of the hospital asking for her help.  She usually knows the answer, but if she doesn’t she knows who to ask!

Tell us about your life as Residency Site Coordinator.

When Karen started her working she thought of herself as the resident’s big sister—helping them navigate through the hospital system and providing encouragement.  As she matured in her role, she became “Momma Lee” to her residents.  Our Chief of Clinical Learning, Kelly Frisch, was one of the residents who fondly called her Momma Lee.  Karen states, “When it gets to the point that I am their Grandma I’m done!”

What tips can you recommend that you can share with everyone reading this blog?

LISTEN:  Really listen to what is being said.  Get the whole story before you give your opinion.  You may learn something.

BE WILLING TO CHANGE:  Regions Hospital has gone through many changes since Karen has been there. To grow you need be willing to learn new things and change how you do them.  She is a self-learner.  If you need to learn a new software or system, find a way to learn it.

BE ABLE TO ADAPT: Every year starting in June, Karen works with 2 new Chief Residents and each resident has different ideas and ways they work. To help the program run smoothly you have to be willing to change and adapt to their ideas.

Karen Lee

Photo courtesy of Char Baum.