Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
Iowa men will fly around world to bring vaccines to children
While Peter Teahen and John Ockenfels aren’t Santa, they are flying around the world to give the gift of crucial vaccines to the most vulnerable children. Their goal is to fly eastward this spring from Cedar Rapids, raising money and awareness around the globe to eradicate polio through Rotary International and a 2-for-1-dollar match from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With the match in place, Teahen is optimistic $1 million can be raised. (WRAL)
Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday announced what may be her most ambitious agenda to date, centered around a one-cent sales tax increase that would be offset by cuts in income taxes, property taxes and other state revenue streams. Her proposals focus significantly on workforce development, environmental challenges and mental health, but also delve into abortion and maternal health care, flood recovery and a gamut of other issues. (Oskaloosa Herald)
In her third Condition of the State address, Gov. Kim Reynolds claimed victories Tuesday on cutting taxes and investing in workforce training. She promised further tax cuts, spending on natural resources and reforms to Iowa’s professional licensure requirements. The Gazette’s Fact Checker team checked some of these claims. (The Gazette)
Technologies such as telehealth and artificial intelligence could help health systems combat professional shortages in hospitals, according to a report on key workforce strategic planning trends released by the American Hospital Association. Telehealth could be useful to providers as health care is increasingly delivered outside of traditional settings and evolves to team-based models of care. (Healthcare IT News)
The Kansas Department of Agriculture has created a website intended to provide resources and support for farmers and ranchers coping with ag-related stress and mental health issues. Market uncertainties, natural disasters, ongoing trade wars and other setbacks have led to heightened focus on mental health issues in the agricultural community. These factors can lead to mental and emotional distress, substance abuse, anxiety, depression and suicide. Between 1992 and 2010, the suicide rate among U.S. farmers and ranchers was 3.5 times greater than that of the general population, results of a University of Iowa study show. (Safety and Health Magazine)
Nearly one in five Americans live in rural areas and depend on his or her local hospital for care. Over the past 10 years, 120 of those hospitals have closed. Thirty-one states have seen at least one rural hospital shut down since 2010, and the closures are heavily clustered in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the ACA, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. (Becker’s Hospital Review)