Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 22, 2021

Iowa news

COVID-19’s unequal impact: Lessons learned and the value of the upstream investment

In the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, statistical demographics illustrated that COVID-19 disproportionally affected Iowans of color. Hispanic and Latino Iowans comprise 6.2% of the state’s population, but in April 2020, Hispanic and Latino Iowans accounted for 16.4% of positive COVID-19 tests. Black Iowans represent 4% of the state’s population, yet in August 2020, they represented 11% of positive COVID-19 tests. Broadlawns’ president and CEO, Jody Jenner, conceptualized the framework for an initiative to ensure that access to health care, educational information, preventive, protective equipment, testing and vaccinations was put in place for those who were left vulnerable during the pandemic. (Des Moines Register)

Rural hospitals are vital care providers and economic engines

The nearly 1 in 5 Americans who live in rural areas rely on local hospitals and health systems as a critical – and often the only – source of care in their communities. But rural hospitals are more than just sites of the care. They serve a vital role for regional economies; jobs generated by rural hospitals support the tax base that funds public education, fire and police services, and road maintenance. In all, close to 60 million rural Americans depend on their hospital as an important source of care as well as a critical component of their area’s economic and social fabric. (

MercyOne expands telehealth services for at-risk pregnancies

Telehealth has surged in popularity during the pandemic, allowing doctors and medical professionals to meet patients from anywhere, virtually. Providing telehealth services for women with at-risk pregnancies isn’t anything new for MercyOne, what’s expanding is where they’re being offered. Dr. Neil Mandsager with MercyOne Perinatal has provided these telehealth appointments for patients in rural Iowa for years. (WHO-TV)

National news

COVID-19 vaccine jobs create mini hiring boom

COVID-19 wiped out millions of jobs. But the vaccination effort is bringing jobs back — and some of them for good. With millions of Americans expected to be fully vaccinated by the summer, pharmacies and medical clinics have been on hiring sprees for what people may have thought of as temporary jobs. But some companies appear to be treating these thousands of newly created jobs as permanent positions — a promising sign for the roughly 10 million unemployed workers in the country. (NBC News)

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is found to be 79% effective in US study

The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford provided strong protection against COVID-19 in a large US clinical trial, completely preventing the worst outcomes from the disease while causing no serious side effects. The findings may help shore up global confidence in the vaccine, which was shaken this month when more than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, temporarily suspended the shot’s use over concerns about possible rare side effects. (The New York Times)

Convalescent plasma hype has faded but some say the COVID-19 therapy still holds promise

Six months after it was controversially hailed by Trump administration officials as a “breakthrough” therapy to fight the worst effects of COVID-19, convalescent plasma appears to be on the ropes. The treatment that infuses blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients into people newly infected in hopes of boosting their immune response has not lived up to early hype. Some high-profile clinical trials have shown disappointing results. Demand from hospitals for the antibody-rich plasma has plunged. After a year of large-scale national efforts to recruit recovered COVID-19 patients as donors and the collection of more than 500,000 units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma, some longtime advocates of the therapy say they’re now pessimistic about its future. (NBC News)

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