Today’s NewsStand – January 10, 2019

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News

Debi Durham will lead Iowa Finance Authority; Matt Strawn to run lottery
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has tapped a close friend and a trusted political adviser to lead two troubled state agencies as she prepares to begin her first full term in office. In announcing nine cabinet appointments Tuesday, the Republican governor said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, will continue to lead that agency while also taking over control of the Iowa Finance Authority. Prominent Republican Matt Strawn, a former state Republican party chairman, will now run the Iowa Lottery. (Des Moines Register)

Metro District Inspires Students to Live Healthy Lifestyle
The Waukee Community School District is teaching students about the balance between exercising and a healthy lifestyle. A recent obesity report ranks Iowa as the fourth most obese in the nation. Physical education teachers in the district start the students at an early age understanding the steps of a workout, which include: warm up, activity, and cool down. (WHO)

University of Iowa grad hopes to make a breakthrough in heart disease prevention
University of Iowa researchers are coming up with a new way to prevent heart disease. University of Iowa graduate Meesha Dogan is now the CEO of Cardio Diagnostics. She plans to use DNA to help people find out just how at risk they may be. Dogan said it’s possible by looking at the genetic code. Dr. Michael Hajdu is a staff cardiologist at Mercy Iowa City and works with the Iowa Heart Center. He said getting a cardiology exam takes a bit longer because it could sometimes involve a series of follow-up appointments. (KCRG)

Spencer Hospital shares the healing power of music
People often think of the healing being done at Spencer Hospital as occurring primarily through medicines or procedures, however music also plays a healing role for the hospital’s hospice and behavioral health patients. Hospital officials said the music performed by the hospital’s therapeutic musician, Robin Keith, has quickly grown into the most popular service offered in hospice care. (Spencer Daily Reporter)

National News

Texas hospitals adapt existing technology to tackle opioid crisis
Adapting existing technology, the Texas Hospital Association (THA) is helping health care providers fight the state’s opioid epidemic through giving them better information when they need it. More than 85 percent of acute-care hospitals and health care systems in Texas are members in THA. In 2018, some members began using a Smart Ribbon technology to provide physicians with just-in-time information when they are treating patients. (Houston Chronicle)

US cancer death rate hits 25 years of decline, study says
The rate of people dying from cancer in the United States seems to have dropped steadily for 25 years, a new study says, but disparities remain between the rich and the poor. The overall nationwide cancer death rate fell continuously from 1991 to 2016 by a total of 27 percent, according to a study by the American Cancer Society, published Tuesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. That translates to about 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths total than would have been expected if death rates stayed at their peak, which was seen in 1991, according to the study. (CNN)

Hospital-based doctors have key role in battling opioid epidemic
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s recently released 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment estimates that opioids killed roughly 200 people a day in 2017. Despite efforts across the country to halt the national opioid epidemic, we continue to see deaths. Hospital-based physicians have a unique opportunity to identify innovative programs and proven practices that prevent and treat addiction in isolated pockets of the healthcare system and bring them to scale. (The Hill)

With just a photo, this algorithm can spot a possible genetic condition — and can suggest a cause
Some people’s faces — or even just a photo of them — hint at the genes they carry. And now, an algorithm can predict not only whether they carry a genetic mutation, but which genes were mutated. The study, published Monday in Nature Medicine, is the latest from a Boston-based company called FDNA, one of a few organizations creating software that can help physicians diagnose genetic syndromes based just on a face — and may serve an important validation of the company’s technology. (STAT)