Rest in peace, Mary Maloney

Democrats all over Iowa were saddened by the news that Polk County Treasurer Mary Maloney died unexpectedly on January 29. Many who offered their condolences on social media described Maloney as a true public servant. Her work since 1989 to modernize the treasurer’s office and keep it running smoothly was highly regarded. She was often the highest vote-getter in Iowa’s largest county when she was on the ballot, even outperforming other Polk County officials who ran for re-election unopposed.

Many personal friends and colleagues remarked on how kind and caring Maloney was. I’ve enclosed some remembrances below. Although I didn’t know Maloney well, her kindness came through in all of my interactions with her over the years.

The Bleeding Heartland community sends healing thoughts to all of Mary Maloney’s loved ones, especially her husband and four children.

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Broadlawns board should respect voters, appoint Dave Miglin

Tony Leys had the scoop for the Des Moines Register: having lost his re-election bid for the Broadlawns Medical Center Board of Trustees, Bill Taber is hoping to remain on the seven-member board through an appointment.

Though it may be tempting to pull strings for a colleague they’ve worked with for years, board members of Polk County’s public hospital should respect the will of the voters and name Dave Miglin to fill the vacancy.

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Broadlawns board endorsement: Bill Taber and Kavi Chawla

Dr. Mary Krieg and Janet Metcalf co-authored this endorsement of their colleagues on the Broadlawns Board of Trustees, Bill Taber and Kavi Chawla. -promoted by Laura Belin

Since 1924, Broadlawns Medical Center has served as the safety net hospital for Polk County by ensuring that high quality healthcare is affordable and accessible to everyone. Broadlawns is governed by a seven-member, nonpartisan board of trustees. Each of the seven trustees are elected to serve six-year terms. The board is comprised of unpaid, elected officials who take a sworn oath to govern in the best interest of the hospital, its patients and its employees.The trustees are charged with the responsibility of fulfilling the hospital’s mission to build a healthy community through the delivery of accessible, cost effective and high-quality patient care, and demonstrating fiscal stewardship to safeguard the long-term sustainability of the organization.

As current trustees for Broadlawns, we take the responsibilities of governance very seriously and our sole motivation is to ensure that our county hospital is positioned to capably attend to the healthcare needs of the community, both now and in the future. We are dedicated public servants who recognize that the health of our community is of paramount importance to the overall stability of Polk County. In 2016, the board adopted a new vision for Broadlawns to be the best public hospital in the United States, and the board and leadership are committed to achieving this distinction.

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Broadlawns board endorsement: Emily Webb and Dave Miglin

Broadlawns Medical Center is the public hospital in Polk County. -promoted by Laura Belin

For nearly 100 years, Broadlawns Medical Center has provided a safety net to the most vulnerable populations in Polk County. If we have learned anything from the coronavirus pandemic, it is the reality that the inability of everyone to access affordable and quality healthcare puts the entire community at risk.

Thankfully, with the implementation of the Iowa Care Program in 2005, the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and the expansion of Medicaid in 2014, Broadlawns is positioned to meet our county’s health care needs.

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How Polk County's COVID-19 map skews perception of virus spread

DougJ, a data nerd who works with statistics and graphics all day long, offers a lesson in “Data Presentation 101.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Let’s play “Fun with Gradient Scaling” on maps. I’m not a cartographer, but I do work with data and how it’s presented.

Here are three maps with different gradient levels. All of the graphs represent the same data, the 14-day average of positive COVID-19 tests in Polk County (containing most of the Des Moines metro area).

Many have questioned the accuracy of official positivity rates for Iowa counties, but I want to focus on how playing with the gradient can skew the perception of the data.

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