Woes of nursing homes • Online genetic exome browser • Day of action for home helpers



CARE HOMES ARE WAITING FOR ANOTHER PANDEMIC-INDUCED CHANGE: Many nursing home operators are struggling to stay afloat in the face of high vacancy rates, rising costs, staff shortages and the threat of coronavirus lawsuits. The financial toll threatens to sink some companies, push others out of the elderly care sector and pave the way for systems with deeper pockets to attract struggling rivals.

While vaccines and infection control measures have recently helped prevent the type of outbreaks that marked the darkest days of the lockdown era, healthcare providers are now grappling with a new variant. COVID more contagious. Add to that the lingering fear of contagion among families weighing the pros and cons of caring for elderly loved ones at home versus in a facility, and it’s no wonder nursing homes are reporting that ‘they are on life support.

According to a recent survey of 738 facilities by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, only a quarter of nursing homes and assisted living communities nationwide are confident they will last a year or more. . READ MORE.

NORTHWESTERN OPENS MOKENA INSTALLATION: Northwestern Medicine continues to expand into the southern suburbs after introducing Palos Health earlier this year. The system opened a three-story, 48,000 square foot medical practice in Mokena in mid-June.

“The opening of the new Mokena site is an important step in our expansion into the southwestern suburbs,” said Dr. Howard Chrisman, senior vice president of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, in a statement.

The outpatient site will expand access to Northwestern Medicine in the southern suburbs. The facility will offer specialized services, including gynecology, with plans to add orthopedics and obstetrics, x-rays, CT scans and a point-of-care lab, the statement said.

Palos Health joined Northwestern Medicine on January 1, 2021. Palos Medical Group, which includes more than 60 physicians, 32 providers and 100 staff, will join Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group on September 1.

ABBVIE, BIOGEN AND PFIZER START THE GENETIC EXOME BROWSER: AbbVie, Biogen and Pfizer have launched the world’s largest searchable resource linking genetic variants encoding rare proteins to human health and disease. The browser is operated by the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard and provides access to analysis results of the exome sequencing dataset of 300,000 UK Biobank research participants, the companies said in a statement. This genetic data has been combined with detailed health information to create this searchable resource, according to the release. The browser can be accessed at https://genebass.org.

THE U of I LAUNCHES A CERTIFICATE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN MEDICINE: The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has created a new Certificate in AI in Medicine program, a self-paced, online program for healthcare professionals.

The interdisciplinary partnership brings together the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Grainger College of Engineering, Carle Illinois College of Medicine and University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. The program provides a conceptual understanding of AI and its applications through real medical case studies using machine learning models, the university said in a statement.

The AI ​​in Medicine program is divided into six modules and taught by Dr. Kevin R. Teal, a staff neurosurgeon at the Carle Foundation Hospital.

EXPLORER LIVE EXTENDS TO ROBOTIC SURGERY: Chicago-based digital medical device platform company Explorer Surgical said it had moved into robotic surgery.

Medical robotics companies can use the company’s digital platform, Explorer Live, which provides a procedures manual, video capabilities, and data collection to provide support and insight into workflow and performance, the company said.

“Our goal is simple, but essential: To find a better way to provide medical device companies with actionable information about the surgery black box,” Jennifer Fried, CEO and co-founder of Explorer Surgical, said in a statement. . “For example, there is a perception in surgery that the surgeon is the key to successful results, but we know this minimizes the role of nurses, cleaning technicians, representatives and others who can greatly contribute to the flow. work and efficiency. “

TOMORROW’S DAY OF ACTION FOR HOME CARE WORKERS: A national group of home care workers, led by the Service Employees International Union, is planning events in Washington, DC and across the country on July 13 to advocate for better funding for home care. The national day of action includes plans for healthcare workers to assemble at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at Federal Plaza in Chicago.

The groups will call on the White House and Congress to invest in the nation’s care economy for racial and gender justice through “good union, paid jobs and a down payment to expand access across the health care system, ”SEIU said in a statement. . The effort will underscore the urgency of prioritizing an industry led by women of color in recovery plans for the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“The day of action comes as Congress prepares to make important decisions on whether and how to invest in care, marking a crescendo of recent activity in support of President Biden’s plan to invest $ 400 billion in the national home care workforce, ”the statement said.

“Our lives depend on each other – we can’t really thrive when structural racism, sexism and ableism hold us back. People with disabilities know their lives are on the line when the supports they need to live in the community disappear, and home care workers, who are predominantly black and brown women, receive pittance for their essential work. Amber Smock, director of advocacy for Chicago-based disability rights organization Access Living, said in the statement. “Our current support system is not sustainable. Both people with disabilities and workers who provide direct supports need a real, long-term investment in expanding and stabilizing our home and community care infrastructure.

IMMUNIZATION SAVED NEARLY 280,000 IN UNITED STATES, STUDY SAYS: A Commonwealth Fund study estimates that the deployment of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine has saved an estimated 279,000 lives and kept an additional 1.25 million Americans out of hospital. Some 600,000 deaths in the United States attributed to COVID-19. But the Commonwealth Fund report says efforts that have so far resulted in 67% of adults in the United States receiving at least one dose have had a dramatic effect on death rates and hospitalizations. If the US effort had only reached half that rate of vaccination, the country would have added to its tally nearly 121,000 additional deaths and 450,000 hospitalizations, according to the report.

ABBOTT LAWS OFF WORKERS IN THE MAINE: With demand for COVID-19 testing declining, Abbott Laboratories is laying off about 400 workers in two Maine communities, according to a report from Portland, the Maine-area WMTW television station. “We have recently seen a large and rapid decline in demand for COVID-19 testing and we expect this trend to continue,” Abbott told the local TV station in a statement. “For this reason, we are downsizing our staff who are producing rapid tests in Westbrook and Scarborough. These sites will continue to play an important role in manufacturing tests for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases around the world. We are grateful for the contributions our workers from Maine came to our country during the pandemic. “

ICYMI: CHICAGO REGION HPITAL DEMANDING WORKERS TO BE VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19: Loyola Medicine has announced a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all employees and contractors. The requirement applies to the more than 9,500 staff and 500 community physicians affiliated with Maywood’s network of three hospitals.

Other major Chicago-area hospital systems, including Advocate Aurora Health and Amita Health, do not currently require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, although they strongly encourage vaccination. At the start of the vaccine rollout, some local hospitals said they likely won’t impose COVID-19 vaccines the way they do until they are approved by the FDA, rather than cleared under the rules. emergency use, as currently COVID vaccines are. .

“We plan to decide in the near future whether we should continue this approach of ‘strongly encouraging employee vaccination’ or requiring our employees to be vaccinated,” the University of Chicago Medical Center said in a statement sent by email.

Northwestern Medicine spokesperson Chris King said in an email that the healthcare system continues to “provide information and learning opportunities to educate any employee who may have questions or concerns” on the vaccination. READ MORE.


The Chicago-based American Nutrition Association announced a new leadership structure and new board members.

The ANA has streamlined its leadership structure, with an ANA board governing the organization and the science advisory board managing the science mission of the ANA, the association said in a statement. A newly created Strategic Advisory Board will provide advice from stakeholders focused on nutrition,

The Nutrition Specialist Certification Board and the Nutrition Professional Education Accreditation Board continue to be governed by their boards of directors.

The ANA Board of Directors consists of the President Jeffrey Blumberg, board members Deanna Minich, Stacie Stephenson, Dr Robert Beardall, Rajesh Grover and Dana Reed and new board members Joye Blount and James Lintott.

Joining the ANA Scientific Advisory Board are Dr Derrick MacFabe, Dr Melania Manco, Dr David Perlmutter, Dr Ananda Prasad and Dr Stephen Sinatra.

The first members of the new ANA Strategic Advisory Board are Tom Aarts, Aaron Bartz, Tom Blue and Scott Sensenbrenner.


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