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Here's how the latest COVID-19 surge is impacting education, rural healthcare and press access in Iowa

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

COVID-19 is surging again across the country. On this edition of River to River, key perspectives from Iowa’s pandemic front.

Lisa Remy, superintendent of West Des Moines Public Schools, joins Ben Kieffer to discuss her district's challenges in managing the response to the pandemic. Then, Mike Johnston, CEO of the Decatur County Hospital, discusses the likely impact of yesterday’s SCOTUS decision allowing vaccine mandates at health care facilities.

Later, sophomore Joie Stoefen discusses Drake University’s decision to start their spring semester online and Kathie Obradovich of the Iowa Capital Dispatch talks about press access at the Statehouse and the first week of the new legislative session.

Mark Simmet of IPR's Studio One Tracks concludes the show by grooving listeners into the weekend.


  • Lisa Remy, superintendent, West Des Moines Community Schools and incoming executive director of the School Administrators of Iowa
  • Mike Johnston, chief executive officer at the Decatur County Hospital
  • Kathie Obradovich, editor in chief at the Iowa Capital Dispatch and vice president of the Iowa Capitol Press Association
  • Joie Stoefen, sophomore and secondary education major at Drake University
  • Mark Simmet, IPR Studio One Tracks host
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River