Dr. Jon Hallberg joins All Things Considered each week to discuss the most important health news of the moment.
On Tuesday, he looked back on the biggest health stories that affected Minnesotans in the past year.
Here's his list of highlights:
• Legionnaires' outbreak in Hopkins: This fall, an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Hopkins killed one person and sickened 23 others. The source was traced to a single cooling tower at Citrus Systems, Inc.
"Many of the people who got sick were simply driving by — they weren't living there or working there," Hallberg said.
Legionnaires' is caused by Legionella bacteria, and symptoms include muscle aches, shortness of breath and a headache. The sickness can eventually turn into serious pneumonia.
• The opioid epidemic: Prince's death from an opioid overdose on April 21 thrust Minnesota's problems with the prescription painkillers into the spotlight again.
The pop superstar died from "fentanyl toxicity."
While Prince's death from prescription painkillers made headlines, it was far from unique — deadly opioid overdoses have become an epidemic in Minnesota and across the country.
• Full coverage: Minnesota's opioid epidemic
"When you start comparing people dying from a prescription medication to automobile accidents," Hallberg said, "you know we have a huge problem on our hands."
• Skyrocketing drug prices: Last January, Hallberg said he was getting flooded with calls from people whose medication costs were going up, even for generic drugs.
He noted the EpiPen price increase as a prime example of the issue. Mylan, which makes EpiPens to fend off severe allergic reactions, raised the price on two-dose packages of the drug from less than $60 to about $400. The move elicited harsh reactions from the public and lawmakers.
• Political stress: Hallberg said concern abounded among patients on their health plans and whether they can keep their doctor. The Affordable Care Act and other health policy items were also top issues in 2016.
"I have never in the 20-plus years I've been in medicine experienced so many conversations leading up to the election and after the election about the outcome," Hallberg said. "I've just never seen this kind of stress about our political system."