First lady Jill Biden tested negative for the coronavirus after experiencing a rebound case, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee.
- District of Columbia: First lady Jill Biden on Monday evening tested negative for the coronavirus and returned to the District of Columbia on Tuesday, according to the first lady's spokesperson, Elizabeth Alexander. Last week, the first lady tested positive for a rebound case after she was infected earlier this month while vacationing in South Carolina with President Joe Biden. President Biden also tested positive for a rebound case earlier this month, however, he tested negative after the first lady's positive test. (Falconer, Axios, 8/29)
- Massachusetts: Pharmaceutical company Novartis on Thursday announced that it plans to turn its Sandoz generic drugs unit into its own company—a move that would create the largest generic drug company in Europe, by sales. Last November, the company said it was exploring strategic alternatives for Sandoz, including a possible sale, but never came to an agreement with any potential bidders. "In response to greater competition, Novartis has pivoted Sandoz toward higher-value generics, such as biosimilars, which are near-replicas of biologic drugs made using living cells. The unit, which has accounted at times for around a fifth of total sales for Novartis, has in the past proven a drag on the company's growth," according to the Wall Street Journal. (Primack, Axios, 8/25)
- Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) launched a partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools to hold monthly discussions with high school seniors about how to become a RN. So far, 19 students from Pearl-Cohn's Health Science Academy have been matched with members of the hospital's diversity, equity, and inclusion team. The program, which is part of a diversity outreach program for aspiring health care professionals, is designed to help attract diverse potential job candidates and increase opportunities for local students. Eventually, VUMC hopes to extend the program to other schools in the area. "The nurses on the [nurse diversity, equity and inclusion committee] recognized this as an opportunity for VUMC nurses to invest in the future of the nursing profession," said Mamie Williams, senior director of nursing diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt. "Additionally, they were motivated to create a sustainable positive generational impact on individuals, their families and their community." (Twenter, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/25)