A seven-state news investigation revealed plenty of problems facing rural patients but also a variety of creative attempts to solve them. The head of the National Rural Health Association puts it this way: “Everyone realizes we’re at a crisis point.”
ByChelsea Keenan, IowaWatch; Sara Konrad Baranowski, Iowa Falls Times Citizen; Natalie Krebs, Iowa Public Radio; Mark Mahoney, N’west Iowa REVIEW and Michaela Ramm, The Gazette |
Hospital leaders say a policy fix is needed to ensure the future of rural hospitals in Iowa and across the country that are succumbing to financial pressures and closing their doors. Until that fix comes, though, Iowa’s network of rural community hospitals is making tough choices and smart partnerships to get by, a series of interviews by Iowa news organizations collaborating with IowaWatch revealed. Some have dropped OB-GYN services. Smaller hospitals have turned to larger ones to form partnerships, which can
result in the elimination of services to be more cost-efficient but forces
patients to drive out of town for health care. Other efforts to maintain local
hospital care include shifting to more outpatient care, the interviews show.
BySarah Whites-Koditschek/Wisconsin Public Radio |
As solar energy has become more popular and cost-effective, this once fringe renewable source is now at the center of an energy turf war in Wisconsin. At issue is a project in which an Iowa-based renewables company wants to partner with the city of Milwaukee to power seven municipal buildings with solar. Eagle Point Solar would help to finance the city’s project, taking advantage of federal tax breaks that local governments do not qualify for. Eagle Point, based in Dubuque, Iowa, is suing the public utility, We Energies, for refusing to connect a series of solar arrays to each other. We Energies says it is simply following the law.
ByDee Hall and Riley Vetterkind/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism |
Immigration as a top line issue for dairy farmers would have been unthinkable just a generation ago when Wisconsin’s agricultural landscape was dominated by small and medium-sized dairy farms run by the families that owned them. Now, the nation’s No. 2 milk producing state is home to a growing number of large concentrated animal feeding operations.
ByRachael Lallensack/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism |
When it comes to pesticides — including insecticides, herbicides and fungicides — in Wisconsin’s drinking water, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism found several health concerns in this investigation.