Author

Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Dutton hails from Twin Falls. She attended college at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, radio journalism, data visualization and much more.

an overworked male nurse sits outside hospital

Dispatches from Idaho’s front lines: A hospital bed opens. Because someone died.

By: - September 8, 2021

Editor’s note: This is the second story in a series from the Idaho Capital Sun on what the Gem State’s health care workers are experiencing as they battle the latest surge of coronavirus in Idaho. Visit bitly.com/COVID-dispatch-1 to read the first story. The morning after a middle-aged man with COVID-19 died in a Treasure Valley […]

Kootenai Health classroom converted into COVID unit

Idaho enters grim ‘crisis’ period. Hospitals statewide on verge of rationing.

By: - September 7, 2021

Idaho on Monday moved into “crisis standards of care” for the first time in the state’s history. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced the decision Tuesday morning. It applies to North Idaho, based on a recommendation from a large committee of health care and patient-advocacy stakeholders from around the state. All of Idaho is […]

Boise-area health board candidate may have exposed others to COVID

By: - September 3, 2021

Update: Elmore County commissioners on Friday afternoon voted 1-2 for Dr. Ryan Cole’s appointment to the Central District Health board. He needed just that one vote for the appointment, after receiving three votes from Boise County commissioners, two from Ada County and one from Valley County. A pathologist who is up for appointment to a […]

Health care worker holding a patient's hand

Dispatches from Idaho’s front lines: ‘This patient isn’t leaving the hospital alive’

By: - September 3, 2021

Editor’s note: This is the first story in a series from the Idaho Capital Sun on what the Gem State’s health care workers are experiencing as they battle the latest surge of coronavirus in Idaho. A middle-aged man arrived on a stretcher at an Idaho emergency room last month. He’d tested positive for COVID-19 several […]

Photo of the front of a Primary Health Medical Group clinic

Surge of COVID-19 patients pushes Boise-area urgent care over capacity

By: - August 31, 2021

Thousands of patients are flooding urgent care clinics in the Boise area, forcing the clinics to stop taking new patients earlier than usual. Primary Health Medical Group on Monday had a record number of urgent care patients, according to a news release from the organization that runs 21 clinics in the Treasure Valley. There were […]

Photo of a sign a the Boise VA Medical Center

As local hospitals fill up, the Boise VA makes a rare offer

By: - August 31, 2021

Health care is the front line of the war against COVID-19. As the battle intensifies in Treasure Valley hospitals, the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center has reached out to them with an unprecedented offer. The Boise VA hospital “is working with hospitals valley-wide to take non-military veterans when we have capacity,” James Winget, executive officer […]

Map showing new cases of COVID-19 per capita by ZIP code in the Treasure Valley

COVID-19 thrives in Treasure Valley neighborhoods with low vaccination rates

By: - August 27, 2021

Treasure Valley areas that have low rates of COVID-19 vaccination also have been a breeding ground for the delta variant of the coronavirus this summer, an analysis by the Idaho Capital Sun has found. But areas with higher uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine have mounted a stronger defense against the fast-spreading delta variant, which became […]

Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen addresses the media at a briefing Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Idaho asks FEMA and other states for help, in last-ditch effort to staff hospitals

By: - August 24, 2021

When the month of August began, about 8% of the patients in Idaho hospitals had COVID-19. Three weeks later, they’re now more than 20% of hospitalizations. Almost none of the patients have been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to state data and multiple Idaho Capital Sun interviews — demonstrating both the safety of the vaccine, and […]

Millie Boyce and Matt Johnson, executive director, talk at Lincoln Court Retirement Community in Idaho Falls on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

Vaccines in the real world: 2 Idaho success stories at care facilities

By: - August 20, 2021

There was a time earlier in the pandemic when Lincoln Court Retirement Community in Idaho Falls, and Countryside Care and Rehab in Rupert, tried to keep their residents safe. But the coronavirus still made its way inside. That’s what happened in more than 75% of the long-term care facilities in Idaho. Outbreaks led to more […]

Map showing population change in Idaho counties

Census 2020 data illustrates Idaho’s urban, rural divide

By: and - August 20, 2021

Although Idaho was the second-fastest growing state in the country and home to one of the United States’ fastest-growing cities, U.S. Census Bureau data shows how unequally divided that growth was.  While Meridian was highlighted as the fourth-fastest growing city in the country from 2010-2020, Meridian wasn’t even the fastest growing city in Idaho. A […]

Idaho State Epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn talks about Idaho's COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Idaho health officials warn of ‘grim’ fall and winter, at risk of care rationing

By: - August 17, 2021

When she’s out grocery shopping in the Treasure Valley lately, Dr. Christine Hahn sees fewer people in masks than she did last fall. As Idaho’s top epidemiologist, it worries Hahn to see Idahoans acting like the COVID-19 threat has passed, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. She and other state officials warned Tuesday […]

Ada County commissioners meet Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Ada County commissioners vote to appoint Dr. Ryan Cole to health board

By: - August 17, 2021

Ada County Commissioners Rod Beck and Ryan Davidson on Tuesday voted to appoint Dr. Ryan Cole to be the physician member of the Central District Health board. Ada County Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said she “adamantly” opposed that decision. Later that day, the leader of an Idaho political organization filed a complaint to the state medical […]