Nancy Howell Agee: America's opioid problem is overwhelming – here’s how I keep hope and urgency to act
More than 72,000 people died of a drug overdose last year – most of them due to opioids – and hospitals and health systems across the country are working hard to tackle the opioid epidemic, writes AHA Chair Nancy Howell Agee, president and CEO of Carilion Clinic, in an article in Becker’s Hospital Review. Agee describes a number of initiatives underway at her organization to address the challenges from all angles.

Hospitals step up the war on superbugs
To curb infections, hospitals are setting more rigorous hygiene standards, focusing on commonplace equipment such as stethoscopes and blood-pressure cuffs, which can collect bacteria and potentially transmit disease, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some organizations are trying ultraviolet cleaning systems while others have turned to copper, which some believe reduces bacteria, according to the article. 

How medical schools try to help doctors understand patients in poverty
Over the last few years, medical schools have begun focusing more on poverty to help doctors not only better understand patients they may encounter but hopefully improve their ability to care for them too, according to a U.S. News and World Report article. Some medical schools are introducing students to the challenges of poverty through simulations and others are having them leave the campus and venture into the local community. 

Copycat comments, unwitting patients become part of federal rulemaking process 
A Kaiser Health News article says that many responses submitted on a federal proposal related to the 340 Drug Pricing Program were from some individuals who were not aware they apparently had become part of an organized campaign to oppose the program. "Some had no memory of signing anything, much less sending their opinions about it," the article states.