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With full hearts we say good-bye and thank you to Jeyn Monkman, MA, BSN, NE-BC who will be retiring from her team director position at ICSI after eight years with our organization. During this time Jeyn has successfully led multiple projects, most recently driving a collaborative effort to significantly advance integrated behavioral health (IBH) in primary care throughout Minnesota. Her experience and expertise across the healthcare continuum in nursing leadership and quality improvement was put to good use at ICSI, as she helped many clinics and organizations navigate and embed important clinical changes including tobacco cessation, chronic condition management, and more. Jeyn is also a motivational interviewing trainer.  Her initial responsibilities at ICSI involved practice coaching for partners across the nation in COMPASS, a national dissemination and implementation initiative focused on improving the care of people with depression, diabetes, and/or cardiovascular disease. “ICSI and the work we do has been such an important part of my life,” says Jeyn.  “Now I have chosen to explore a new opportunity and adventure. I look forward to spending more time with my family and pursuing my love of travel.” “It’s impossible to quantify the positive impact Jeyn has had on our organization during her time with ICSI,”

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Earlier this month Sanford Health Chief Medical Officer Allison Suttle, MD, recently wrote an insightful article for NEJM Catalyst  on the impact of COVID-19 in South Dakota. While hospitals in that state have not come close to filling the capacity prepared for the pandemic, the region, like many other rural areas across the country, is anticipating different kinds of surges as preventative health visits and vaccination rates plummet, unemployment rises, and many residents lose their healthcare.

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As we move toward resuming activities during the time of COVID-19, naturally the question arises as to whether or not our children should be back in school this fall. In a nutshell we need to determine – is school safe?It’s not a question that has a definitive answer. Like so many topics surrounding the pandemic, we need to consider many different factors and perhaps rephrase the question in several different ways.

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The senseless loss of Mr. Floyd’s life has once again pointed out the deadliness of systemic racism, specifically as it shows up in our police systems. As we know, however, racism exists in many different levels within many different systems. As part of the healthcare system, our responsibility right now is to take a good hard look at ourselves.

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By Dr. Claire Neely, ICSI President & CEO Lately I’ve been part of several conversations centered on “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 and what that means for all of us.  The good news is that under the leadership of our local government and thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Minnesotans across the state, we have flattened it.  We now have the hospital beds, ventilators and other equipment we need to care for the people who most certainly will continue to become seriously ill from COVID-19.
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By Sarah Horst, ICSI Team Director For the last six months I have been conducting a workshop entitled Lead Courageous Quality Improvement with Improv and Collaboration for audiences around the country. My job at ICSI is to do “capacity building” for healthcare leaders who know what they want to do technically, but are often stuck in the activities of how to get it done. The challenge with the how is often related to psychology – how people think and feel about the change. Within the healthcare industry there seems to be a lack of formal training to address the mindset needed for change. To address that need our team at ICSI  developed the Quality Improv(e) Framework.
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By Dr. Claire Neely, ICSI President & CEO
In the past few years, our healthcare industry has done a better job of addressing issues around mental health for our healthcare professionals with new programs to help promote the wellbeing and emotional resiliency. Some medical schools are trying to reduce the impacts of physician burnout with training that teaches a more balanced, therapeutic relationship between doctor and patient, as opposed to the more traditional, hierarchical experience most of us were shown.

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To slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health issued a stay at home order last week directing Minnesotans to limit movement outside of the home beyond essential needs. Based on our experience with other infectious disease epidemics like measles and polio, we need all Minnesotans to take this order seriously.

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As a physician, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the greater risks associated with COVID-19 for people with chronic conditions. And I’ve also been thinking about how many people may not realize they actually have a chronic condition. For many people, their chronic health conditions are well managed, and don’t limit their day to day activities. But, they may still be at increased risk of serious illness, if they are infected with COVID 19.

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