Natalie Krebs

Health Reporter

Natalie Krebs is the health reporter for Iowa Public Radio.

Natalie joined Iowa Public Radio in May 2019. She previously worked as an independent producer in west Texas covering everything from immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border to environmental issues in the Permian Basin.

Natalie is a native Minnesotan. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Natalie’s favorite public radio program is The World.

Ways to Connect

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Judy Morrison said trouble began days after her mom died in 2016. That’s when her father found more than $600,000 missing from her mother’s bank account.

Government of Prince Edward Island / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The state Department of Public Health has reported that two people have died from the flu. These are the first flu-related deaths reported in the state this year.

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Iowa has one of the lowest survival rates for lung cancer in the nation, according to a new report by the American Lung Association.

Courtesy of UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health, one of Iowa's largest healthcare systems, has called off its merger with South Dakota-based Sanford Health.

Joyce Russell / IPR file

The state attorney general's office has announced it will launch a tracking and reporting system for rape kits. 

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A new report has found that nearly one in ten Iowa children are born pre-term. 

Lindsey Moon / IPR file

Open enrollment for Iowans who get their health coverage through the Affordable Care Act begins on Nov. 1. 

John Pemble / IPR file

Gov. Kim Reynolds will not pursue an executive order to ban vaping in Iowa. Instead, state health and education officials will focus on educational programs and a social media campaign warning minors of the health risks associated with e-cigarettes.

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Figuring out America's health care system can be hard for anyone. It can be especially challenging for refugees, who often face significant language and cultural barriers. But one group is trying to bridge that gap by training refugees as health navigators in their own communities.

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An Iowa State state study has found that two out of five young adults have a substance use disorder.

The study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health, surveyed more than 3,200 young adults both in college and not in college and found nearly 40 percent of college students and more than 44 percent of their non-college peers had at least one substance use disorder within the past year. 

Lindsey Moon/IPR

Health care, and how to pay for it, is one of the biggest topics of debate this election season. More than half the state’s hospitals are operating in the red, according to the Iowa Hospital Association, while the Kaiser Family Foundation found Iowans’ per capita spending on healthcare is sharply increasing

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More than 50,000 -- or 16 percent -- of Iowa's children ages 10 to 17 are considered obese, according to data released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

Iowa health experts have been awarded a $10 million grant to study the state’s increasing maternal mortality rate.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

Jessica Sheridan’s plan was to have her first daughter at the local hospital, five minutes from her house in Iowa Falls. But when she was seven months pregnant, that plan suddenly changed.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

Schools are often on the forefront in spotting mental health issues in children. But historically educators have received little training in this area. In Iowa, legislators have set aside $2 million to expand mental health training in schools. But when nearly a quarter of kids are estimated to have a psychiatric disorder, some people want the state to do more.

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Iowa has one of the highest obesity rates in the country, according new report by the non-profit Trust for America's Health.

More than 35 percent of Iowans are considered obese, making it seventh in the nation. That's significantly higher than the national rate of about 31 percent, according to the report.

wind turbine
Michael Leland/IPR

At least two dozen people expressed concerns to the Madison County Board of Supervisors Tuesday about an ordinance that would halt the construction of wind turbines for at least two years.

 

The proposed ordinance has come in response to concerns about potential health impacts from the turbines from the county board of health.

 

The board has recommended that turbines be built at least a mile and a half from houses.

 

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A recent study by the University of Iowa found many rural Iowans may not be receiving care that meets an accrediting group’s standards.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

The Iowa Department of Public Health is asking for the public’s help in identifying cases of respiratory illnesses possibly linked to vaping after four reported cases of severe respiratory illness in young adults.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

Many small Iowa communities are facing an aging population. This is sometimes seen as an issue for communities that worry about what this could mean for their future. But Charles City is taking a different approach to this issue by working to become more senior-friendly and is making extra efforts to embrace -- and even grow -- its senior population.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

Nearly 14,000 Iowans could be affected by Planned Parenthood's decision to withdraw from a the Title X federal family planning program, which funds family planning services for low-income individuals, according to local leaders from the health clinic.

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More Iowans who get their insurance through their employer are on high deductible plans, accoring to a recent report by the University of Minnesota's State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC).

vaping
vaping 360/flickr

Iowa is not doing enough to deter kids from using tobacco, according to a report by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

The annual report ranks how well states are implementing policies to reduce cancer rates.

It gave Iowa low marks in tobacco prevention funding, cigarette tax rates, Medicaid coverage of tobacco cessation and indoor tanning device restrictions.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

One in eight Americans live in urban areas, but 60 percent of deaths from trauma occur in rural areas. In Iowa, most rural emergency rooms are only equipped for basic emergencies -- and have limited budgets for staff and equipment. But a course led by trauma specialists is helping small ERs prepare for big emergencies.


Natalie Krebs/IPR file photo

A Polk County judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a law that would allow organizations using public insurance dollars – like Medicaid – to opt out of covering gender-affirming surgery.

Natalie Krebs/IPR

As of this month, Iowa has a new children’s mental health system. Lawmakers have set up a system much like the adult’s mental health system to ensure there are much-needed core services for uninsured children across Iowa. But the legislation the governor signed in May came without long-term state funding and now that it’s officially in place -- one major question still looms: Who’s going to pay for it?

iowa capitol
John Pemble/IPR

The state of Iowa has agreed to pay an additional $386 million in state and federal dollars to the two private insurance companies that manage the state’s Medicaid program for low-income and disabled residents.

Courtesy of The National Institute on Drug Abuse

Last year, opioid-related deaths in Iowa decreased by 33 percent, marking a five year low for the state, according to statistics released this month from the state's Department of Health Statistics.

Courtesy of UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health, one of the state's largest healthcare systems, has announced it is pursuing a merger with South Dakota-based Sanford Health. 

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