A federal judge in Georgia temporarily blocked the Biden administration's Covid-19 vaccine mandate for all federal contractors in the United States, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Georgia, Maryland, and Washington.
- Georgia: U.S. District Judge R. Stan Baker on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Biden administration's Covid-19 vaccine mandate that required all federal contractors to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Jan. 18. According to Baker, the challenge to the mandate will likely be upheld by the claim that Biden overstepped his authority with the requirement. "The Court acknowledges the tragic toll that the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought throughout the nation and the globe," Baker wrote. "However, even in times of crisis this Court must preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the bounds of their constitutionally granted authorities." (Kruzel, The Hill, 12/7)
- Maryland: The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) on Monday announced a $5.1 million recruiting initiative to help draw in more nurses and bedside staff as health care workers continue to face increased pressure amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The UMMS Community College Tuition Assistance Inventive Program started in December and will target recent graduates of two-year state schools. "In the spirit of community, we have enhanced our partnerships with community colleges whose health professions programs are an excellent workforce resource, including schools across Maryland and with Delaware Technical Community College," said Lisa Rowen, a registered nurse and UMMS SVP and chief nurse executive. (Christ, Modern Healthcare, 12/6)
- Washington: University of Washington researchers within a month hope to begin a new clinical trial to determine if psilocybin—in combination with psychotherapy—can help ease the mental health burden placed on clinicians during the Covid-19 pandemic. "Psychedelics kind of give your brain a kind of reset. So that the patterns of thinking, the ruminative cycle that goes round and round in your head, psychedelics disrupt that and give people a chance to kind of see what it's like without that," said Anthony Back, co-director of the university's Center for Excellence in Palliative Care, who will be leading the trial. According to Back, people can use the insights gained during these experiences and ask, "how am I going to move into the future?" (Schubert, Geek Wire, 12/4)