Top Stories

  • Lisa Skriver
    World of health records changing

    A graduate of One Iowa’s Leadership Institute is paving the way in making digital healthcare records more inclusive and sensitive to marginalized people, including those who are transgender.   Emily Brown, who works for UnityPoint Health in Des Moines, recently graduated from One Iowa’s Leadership Institute. She is researching how to change electronic health records to be more LGBTQ-friendly, impassioned by her own personal experience as a workforce planner and openly bisexual woman.   “We want to be inclusive for all patients— all are welcome,” she said. “We are holding hospitals accountable for providing high quality patient care, because lots of walks of life are treated in our facility.”   UnityPoint asked for Brown’s help to research electronic health records when an employee asked to be excused from providing care to transgender patients, citing religious beliefs.   “It was just very disheartening,” Brown said. “Transferring this person was not going to be a good option, and it was not an ethical option. While we do offer religious accommodations for certain reasons, this was not reasonable or possible.”   The scenario inspired Brown to educate healthcare providers and create better practices for truly inclusive patient care. She started by looking at technologies, policies, and employee practices.   No religious doctrines exist that would justify a healthcare provider refusing care for transgender patients, Brown discovered. The employee was requesting an extreme measure: a promise from the department that this employee would never +

  • Being black in ‘progressive’ Iowa City

    After living in the South most of my life, I decided to leave Texas back in 2012, decidedly headed to a mainly white state. When I visited Iowa City, I fell in love with the city-like feeling minus traffic hassles or long commutes or high crime rates. I called it “mini-Austin” and sought out things that non-black people would not: Cajun seasonings, places that serve grits, stores with black hair care products, black hair salons, or authentic Mexican restaurants. I +

  • “Goddess,” sword, old friend: spoken word

    Where does spoken word fit in with Black history?     The art of spoken word is like an old friend to Black people, people of color, and other marginalized communities. The two have depended on and grown with each other for decades, even centuries.      Since the beginning, Africa has had a strong commitment to the oral tradition. Many African countries and tribes didn’t have a written language, but still held on to their history and morals. The +

  • Sugar detox: a necessary struggle

    It’s pure.  It’s white.  It’s deadly.  No, I’m not talking about Iowa’s recent polar vortex — or cocaine. I’m talking about a product that has become a pervasive household good, stocked in nearly every kitchen in the US, causing obesity, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, acne, infertility and impotence.      I’m talking about sugar.     Most of us consume way too much sugar: 57 pounds of added sugar per year, according to the University of +

  • To cis white women: “Who, exactly, is ‘us?’ “

     “We know that our movement is empowered when all of us lift each other up,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said to the group gathered for the Des Moines Women’s March, inside the Iowa State Capitol.     In light of the burst of anti-trans activism among some leading lesbians, and the controversial racist rhetoric coming from some organizers of the Women’s March, my question for Gillibrand and other white, cisgender women is, “Who, exactly, is ‘us?’ “     Those damn +

  • Resist normalizing nasty

     The angry, curse-driven phrase jumped out during Howard Schultz’s announcement he was considering a run for president.     “You egotistical billionaire asshole,” shouted a man, chiding Schultz for possibly contributing to a future Trump victory.   I admit, it was a little satisfying. I’m as weary as anyone of the continuing parade of older, rich, white, straight, cis males who think we actually need more of their perspective in top tiers of leadership.   But the moment also crystallized +

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