The Bonneville Buzz interviewed Jenny Waahila, an employee at Madison Memorial Hospital, where she has been working for two years. Waahila wears many hats, from a certified nursing assistant to a provider educator. This is a process by which medical organizations verify professional credentials to ensure proper care for the patients. Having nearly ten years of experience in the healthcare field, Waahila had a plethora of opinions regarding healthcare changes due to the pandemic.
In this interview, Waahila was asked her thoughts on procedures, recent changes, and staffing. If Waahila was given the opportunity, she would choose to help with the staffing. There is a major strain on nurses, doctors, etc, there is a need for more staffing in every section of the hospital. They could benefit from increased environmental staffing, which are staff that are responsible for the safety and cleanliness of a hospital or other healthcare facilities. In her opinion, everything would go smoothly with those extra staff.
Waahila prefers for doctors to perform only life-threatening surgeries because people are more in need of surgeries that have a big impact on their life, not just minor ones. She finds it helpful to keep doing certain surgeries because they are still providing income. One thing she would change last year during the COVID pandemic, was to plan ahead and not just make changes without taking action too quickly. After being asked about hospital staff members, Waahila noted “Not necessarily with physicians but a lot with nurses.” The hospitals are having trouble with staff, not necessarily with physicians but with the nurses. According to Waahila, medicare and medicaid have not been affected by the pandemic. They do digital information and communication technologies as often as possible.
On May 5, 2021, Idaho Governor Brad Little approved a bill known as SB1211 to target and eradicate 90 percent of the Gray Wolf population in Idaho, which has dramatically increased to 1,500 since their reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. The bill lifts nearly all restrictions on hunting these predators, for instance, trapping, using night vision equipment, shooting from vehicles, and baiting. Idaho politicians allowed this bill on account of the concern that wolves harshly affect people that rely on livestock or game as income by preying on cattle and driving away elk herds. Humans, especially farmers and hunters compete with wolves for land, resources, and safety, causing resentment and tension between the two species.
As this bill hit the news, outrage struck wildlife biologists, conservationists, environmentalists, and large hunting groups. The Idaho Fish and Game protested the bill, stating that the approach differs from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and withdraws officials’ decisions on managing wildlife and puts those decisions into the hands of lawmakers. They declare that wolves are a crucial part of a healthy ecosystem and believe that eradicating 90 percent of the wolf population could be incredibly harmful to Yellowstone.
The eradication of wolves happened before, in 1926, and resulted in native Gray Wolves becoming endangered. The harm caused by the endangerment of wolves led wildlife officials to introduce 31 Canada Gray Wolves into Yellowstone in January of 1995. Wildlife services are worried that they may have to repeat the cycle of reintroducing wolves, which previously cost nearly $200,000 to $1 million. Although if wolves were to continue to increase in number, it could significantly affect farmers’ and hunters’ livelihoods and income.
The SB1211 bill the government accepted has created controversy and anger between wildlife officials, Idaho politicians, farmers, and hunters, causing immense anxiety about whether or not this bill will be effective.