Natalie Krebs

Natalie Krebs is the health reporter for Iowa Public Radio in Des Moines. She previously worked as an independent producer in west Texas where she covered issues related to the environment, immigration and health care. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

The elderly are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. The country’s first big outbreak was at a nursing home in Washington state, and more recently nursing homes and senior living facilities in places like Indiana, Illinois and Iowa have had experienced dozens of cases -- and deaths. Now, these places are facing a lot of pressure to keep residents safe -- and occupied. 

The federal government recently raised the smoking age to 21 to help curb teen vaping.  Some are applauding the decision as a win for public health. Others worry it was a knee-jerk reaction.

Just a few weeks ago, some Midwest state legislatures were aiming to raise the legal age for smoking. But Congress moved first, setting a new national age limit of 21. Now, some anti-smoking advocates say that’s not enough. 

Across the country, nearly 95,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant. And the list has been growing for years. That's pushed some people to try unusual ways to find donors.

Rural areas in America have high death rates from car crashes, hunting accidents and other trauma. But many rural hospitals are only equipped to handle basic emergencies. In one Iowa town trauma experts are helping a small ER prepare for big emergencies.