Since 2007, the Iowa Hospital Heroes program has celebrated at its annual meetings more than 100 employees who have acted courageously in a crisis or who have provided exemplary service to their hospitals and communities. This year, that criteria applies to all hospital employees. Therefore, IHA is celebrating the dedication

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Although coronavirus (COVID-19) is new, preparing for emergencies is not. Iowa hospitals and health systems conduct emergency preparedness training year-round. To help hospitals stay up to date on coronavirus and its potential effect on Iowa hospitals and health systems, IHA created a new webpage specifically for the virus. The page features information, resources, talking points and protocols. Updates will be posted regularly, so members are encouraged to check back often.

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Iowa ranked 20th in the nation according to an annual study examining 35 public health measures, according to the United Health Foundation. The health score for Iowa was above the national average for the study, titled the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. But, Iowa's overall ranking has decreased over the last several years, demonstrating that more can be done in the state to improve the care of Iowans.

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For much of the 20th century, medical progress seemed limitless. Antibiotics revolutionized the care of infections. Vaccines turned deadly childhood diseases into distant memories. Americans lived longer, healthier lives than their parents. Yet today, some of the greatest success stories in public health are unraveling.

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A growing number of physicians, nurses, social workers and other clinicians are using the phrase “moral injury” to describe their inner struggles at work. The term comes from war: It was first used to explain why military veterans were not responding to standard treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. They knew how best to care for their patients but are blocked from doing so by systemic barriers related to the business side of health

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Even as US authorities have taken the drastic steps of quarantining residents returning from China, and temporarily banning foreign visitors who recently traveled to affected Chinese regions, they have urged the vast majority of US residents to go about their regular activities. But there are exceptions.

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Disclosure this week of multiple cases in the United States of a new viral infection emerging from China — including the first confirmed cases of the virus passing from person to person in this country — is fueling public concerns about how easily the deadly virus can spread. It is also raising pointed questions about why authorities aren’t disclosing more information about the risk of exposure.

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Voters have frequently complained that the debate has been confusing and hard to follow. Most of the attention so far has been focused on whether the U.S. should transition to a “Medicare for All” program that would guarantee coverage to all US residents — and result in higher taxes for most people. But there is far more to the health debate than that.

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Medical professionals have been storing personal health information in electronic form for more than a decade, but it is cumbersome for patients to gather disparate computer and paper records scattered across doctors’ offices, hospitals and medical labs. Wouldn’t life be easier if you could view your full medical history with a few taps on your smartphone?

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Dr. Mark Johnson, emergency department physician at Cass County Health System in Atlantic, was among 11 Iowa Hospital Heroes recognized at the 2019 IHA Annual Meeting in October. Dr. Johnson received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1984. After completing his residency at the Broadlawns Family Medicine Residency Program, he returned to his hometown of Atlantic in 1987. After many years of working at Atlantic Medical Center and the emergency department (ED), he transferred full-time to the ED in 2012, where he still works today.

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Health products powered by artificial intelligence, or AI, are streaming into our lives, from virtual doctor apps to wearable sensors and drugstore chatbots. AI can help doctors interpret MRIs of the heart, CT scans of the head and photographs of the back of the eye, and could potentially take over many mundane medical chores, freeing doctors to spend more time talking to patients. Yet many health industry experts fear AI-based products won’t be able to match the hype.

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“Healthspan,” a coinage now gaining traction, refers to the years that a person can expect to live in generally good health — free of chronic illnesses and cognitive decline that can emerge near life’s end. Although there’s only so much a person can do to delay the onset of disease, there’s plenty that scientists are learning to improve your chances of a better healthspan.

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