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HHS Finance Bills Far Apart in Senate and House

Legislators are in full budgetary mode this week as Health and Human Services bills move through House and Senate finance committees. The full Senate is set to hear its package on April 24; the full House may hear its bill as early as April 25. After the bills are approved, a conference committee will negotiate a single bill. Currently, the House and Senate proposals are far apart. Read more here.  

Member Receives National Childhood Immunization Award  

Patrick Zook, MD, a MMA member and current president of the Stearns Benton Medical Society, has been named a CDC Childhood Immunization Champion for his work in the battle against pertussis in the St. Cloud area. Read more here  

Right To Try Bill Passes Through Senate

A bill that would allow patients access to drugs, products or devices that have cleared Phase 1 of FDA trials was approved by the Senate April 21 on a vote of 60-4. To qualify, a physician documents in writing that the patient has a terminal disease, and the patient must have considered, with a physician, all other FDA-approved treatment options. Read more here.

Hearing Advocates Looking for Physician for Work Group

The Minnesota Department of Health and the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesota are organizing a Hearing Screening Standards Work Group. The group, which is an initiative of the Age Related Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging task force, will recommend screening guidelines for family physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to use with older adults. One physician from the MMA will serve on the work group. Other members will represent the otolaryngology, gerontology and audiology departments at the University of Minnesota and consumer groups. The work group will meet in person May 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the University of Minnesota and by phone on May 12 from 9 to 11 a.m. If interested, contact Juliana Milhofer.

Call for Annual Conference Presentations

The MMA is seeking presenters for its 2015 Annual Conference Sept. 25-26 in St. Louis Park on the following topics: physician leadership, technological advances that can assist physicians, innovations in medicine and practice, and physician resiliency and wellness. Presenters will receive complimentary conference registration and lodging. Those interested should send a two-paragraph description of their proposed talk and links to previous presentations to Mandy Rubenstein.    

Social Event Planned for Rochester-area Physicians, Students

The MMA and the Zumbro Valley Medical Society (ZVMS) will hold a free networking event for Rochester-area physicians and physicians-in-training from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 7 at the Cambria Gallery on 400 S. Broadway in Rochester. Hosts include the MMA, ZVMS, MMA Foundation, US Air Force, US Army, Cambria, Home Federal, Limb Lab, Clements, the MMA's Young Physician, Resident and Fellow, and Medical Student sections. The event is a celebration of medicine, a thank you to members, and a welcome to new and prospective MMA and ZVMS members. Free hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. For more information, click here.

Cultivate Your Creative Side

Do you have a story to tell? A photo you'd like to share? Then Minnesota Medicine is looking for you. Enter your essay, poem or short story in its Medical Musings writing contest by May 4. Or enter the best photo you've taken in the annual photography contest by May 11. Winners will be featured in the July issue of the magazine. For more information and to enter, visit the Minnesota Medicine contest website.

Inspiring Physicians

Being a physician is a noble profession. Few would argue with that. But there are those who go above and beyond their regular work of treating patients, researching disease or educating physicians-in-training. Our latest group of inspiring physicians includes: a doctor who integrates new perspectives, questions and insights from East and West, medicine and psychology, and science and spirituality; another who has been providing care to people in Guatemala for the past 10 years; and a third who is helping address the rise in heroin use, emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola, potential pandemics and the threat of chemical warfare.

Digital Rounds - the MMA Blog

Medication prior authorization is a daily battle for Minnesota physicians. Sometimes it's one that lasts for weeks and weeks. Read more here.  

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