Minnesota Hospital Association


November 12, 2018

MHA Newsline: Nov. 12, 2018

In this issue 

State leaders begin postelection organizing

Gov.-elect Tim Walz  and Lt. Gov.-elect Peggy Flanagan last week began organizing their new administration. Longtime Walz aide Chris Schmitter will serve as Walz's chief of staff and Kristin Beckmann, former deputy mayor of St. Paul, will lead the transition. The transition website is accepting resumes at https://mn.gov/tim-walz/

Speaker-designate Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) was elected to lead the Minnesota House, after successfully leading the DFL from a minority caucus to the majority caucus, flipping 18 house seats. The new DFL majority will have 75 seats, compared to the Republicans' 59 seats. (There is one recount in House District 5A, where former Rep. John Persell has narrowly defeated incumbent Rep. Matt Bliss with a four-vote margin.) Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley), returning to the House, was elected majority leader. The DFL also elected two-term Rep. Liz Olson (DFL-Duluth) as majority whip. Hortman listed initial priorities for the 2019 session as including the unfinished issues from last session: tax conformity, opioid legislation and nursing home abuse. Hortman and her team will begin the process of selecting new committee chairs. The House GOP selected current Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) as incoming minority leader.   

The Senate GOP caucus re-elected Sen. Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) as majority leader and chose Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) as the next president of the Senate. The caucus also selected Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Mary's Point) and Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault) as assistant majority leaders. The Senate DFL will keep its leadership team intact with Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) as minority leader.    

MHA will provide members additional information regarding legislative matching and encourages members to meet with their legislators prior to the start of the 2019 session on Jan. 8, 2019.   

For more information, contact Mary Krinkie, vice president of government relations, MHA, 651-659-1465. return to top   

Applications open for Minnesota Newborn Screening Program advisory committee

Applications are now being accepted for January 2019 vacancies on the Advisory Committee for Heritable and Congenital Disorders that advises the Minnesota Newborn Screening Program.  

This committee meets twice per year (spring and fall). Meetings consist of program updates, review of pertinent topics related to newborn screening (including guest lecturers) followed by questions and discussion, and, when applicable, voting on which disorders to add to Minnesota’s newborn screening panel.   

Members of this committee consist of parents, providers and other experts with vested interest in newborn screening. Membership terms are for four years. At the end of the four-year term, members are welcome to reapply.   

Applications should include the open appointments application form, a letter of interest/cover letter and a resume or biography.   

Applications may be submitted online, by email to Open.Appointments@state.mn.us or by mail or in person to Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, 180 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155-1299. return to top   

Winter helipad safety guidelines

With winter approaching, hospitals and health systems should review their helipad snow and ice management plans. Active and robust plans are essential to the safety of patients, crews and hospital staff.   

The most successful plans designate a hospital security or facilities representative to check the condition of the helipad on a scheduled basis, especially during times of recent precipitation or high winds to ensure the pad is kept clear of contaminants.   

Seasonal hazards are real and present a serious risk to personnel. Snow and ice on a helipad are a major safety concern for operations. Slips and falls are a leading cause of injuries to crews. Flying snow and ice resulting from rotor wash decreases pilot visibility during a critical phase of flight and can damage the aircraft.   

Life Link III recommends following the guidelines set forth from the National EMS Pilots Association (NEMSPA): 

  • Snow should be clear of the pad and as much of the surrounding safety area as practical. Do not mound snow near the helipad. Snow that has been removed from the area should be placed far enough from the helipad as to not become an obstruction hazard to main rotor or tail rotor systems nor create approach/departure path obstructions. 
  • All helipad paint and markings should be completely cleared of snow so pilots can adequately visualize the information presented during landing. 
  • Avoid using rock salt (sodium chloride) or sand to remove snow and ice. Despite the small size, it can become a projectile and cause serious injury. Rock salt is also extremely corrosive and damaging to helicopters. Life Link III recommends Cryotech NAAC for helipad ice melting. 
  • Snow melt systems utilizing steam, heated glycol or electrical heating coils may be the best course of action for rooftop helipads and are also a viable option for ground -based helipads. 

If you find your helipad is contaminated with snow or ice that cannot be removed or other hazards are present, please alert the Life Link III Communication Center at 1‐800‐328‐1377 so alternate landing zones can be set up.   

With any other safety‐related or general helipad questions, email safety@lifelinkiii.com or call the Life Link III safety manager at 612‐638‐4900. return to top