Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|October 12, 2022

Iowa news

EMS council eyes essential service designation

The group that was instrumental in creating Lee County’s first county-run ambulance service will likely disband, not because it is no longer needed, but because a new group – a District Advisory Council – will be formed. The Lee County EMS Advisory Council has decided to pursue an essential services designation for the county. To do so, there are several benchmarks under state code that must be hit, including the creation of a District Advisory Council. Another step is to draft a resolution to be placed on a ballot for Lee County voters to approve an essential services tax levy for the ambulance service. (Ft. Madison Daily Democrat)

Sen. Chuck Grassley’s proposal seeks to improve maternal and child health services

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has introduced the Healthy Moms and Babies Act to improve maternal and child health care. The United States has a maternal health crisis that particularly affects women of color and those living in rural America. The Healthy Moms and Babies Act builds on Sen. Grassley’s longstanding efforts to improve maternal and child health by delivering high-quality coordinated care, supporting women and babies with 21st century technology and taking other steps to reduce maternal mortality. (Sierra Sun Times)

Area medical leader honored by IHA

At their recent annual meeting in Des Moines, the Iowa Hospital Association bestowed its Hospital Heroes Awards for 2022. Among those receiving the honor was Medical Director of Cornerstone Family Practice Clinic in Guttenberg Michele Dikkers, D.O., who identified the honor as “a group effort,” giving credit to “a lot of great people that I work with.” Dr. Dikkers, who grew up on a farm outside Strawberry Point, graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1995 before completing her residency at Des Moines General Hospital in 1998. (Oelwein Daily Register)

National news

Seattle-area patients frustrated by days of system outages at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health facilities

Hospitalwide system outages, stemming from an IT security issue reported by Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s parent company, CommonSpirit Health, have led to several days of disruptions for patients and providers at VMFH facilities throughout Puget Sound, with no estimated restoration date. Along with outages of the MyChart system, appointments were canceled or rescheduled, some with no notice because schedulers couldn’t look up patients’ contact information in a database. CommonSpirit Health, the company affiliated with 10 VMFH hospitals throughout the Puget Sound region, said it has identified the security issue but hasn’t provided additional details on who or what may have caused the issue. (Seattle Times)

Walmart launches health care research institute

Walmart’s new Healthcare Research Institute gives customers the chance to enroll in health care research, aims to improve diversity in clinical trials and support interventions and medicines for underrepresented communities. The institute will initially focus on inclusion in clinical studies on treatments for chronic conditions and treatments that should include members from underrepresented populations, including older adults, rural residents, women and minority populations. Walmart is working with clinical research organizations, pharmaceutical companies and academic medical centers. The only partners Walmart has named so far are CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services and Laina Enterprises. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

FDA authorizes bivalent COVID-19 boosters for children ages 5 to 11

Children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster aimed at both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the boosters from both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to quickly follow. The vaccines should quickly become available at area pharmacies and pediatricians’ offices. (Des Moines Register)

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