Health and Utilities
Minneapolis has seven hospitals, four ranked among America's best by U.S. News & World Report—Abbott Northwestern Hospital (part of Allina), Children's Hospitals and Clinics, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Allina's Phillips Eye Institute also serve the city. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is a 75-minute drive away.
Cardiac surgery was developed at the university's Variety Club Hospital, where by 1957, more than two hundred patients had survived open-heart operations, many of them children. Working with surgeon C. Walton Lillehei, Medtronic began to build portable and implantable cardiac pacemakers about this time.
HCMC opened in 1887 as City Hospital and was also known as General Hospital. A public teaching hospital and Level I trauma center, the HCMC safety net sees more than 350,000 clinic visits and 97,000 emergency room visits each year and in 2012 provided about 18% of the uncompensated care given in Minnesota.
Funded in part by assessments on commercial properties, in 2009 Ambassadors of the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) began working on 120 blocks of downtown to improve its cleanliness, friendliness and acceptability of behavior. They are employees of Block by Block, a company in Nashville, Tennessee that serves 46 U.S. cities.
Utility providers are regulated monopolies: Xcel Energy supplies electricity, CenterPoint Energy supplies gas, CenturyLink provides landline telephone service, and Comcast provides cable service. In 2007 citywide wireless internet coverage began, provided for 10 years by US Internet of Minnetonka to residents for about $20 per month and to businesses for $30. The Minneapolis Wi-Fi network earns $1.2 million annual profit and as of 2010 has about 20,000 customers. The city treats and distributes water and requires payment of a monthly solid waste fee for trash removal, recycling, and drop off for large items. Residents who recycle receive a credit. Hazardous waste is handled by Hennepin County drop off sites. After each significant snowfall, called a snow emergency, the Minneapolis Public Works Street Division plows over one thousand miles (1609 km) of streets and four hundred miles (643.7 km) of alleys—counting both sides, the distance between Minneapolis and Seattle and back. Ordinances govern parking on the plowing routes during these emergencies as well as snow shoveling throughout the city.
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