Today’s NewsStand – August 12, 2019

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

Iowa News

As gun violence escalates nationwide, UIHC steps up preparation for a local mass shooting
As gun violence escalates across the U.S., the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are bracing for the possibility of a local tragedy. “I don’t care how big of a hospital you are, getting an influx of 50 patients in a very short period of time is going to be a huge challenge,” says Mike Hartley, UIHC’s emergency manager. The hospital system has long prepared for mass casualty events, from radiation accidents to pipe-bomb attacks to massive vehicle pileups. Tuesday, the University of Iowa will host and participate in an active shooter training with local law enforcement. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Report: Iowa falling short on tobacco prevention funding
Iowa is falling short when it comes to tobacco prevention funding, according to a recent American Cancer Society report. To market its products in Iowa, every year the tobacco industry spends an estimated $103.5 million. At the same time, it pays Iowa about $65.8 million annually, as a result of the 1999 master settlement which ruled tobacco companies responsible to pay states for their tobacco-related healthcare costs. Johnson County Public Health Department health educator Susan Vileta said despite the rising numbers and low funding, there have been improvements in policy and initiatives. (Dubuque Telegraph Herald)

UnityPoint planning relocation of Marshalltown hospital
Marshalltown’s longtime downtown hospital and services are expected to be relocated to its southside medical park with planning efforts underway, hospital officials said. The relocation proposal is part of the hospital’s announcement that its obstetrics unit and women’s health care center will close Sept. 30 because of declining births. At various roundtables hosted by local community, economic development and image-building groups, ideas of converting the mammoth building have ranged from housing or commercial development to a park. (Marshalltown Times Republican)

National News

Rural hospitals foundering in states that declined Obamacare
More than half of all rural hospitals in Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia and Oklahoma lost money from 2011 through 2017. In Kansas, the bloodletting was even more widespread. Two out of three rural hospitals in the state operated in the red during the seven-year period. Five were forced to shut down. What these states also have in common is that legislators voted against expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which would have provided coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured residents and bolstered rural hospital bottom lines. (Green Sheet Farm Forum)

To boost workforce, medical schools try to sell rural life
The Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University is among a small group of medical schools across the U.S. with programs dedicated to bolstering the number of primary care doctors in rural communities. The schools send students to live in small towns and train with rural doctors. Like Quillen, some also organize outings and cultural experiences to try to sell students on living there after they graduate. Schools have taken students to a ranch to brand cattle, brought in an Appalachian story teller and catered local delicacies to show students who may have never lived without the convenience of a Starbucks or Target what rural life offers. (Associated Press)

With kale and tai chi, Minnesota hospitals try a new way to keep patients healthy
The latest medical innovation at Lakewood Health System isn’t some high-resolution scanner or micro laser scalpel. It’s a shipping container. Starting this fall, the hospital and clinic system will use hydroponic irrigation and lighting in the container to grow vegetables — 120 pounds each week — and distribute them to patients whose malnutrition is causing health problems that could result in costly medical procedures. Whether or not the project produces its ultimate goal — a decline in malnutrition and related diseases — it shows how Minnesota hospitals have moved beyond fun runs and tree plantings to promote health in their communities. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)