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Feature

A photo of a doctor's hand over a patient's hand.

The U's health and medical experts are just a click away from answering your questions. The "Health Talk & You" service has been running for 18 years.

Health Talk provides the experts and the answers

By Pauline Oo

From eNews, March 10, 2005

"Health Talk & You" aired on Twin Cities Public Television for 16 years before it was pulled from our screens due to funding cuts. The 30-minute weekly show featured a host and guest faculty members from the U who provided viewers with the latest in health information.

"Although the program ended, we were still committed to informing Minnesotans about new research and treatments that affected their health and well-being," says Dr. Greg Vercellotti, who hosted the program for seven years. "The Health Talk concept originated with [Regents Professor] Paul Quie in the Medical School. The idea was to provide a public service by linking University of Minnesota health experts to Minnesotans through live television. So, that's one of the reasons why we created the Health Talk & You Web site--to serve as a resource in which we could continue sharing the University's expertise."

The Health Talk & You Web site is a treasure trove of information. Health columns cover topics such as allergies, cancer, sports medicine, and animal health. You could learn how to "Be Good to Your Bones" or read about the importance of "Preventing Infant Tooth Decay." These columns, which are written by University of Minnesota faculty members, are published twice a month and are also appear in 70 Minnesota newspapers. An informal editorial advisory board made up of faculty and staff in the schools of medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and public health choose the topics and the experts.

E-mail inbox: Health Talk

The Health Talk & You electronic newsletter was launched in 2003 to give readers a monthly dose of consumer health care tips, news about University research, and links to other health-related information from the University of Minnesota.

You can subscribe to it at www.healthtalk.umn.edu.

Jon Hallberg, medical director of the U's primary care center, is a frequent contributor to the Web site and a radio segment--one of the "Health Talk & You" offshoots. Hallberg is the regular medical and health analyst on Minnesota Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He speaks on a specific health topic each Wednesday, usually between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to reach out to Minnesotans and provide context on topical health issues," says Hallberg.

University of Minnesota experts also discuss a specific health care issue every second and fourth Thursday on the "Ask the Doctor" segment of the KARE-11 Today Show between 10 and 11 a.m.

Health Talk & You is a community outreach initiative of the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center. To learn more, see www.healthtalk.umn.edu.

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