After 41 years of practice, Mendota Heights doctor finds renewed purpose in virtual medicine

Dr. Carolyn Borow has delivered more than 3,500 babies in her 41 years as a family doctor. But she hasn’t delivered one since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Instead Borow, like many medical professionals, has gone virtual, doing all those appointments about pregnancy complications, sore throats and COVID fears via computer and FaceTime. In fact, the only time she’s been in a hospital recently was when she herself had surgery.

“I am definitely going through baby withdrawal,” said Borow, who works out of Allina Health in West St. Paul and Eagan. “I’d never planned that at some point I’m not going to be doing this. Only a pandemic would keep me from it.”

At a time when a growing number of veteran doctors are suddenly considering retirement, Borow is finding renewed purpose in her work.

A 2020 survey of 2,300 U.S. physicians by the nonprofit Physicians Foundation reported that 37% of doctors said they would like to retire within a year. Many expressed fear for their personal health, including 28% who had “serious concerns” about catching COVID-19.

Borow, though, sees value in her shifting work experience.

“I thank everybody who is making these appointments,” Borow said. “Because it has allowed me to still feel meaningful. Because I had no intention ever of not continuing to serve people.”

Initially, to cut down on coronavirus exposure, Allina limited the number of its doctors going in and out of United Hospital in St. Paul, where Borow has worked. So, Allina hired doctors to serve full time in the hospital.

Secondly, because of her age and medical risks during the COVID crisis, Borow decided to curtail her in-person contact with patients. She went virtual on the fly.

“It was all new to me,” she said of distance doctoring. “But in my motivation to serve people, I just learned it quickly.”

Borow is as busy as ever. An empty nester with a retired husband, she dons her scrubs every morning — in the clinic, she used to wear streets clothes and a lab coat — and sits at an Allina-issued computer in her son’s old bedroom in their Mendota Heights home. Her two cats sometimes scratch at the door. But Borow is diligent and determined, officially working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (actually, two nights until 6) and on-call every other weekend. Of course, that doesn’t include the two or three hours every night of paperwork and the pre-shift prep for her appointments.

She also spends a half-day per week in the clinic signing forms, wearing a mask and shield over her glasses.

With a different virtual patient scheduled every 20 minutes, the doctor is much more punctual than in her days at the clinic, where an assistant could warn an impatient patient that the physician is running late.

“I have openings every day, people can get right in, which was never the case before,” Borow said. “Although before, we could work someone in with double booking.”

She’s now able to see patients

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COVID-19 Cases Continue To Climb In Chicago Heights

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, IL — October is officially behind us, but COVID-19, not so much. The pandemic has been upon us for over seven months and cases continue to rise here in Illinois.

Indoor dining at restaurants in nearly every region in Illinois was put on pause last week, as state public health officials announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Indoor service at bars and restaurants in suburban Cook County are now off-limits, all outdoor eating or drinking has to stop by 11 p.m. and gatherings are limited to a maximum of 25 people.

This action marks the first time the additional mitigation measures are applied to suburban Cook County. Similar restrictions are already in place in Regions 7 and 8, including DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties.

Johns Hopkins University and Medicine reports there have been a total of 46,509,232 COVID-19 cases around the world— as of Nov. 1. Over nine-million of those cases are here in the United States.

As of Oct. 30, Cook County has had a total of 76,070 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health. Cook has also reported 2,062 deaths since the start of the pandemic, and a 9.2 percent test positivity rate in the last week.

Here in Chicago Heights, the public health department reported 76 new cases in the past week. Chicago Heights has had a 3.21 percent increase in confirmed cases in the past 14 days, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the city has had 1,313 confirmed cases, the health department reports.

Hospitalizations and Equipment

Across suburban Cook County, the positivity rate and the rate of hospital admissions has been rising sharply. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that there are 3,294 people across Illinois in the hospital for COVID-19 or are under investigation. About 14 percent of hospital beds are being occupied by these patients and 692 of these patients are in the ICU, as of Oct. 31.

Illinois occupies a total of 5,702 ventilators and the IDPH reports 21 percent of COVID patients in hospitals are on ventilators. IDPH said 77 percent of the state’s ventilators are available.

Cases By Race/Ethnicity

In suburban Cook, the public health department reports case rates per 100,000 people to mostly affect the Hispanic/Latino community. Based off a group of 100,000 people, 3,994 of those individuals are Hispanic/Latino.

In addition, 2,603 of these individuals are Black, 1,382 are Asian and 1,405 are white, the department reports.

Hospitalization rates per ethnicity fluctuates. Per 100,000 people, 673 hospitalized patients are Black, according to the health department. Additionally, 397 patients are Hispanic/Latino, 272 are Asian and 241 are white, the department reports.

Cases By Age

The department reports a surge in COVID patients among people in their 20s. Based off a group of 100,000 people infected with the virus, 5,102 are in their 20s, according to the health department.

Just after

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Late pilot of downed aircraft was longtime dentist in Dyer, Chicago Heights | Latest Headlines

Plane Crash 394 MAIN

An aerial shot provided by NBC 5 Chicago shows a portion of the crash site on Illinois 394. The plane is in a wooded area and the tail is slightly visible at the top middle of the photo. 

Lawrence Jagmin, the pilot who died after crashing a plane Tuesday in Ford Heights, is remembered by some as a dearly beloved friend and family member.

To others, he was Dr. Jagmin, DDS — a dentist of more than 40 years in the Chicagoland area.

Jagmin, a 70-year-old Frankfort resident, practiced dentistry alongside his brother, Dr. Gary Jagmin, DDS, in Dyer and Chicago heights, Jagmin Dental of Indiana confirmed.

The brothers first opened their practice in 1977 in Chicago Heights after graduating from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. In 2006, they opened their Dyer office, where Gary Jagmin primarily practiced, Jagmin Dental’s website shows.

Multiple attempts to reach the Jagmins’ family were unsuccessful.

Ken Brodnick, a friend of Lawrence Jagmin, told NBC 5 Chicago, a news partner of The Times, the late 70-year-old was “an awesome dentist” and “a fervent aircraft enthusiast,” adding that Jagmin had a profound impact on his life.

“He was a straight-up class-A fellow,” Brodnick told NBC 5.

“Larry Jagmin was one of the most unique individuals I know,” Larry Heidemann, Jagmin’s neighbor of about 20 years, told NBC 5. Heidemann described Jagmin as a man of many skills and talents, a Harley-Davidson enthusiast and “a unique individual and an outstanding neighbor,” NBC 5 reported.

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