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Milepost Media

Sheila M. Eldred

Minneapolis

Milepost Media

As a freelance journalist specializing in health, Sheila Mulrooney Eldred writes about everything from cancer to birth disparities to nuns helping advance Alzheimers' research. Her stories have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Nature, FiveThirtyEight, Pacific Standard, STAT News and other publications. She explores Minnesota's mountain bike, ski and running trails in her free time.

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Recent Health Central stories

I'm on the cancer beat at Health Central, a website devoted to patient health. Read my recent stories here.
HealthCentral Link to Story
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Where Interpreters Are Scarce, Health Care Is Lost in Translation

Long before he began studying for a career in health care, Marlon Munoz performed one of the most sensitive roles in the field: Delivering diagnoses to patients. As an informal interpreter between English-speaking doctors and his Spanish-speaking family and friends, Marlon knew well the burden that comes with the job.
Undark Link to Story
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Inside the U. of Minnesota's Human Dimensioning Lab

I’m standing in a cubicle the size of a phone booth, surrounded by a set of purple curtains, when a red laser beam starts zooming through the box. It’s recording data points of my body—about 1 million of them—from almost every possible angle. A tour group of curious University of Minnesota students peeks into the cubicle (it’s fine; I’m wearing leggings and a tunic).
Mpls. St. Paul Magazine Link to Story
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See Photos of WWII Naval Cadets Training Like Pro Athletes

They woke at 5 a.m., ate 5,000 calories a day, ran through chin-deep rivers, strapped sandbags to their backs and marched up and down steps. They even learned how to handle venomous snakes. They weren’t training for the latest obstacle course race or reality show. These were the thousands of men who enrolled in the Naval Aviation Cadet Training Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
HISTORY.COM Link to Story
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Why a Group of Nuns are Participating in Alzheimer's Research

Half an hour into my conversation with Sisters Jane, Helen, and Bernadette Weber, I finally get around to asking their ages. We’re sitting outside the chapel at the sisters’ Benedictine monastery, next to the College of St. Benedict, in St. I’m expecting to jot down numbers in the 70s. I exchange glances with the photographer who has joined me for this visit.
Mpls. St. Paul Magazine Link to Story
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Studying the Success of a North Minneapolis Birth Center

Step into the bathroom at Roots Community Birth Center in north Minneapolis, and you might forget why you’re there. The soft lighting, stone laminate flooring, and gray paint suggest the powder room in one of the neighboring houses, rather than a place to deposit a urine specimen. You’ll find no instruction card on which wipes to use, no window to pass your cup into a lab.
Mpls. St. Paul Magazine Link to Story
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They’re out in the woods picking up ticks — on purpose

It’s a picture-perfect summer day in the woods of central Minnesota: 71 degrees, humidity around 73 percent, sunshine dappling the trees and glinting off glimpses of the Mississippi River. But as five scientists pull on white painter suits and start duct-taping the cuffs to their hiking boots, no one is certain if the conditions will be ideal enough to complete their task for the day: catching about 300 ticks, both adults and 150 nymphs.
The Washington Post Link to Story
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A Day Inside Fort Snelling's Deportation Court

Mpls. St. Paul Magazine Link to Story
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Minnesota’s Rising Suicide Rate: A Look at Trends and Prevention

The celebrity deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain inspired weeks of tributes from friends, colleagues, and admirers. Less attention, however, followed a sobering report in June from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which underscored how much more common suicides have become across the country.
Mpls. St. Paul Magazine Link to Story
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Prince’s Family Sues Hospital That Treated His First Opioid Overdose

Days after the authorities in Minnesota announced that no one would be criminally charged in the 2016 overdose death of Prince, his next of kin are suing an Illinois hospital that treated the singer for an opioid overdose the week before his fatal incident, according to a suit filed on Monday. Prince’s family, under the name of a trustee, Michael A.
The New York Times Link to Story
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Demystifying the Tick

Bobbi Pritt has decorated her office at the Mayo Clinic with ticks and parasites—none currently alive, at least not that she knows—in a conspicuously cheerful style. If that characterization seems impossible, then you’ve probably never seen a football-sized plush tick—or met Bobbi Pritt. On a recent day just before tick season, she shows off the stuffie, grabbing it with a pair of tweezers the size of a fire hydrant.
Mpls. St. Paul Magazine Link to Story
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A health advocate’s crusade to end skin lightening

Karmel Square is a hub of the Somali community here, a colorful, cheerfully noisy hodgepodge of vendors and restaurants unofficially known as the Somali Mall. Amira Adawe stops by often to buy tea and chat in Somali with friends and relatives wearing hijabs and flowing, floor-length skirts. They greet her with smiles and hugs, and she calls them “auntie.” Her visits are more than social, however. The public health advocate scans market shelves for skin lightening creams that may contain harmful toxins — tubes and jars sold under names such as Fair & Lovely, Prime White, and Miss Beauty 7 Days White.
STAT News Link to Story

About

Milepost Media

Sheila Mulrooney Eldred is a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism and a former newspaper reporter. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two kids. Click on the resume icon to read more about her career.