Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|May 6, 2022

Iowa news

A vision of the mental health system we could have in Iowa

One of four Iowans (more than 775,000 people) will experience a mental health challenge this year. Depression is the No. 1 cause of workplace absenteeism. Suicide rates are rising among almost all demographic groups. Ninety percent of chronically homeless people have a serious mental health condition. There are 10 times more people with serious mental illness incarcerated than receiving inpatient care. Jails and prisons have become the mental health providers of last resort. The pandemic has made anxiety and depression worse among people who already suffered with it and created new cases. Iowa is consistently ranked near the bottom of states on a host of measures related to mental health care. (The Gazette)

SWI Mental Health and Disability Services awards grants to Jennie Edmundson

Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital has been awarded three grants from the Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region to make improvements in its behavioral health services area. Jennie Edmundson, which has a 20-bed inpatient behavioral health unit, received a $100,000 Impact Grant to purchase new furniture for the day room in the unit, where inpatients spend most of their day. The furniture is intended to brighten up the room and provide a warm and welcoming environment for meals and group sessions. (The Daily Nonpareil)

UI Health Care joins COVID-19 booster shot clinical trial

The University of Iowa Health Care has joined a clinical trial to study new regimens of COVID-19 booster shots. The Iowa City-based health care system is participating in a new Phase 2 clinical trial that will test booster vaccines in various combinations to determine which provide the best immune response against existing and emerging COVID-19 variants. The trial will study six combinations of new and existing booster shots developed by Moderna. (The Gazette)

National news

COVID-19’s toll in the U.S. reaches a once unfathomable number: 1 million deaths

The U.S. has surpassed 1 million COVID-19 deaths, according to data compiled by NBC News — a once unthinkable scale of loss even for the country with the world’s highest recorded toll from the virus. The number — equivalent to the population of San Jose, California, the 10th largest city in the U.S. — was reached at stunning speed: 27 months after the country confirmed its first case of the virus. (NBC News)

The impact of COVID-19 on the rural health care landscape

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, hospital closures were increasing in rural communities nationwide: 116 rural hospitals closed between 2010 and 2019. Over the past two years, federal relief has helped stabilize facilities, and the pace of closures slowed. But this was temporary, and rural hospitals continue to struggle financially and to recruit and retain nurses and other health care employees. Against this backdrop, the Bipartisan Policy Center interviewed rural hospital leaders from eight states — Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming — and health policy experts from federal and state government, national organizations, provider organizations and academia. The goal was to gain on-the-ground insights into today’s rural health care landscape, where the population is older, sicker and less likely to be insured or seek preventive services than in urban areas. (

What COVID-19 might look like in the U.S. once we reach the endemic phase

If it feels like everyone you know has COVID-19 right now, you’re not alone. In many parts of the U.S., case numbers are going up, and much of that increase is being driven by subvariants of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. And this new wave of cases might be a glimpse into what the endemic stage of COVID-19 will look like, according to Andy Slavitt, a former senior adviser to President Biden on COVID-19 and a former head of Medicare and Medicaid in the Obama administration. The U.S. is not in an endemic phase just yet, Slavitt said, and the country likely won’t know until after it’s in it because, as he put it, “the best definition of endemic that I’ve heard is just when the surprises are gone and it becomes predictable.” (National Public Radio)

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