Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|August 31, 2021

Iowa news

Iowa Attorney General researching legality of mask mandate ban

There’s growing confusion about whether you have to wear a mask in Iowa City. Iowa City’s mayor has mandated face coverings, but a new state law bans mask mandates. The Iowa attorney general told Iowa Capital Dispatch that his office is still researching the legality of the mandate. Gov. Kim Reynolds’ spokesperson says Iowa City’s mask rule goes against the law and is not enforceable. (KCCI)

Broadlawns’ two president and CEO finalists visit Des Moines, appear in virtual forums

Broadlawns Medical Center host public forums for the two finalists competing to become the next president and CEO of Polk County’s safety net hospital. The two finalists, selected from a field of 40 candidates that applied, are Anthony Coleman, vice president of operations support and assistant hospital administrator with Kaiser Permanente in San Bernardino County, California, and Cory Geffre, vice president and chief nursing officer at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. The selected candidate will fill the executive role previously held by Jody Jenner, who retired April 15. The hospital is led by Chief Financial Officer Karl Vilums, as interim president and CEO. The board is expected to vote on the president/CEO position at its Sept. 21 board meeting, unless the board calls a special meeting earlier than that date. (Business Record)

Vaccinations slow, infections climb in Iowa

Iowa’s effort to increase vaccinations for COVID-19 appears to have stalled, with 51% of the population fully vaccinated. Over the past week, only 12 other states have seen a greater slowdown in new vaccinations. Meanwhile, only 13 other states have seen a bigger increase in new infections over that same time period, according to the Washington Post’s coronavirus tracker. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

National news

CVS finding success in mental health counseling pilot program

With more people seeking mental health services because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some pharmacy chains and retailers are hoping to tap into that market by betting that people will be comfortable getting counseling at the same place they pick up their prescriptions, toothpaste and snacks. CVS is joining Walgreens and Walmart in offering in-person counseling at or near their stores. CVS started stationing mental health providers, generally a licensed clinical social worker, at 13 locations in Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa, Florida, as a pilot program. They say they saw a surprisingly high return for customers who had initial consultations, and the company is now looking to expand the service to 34 locations in those areas. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said it’s a creative way to meet a growing need, but some health care providers question how many people are comfortable seeking therapy in a public setting. CVS says customers have no way of knowing a person is receiving therapy because the stores already offer a variety of services. Mental health services are advertised in the stores, where a designated area has a private room for counseling services. (Wall Street Journal)

EU takes US off safe travel list, backs travel restrictions

The European Union recommended today that its 27 nations reinstate restrictions on US tourists because of rising coronavirus infections there. The decision by the European Council to remove the US from a safe list of countries for nonessential travel reverses advice that it gave in June, when the bloc recommended lifting restrictions on US travelers before the summer tourism season. But the guidance is nonbinding, and US travelers should expect a mishmash of travel rules across the continent. (Associated Press)

Hurricane Ida victims could swamp Louisiana’s already COVID-19-stretched hospitals

Louisiana’s battered hospitals were bracing for another challenge in the wake of Hurricane Ida — an influx of new patients. And with services already stretched to capacity by the COVID-19 crisis, the still unanswered question was where to put them. Gov. John Bel Edwards is prioritizing hospitals so they can continue to serve all their patients and the people who have been injured and haven’t been hospitalized yet. So far, there has been just one hurricane-related fatality but that number is likely to go up after the damage assessment gets underway. (NBC News)

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