Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|December 6, 2021

Iowa news

In midst of workforce shortages, health care employers turn to apprentices

The staff shortage within the health care industry — exacerbated by factors from the coronavirus pandemic — has hospitals and other health care organizations using new methods to recruit and retain medical professionals. In some cases, that includes hiring candidates before they’ve even completed their medical training. To alleviate the strain of workforce shortages in their facilities, dozens of eastern Iowan employers have used an apprenticeship program through Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids to hire certified nursing assistants. (The Gazette)

Iowa sees record COVID-19 hospitalization levels during the holiday season for a second year

Iowa’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to trend upward, reaching record highs for this year. State health officials reported Friday that 747 Iowans are hospitalized with the virus, the highest number Iowa has seen so far this year. Iowa experienced a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations around the holiday period last year, experiencing more than 1,500 hospitalizations daily in November 2020. (Iowa Public Radio)

Witwer Children’s Therapy looks to expand following pandemic patient growth

Following a boom in patient volumes amid the pandemic, a children’s therapy clinic is looking to expand its space. Witwer Children’s Therapy will double the footprint of its Cedar Rapids facility, adding 3,400 square feet of leased space in an expansion project that’s expected to complete in the spring. The clinic will grow to take up the entire building at 3245 Williams Parkway S.W., adding three new therapy suites that will house a large gym, sensory integration rooms, therapy rooms and other spaces to house services and offices. Officials also are remodeling the lobby and waiting areas. (The Gazette)

National news

Women hold only 15% of CEO roles in health care organizations

Despite the massive, diverse patient pool for health care companies, only 15% of CEOs in the industry are women, a new study revealed. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, reviewed more than 3,911 health care executives and 3,462 board members representing 161 health systems and 108 health insurance groups. Researchers found that among board chairs, 17.5% were women in health systems and 21.3%  were women in health insurance companies. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Scientists race to answer the question: Will vaccines protect us against omicron?

Researchers in Botswana and South Africa just detected the omicron variant a few weeks ago, but already many scientists are predicting that the efficacy of the vaccines will likely take a hit, probably a big hit, when it comes to stopping infections of omicron. And more breakthrough infections will likely occur if (and that’s a big if) omicron spreads here in the U.S. At the same time, there’s hope that vaccines will still offer good protection against severe disease and hospitalization, especially with a third dose. (Iowa Public Radio)

Omicron may spread 2x faster than delta, scientists say

The omicron variant appears to spread more than twice as quickly as delta, according to preliminary findings. Scientists with the South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium released findings about variant B.1.1.529’s national spread. The findings have yet to be peer-reviewed. The researchers believe omicron’s ability to rapidly spread results from both its contagiousness and ability to dodge the body’s immune defenses, though it’s unclear how large of a role each factor plays. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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