MEDICAL RESEARCH HIT: The federal government’s deep budget problems that produced the sequestration austerity legislation that is still ongoing may not be noticed by all Americans, but it is hitting hard at some vital areas, including medical research at many universities. At the University of Iowa, for example, the sharp decrease in grants from the National Institutes of Health has slowed or shut down much research that potentially can save or improve lives, as well as reduced documented indirect benefits of case consultations that have saved billions of dollars in health care costs.
NURSES WANTED: Iowa, like most of the nation, is facing a shortage of nurses and other medical personnel. Our aging population here, combined with an expected increase in the number of residents who will have access to health care because of the Affordable Care Act, are tagged as the major factors. Currently, 42 percent of Iowa’s nurses are 50 or older. Our state’s hospitals and education institutions that train nurses face a big challenge in the next decade, made more difficult by another problem: Qualified faculty are also in short supply.