November 6, 2018

Around the nation: How Pennsylvania hospitals are helping patients vote—from their hospital beds

Daily Briefing

    The Penn Votes Project will allow patients to vote using emergency absentee ballots, today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

    • Michigan: Michigan Medicine's Department of Community Health Services has awarded over $7 million to 26 projects that will address health inequities in Washtenaw County. The projects target mental health, substance misuse, housing, poverty, and transportation (AP/Sacramento Bee, 11/03).

    • Pennsylvania: Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania have launched the "Penn Votes Project" to allow patients who can't travel to the polls to participate in the upcoming midterm elections from their hospital beds. To vote, the patients have to apply for an emergency absentee ballot that is signed by a physician. The application is notarized and taken to city hall for approval. Once the application is approved, the patient can fill out their midterm ballot from the hospital. "Every citizen of the United States has the right to vote and we think getting ill shouldn't impair that process," Judd Flesch, a pulmonary medicine program and leader of the program, said (AP/WTOP, 11/02).

    • Texas: Methodist Healthcare System is planning a $46 million expansion of its Northeast Methodist Hospital to address rising patient demand. The project, which follows a recent expansion of the hospital's ED, will add two floors and 60 new beds to the inpatient tower. Construction will begin early next year (Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal, 11/02).

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