The American Heart Association announced that it will now accept donations through a variety of cryptocurrencies, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Tennessee and Texas.
- Tennessee: A change.org petition calling for clemency in former Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse RaDonda Vaught's criminal case had over 123,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning. Last week, Vaught was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult for a medication error that resulted in a patient's death in December 2017. Her sentencing is scheduled for May 13, and she faces up to eight years in prison. Notably, nurses around the nation have spoken out against Vaught's conviction, arguing that it sets a dangerous precedent. "We are deeply distressed by this verdict and the harmful ramifications of criminalizing the honest reporting of mistakes," the American Nurses Association and Tennessee Nurses Association said last week. However, the Nashville District Attorney's Office has maintained the conviction, arguing that it was not an indictment against the nursing community, but rather a response to Vaught's "gross neglect." (Bean, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/30)
- Texas: The American Heart Association (AHA) on Tuesday announced that it will now accept donations through a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. The organization noted that it sees the blockchain as a way to fund their mission while driving health care research. AHA said that cryptocurrency donations made through its Giving Block page up to $10 million will be matched. "In the past two years, the pandemic created a heightened sense of urgency and demand for real-time information exchange for research collaboration. Blockchain was a valuable resource we could leverage to assist," said Jennifer Hall, AHA's chief of data science. "Now, we're leveraging more blockchain solutions to further benefit the work of the association. Accepting cryptocurrency donations is the next step." (Gonzalez, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/30)
- Texas: Memorial Hermann Health on Wednesday announced that Toi Harris had been appointed SVP and the hospital's first chief equity, diversity, and inclusion officer. Harris, who most recently served as the associate provost of institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Baylor College of Medicine, will enhance the hospital's existing DEI initiatives. "I've dedicated much of my career to equipping the next generation of diverse medical providers with the skills they need to eliminate barriers in accessing health care," Harris said. "This is important work that Memorial Hermann is already doing, so I'm excited to join them on this journey in becoming a nationally recognized leader in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as both an employer and a health system." (Gonzalez, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/30)