Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 31, 2022

Iowa news

DMACC to launch new emergency responder program this fall

Des Moines Area Community College announced it has created a new career path that combines paramedic training with a concentration in fire science. The new program, the Emergency Response AAS degree, aims to prepare a more well-rounded first responder who can serve multiple roles within a fire department. DMACC is the first college in Iowa to offer the new pathway. The new degree comes at an important time as fire departments across the state face a shortage of both paramedics and trained firefighters. The new Emergency Response program will start for new students on the DMACC Ankeny Campus in the fall 2022 semester, which begins Aug. 24. (Business Journal)

UIHC among 14 health systems identified by Fitch and Moody’s with strong finances

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics was recently identified as one of 14 health systems nationally with strong operational metrics and solid financial positions, according to reports from Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service. This is not an exhaustive list. Health system names were compiled from credit rating reports. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

UI Hospitals and Clinics’ chief nurse executive named interim CEO

The University of Iowa I Hospitals and Clinics announced that Kimberly Hunter has been named interim CEO, effective March 1, following the departure of Suresh Gunasekaran. Hunter is currently chief nurse executive of UI Hospitals & Clinics, a position she’s held since joining the university health system nearly a year ago. Hunter has more than 30 years of health care management experience, including nearly 20 years of collective experience at Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic. (Business Record)

National news

What happened to contact tracing?

Once touted as a key strategy to prevent the coronavirus’s spread, contact tracing has since taken a backseat to vaccinations and mask-wearing amid the pandemic. More than a dozen states have scaled back contact tracing efforts, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. Virginia became the most recent state to limit contact-tracing efforts Jan. 25. The state will no longer investigate every COVID-19 case and instead focus contact tracing efforts on cases and outbreaks in high-risk settings, such as long-term care facilities. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

COVID-19 predictions? These experts are done with them

At most every turn, the coronavirus has surprised scientists. The emergence of the omicron variant this fall, with an origin story that experts say remains shrouded in mystery, became the latest sharp turn for researchers trying to catch up with the virus and its variants. Omicron, which has about 50 genetic mutations, developed outside of researchers’ view, with an evolutionary history far removed from the family tree of the once-dominant delta. Instead, its roots are in an old version of the virus thought to have faded away months ago. (NBC News)

Don’t count out delta just yet

Omicron dominates the coronavirus landscape in the U.S., accounting for 99.9% of cases for the week ending Jan. 22. Still, experts are wary of dismissing delta as no longer a concern just yet, The Atlantic reported Jan. 27. Although omicron’s dominance makes a mighty comeback of delta unlikely, “I would certainly not bet on delta disappearing,” Lisa Gralinski, PhD, virologist at the University of Chapel Hill, told the publication. Although unlikely, a number of scenarios are still possible, especially as a large portion of the world’s population remains unvaccinated, “which means it’s worth preparing for them,” wrote author Katherine Wu. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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