# Health



Why I am running for the Broadlawns Board of Trustees

Wayne Ford represented part of Des Moines in the Iowa House and is the founder of the nonprofit organization Urban Dreams.

I am running for one of the open board seats on the Broadlawns Medical Center Board of Trustees. I have been involved with Broadlawns and the neighboring community for the past 50 years and am uniquely qualified to address the challenges that our community is currently facing: an influx of refugees, a rise in violence, limited access to proper healthcare, and lingering concerns from the pandemic. 

These factors compel me to pursue a position on the Broadlawns board so that I can be part of the solution and address these challenges.

Continue Reading...

For Broadlawns board: Kacey Davis, Shaimaa Aly, Marc Ward

Broadlawns Trustees Dave Miglin and Emily Webb co-authored this endorsement.

Elections are about the future: identifying issues that still need to be addressed and deciding who or what is the best path forward. While there are several high-profile issues and races on the ballot this November, one of the most important decisions Polk County voters will have is determining who should fill three open seats on the seven-member Board of Trustees at Broadlawns Medical Center.

Whether you are a patient of Broadlawns, a Polk County taxpayer, or simply an interested voter, the people who sit on the Board of Trustee of Polk County’s only public hospital should matter to you.

That is why we are encouraging you to vote for Kathleen Kacey Davis, Shaimaa Aly, and Marc Ward for Broadlawns Trustee (labeled on the back side of the ballot as County Hospital Trustee).

Continue Reading...

Resources for Iowans concerned about monkeypox

The state of Iowa has opened a call line to answer questions about monkeypox, and continues to limit vaccinations to groups most at risk of contracting the virus.

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (the recently merged Department of Human Services and Department of Public Health) has a call line (515-725-2081) open during regular business hours, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Questions related to monkeypox can also be emailed to the department: monkeypoxvaccine@idph.iowa.gov.

As of August 17, Iowa had fifteen confirmed monkeypox cases, eight of them in the central region that includes Polk County. According to HHS public information officer Sarah Ekstrand, all known Iowa cases involved adults; “At this time, the risk of monkeypox to children and adolescents in the United States is low.”

Continue Reading...

Nitrate water levels threaten health

Tom Walton is an Iowa attorney and was a Democratic primary candidate in Iowa House district 28.

In early June, the Des Moines Water Works turned on its nitrate removal facility for the first time in five years. It had to do so because of increasing nitrate levels in in the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. Extra treatment is required to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Standards. For nitrate, that level is 10 milligrams of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) per liter of water. Des Moines Water Works provides drinking water to roughly 600,000 central Iowans.

This has been an ongoing battle. In 2013, nitrogen levels at the testing equipment near Van Meter upstream from on the Raccoon River from Des Moines were a record 24 mg/L—more than double the EPA safe level. On June 2 of this year, that station measured a median of 20.4 mg/L.

However, a growing body of scientific research indicates that long-term ingestion of water from public water sources with nitrogen levels below the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) have been associated with a higher risk of some forms of cancer and other adverse health effects, although more study is needed to support more conclusive results.

Continue Reading...

Midwifery licensure would improve maternal health, infant outcomes

Bethany Gates is a Certified Professional Midwife from Vinton (Benton County), where she lives with her husband, Judah, and their 4 daughters.

Certified Professional Midwives are midwives who practice in an out-of-hospital setting. Iowa CPMs attend home births; in other states, CPMs attend home births and births in birth centers. 

Here in Iowa, CPMs are unregulated, and the Iowa Code does not have any section addressing their practice. While this may sound like freedom in theory, the reality is that midwives face many challenges as they strive to provide quality care, because Iowa does not license the profession.

Continue Reading...

COVID-19 divisions undermine support for other vaccinations

Governor Kim Reynolds and top Republican lawmakers have repeatedly bragged about protecting Iowans’ freedom not to get vaccinated for COVID-19, saying that getting a shot should be a matter of personal choice and not government mandate.

Now the latest Iowa Poll by Selzer & Co indicates that support for other required childhood vaccinations has dropped sharply since the last time Iowans were surveyed on the issue.

Republican respondents in particular are now less likely to support mandatory vaccinations against diseases like polio and the measles—a finding that suggests the misinformation campaign some have waged against COVID-19 vaccines has affected how many conservatives view all immunizations. When Selzer asked Iowans a similar question in 2015, there was no significant difference in views based on political affiliation.

Continue Reading...
View More...