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Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News

Officials worry over rise in unvaccinated children
Iowa health officials are concerned about an increase in the number of parents who are opting not to vaccinate their children. Parents received vaccination exemptions in the 2012-13 school year for nearly 8,000 children, which is more than triple the number from 12 years ago, The Des Moines Register reported. While the figure represents less than 2 percent of all Iowa children, health leaders say they are worried about the rise in unvaccinated children. (Associated Press/Clinton Herald)

New anti-tobacco ads aim to shame celebrities who smoke
Iowa’s attorney general is touting the power of a new anti-smoking tactic: celebrity-shaming. While young people around the world were watching MTV’s Video Music Awards show Sunday night, they got an eyeful of entertainers with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. The less-than-glamorous images flashed by in a new anti-tobacco ad that premiered Sunday and will be airing nationally. (Des Moines Register)

UIHC preparing for Ebola — just in case
Health care workers in Iowa City and throughout the state are preparing for possible treatment of Ebola patients, though the chances of a local outbreak are remote, an Iowa health department director said Monday. The planning comes as an estimated 2,615 cases of the disease exist in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization reported Friday. Of those cases, 1,427 were fatal. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Report shows Iowa’s not making the grade to reduce cancer
The American Cancer Society’s annual report card says Iowa’s getting bad grades in some areas. In fact, Iowa only met three of the report’s 12 benchmarks for fighting cancer. The report brought up a big concern when it comes to both tobacco prevention and breast and cervical cancer detection. Danielle Oswald with the American Cancer Society says currently prevention and cessation programs are only funded at $5.1 million, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends those programs to be funded at $30.1 million. That’s 17 percent of the recommended level. (KCRG)

National News

Probe: No proof VA delays caused Phoenix vets to die
The Veterans Affairs Department says investigators have found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at a VA hospital in Phoenix, deflating an explosive allegation that helped expose a troubled health care system in which veterans waited months for appointments while employees falsified records to cover up the delays. The VA’s Office of Inspector General has been investigating the delays for months and shared a draft report of its findings with VA officials. (Associated Press/National Public Radio)

Technology adviser expected to leave White House post
Todd Park, President Obama’s top technology adviser and an important figure in the emergency effort last year to fix the federal government’s online health care marketplace after a disastrous beginning, is leaving the White House, a person familiar with the matter said Monday. Mr. Park, 41, who was only the second federal official to hold the title of chief technology officer, will return to Silicon Valley at the end of the month and continue to help the White House recruit engineers, this person said. (New York Times)

CEOs love talking about culture; here’s why they shouldn’t
So I’m a CEO of an institution that’s struggling. We aren’t making our numbers, morale is low and there are service or product errors. I seek out the help of other CEOs. They tell me I must improve the culture. That doesn’t really help me. “Everybody says it’s the culture, but what is the culture?” asks John Kenagy, MD, founder of Kenagy & Associates and a former practicing physician who has studied change management for more than two decades. “Culture is such a meaningless term; it really dodges the issue. Nobody’s talking about what it is.” (Becker’s Hospital Review)

It helps to have a hospital room with a view
Hospitals are, by their nature, scary and depressing places. But they don’t have to be ugly as well — and there’s ample evidence that aesthetics matter to patient health. When the University Medical Center of Princeton tested a mock-up room with nice views, a sofa for guests and no roommates, it found that patients asked for 30 percent less pain medication, reports the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. This result shouldn’t be surprising. (Bloomberg/Chicago Tribune)

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