Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 2, 2022

Iowa news

Des Moines wins $175,000 grant to continue produce prescription program

The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America has announced that the city of Des Moines is one of nine recipients of the 2022 Childhood Obesity Prevention and Environmental Health and Sustainability Awards. As the first-place winner in the medium-city category, Des Moines and the Polk County Produce Prescription Program will receive a $175,000 grant to continue the program’s work addressing health, wellness and environmental health for children and families across the community. The program connects food-insecure children with diet-related diseases such as diabetes and obesity and their families to medical providers that write prescriptions for free fruits and vegetables, while delivering nutrition education and collecting and monitoring biometrics. (Business Record)

Clive parent who lost son to suicide encourages talks on mental health

It’s been four and a half years since Mary Neubauer lost her son Sergei to suicide. “He was an incredibly bright, talented kid. He could sit down and draw whatever was in front of him,” said Neubauer. “He loved playing sports. Soccer, rugby, football, all of that. But he had had a tumultuous, abusive childhood in Russia, and we knew that.” Since Neubauer understood Sergei’s background, she and her husband started family counseling almost immediately. Neubauer says Sergei lived with severe depression, anxiety, and survivor’s remorse since he was adopted. Mental health experts say people often avoid talking with those who struggle with mental health, but experts say it is best to sit down and have a conversation. (WHO)

State auditor finds no ‘significant concerns’ in Iowa COVID-19 data reporting

Despite concerns from critics about the state’s handling of publicly available COVID-19 reports throughout the pandemic, the State Auditor’s Office “did not identify any significant concerns regarding the integrity of the data” from the Iowa Department of Public Health. State Auditor Rob Sand reviewed COVID-19 data collected and reported by the state from March 1, 2020, through May 17, 2021, as part of a COVID-19 Audit Task Force, an effort with other state auditors offices to review states’ coronavirus data reporting. In the new audit, the Democratic state auditor said there were opportunities for the state to improve its public coronavirus website to increase transparency and accountability. (The Gazette)

National news

How worried do you need to be about the BA.2 coronavirus variant?

Cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. appear to be finally trending downward, but a new variant called BA.2 — and nicknamed the “stealth” variant — has experts on alert. This new coronavirus variant appears to be closely related to omicron, which is also called BA.1. Mutations could be worrisome if they turn out to affect any of three key areas: disease transmission, severity of disease and the variant’s ability to evade immunity. Early evidence suggests that BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1, but whether it affects severity or immunity evasion is still being evaluated. (NBC News)

Pfizer applies to FDA for two-shot vaccine for children under 5

In a highly unusual move, federal regulators pressed Pfizer and BioNTech to submit a request for emergency authorization, people familiar with the situation said, even though two doses failed to produce the hoped-for immune response among children aged two to four in a clinical trial. (The New York Times)

Huge volumes of COVID-19 hospital waste threaten health

Discarded syringes, used test kits and old vaccine bottles from the COVID-19 pandemic have piled up to create tens of thousands of tons of medical waste, threatening human health and the environment, a World Health Organization report said. The material potentially exposes health workers to burns, needle-stick injuries and disease-causing germs, the report said. (NBC News)

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