March 12, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) -- The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on March 6, 2012 about skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions that may contain mercury. Skin products containing mercury have been found in at least seven states. They are manufactured in other countries and marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles.
By Brian Lafferty
March 12, 2012 (San Diego) – Have any of you encountered the **** People Say Internet meme that recently flared up on the Internet? A great friend of mine introduced me to it weeks ago. Among them are **** Rich People Say or **** Guys Don’t Say Out Loud. I’m not one to get caught up in Internet memes, so I forgot all about it.
By Miriam Raftery
March 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – With two new wind farms proposed for our region and another already in operation, evaluating potential health impacts is important.
A survey was conducted on wind farm noise as part of a Master’s dissertation by Zhenhua Wang, a graduate student in Geography, Environment and Population at the University of Adelaide, Australia. The results show that 70% of respondents living up to 5 kilometers away report being negatively affected by wind turbine noise, with more than 50% of them "very or moderately negatively affected". This is considerably higher than what was found in previous studies conducted in Europe.
Senior Resource GroupLaunch InTouch At Home: Rancho San Diego group to bring Service to Seniors’ Homes
March 10, 2012 (Rancho San Diego) -- The principals of Senior Resource Group (SRG), who have achieved national prominence for their senior living communities, have launched InTouch at Home, to bring SRG’s superior level of service to seniors who choose to age in place in their homes, according to Michael Grust, president and CEO of SRG.
Warning lamp and switch failures may cause airbag failure or inability to start vehicle
March 8, 2012 (Torrance, CA)– Toyota Motor Sales, USA announced yesterday that it will conduct two voluntary safety-related recalls.
One involves air bag warning lamps that may fail, preventing deployment of airbags in a crash. The second is a stop lamp switch that may result in vehicles behind unable to start or shift out of park.
March 6, 2012 (Lemon Grove) -- East County Chamber of Commerce invites you to join Mark Fenton, nationally-known public health, planning and transportation consultant, to explore how community design can strengthen and support active healthy lifestyles and economic vitality. The Chamber, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and Healthy Works will participate in this event.
March 4, 2012 (Washington D.C)--FluMist Quadrivalent, a vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza in people ages 2 years through 49 years, has been approved today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FluMist Quadrivalent is the first influenza vaccine to contain four strains of the influenza virus, two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.
Like the already approved FluMist (trivalent), the quadrivalent vaccine contains weakened forms of the virus strains and is administered as a spray into the nose.
By Nadin Abbott
March 1, 2012 (San Diego) -- One San Diegan commits suicide every day. We read of the most spectacular cases in the press, but on average, 365 local residents take their own lives. According to the County, “…as a cause of non-natural death, suicide ranks second, behind only drug/alcohol overdoses, and ahead of motor vehicle crashes.” http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hhsa/programs/phs/documents/CHS-SuicideReport_2011.pdf
Tom Freeley Raises $4,700 For Sharp HospiceCare with dip in Lake Arrowhead’s 45-degree waters
February 29, 2012 (La Mesa) –San Diego resident Tom Freeley raised $4,700 for La Mesa-based Sharp HospiceCare at the “PolaRotary Plunge” on February 4 in Lake Arrowhead. As one of 60 participants to brave the lake’s 45-degree temperatures, Freeley’s fundraising efforts generated the most money by an individual and contributed to the event’s total amount of more than $22,000 for various charities.
Freeley learned about the event during one of his monthly visits to the area with his girlfriend, Luanne Brito. Brito is co-chair for Sharp HospiceCare's annual fundraising regatta which takes place in August. A portion of proceeds will also benefit the event's sponsor, the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club.
February 26, 2012 (San Diego) -- Two male inmates housed at George Bailey Detention Facility have been diagnosed with chickenpox and are isolated from the general population and are not to receive visitors or to attend activities until they are no longer considered infectious. One was diagnosed in late January and the other in early February.
February 23, 2012 (Bethesda, MD) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced recalls of Fuji women's cruiser bicycles and Shimano Pro Atherton mountain bike handlebar stems, both due to fall hazards. For more information, visit:
Proposed “Blunt Amendment” would let employers deny coverage for blood transfusions, birth control, AIDS or cancer treatments, and more
Rep. Issa (R-San Diego) draws heat for restricting testimony to men only at hearing on women’s health
By Miriam Raftery
February 21, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – Disguised as an amendment to limit options for women’s health, the “Blunt Amendment” (S. 1467) introduced byU.S. Senator Roy Blunt and supported by conservatives in Congress goes much farther.
It would allow employers to design their own healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act and to exclude any “specific items or services” that are “contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan.”
February 22, 2012 (La Mesa) -- The Senior Resource Center at Sharp Grossmont Hospital offers free or low-cost educational programs and health screenings each month. The Senior Resource Center also provides information and assistance for health information and community resources. For more information, call 619-740-4214. For other programs, call 1-800-827-4277 or visit our web site at www.sharp.com.
Federal Government Asks for Additional Time to Process Proposal that Will Launch the Community-Based Adult Services Program
February 20, 2012 (Sacramento) -- The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) today announced that the elimination of the optional Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) benefit will be delayed until March 31. The one-month delay is in response to a request by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for more time to process California’s amendment to the existing 1115 “Bridge to Reform” waiver to implement the new Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program.
By Brian Lafferty
February 16, 2012 (San Diego) – A few years ago I wrote an essay that was published in the anthology book Voices of Autism. I was unaware of the significance until I saw how impressed my college professors, friends, and family were. Shortly after, I was featured in a piece by my alma mater.
County Offers Free Blood Pressure Screenings on Feb. 14
February 12, 2012 (San Diego)--A healthy heart is the best gift on Valentine’s Day—and all year. On Feb. 10, County officials and community partners kicked off the “Love Your Heart” campaign to help residents take charge of their own health by offering free blood pressure screenings.
Chairman Ron Roberts launches the “Love Your Heart” campaign. He is joined by Donald Turko from County Dept. of Human Resources, Minh Nguyen from US HealthWorks, Dr. Nick Yphantides from HHSA, Mary Ann Barnes from Kaiser and Nick Macchione, HHSA Director.
RSVP by Feb. 21 for “lunch and learn” with prizes and more
February 10, 2012 (San Diego) – If you’re an active senior or retiree with plenty of free time and a desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives, you’re invited to a free “Lunch and Learn” at Alvarado Hospital on Saturday, February 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Health Officials Recommend Preteen and Teen Vaccinations
February 7, 2012 (San Diego)--Meningococcal meningitis, pertussis, influenza, human papillomavirus (HPV), and chickenpox. There is a way to protect your preteen or teenager from these diseases, the County Health and Human Services Agency notes. Yet most of the 300,000 adolescents in our region have not received all recommended vaccines.
Elite Gymnastics Academy partners with the American Red Cross
February 4, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Elite Gymnastics Academy, along with the American Red Cross, is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, February 16th, from 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Elite Gymnastics Academy, 1817 John Towers Avenue in El Cajon.
Team Applies New Procedure to Rapidly Induce Nerve Regeneration in Mammals
February 3, 2012 (Texas) -- American scientists believe a new procedure to repair severed nerves could result in patients recovering in days or weeks, rather than months or years. The team used a cellular mechanism similar to that used by many invertebrates to repair damage to nerve axons. Their results are published today in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.
February 3, 2012 (San Diego)--The services will remain the same. But the number will change. Starting February 15, people who need help with mental health including alcohol or drug abuse, suicide prevention, medication needs, and more can call a new and easier-to-remember telephone number: (888) 724-7240.
February 3, 2012 -- San Diego Assemblymember Marty Block, AD-78, was honored as the Legislator of the Year from the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Pacific South Coast Chapter, on Saturday, January 28, 2012.
“I am very humbled to receive this honor from the Multiple Sclerosis Society,” said Block. “I enjoyed serving as a board member of the Pacific South Coast Chapter and will continue to support initiatives working to end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.”
San Diego Residents Now Able to Book Doctor Appointments Instantly Online
February 3, 2011 (San Diego) – Today ZocDoc, a free service for patients to find nearby doctors who accept their insurance and instantly book appointments online, launches in the greater San Diego area. Local primary care physicians, obstetrician-gynecologists, and dermatologists are now offering medical appointments through ZocDoc. Additional doctors, specialties, and appointment times are continually being added.
First, and only hospice in California to receive Partner Level 4 designation for “We Honor Veterans” program
February 2, 2012 (San Diego) -- LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care
is the only hospice in California, and one of only 12 in the U.S. to meet stringent “We Honor Veterans” Partner Level 4 requirements in improving the care and support of Veterans.
By Brian Lafferty
February 2, 2012 (San Diego) – I recently read a New York Times article that every Autistic and Asperger’s person, and their families and friends, should read. It’s troubling to say the least. A panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association is looking to redefine Autism for its newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. They propose lumping most Autistic people into one category, among other things.
Notice I said “most.” By their logic, high-functioning Autistic people would no longer be Autistic.
Story and video by Nadin Abbott; photos by Tom Abbott
February 1, 2012 (San Diego)-- The National Union of Health Care Workers (NUHW) called for a one-day strike yesterday at all Kaiser Permanente healthcare facilities statewide in California. In San Diego the picket line walking started at six in the morning and ended at 10 p.m. outside Kaiser Hospital on Zion, with about 50 union members and supporters walking the line. View video of strike: http://youtu.be/ZuJGg95okOA According to Jim Clifford, a union rep, the ”concerns are over patient care and retirement.”
Update February 1, 2012: SB 810 narrowly failed on reconsideration. After reportedly receiving thousands of call urging him to support the bill, Vargas ducked the issue and did not vote.
By Miriam Raftery
January 30, 2011 (San Diego) – State Senator Juan Vargas, a former insurance industry executive who has taken massive donations from the insurance industry, may cast the deciding vote Tuesday on whether or not millions of Californians will receive guaranteed universal healthcare and dental care coverage.
January 27, 2012 (Sacramento)-- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson congratulated First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for making fresh fruits and vegetables the focus of the first major changes to school meals in more than 15 years.
Alvarado Hospital Recognized
January 27, 2012 (San Diego) -- Alvarado Hospital was recognized as part of the only hospital system in California—Prime Healthcare—named one of the nation’s top 15 by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.
By Miriam Raftery
January 25, 2012 (San Diego) – Raul Carranza has Muscular Dystrophy. He cannot walk, move his arms, eat or even breathe on his own. He requires round-the-clock nursing care—care denied after Medi-Cal slashed his nursing hours due to state budget cuts.
“Last year I moved away to UCLA by myself and lived away from my family for a whole semester,” he said. “Unfortunately I had to come back home to San Diego at the end of December." That's because the state cut his nursing hours, leaving him unable to survive on his own.