Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 11, 2021

Iowa news

MercyOne Central Iowa to boost minimum wage to $15 hourly

MercyOne Central Iowa is instituting a minimum wage for its staff of $15 an hour, effective April 4. MercyOne Central Iowa President Karl Keeler indicated that employee input had influenced the decision to move to $15 an hour. MercyOne Central Iowa, which operates four not-for-profit Catholic medical centers and two specialty hospitals, has more than 7,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians and allied health associates. In January, competing health system UnityPoint Health raised its minimum to $15 systemwide, a move that raised the pay for about one-third of its 30,000-person workforce. Last week, legislation to enact a phased-in increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by July 1, 2025, failed to survive the first bill funnel. (Business Record)

Opinion: Telemedicine for mental health is effective, and expensive, so providers should get in-person rates

The last five years have seen significant legislation in Iowa to address the mental health needs of Iowans. We have seen the conversation open to “Make It OK” to end the stigma of mental illness. Businesses have signed up to support the campaign, with 203 workplaces having registered to end stigma for their employees. (Des Moines Register)

One year since first COVID-19 patient admitted to UI Hospitals and Clinics

One year ago, March 10, 2020, the first patient diagnosed with COVID-19 arrived at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. According to an article posted on UI Health Care’s The Loop, senior leaders were receiving moment-by-moment updates via radio on the patient as they were being admitted. Chief Medical Officer Theresa Brennan says she recalls staff not being nervous and caring for the patient as they normally would. (KWWL)

National news

The vaccines are working. That’s why we shouldn’t panic about variants.

Several new coronavirus variants have been identified in the United States in recent weeks, and scientists are grappling with whether these strains threaten the country — and, if so, how. One thing experts agree on, though, is that the available vaccines have outperformed expectations — even when it comes to what are known as the “variants of concern.” (NBC News)

People are keeping their vaccines secret

In the past three months, Americans have become collectively obsessed with shots of shots. Photos featuring the humble deltoid — that meaty muscle that swaddles the upper arm, newly famous as the injection site for all three cleared COVID-19 vaccines — have been flooding Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even Tinder. After a year of misery and chaos, they’re digital proof of the relief and elation that comes with boosted immunity; they’re a rallying cry for others, including those who might be wary, to join in. Individual vaccinations, normally an intimate affair, have become a public spectacle. (The Atlantic)

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine cuts transmission of coronavirus, new real-world study shows

Pfizer and BioNTech SE said Wednesday that real-world data from Israel suggests their COVID-19 vaccine is 94% effective in preventing asymptomatic infections, meaning the vaccine could significantly reduce transmission. The companies also said the latest analysis of the Israeli data shows the vaccine was 97% effective in preventing symptomatic disease, severe disease and death. That is in line with the 95% efficacy Pfizer and BioNTech reported from the vaccine’s late-stage clinical trial in December. (NBC News)

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