Kaiser Health News covers health care in the Midwest out of our bureau in St. Louis.

In The Middle Of The Country, A Hospital And Its Community Prepare For The Surge

Because the surge of COVID-19 cases hasn’t yet hit all parts of America, some hospitals are able to learn lessons from the hot spots and prepare for the onslaught. In Wichita, Kansas, Ascension Via Christi hospitals converted a portion of a hospital cafeteria into a grocery store and offered alternative housing and child care for staff members working long hours in a stressful setting. The hospital group is also working with local aircraft manufacturers and 3D-printing hobbyists to produce face shields and other safety materials.

The Nation’s 5,000 Outpatient Surgery Centers Could Help With The COVID-19 Overflow

A coalition of anesthesiologists wants to repurpose the country’s more than 5,000 surgery centers to serve as emergency overflow amid the coronavirus pandemic. The centers have trained medical staff largely sitting idle, anesthesia machines that could be turned into ventilators, and empty medical space. But obstacles such as federal payment rules, logistics and some skepticism are getting in the way.

Looking For Answers After Coronavirus Contact? Welcome To The Gray Zone

The COVID-19 outbreak has spawned confusion among health officials, doctors and the public, especially for people who fall into the gray area for testing and deciding whether they need to quarantine themselves. Where to turn for answers about isolation and quarantine varies by locale. All this means agencies are sometimes delaying needed advice and giving people incorrect information.

Listen: How Paramedical Tattoos Provide Healing

KHN Midwest correspondent Cara Anthony spoke with “The 21st” host Jenna Dooley about an Illinois tattoo artist who is changing lives by inking nails on finger amputees, mocking up belly buttons after tummy tucks and fleshing out lips after dog attacks.