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WSJ column about Sonny Iovino, homeless veteran who died in Iowa City December 22, 2007

Posted by John in Human Services.
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From Wall Street Journal column, “Free to die in Iowa,” by Iowa City journalist Michael Judge: 

Well, after the death of Sonny Anthony Iovino, a 55-year-old, mentally ill Vietnam veteran who froze to death here last month under the Benton St. Bridge, I don’t think I’ll ever see “It’s a Wonderful Life” in quite the same way. There was no kindly angel to rescue this man, who suffered from chronic schizophrenia. He wasn’t standing on a bridge thinking of ending his life; he was huddled beneath one trying to stay alive.
His community, my community, didn’t come together to save him from ruin. Instead it refused him shelter, refused him even the most basic of medical care when he needed it most. …

After Iovino’s death, a spokesman for the VA Medical Center told the Cedar Rapids Gazette [LINK], “If somebody doesn’t want to be treated, you can’t treat them.” This is simply not the case. Given his debilitated state, the VA psychiatrist on duty could have forced Iovino to receive the treatment that might have saved his life. …

Iowa native and Clinton’s Iowa campaign director Teresa Vilmain featured in WSJ December 19, 2007

Posted by John in IowaCaucuses, Political.
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Here is a link to today’s Wall Street Journal article.

“If she’s working for you, it doesn’t mean you’re going to win. But regardless of the odds at the beginning, you’ll be in the game,” says former Gov. Tom Vilsack, who credits Ms. Vilmain for his 1998 and 2002 victories in gubernatorial elections. Mr. Vilsack enlisted her last year for his own short-lived presidential campaign. Soon after it ended, Sen. Clinton signed them both up. …

[S]he still keeps track of birthdays. Thursday was Mr. Vilsack’s. It also was one of the darkest days for the campaign: a top Clinton official in New Hampshire resigned after he was quoted questioning Mr. Obama’s electability given his acknowledged cocaine use as a young man. Even as Ms. Vilmain was privately fretting about the potential damage, she had a birthday cake and gifts of political books spirited aboard the Clintons’ plane for Mr. Vilsack.


WSJ notes St. Luke’s successful follow-up care; Unplanned readmission rates cut in half December 12, 2007

Posted by John in Business, Medicine.
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From today’s Wall Street Journal, page D1:

… St. Luke’s Hospital, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, institution that’s affiliated with the Iowa Health System, collaborated with IHI on a program called Ideal Transition Home for Patients with Heart Failure, working with local doctors and an affiliated home-care group to coordinate follow-up care. … the program helped the hospital cut unplanned-readmission rates in half, to 6%, as of last January.

David Dunn, a 69-year-old retired golf-course manager suffering from congestive heart failure, diabetes and kidney disease, was admitted to St. Luke’s earlier this year to have three stents placed in blocked arteries; with a history of repeated hospitalizations, he was signed up for the home transition program, which included follow-up visits by home-care nurses and special instructions to help his family monitor his condition. … [read full article here >>]



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