A devastating disease: Local initiative provides educational resources, communal support for Jewish families dealing with Alzheimer's

Members of the Twin Cities Jewish Alzheimer's Task Force met recently at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, and then some gathered to talk with the AJW. Shown above are (front row, l to r): Carol Shapiro (with her lapdog Boker Tov), Rita Kelner and Josh Kelner; (standing, l to r): Annette Sandler, Judi Levin Marshall, Chris Rosenthal and Jeffrey Sherman. (Photo by Mordecai Specktor)

After an early December meeting of the Twin Cities Jewish Alzheimer's Task Force, at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, Carol Shapiro mentioned that she has been caring for her husband, Alan Shapiro, who began showing symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer's disease at the age of 51.

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MNsure's good, but can be great

When people hear that I’m a MNsure Navigator, their first question is usually, “How is the website working?” And my answer is, “Generally, pretty well.” While the publicity has been overwhelmingly negative, the reality isn’t as bad. The newsmaking behind-the-scenes turmoil hasn't prevented people from being able to enroll in plans. I’ve written before about MNsure’s successes. Here’s my take on what isn’t working so far, at least in my anecdotal experience:

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Reflections of New Minnesotans: Autism and the Somali community

This week's episode is about the autistic spectrum in the Somali community. University of Minnesota researchers discuss their work investigating the prevalance of autism amongst Somali children in Minneapolis. [Audio below]

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Buyer beware: How HeathPartners subverts ObamaCare to further enrich themselves

I’m sure all of us have found examples of the evilness of supposedly “non-profit” health insurance companies as they seek to maximize their bottom lines.

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Minneapolis march and vigil remembers 147 homeless people who died in 2013

Supporters marched 28 blocks in 15 degree weather on Nicollet Ave.

Minnesota homeless people who died during 2013 were remembered in a December 19 march and vigil in Minneapolis.

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Sholom celebrates in-house CNA training program graduates

The first class of Sholom's CNA training program graduated in August. Ten of the graduates were hired by Sholom. (Photo courtesy of Sholom)

Now that the first class of Sholom's Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Home Health Aide program has graduated, Jim McDonald says, "Mission accomplished."

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Collaboration to create healthier communities in Minnesota

Health-wise, many other countries look better than the United States. The French, the Germans, the Swedes, the Israelis, for example – they all live longer than we do in the U.S. Our nation currently fixates on Obamacare, with narrow-minded public officials and pundits of all persuasions asserting their positions on how to finance health care, arguing over whom to blame for system problems, and debating alternatives.

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Students petition to stop ex-gay therapy in Minnesota

A Minnesota student who was bullied as a teenager because of his sexual orientation has launched an online campaign to get the state of Minnesota to ban a psychological practice called “ex-gay ther

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