Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
We are almost a year into living with the coronavirus pandemic, and mental health services are needed now more than ever. Advocates say the governor’s plan doesn’t go far enough. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says the proposed funding doesn’t come close to covering the costs of mental health care, now at a crisis point. Mental health experts say their data shows 30% of Iowans are self-reporting anxiety and depression. One Ankeny mom last month told Gov. Kim Reynolds she struggled to get help for her son who threatened suicide. (KCCI)
In March of 2020, the world changed, as a global pandemic hit. Schools and businesses shut down and people were forced to work from home. However, for the Department of Human Services, working from a computer and virtually investigating child abuse isn’t an option. Social workers step on the front lines every day. The pandemic poses new challenges, obviously one of those is making sure these workers have personal protective equipment when entering these homes. The other is when schools shut down, children were spending more time at home. (KGAN)
State public health officials say they will begin to vaccinate the next priority group of Iowans against the novel coronavirus by Feb. 1, shifting from front-line health care workers to other populations that face high risk for exposure to and severe illness from the virus. Populations that fall in the Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution plan include Iowans aged 75 and older, school and child care staff, first responders and other at-risk groups. But this news from the Iowa Department of Public Health still leaves questions unanswered for many Iowans eager to receive a vaccine. There’s still much that’s unknown on how this large population will be prioritized, based on the current vaccine supply. (The Gazette)
Almost 3 million children in the US have been diagnosed with a serious emotional or behavioral health condition. When the pandemic forced schools and doctors’ offices closed last spring, it also cut children off from the trained teachers and therapists who understand their needs. As a result, many spiraled into emergency rooms and even police custody. Federal data show a nationwide surge of kids in mental health crisis during the pandemic — a surge that’s further taxing an already overstretched safety net. (National Public Radio)
A report has revealed that thousands of people who work on computers, technicians in labs and research scholars have been vaccinated against COVID-19 without meeting the qualifying the criteria. Hospitals affiliated with the University of Columbia, New York University, Harvard and Vanderbilt have immunized their workers who are not eligible to receive the vaccine. At the same time, millions of front line workers are still waiting in line to get the vaccine. (Chemical Market Reports)
As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, three big questions loom. First, can someone who has been vaccinated still spread the disease? Second, will the vaccine remain effective as the virus itself evolves? And third, how long will the vaccine’s protection last? The answers to these questions will largely emerge with time. Until more data is collected, scientists rely on what they already understand about the immune system and point out that the pandemic has illuminated what science still doesn’t understand about how a body defends itself from infectious germs. (National Public Radio)