Author

Tony Leys

Tony Leys

Millions of rural Americans rely on private wells. Few regularly test their water.

By: - October 30, 2023

FORT DODGE, Iowa — Allison Roderick has a warning and a pledge for rural residents of her county: The water from their wells could be contaminated, but the government can help make it safe. Roderick is the environmental health officer for Webster County in north-central Iowa, where a few thousand rural residents live among sprawling […]

As fewer MDs make it to rural areas, a different type of doctor arrives to take up the challenge

By: - August 6, 2023

WINTERSET, Iowa — For 35 years, this town’s residents have brought all manner of illnesses, aches, and worries to Kevin de Regnier’s storefront clinic on the courthouse square — and he loves them for it. De Regnier is an osteopathic physician who chose to run a family practice in a small community. Many of his […]

More states legalize sales of unpasteurized milk, despite health warnings

By: - July 8, 2023

LORIMOR, Iowa — Babe the goat is trendier than she looks. Babe lives a quiet life on a hillside farm in southern Iowa, where she grazes on grass with a small herd of fellow goats. Her owner, Stacy Wistock, milks her twice a day. Wistock takes precautions to keep the milk clean, but she rarely […]

Mental health care by video fills gaps in rural nursing homes

By: - March 26, 2023

KNOXVILLE, Iowa ― Bette Helm was glad to have someone to talk with about her insomnia. Helm lives in a nursing home in this central Iowa town of about 7,500 people, where mental health services are sparse. On a recent morning, she had an appointment with a psychiatric nurse practitioner about 800 miles away in […]

Mental health crisis teams aren’t just for cities anymore

By: and - October 10, 2022

NEWTON, Iowa — Jeff White knows what can happen when 911 dispatchers receive a call about someone who feels despondent or agitated. He experienced it repeatedly: The 911 operators dispatched police, who often took him to a hospital or jail. “They don’t know how to handle people like me,” said White, who struggles with depression […]

Montana hires controversial Medicaid director

By: and - June 2, 2022

Montana, one of only about a dozen states with a fully government-run Medicaid program, has hired a new Medicaid director who oversaw managed-care programs in Iowa and Kansas and championed the idea of having outside companies do the work. Mike Randol took over May 31 as head of Montana’s Medicaid program, which serves 280,000 people […]