Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|May 24, 2021

Iowa news

University of Iowa medical school graduate works to create Uber-like platform of health care staffing service

Dr. Jon Lensing launched the Des Moines health care staffing company Openloop at the beginning of last year. The company operates as a kind of Uber for health care, connecting hospitals and clinics with doctors and nurses through an online platform. Lensing’s team wanted to ensure that the program actually worked. So, in January and February 2020, the company convinced some doctors and hospitals to enroll, at no charge. Sure enough, Lensing said, the platform worked. Over two months, he watched Openloop’s technology facilitate five matches. Then 10. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the U.S. (Des Moines Register)

“Test and Treat” law to provide greater access to health care in rural parts of the state

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law that will allow Iowa pharmacist to test their patients for virus such as the flu, strep throat or COVID-19 and treat them immediately. All of Iowa’s 99 counties have local pharmacies, but not all have the same access to health care facilities. In fact, 90% of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy. (Siouxland News)

Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region Access Center not coming to Sheldon

Northwest Iowa-The Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region, which is headquartered in Orange City, is no longer seeking a location for an access center. Sioux Rivers CEO Shane Walter says that after Woodbury County left the Sioux Rivers region, the Sioux Rivers Crisis Center was suddenly outside the region’s geographical borders, in Sioux City. With the expansion of Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region’s footprint, Walter told us last year that they were looking at Sheldon as a possible location for a new access center. Walter says it wasn’t to be — at least not at this time. (Sioux County Daily News)


National news

An eighth US state just reached a critical COVID-19 vaccination milestone

As US officials push for more vaccinations amid slowing demand nationwide, another state has now crossed an important milestone. Rhode Island is now the eighth state to have administered at least one COVID-19 shot to 70% of its adult population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state joins Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont, which have also vaccinated at least 70% of their adult population. Twenty five states and Washington, D.C., have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adult populations. (WCCI)

CDC study finds disparities in COVID-19 vaccine rates between rural and urban areas

People in rural areas are receiving the COVID-19 vaccines at a lower rate than those in urban areas, potentially hindering the nation’s progress toward ending the pandemic, according to a new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC analyzed county-level vaccine administration data among American adults who received their first dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. It looked at data from 49 states and the District of Columbia through April 10. (CNBC)

The long-term pandemic toll few are talking about

Many older adults have experienced physical and cognitive decline after sheltering in place for 15 months, a problem Kaiser Health News calls a “little-discussed, long-term toll of the pandemic” in a May 21 report. The scale of this impairment is unknown, as no major studies have been done on the topic. But physicians, physical therapists and health plan leaders cited this frailty among the nation’s older adults as a rising concern. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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