Today’s NewsStand — July 27, 2020

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

Iowa news

Genesis promotes “Mask Up″ campaign for public health

Genesis Health System is asking the public to “Mask Up” for the health of our families, friends, ourselves and the public. Genesis is inviting the public to create short videos – 5-10 seconds – telling who they “Mask Up″ for. These videos can be created by individuals or groups. The video should have the name of individual creator, the group, organization designation and answer the question “Who Are You Masking Up For?” (Olney Daily Mail)

Mental health region debates accepting CARES money

Funds allocated to the Eastern Iowa Mental Health Region by Gov. Kim Reynolds earlier this month must be spent by Dec. 30, Region CEO Lori Elam said this week. Reynolds announced earlier this month that she was allocating $50 million in CARES Act funds for mental health in the state. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in March 2020 in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. (Clinton Herald)

Growing number of Americans in need of kidney transplant

Right now, more than 120,000 Americans are waiting for a life saving organ donation. I know, because I am one of them. I am one of the more than 100,000 now waiting to receive a donor kidney. Dr. Alan Reed, a transplant surgeon at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, says there simply are not enough deceased donor kidneys to go around. That’s because while many like myself are in need because of a genetic disorder, a growing number are facing kidney failure because of the most common chronic ailments of our time. “Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, other cause of renal failure, that’s growing in our country.” Says Dr. Reed. (KGAN-TV)

National news

Congress aims to keep telehealth momentum going beyond the COVID-19 crisis

Lawmakers have followed up on their request to keep the Federal Communications Commission’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program going with a bill aimed at adding more funding to the now-shuttered program. US Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) have introduced a bill that would give the program an FY 2020 supplemental appropriation of $200 million, effectively refurbishing a $200 million program that ran out of money earlier this month. The money would “remain available until expended,” and would be used to continue the program’s goals of supporting telehealth and mHealth programs addressing the coronavirus pandemic. (mHealthIntelligence.com)

Village versus virus: Rural ethos protects where public health fails

When disease forecasts predicted a surge of COVID-19 cases across Northern New England, some expected the pandemic would write the final chapter for the region’s most rural communities. Rural populations are older, and on average, in poorer health, than their urban counterparts. Rural hospitals have struggled to stay open amid dwindling population and financial pressure; many have shuttered their doors, leaving vast areas without access to emergency and maternal health care. Adding to concern, the region is a popular refuge for New York, the state with the largest global outbreak in April. (Health Affairs)

Rural mental health bill passes the Senate

The Seeding Rural Resilience Act, part of the National Defense Authorization Act has passed the Senate. The measure Co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Jon Tester of Montana improves mental health care in rural America and is intended to curb rising suicide rates among farmers. A companion measure has already passed the House. South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal says Farm Bureau has been advocating for that help for some time. (WNAX)