MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center announced today it has received $945,590 in federal funding to expand its rural telehealth services in Central Iowa. The Federal Communication Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau awarded the funding as part of its COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which is aimed at assisting hospitals in extending remote care during the pandemic.   MercyOne plans to use […]

West Des Moines-based ITA Group Inc. announced it has partnered with environmental health testing company Eurofins USA, which is based in Des Moines, to offer health risk mitigation services for in-person corporate events throughout the United States.  The corporate events and engagement company sought out this partnership to allow its clients the ability to conduct […]

The leader of the Iowa State Education Association today criticized the state’s education and health officials for not offering more definitive guidance for school districts in developing their Return to Learn plans for safely restarting in-person classes in the fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  “What is really needed now is definitive leadership and guidance,” said […]

For many reasons, returning to the office will look different, feel different and will be communicated differently across many Central Iowa organizations in the coming weeks and months. Navigating the people-related and legal-oriented challenges surrounding the hidden hazards of what had once been the safest of work environments will require fresh thinking and flexibility from […]

The owners of several popular Central Iowa restaurants recently filed suit against their insurance companies, claiming that their business interruption insurance claims were wrongfully denied amid the ongoing state-mandated COVID-19 shutdown.   Gerleman Management Inc., whose restaurant businesses include Splash Seafood Bar & Grill and the Jethro’s barbecue restaurants, claims that its property and casualty insurer, […]

The Iowa Credit Union League Foundation has raised just over $688,000 from businesses and individuals for its statewide Emergency Relief Fund, the organization announced. Of that amount, the foundation has distributed an initial 1,000 direct-relief cash grants of $500 each to families or small business owners who are experiencing financial hardship. About 10% of the […]

Over the past several weeks, organizations of all sizes have dealt with unparalleled changes (and journalists have reached for their thesaurus to find new synonyms for “unprecedented”).  Standing in the breach of the turmoil are the chief people officers who are helping to steer their organizations through uncharted waters.  Four human resources experts that we gathered […]

On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it had issued an Emergency Use Authorization that allows for the emergency use by hospitals to modify anesthesia gas machines and other positive pressure breathing devices to use as ventilators. I emailed representatives of the Polk  County Health Department, Broadlawns Medical Center, UnityPoint Health and MercyOne […]

Big Green Umbrella Media Inc., the Johnston-based publisher of Cityview and Iowa Living magazines, announced today that those publications will “go dark” and suspend publishing for the next six weeks. In a message addressed to readers and advertisers, Big Green Umbrella President and Publisher Shane Goodman said the company currently faces “more questions than answers.”  […]

Foundation launches $500,000 relief grant fund for health nonprofits.  Delta Dental of Iowa and the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation today announced two relief programs to offer Iowa dentists and nonprofits financial assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.  Delta Dental of Iowa, whose network includes 94% of Iowa’s dentists, has allocated more than $10 million for […]

Clarification: Currently, no business continuity insurance policies provide coverage for business disruptions due to pandemics, said Greg LaMair, president and CEO of LMC Insurance & Risk Management. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that businesses could add pandemic coverage to their policies. Most Iowa companies will likely discover that their business continuity insurance […]

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced late Thursday that it will temporarily reimburse health care providers that provide services through telehealth — including mental health counselors — at the same rate as office visits. The Des Moines-based health insurance company has for a number of years been reimbursing providers for telehealth behavioral services at 75% […]

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines today announced it has activated a new Disaster Recovery Fund that will be used to support communities that are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 emergency.  The DRF was created in partnership with disaster response and philanthropic organizations in Greater Des Moines to develop a collective strategy for charitable […]

The Greater Des Moines Partnership released information late Friday afternoon on its response to the coronavirus emergency, including an updated list of events that will be either moved online, postponed or canceled. Among the largest events that will be canceled this month is the Des Moines Book Festival, which was scheduled March 28.  “While we’re […]