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, data visualization and more.

Masks in window shop

Want a KN95? Pick up a mask at Meridian charter school this week

By: - February 28, 2022

A group of Meridian high school students who plan to work in health care will be giving out free KN95 masks this week. The Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School’s HOSA Future Health Professionals association will distribute the masks at 1789 E. Heritage Park Lane in Meridian, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. March 2 and […]

Photo: U.S. Army Capt. Alexis Acuna, a critical care nurse, provides care to a COVID-19 patient during the COVID response operations at Kootenai Health regional medical center in  Coeur d'Alene on Sept. 26, 2021.

Idaho’s ongoing COVID-19 costs: $27.5 million for health care staff, and counting

By: - February 22, 2022

It may be impossible to put a price tag on the coronavirus pandemic’s cost to Idaho and Idahoans. But reporting by the Idaho Capital Sun found that one small piece of the crisis has cost taxpayers more than $27.5 million. That’s how much the state has paid a federal contractor to bring in extra health […]

A sign shows the words "now hiring"

In a pandemic, is it price gouging to charge a premium for crisis nurses?

By: - February 21, 2022

As the delta variant crashed down on Idaho last fall, a hospital staffing shortage turned into a staffing crisis — and gave way to an expensive swap. Hospitals would lose nurses to lucrative, short-term gigs with staffing agencies that offered upwards of $4,600 to $8,000 per week, sometimes with housing allowance on top of the […]

Photo of Randall Hudspeth presenting a bill before the Senate Health and Welfare Committee

Most of Idaho is rural. Most of Idaho’s nurses are not. A bill aims to fix that.

By: - February 17, 2022

Update: This bill failed on Feb. 23 in the Senate by a 14-17 vote. The Idaho Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Tuesday advanced legislation to the Senate that would create an incentive for nurses to take jobs in Idaho’s rural areas. Health care facilities have long struggled to fill jobs in Idaho’s remote mountain […]

Photo of Dr. Andrew Southard

Today in Idaho hospitals and COVID-19 (updated 2/15): Patients, ERs, ICUs

By: - February 15, 2022

Editor’s note: The Idaho Capital Sun published this daily update on Idaho hospitals from Aug. 26 through Dec. 20, 2021; and Jan. 24 through Feb. 15, 2022, when Idaho once again fully emerged from crisis standards of care. Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen on Tuesday announced that the southwestern and south-central regions of […]

Photo of Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise

Idaho has emerged from its latest bout with crisis standards of care

By: - February 15, 2022

Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen announced Tuesday that Idaho hospitals are no longer in a severe crisis, which necessitated a move into crisis standards of care three weeks ago. Jeppesen re-activated the care-rationing protocol on Jan. 24, due to combination of COVID-19 hospitalizations, staffing shortages in hospitals and in long-term care facilities, and […]

Photo: Idaho Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, presents on Feb. 11 to the Idaho House Business Committee

House bill would protect doctors, nurses, pharmacists who defy COVID treatment guidelines

By: - February 15, 2022

A bill in the Idaho Legislature would protect the licenses of doctors, nurses and pharmacists who prescribe or dispense unproven medications for COVID-19. Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, presented the legislation Friday to the House Business Committee. The committee voted by a voice vote to introduce the bill. The bill would prohibit licensing boards from taking […]

Photo of Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen presents to the Idaho House Health and Welfare Committee on Feb. 9, 2022.

Idaho Health and Welfare asks the Legislature to shore up public health

By: - February 10, 2022

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is the largest government agency in the state — with oversight of everything from laboratory testing, to foster child placements, to Medicaid health insurance, to food assistance, to homes for people with disabilities, and much more. Now rounding the corner into the third year of a COVID-19 pandemic, […]

Photo of Dr. Perry Brown speaking to Family Medicine Residency of Idaho resident

Idaho has about 40 pediatricians for every 100,000 kids. A new venture could help.

By: - February 7, 2022

Idaho has about 170 pediatric primary care doctors — to care for about 450,000 children. That’s why the state ranks 50th in the U.S. for pediatricians per capita. But amid Idaho’s rapid growth, health care leaders have a plan to recruit and train more health care providers. One major missing piece of the health care […]

Gov. Brad Little

Idaho Gov. Brad Little calls up Idaho National Guard to help with COVID. Again.

By: - January 31, 2022

Idaho Gov. Brad Little has activated the Idaho National Guard for the fourth time to help Idaho health care providers contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, his office announced Monday. The governor activated 75 Idaho National Guardsmen to assist Primary Health Medical Group — one of Idaho’s largest urgent care providers — and the Idaho Department […]

Photo of Idaho Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, on the House floor

The last M.D. left in the Idaho Legislature will not seek re-election

By: - January 31, 2022

It’s a pandemic, and the Idaho Legislature is about to lose the only medical doctor left in its chambers. Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, told the Idaho Capital Sun on Jan. 21 that he plans to retire. Wood attended medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans and trained as a physician at major medical centers, […]

A health care worker helps a patient at Saint Al's

Idaho hospitals are in crisis, again. This time, it’s more complicated.

By: - January 24, 2022

Idaho is once again in a health care crisis. The state’s health and welfare director on Monday announced he re-activated Idaho’s “crisis standards of care” rationing protocol that morning. Saint Alphonsus Health System requested the activation last week, and Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen convened the Crisis Standards of Care Activation Advisory Committee […]