October 7, 2020

Around the nation: Trump issues executive order calling for better coordination of mental health services

Daily Briefing

    The executive order directs federal agencies to better coordinate crisis-intervention and other mental health services to address Americans' worsening behavioral and mental health amid the country's coronavirus epidemic, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Georgia, and New York.

    • District of Columbia: President Trump on Monday issued an executive order directing his administration to better coordinate crisis-intervention and other mental health services to address Americans' worsening behavioral and mental health amid the country's coronavirus epidemic. The executive order also directs federal agencies to examine their existing grant programs and encourage "grantees to consider adopting policies, where appropriate, that have been shown to improve mental health and reduce suicide risk." In the order, Trump states that mental and behavioral health conditions have worsened in the United States "[a]s a result of stress from prolonged lockdown orders, lost employment, and social isolation" (AHA News, 10/5; Brady, Modern Healthcare, 10/5; Trump, Executive Order, 10/3).

    • Georgia: Piedmont Healthcare has named David Kandzari as the new chief of the Piedmont Heart Institute and the organization's cardiovascular service line, effective Oct. 1. Kandzari previously had been serving as Piedmont Healthcare's chief scientific officer, and he will continue to work in that role alongside his new role. Kandzari also has previously served as the Piedmont Heart Institute's director of interventional cardiology (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 10/1).

    • New York: Bristol Myers Squibb on Monday announced that it is purchasing MyoKardia in a deal valued at $13.1 billion. The deal will give Bristol Myers access to MyoKardia's experimental heart drug, code-named mavacamten, which is aimed at treating a potentially fatal heart condition that can cause irregular heart rhythms. Bristol Myers CEO Giovanni Caforio said the company plans to seek federal approval of the drug in the United States sometime next year (Hopkins, Wall Street Journal, 10/5; Maddipatla, Reuters, 10/5).

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