April 4, 2019

Around the nation: His family couldn't afford a motorized wheelchair—so they turned to a high school robotics team

Daily Briefing

    Students from Farmington High School used a Power Wheels toy, a 3D printer, and a bicycle carrier seat to build the chair, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arizona, California, and Minnesota.

    • Arizona: Abrazo Community Health Network will establish two new medical residency programs this year in an effort to address the shortage of doctors in the United States. The internal medicine program will have 45 spots, and the general surgery program will have 15 spots (Swarner, KTAR News, 4/1).

    • California: California hospitals in 2017 treated about 100,000 homeless patients—a 28% increase since 2015, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Health officials said the uptick stems from California's growing homeless population. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, California's homeless population grew by 16% between 2015 and 2017 (Reese, Kaiser Health News, 4/2).

    • Minnesota: When the Farmington High School robotics team learned that 2-year-old Cillian Jackson's family couldn't afford to buy him a motorized wheelchair, they built him one. Cillian has a genetic condition that makes it difficult for him to walk, and his parents' insurer told them their policy did not cover the cost of a wheelchair. To build the chair, the students attached a bicycle carrier seat to a Power Wheels toy and used a 3-D printer to create a joystick that controls the chairs movements. The students said the chair took a few weeks to build, and Cillian's mother, Krissy, said it "really helps him explore like he's never been able to do before" (Lam, USA Today, 4/2).

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