Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|May 31, 2022

Iowa news

Iowa had high combined rates of deaths because of alcohol, drugs and suicide during the pandemic’s first year

There were more “substance misuse” deaths nationwide during 2020 than in any other year, according to a new report. Rhea Farberman, policy research director at Trust for America’s Health, says Iowa’s overall figures were slightly below the national average, but were still up 18% in 2020. The stress brought on by the pandemic is being blamed for some of the numbers, but Farberman says that’s not the only reason for the increase in deaths: “It’s important to remember that we’ve had large increases in the number of these what we call ‘deaths of despair,’ deaths due to alcohol, drugs and suicide, for over a decade.” (Iowa Public Radio)

MercyOne announces new military health care program

From now on, when veterans show up at a MercyOne health care facility, they’ll be asked if they served in the armed forces. It may not seem like a big deal. But the acknowledgment goes a long way. To launch MercyOne’s new “Military and Veterans Health Care” program, employees received training on some of the challenges faced by those who serve. The training employees received included questions for specific veterans. For those who served in Vietnam, providers may ask about agent orange. For those who served in Afghanistan, patients may be asked about IEDs. (KTIV)

Policies, priorities can ‘Make It OK’ for employees seeking mental health support

As we have endured the pandemic — and the isolation and anxiety that came with it — raising awareness and action around mental health has taken on a larger part of the national conversation. From the toll the pandemic took on our mental well-being to the reaction we have seen in real time with the “Great Resignation,” mental health has been on the forefront of the public’s minds and headlines alike. Make It OK is a community campaign in Iowa to reduce the stigma of mental health issues by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness. (Dubuque Telegraph Herald)

National news

CMS boosts oversight of hospitals with COVID-19 outbreaks

CMS is investigating hospitals in which a high number of patients likely contracted COVID-19 while seeking care, part of an effort to increase oversight since relaunching routine inspections last year. The agency is zeroing in on facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks and is considering patients and health care workers’ safety complaints. The strategy marks a shift from the agency’s “less rigorous” approach early in the pandemic. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Vaccines offer little protection against long COVID-19, study finds

The COVID-19 vaccines, while holding up strong against hospitalization and death, offer little protection against long COVID-19, according to research published in the journal Nature Medicine. The findings are disappointing, if not surprising, to researchers who were once hopeful that vaccination could significantly reduce the risk of long COVID-19. (NBC News)

How COVID-19 boosters offer powerful protection against emerging variants

In the fight against COVID-19, we have a powerful tool that can protect us, our families and our communities. A COVID-19 vaccine remains our best defense, shielding us from severe illness and even death. For those who are fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 boosters as an additional safeguard against emerging variants. Some adults, like people over 50 and others with a higher risk for severe COVID-19, can now get a second booster dose. (USA Today)

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