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In response to questions about swine flu and the constant media attention, IHA has prepared a number of credible resources.

Information for clinicians and the public on swine flu:

  • Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Updates and Alerts
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) information and updates
  • World Health Organization info on global response
  • Google Swine Flu map tracker
  • Guidance for Clinicians & Public Health Professionals

For additional information about swine flu:

A toll-free swine flu hotline has been established and can be reached at 1-800-447-1985.

Questions can also be directed to the Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology at 1 (800) 362-2736, or the Iowa Department of Public Health.

IHA will post additional information as it becomes available.

This information is also available on the IHA website: swine flu

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Iowa Hospital Leaders Discuss Impact of the Economic Downturn

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IHA released its latest economic impact report in January 2009, providing statistics on the number of jobs generated by community hospitals and the amount of money added to the state’s economy.

Despite the increasingly important role hospitals play in Iowa communities, they are just as susceptible to feeling the impact of a downturn in the economy. Comparing hospital data from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the same period in 2007 shows declines in virtually all service areas.

Thanks to the American Hospital Association, now you can hear specifically from leaders in Iowa hospitals about how they are dealing with these economic challenges. AHA spoke with several Iowa hospital executives at the AHA annual meeting this week and provided video clips on YouTube.

Carmela Brown, Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines

Todd Linden, Grinnell Regional Medical Center in Grinnell

Mike Myers, Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon

David Schwartz, Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon

Veronica Fuhs, Lucas County Health Center in Chariton

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The spring conference event for the Iowa Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations begins this afternoon, overflowing with marketing expertise from five outstanding experts in their field.

The Hilton Garden Inn in Johnston, IA is hosting the ISHMPR Spring Conference today and tomorrow.


Monday, April 27

11:00 am to 12:45 pm - Registration

11:45 am to 12:45 pm - Lunch

12:45 pm to 4:45 pm - Program

Tuesday, April 28

7:30 am to 8:00 am - Continental Breakfast

7:30 am - ISHMPR Business Meeting

8:00 am to 12:15 pm - Program

This year’s ISHMPR conference is holding the line on cost; the registration fee is the same as 2008 and still includes lunch and breakfast. Participants will also be afforded time to share bright ideas and engage in roundtable discussions on current marketing and public relations issues and strategies.

For more information on ISHMPR, see the affiliate group information on IHA’s website.

Participate Using Twitter

If you aren’t able to attend the event, you can follow attendee notes from the conference using the microblogging service, Twitter.

Follow the Iowa Hospital Association on Twitter to see our notes or watch all updates that include the #ishmpr hashtag. Tagging updates posted to Twitter with this hashtag makes it easy for attendees and onlookers to see information related to the event.

You don’t need a Twitter account to watch or read the updates, but if you sign up for an account, you can also respond with your own input or questions. Send a message to @iowahospital and we’ll try to get your questions answered.

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If you’re someone who has heard about a social networking tool called Twitter but have no idea what it is, today is your chance to learn. Over 150 hospitals are currently using Twitter as an additional channel in their communication strategy, plus you’ll find state hospital associations (we are @iowahospital), doctors and other health care professionals using it on a daily basis to share information.

Tweetcamp II

Lee Aase, Manager of Syndication and Social Media for Mayo Clinic, will be hosting a free, hour-long training session today, Thursday, April 23, at 3pm CST.

This session, Tweetcamp II, is the second iteration of this course, based on the immense success of the first Tweetcamp training hosted last week.

Tweetcamp II will cover some of the same material as Tweetcamp I, but will have expanded examples of practical applications and case studies, particularly related to health care.

This course was primarily drawn up for Mayo Clinic employees, but will also be available via live webcast due to the number of interested participants. ABC’s Good Morning America ran a video story after the first training titled, “Why Doctors are Tweeting During Surgery,” which also profiles Twitter’s use in hospitals across the U.S.

How to Attend Today’s Training

  1. Leave a comment on the original Tweetcamp II post with your name and organizational affiliation. Your email address will not be published, but is simply needed to verify your submission.
  2. Follow Lee’s “3 Steps to Preparing for Tweetcamp II“:
    • Sign up for a Twitter account. If you need assistance, go through Twitter 102: Creating an Account.
    • Log into the #tweetcamp2 “room” in TweetChat using your Twitter username. Post a message announcing your plans to attend Tweetcamp II and include the following link:
    • Watch the Mayo Clinic Music Fun video on Sharing Mayo Clinic.
  3. Access the live webcast beginning at 2:55 pm CST to follow along with Lee’s presentation.

Following these steps will help you understand some of the power of Twitter. Tweetcamp II will give you even more hands-on experience, plus case studies for how it is already being used in health care.

Once the session is completed, don’t forget that you can follow the Iowa Hospital Association on Twitter as @iowahospital.

Update: the slides for today’s presentation are below.

Tweetcamp II - Twitter Bootcamp

View more presentations from Lee Aase.

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Ninth Recipient Awarded College Savings Iowa BABY 529 Giveaway

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A Creston baby, Ayden Claybaker, was awarded a $1,000 College Savings Iowa account by State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald in a special ceremony held at Greater Regional Medical Center last week. Ayden is the ninth recipient of the award, which is given out monthly. The parents of the baby, Misty and Christopher Claybaker, received information about the college savings giveaway program before leaving the hospital after their son’s birth.

The College Savings Iowa BABY 529 Giveaway awards one college savings account each month to a randomly selected baby. All babies born in participating Iowa hospitals are eligible to win if they are registered for the monthly drawing. Sixty-three hospitals currently participate in the program.

“New parents are busy, but it doesn’t take much time or money to start saving with College Savings Iowa. They can open an account in about ten minutes with just $25,” said Fitzgerald.

College Savings Iowa is a state-sponsored 529 plan designed to give families a tax-advantaged way to save money for college. Anyone - parents, grandparents, friends and relatives - can invest in College Savings Iowa on behalf of a child. Iowa taxpayers can deduct a portion of what they contribute to each account from their state taxable income and there are no income or residency restrictions.

View the full release from College Savings Iowa.

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