health

doctors office
Jennifer Morrow / flickr

The executive director of Iowa’s medical regulatory board has abruptly retired, saying he was treated unfairly by state officials.

The Iowa Board of Medicine put executive director Mark Bowden on administrative leave about a month ago, and voted to reinstate him Friday.

Board members then scheduled a meeting for Monday morning to consider Bowden’s employment status. His retirement was announced instead.

Iowa Department of Public Health

From mumps and foodborne illness to Ebola and Zika, whenever there have been health threats in the news, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk has been there to inform Iowans. In a few days, she'll retire from her position as Medical Director at the Iowa Department of Public Health.

On this news buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Quinlisk about her upcoming retirement and some highlights from her 24 years with the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

When bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics, people can end up with infections that don’t respond to available medicines. Now Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and other partners are creating the Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education. The goal is to bring together human, animal and environmental studies of antibiotic use and resistance.

OTA Photos / Flickr

Single mothers living in poverty can improve their health when they take charge of their financial lives, according to preliminary findings that researchers now hope to demonstrate in a much larger study.

Vaping360 via flickr creative commons / http://vaping360.com/cbd-oil-cannabidiol-hemp-oil/

The mayor of Cedar Rapids says his city is ready to capitalize on the state’s medical marijuana industry. That's after state officials awarded a license to the company Iowa Relief, LLC to build a cannabis manufacturing center in the city.

naloxone
Tom Wolf / flickr

Iowa officials will distribute 2,000 free opioid overdose reversal kits throughout the state this Friday.

More than 350 pharmacies will have naloxone, a drug that stops an opioid overdose, available for free. Each kit has two doses of the drug in a nasal spray form, branded as Narcan.

It’s part of the state’s effort to address increasing opioid-related deaths in the state.

Vaping360 via flickr creative commons / http://vaping360.com/cbd-oil-cannabidiol-hemp-oil/

Businesses have until May 31st to apply for a license to manufacture medical marijuana in Iowa. But one market watcher warns the state’s regulations could keep some businesses out of the market.

The Death Midwife

May 23, 2018
Photo of workshop by Donna Belk and Sandy Booth

In recent years, there has been expansion of palliative care, which is medical care that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness.  There also has been increased availability of hospice care, which is designed to give support and comfort to people in the final phase of a terminal illness. There’s a new movement in end of life care called death midwifery.

Emily Woodbury

Lena Hill and Azeez Butali are both professors at the University of Iowa. They have something else in common: they are both parents to children with sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder. It can cause chronic pain, multi-organ failure, and stroke, and affects an estimated 100,000 people in the United States, most of them African American. 

planned parenthood clinic
Sarah Boden/IPR File

Groups that provide or refer patients for abortions would reportedly be barred from receiving federal funding under a soon to be released Trump administration proposal.

flickr / RelaxingMusic

White House physician Ronny Jackson’s nomination for Secretary of Veterans Affairs has exposed the widespread use of alertness drugs and sleeping pills among Washington officials and white house staff. During this hour of River to River, guest host Charity Nebbe talks with Dr. Eric Dyken, of the sleep disorders program at the University of Iowa about sleeping pills, wakefulness drugs and other new sleep research. 

Andreanna Moya Photography / Flickr

Teresa Hafner would not be alive today if she had not received a new heart through the Iowa Donor Network. She lives because of a motorcycle accident that killed a 26-year old woman. During this hour of River to River, she talks with host Ben Kieffer about being the recipient of a heart transplant. 

"Back in 2006, I flat-lined while I was at work and had to have a pace maker and a defibrillator placed at that point. I was fine for a while, and then I went into heart failure," she says. 

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode (cropped)
Sergey Galyonkin

The Iowa Department of Public Health has offered cannabis dispensary licenses to proposed stores in Council Bluffs, Davenport, Sioux City, Waterloo, and Windsor Heights.

In this news buzz edition of River to River, Emily Woodbury talks with Des Moines Register Health Reporter Tony Leys about what that means for Iowans.

regina sampieri
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Over a decade ago, Regina Sampieri’s mom called the police on her because she was afraid she would die. Sampieri was abusing painkillers and getting dangerously thin.

“I used to describe being on drugs as being on the merry-go-round from hell,” Sampieri says. “You’re up, down, up, down, around and around—and all you want to do is get off this crazy, awful merry-go-round—and you can’t. You’re stuck there.”

Mental Health Systems in Iowa

Feb 28, 2018
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Hey Paul Studios

In the aftermath of mass shootings, we often hear about the importance of mental health diagnoses and treatment.

On this edition of River to River, we explore the services being provided in Iowa and as well as the mental health needs of the state in the near future.

A recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows nearly three-quarters of Iowans believe the state’s mental-health system is in crisis or is a big problem.  

fetal heartbeat subcommittee
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Updated Monday, Feb. 12, 2018:

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a fetal heartbeat abortion bill Monday, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats voting against it. The bill can now be taken up for a vote by the full Iowa Senate.  

Original post from Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018:

A fetal heartbeat bill that would effectively ban almost all abortions advanced in the Iowa Senate Thursday after an hour of public testimony from people on both sides of the issue.

dan dawson and brad zaun
John Pemble / IPR

A three-member Senate panel Wednesday unanimously agreed to move a bill forward that would legalize needle exchange programs for people who inject drugs.

Needle exchange programs have been used in other states to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and help get drug users into treatment. In Iowa, it’s still illegal to distribute needles for drug use.

tom greene
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

A three-member Senate panel is delaying a decision on a bill that would require all medical providers to electronically submit drug prescriptions to pharmacies.

Sen. Tom Greene, (R-Burlington), who worked as a pharmacist, says the bill would help curb the abuse of opioids and other controlled substances.

“I’ve so blatantly had people hand me a handwritten prescription the doctor wrote for 10 sleeping pills, and they changed the one to a four,” Greene says. “Easy change.”

Rob Dillard / Iowa Public Radio

Iowa is receiving mostly failing grades from the American Lung Association for its efforts to curb smoking. The advocacy group is calling for some legislative fixes.

The only area in which the state receives an A from the Lung Association is in providing smoke-free air in many public places. But much of the rest of its report card is filled with Fs. Iowa drew one of the Fs for the level of state tobacco taxes. The senior regional director for the association, Pat McKone, says she’d like to see the tax on a pack of cigarettes go up by at least $1.50.

Gisela Giardino/Flickr

"Wine is to women as duck tape is to men: it fixes everything. " "I make wine disappear, what's your super power?" "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, but if the white runs out, I'll drink red."

These are supposed to be jokes, but they may also be indicative of a growing problem. During this hour on Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Ann Dowsett-Johnson, author of "Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol," about women's relationship with drinking culture. 

supplies in parking lot
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

On a below-freezing night in Cedar Rapids, three med school students meet in a parking lot and start unloading boxes from a crammed car trunk.

They sort through condoms, housing paperwork, fentanyl test strips, and vials filled with a drug that reverses opioid overdoses. There are booklets about safe injection practices, test kits for HIV and hepatitis C, and needles, syringes and cookers.

The first person to stop by is Dennis Brown, a former drug user who tries to help people who are still struggling with addiction.

New Year, New Tools for Health Assessment

Jan 8, 2018
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gyro2 —

There are a lot of different tools designed to monitor fitness. From the low tech-scale and body mass index (BMI) calculations, to the high tech dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) body scan, which is designed to measure body fat and more.

In this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores an aspect of physical health that many people examine this time of year. With new goals for fitness or weight loss, she talks about fitness assessments new and old.

Getting Enough Sleep?

Dec 19, 2017
qJake / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

The winter solstice happens this Thursday morning, which means that each day this week has the least amount of sunshine per day. In Iowa, that means anywhere from just under nine hours of daylight to about nine hours 15 minutes depending on where you are located.

On this River to River, Ben Kieffer is joined by neurologist Dr. Eric Dyken of the University of Iowa Sleep Disorders Center to discuss the latest in sleep news and research. There is a new study finding that our personal sleep requirements may be affected by our genes.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical treatment that's been around for thousands of years.  It has become more mainstream over the course of the last twenty years, and in this hour on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Deb van Latenstein who is a licensed acupuncturist at the Acupuncture Wellness Center and Allergy Clinic of Iowa in Des Moines. She says acupuncture isn't magic, and it's easiest to understand if you think about the body about a piece of meat. 

Joyce Russell/IPR

A new initiative to combat childhood obesity in Iowa will get underway next month as nearly one-third of Iowa 10 to 17- year- olds remain overweight or obese.      

Communities in Mills, Dubuque, Henry, and Fayette Counties will receive $18,000 grants to promote the program known as “5210-Healthy Choices Count.”

“This is the first statewide effort to provide consistent messaging and programming regarding the subject of childhood obesity,” said Iowa Department of Public Health Director Gerd Clabaugh.

pills in a bottle
nosheep / Pixabay

A new federal grant will fund a statewide media campaign to educate teenagers and young adults about the dangers of misusing prescription opioids.

Janet Nelson at the Iowa Department of Public Health says the campaign will work to fill gaps in knowledge about prescription drugs.

"Youth, a lot of times, feel that if a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it can't be harmful," Nelson says. 

The grant will also help three counties—Polk, Jasper and Scott—develop additional strategies to reduce problems with prescription opioid abuse.

Get Better Sleep

Oct 24, 2017
Andrew Roberts / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

A seven-year-old Kentucky boy recently slept for eleven days straight. This hour, hear about the medical mystery that has doctors baffled. On this River to River program, host Ben Kieffer talk with sleep expert and neurologist Dr. Eric Dyken of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics about the boy's dangerous slumber. 

Dyken says there is limited information about this case, and he does not have the medical records that would allow him to know more.  But he compares this with a case he did see in Iowa which was a case of viral encephalopathy.

Sarah Boden/IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds says she hasn’t received any indication from the White House that it opposes Iowa’s attempt to lower premium rates for health insurance policies on the Obamacare exchange.

WIKICOMMONS / Nevit Dilmen

Iowa has enough money through March to continue providing health care to children from moderate and low income families, while Congress figures out how to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The program provides healthcare to nearly 9 million children nationwide, including 60,000 in Iowa. States structure CHIP programs differently, which means funding will run out in different places at different intervals.

Sarah Boden/IPR File

Southeast Iowa’s Des Moines County is considering applying for federal funding, know as the Title X program, to create a clinic to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to low-income people, including to those who don't qualify for Medicaid services.

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