Home News Thursday Afternoon News, April 13th

Thursday Afternoon News, April 13th


Floyd Valley Healthcare Ranks Among Top 20 Hospitals

(Le Mars) — For a second consecutive year, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has named Floyd Valley Healthcare of Le Mars as a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital (CAH). These highest ranking hospitals were selected from Top 100 CAH list released by iVantage Health Analytics earlier this year.
Nationally, there are 1332 critical access hospitals. FVH will be honored at an awards ceremony during the National Rural Health Association’s Critical Access Hospital Conference in September in Kansas City, Mo.
Mike Donlin is the administrator for Floyd Valley, and comments on the national recognition.

Mike Donlin

The Top 20 Critical Access Hospital “winners” are those hospitals who have achieved success in the overall performance based on a composite rating from eight indices. Donlin explains the criteria and standards that are used to determine the top hospitals.

Floyd Valley Healthcare North Addition
Those hospitals that have been recognized as Top 20 Critical Access Hospital “best practice recipients” have achieved success one of two key areas of performance:

Quality index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across the five categories of Hospital Compare Process of Care measures.

Patient perspective index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank on two Hospital Compare HCAHPS measures (“Overall Rating” and “Highly Recommend)”.

Donlin says the Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, Iowa and the Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah, Iowa were also ranked as a top 20 hospital.  Iowa Hospitals located at Audubon, Atlantic, Boone, Cherokee, Estherville, Missouri Valley, Orange City, and Sac City all finished among the nation’s top 100 Critical Access Hospitals.


Akron About To Find Itself Without Doctors

AKRON, Iowa (AP) – The impending loss of three longtime doctors has upset many of their patients in the small community of Akron.
Some local residents have started a petition drive aimed at keeping Dr. Cynthia Wolf and her husband, Dr. David Wolff, and Dr. Allison Schoenfelder, practicing at Akron Mercy Medical Clinic.
The doctors have told Mercy officials that they won’t be renewing contracts that expire June 30. They have declined to comment publicly about their intentions.
A community corporation owns the clinic, which is leased by Sioux City- based Mercy Medical Center. Mercy Medical Center spokesman Dave Smetter says Mercy “will continue operation of the Akron clinic with qualified physicians going forward.”


Local Legislators Comment On The Expansion Of Medical Marijuana Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Senate Republicans are showing support for legislation that would expand a state medical marijuana oil program, but it appears to lack support in the House.
The Senate Appropriations subcommittee approved the bill on Wednesday.  State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson explains what health related diseases the expanded medical marijuana bill will cover.

Bill Anderson, state senate

Iowa’s existing medical marijuana program, which allows use of cannabis oil for some people with epilepsy. Although the bill expands the use of medical marijuana, it still bans the recreational use of smoking marijuana.

Republican State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull says he has had a change of opinion regarding medical marijuana.


The Department of Public Health says lawmakers would need to allocate money to start the program.
If approved by other committees, senators say the bill could be eligible for debate next week by the full Senate. Both Anderson and Feenstra believes the bill will pass the Iowa Senate Chamber.
However, House Speaker Linda Upmeyer says the bill would need to be more limited to pass in the House.

Sioux City Man Charged With Child Endangerment Causing Injury

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A 42-year-old Sioux City man has been accused of using a belt on his daughter after she refused to do laundry.
Court records say Ricardo Cordova-Larios is charged with child endangerment causing injury. He was arrested Sunday. Jail records show he remained in custody Wednesday.
Court documents say bruises on the 14-year-old girl’s back, neck and upper torso matched the outline of a belt.


Legislature Passes Voter ID Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Legislature has passed a bill that will require identification at the polls and reduce the number of early voting days.
The Senate approved the bill 28-21 Thursday. The House approved it earlier this month. It now heads to Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who has indicated he supports requiring ID to vote.
The legislation would require people to show acceptable identification at the polls beginning in 2019. The state must provide identification to people who need it.
Another provision will reduce early voting before a general election from 40 days to 29 days. It also eliminates a straight party voting option.
Republicans say the measure will maintain voter integrity, though there’s no evidence of widespread fraudulent voting in Iowa. Democrats say the legislation will suppress voter turnout and is unnecessary amid budget constraints.


Lawmakers Consider Abandoning Energy Research Tax

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Republican lawmakers are considering whether to eliminate a tax on utilities that has long funded energy and environmental research centers at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa.
A draft plan circulated Thursday proposes ending in 2022 an assessment on utilities that raises about $5 million annually for the Iowa Energy Center at ISU and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at Iowa.
Lawmakers enacted the tax on the revenues of gas and electric utilities in 1990. Eighty-five percent of the assessment goes to the Iowa Energy Center, which promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The Iowa Energy Center would be transferred from ISU to the Iowa Economic Development Authority and given a far more industry-friendly mission. About a dozen university employees would be laid off.
Democratic Sen. Bill Dotzler says he worries the centers will go away once their funding stream ends.


Governor Branstad Signs Gun-Rights Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law that includes a stand-your-ground provision.
Branstad signed the legislation Thursday. Portions of the bill go into effect immediately though most will be enforced starting July 1.
Democrats and gun safety advocates expressed concern over the stand-your-ground provision, which will allow people to use deadly force anywhere if they felt a risk to their life or safety. They say it will lead to racial tensions and increase gun violence.
Republicans say the bill will expand Second Amendment rights in the state.
The bill will also allow a person with a weapons permit to bring a
concealed handgun into the state Capitol. Minors under 14 will be able to use handguns with parental or guardian supervision.

Branstad signs gun bill

Photo contributed by Governor’s office.