First lady Jill Biden on Wednesday had cancerous skin lesions surgically removed from her face and chest, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Alabama, the District of Columbia, and Ohio.
- Alabama: Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) said abortion medication will continue to be illegal in the state—despite the Biden administration's moves to expand access to the pills. In addition, Marshall said pregnant people could face charges under the state's chemical endangerment law, which was enacted in 2006 to protect children from exposure to chemicals and fumes in home meth labs. "The Human Life Protection Act targets abortion providers, exempting women 'upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed' from liability under the law," Marshall's office said in a statement. "It does not provide an across-the-board exemption from all criminal laws, including the chemical-endangerment law—which the Alabama Supreme Court has affirmed and reaffirmed protects unborn children." (Weixel, The Hill, 1/11)
- District of Columbia: First lady Jill Biden had multiple cancerous skin lesions surgically removed, according to White House physician Kevin O'Connor. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden and the first lady went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to have a lesion above her eye examined and excised. Before the procedure, her doctors also noticed lesions on her left eyelid and the left side of her chest. The lesion above her right eye and the lesion on her chest were identified as basal cell carcinoma, and "all cancerous tissue was successfully removed," O'Connor said. "The first lady is experiencing some facial swelling and bruising, but is in good spirits and is feeling well," he added. (Superville, Associated Press, 1/12; Watson, CBS News, 1/11; Ordoñez/Archie, NPR, 1/11)
- Ohio: MetroHealth CEO Airica Steed is aiming to narrow healthcare disparities amid the health system's restructuring in the wake of its former CEO's departure. Steed, who was the president of Mount Sinai and Sinai Children's Hospital and COO of Sinai Chicago, took over as MetroHealth's CEO on Dec. 5 after an investigation revealed that former CEO Akram Boutros allocated over $1.9 million in additional bonuses to himself over a four-year period without the board's approval. According to Steed, MetroHealth must focus on finding a balance between establishing programs, expanding existing services, retaining key employees, and regaining the trust of the community. "The scandal has sounded the alarm and required us to bolster a lot of our core bread-and-butter protocol and processes to ensure that as a community health system we are a trusted entity," she said. "MetroHealth, just like every other health system across the country, is not shielded from what's happening with the workforce. Finding a balance for those headwinds is imperative for us." (Kacik, Modern Healthcare, 1/12)