Around the nation: Home health workers win $15 minimum wage in Massachusetts

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Massachusetts: A local chapter of the SEIU has reached an agreement with Gov. Charlie Baker (R) to incrementally increase wages for 35,000 state-employed home health care workers until wages reach $15 an hour in July 2018. Massachusetts will become the first state to give home health care workers a starting wage of $15 per hour statewide, which could put pressure on other states to increase wages for such workers, the union said in a statement (Bartlett, Boston Business Journal, 6/26).

  • Mississippi: A group of ghost hunters say they discovered a body in an abandoned hospital in Vicksburg, Mississippi, which has prompted an investigation by local authorities. Kuhn Memorial State Hospital has been vacant since 1989 and is frequented by ghost hunters who believe it is haunted. Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong says the body appears to be that of a woman in her late 60s who suffered head trauma. While the body has not been identified, authorities say it matches the description of a 69-year-old woman recently abducted from her home during a robbery. Two men are being held in connection with her death ("Crimesider," AP/CBS News, 6/29; Barry, The Vicksburg Post, 6/29).

  • New York: Two donors have given Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai a $5 million donation to create a center for wellness and precision medicine. The Harris Center for Precision Wellness will aim to develop novel population health management strategies via big data analytics, genomics, remote monitoring, and other IT initiatives. The center is "the first-of-its-kind at a major U.S. academic medical institution," according to a release (Bresnick, Health IT Analytics, 6/26; Mount Sinai release, 6/25).

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