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LEGISLATIVE ANALYST RECOMMENDS INTERVENTION TO PROTECT PATIENTS AT STATE DEVELOPMENTAL CENTERS

April 13, 2013 (Sacramento) – In a surprise and unprecedented move, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) is recommending the State Legislature create an independent Office of Inspector General to oversee California’s system of Developmental Centers, which has been plagued with reports of deadly neglect and abuse.  This week, people with developmental disabilities and former Developmental Center residents rallied outside the State Capitol, calling on State Legislators and Governor Jerry Brown to shut down California’s failing Developmental Centers and to give people with developmental disabilities the freedom to live with the respect and dignity they deserve in community-based settings.

FREE "IT'S HOW WE LIVE" HEALTH FESTIVAL IN SPRING VALLEY APRIL 13

 

April 11, 2013 (Spring Valley)-- The County of San Diego invites you to "go play, get fit, be healthy!"  The 8th annual "It's How We Live" community festival will be held this Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Spring Valley County Park, 8735 Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley.

The event is free to the public and includes games, activiites, healthy food samples, free health and dental screenings, a bounce house, live entertainment, information booths, prizes and giveaways.

A HEARTY WELCOME FOR NEW HEART AND VASCULAR CENTER AT GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

 

Groundbreaking celebrates start of major new facility to serve East County community

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2013 (La Mesa) – “This is an incredible day for East County,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new Heart and Vascular Center at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.  “As our aging population in East County grows, there is a growing need for a heart and cardiac center that is state of the art,” added Jacob, who quipped, “Some of us may be lining up at the door.”

FUKUSHIMA MELTDOWN DRIVING INCREASED ABNORMALITIES AMONG U.S. INFANTS

 

 

In wake of disaster, children on the west coast of U.S. almost one-third more likely to suffer from thyroid abnormalities; 39% in California

Originally published on April 2, 2013 at Common Dreams

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Infants on the West Coast of the United States are showing increased incidents of thyroid abnormalities, which researchers are attributing to radiation released following the March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

According to a new study (.pdf) published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics, children born in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington between one week and 16 weeks after the meltdown began are an average of 28 percent more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism (CH) than were kids born in those states during the same period one year earlier. In California, the number is a staggering 39 percent.

CH results from a build up of radioactive iodine in our thyroids and can result in stunted growth, lowered intelligence, deafness, and neurological abnormalities—though can be treated if detected early.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

 

April 3, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights brings you cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

 

Scroll down for excerpts and full stories. 

 

VALLEY FEVER CASES SKYROCKET TEN-FOLD ACROSS SOUTHWEST; OVER 25% OF CASES ARE IN CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The Centers for Disease Control yesterday issued a press release warning that cases of Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis), a fungal respiratory disease, have risen sharply across the southwest including California.  Cases rose nearly ten-fold from 2,265 in 1998 to over 22,000 in 2011 in southwestern states.

California now accounts for 25% all cases, trailing only Arizona, which has 70% of cases.   The fungus occurs naturally in dry soils of the southwest and is spread through the air when people inhale the spores. Outbreaks have occurred following wildfires and those in occupations exposed to dust are at higher risk, such as construction workers, archaeologists, farm workers and Border Patrol agents.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

March 28, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--Health and Science Highlights brings you news on the cutting edges in these fields. 

On the science front, have earthquakes mastered the secrets pursued by alchemists since the days of legend? The journal Nature Geoscience writes about the ability of earthquakes to vaporize water in faults, depositing gold. Plus beekeepers are suing the EPA-- and a new study shows pesticides are affecting bees memories and navigation skills.

On the health front, does aspirin reduce cancer risk? A study in the Journal Cancer this week suggests it might. The Community Asthma Initiative at Boston's Children's Hospital may provide a model for Medicare and insurance companies to keep costs down while preventing asthma. Speaking of governments involvement in health, this week the New York Superior Court struck down New York City's soda ban as "arbitrary and capricious," while the Mayor defiantly promised to challenge the decision.

In perhaps the most far reaching health development of the week, a new peer reviewed study lead right here in San Diego indicates that Down Syndrome may be caused by the lack of an important brain protein, SNX27-- and may lead to development of therapies that can reverse the syndrome if treatment is started up to as late as puberty.

For links to these stories and more, scroll down.

WHAT IS REIKI? SENIORS GROUP AT LA MESA HEALTH CARE LIBRARY TO DISCUSS REIKI NATURAL HEALING WED. MARCH 27

March 25, 2013 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District’s Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa, will host a free senior discussion group on “Reiki:  How It Can Help You” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27.  The public is invited to attend, and RSVP is not required.  The speaker will be Lucy Olivier, a master teacher and practitioner in Usui Reiki and Karuna Reiki natural healing systems since 1998.

PET FOODS RECALLED DUE TO SALMONELLA RISK: CAT, DOG AND FERRET PRODUCTS INCLUDED

 

Brands include Natura, Innova, Evo, California Natural and Healthwise

March 19, 2013 -- Natura Pet Products is voluntarily recalling some of its dry pet food because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

STATE ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT IN LAWSUITS OVER IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

 

March 19, 2013 (Sacramento) – California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Director Will Lightbourne and California Department of Health Care Services Director Toby Douglas have announced an agreement with In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) beneficiaries and labor organizations to resolve several class action lawsuits involving the IHSS Program. The agreement resolves the dispute between the State and plaintiffs in the Oster v. Lightbourne and Dominguez v. Schwarzenegger lawsuits.

“This is an example of all sides coming together for the good of the people we serve,” said CDSS Director Will Lightbourne.

INDEPENDENT LIVING ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES ONLINE DIRECTORY

March 17, 2013 (San Diego) – Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) today announced the launch of the Independent Living Association (ILA) online directory. This groundbreaking new community resource will help connect San Diegans with quality Independent Living housing options. Stable and supportive housing is one of the most effective ways to encourage recovery and reduce inappropriate use of the healthcare system.

FIRST PEDIATRIC INFLUENZA DEATH REPORTED IN SAN DIEGO

March 14, 2013 (San Diego)--Three additional deaths were reported for this flu season, including the first child’s death, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced yesterday.

A 10-month old child who had underlying health conditions died in February and was referred to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death. In past flu seasons, San Diego has reported zero or one pediatric death each year due to influenza. Last year there was one pediatric death.  The total number of overall deaths for this flu season is 51.

“SPRING INTO HEALTHY LIVING”- EVENT ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20

By Caprice Harrison

March 13, 2013 (Spring Valley) – “Spring Into Healthy Living” on March 20 from 9 a.m. to noon  provides generous opportunities to partake in free health screenings, information sessions, refreshments and enjoy the Health and Wellness Fair. Held at the McGrath Family YMCA, 12006 Campo Road in Spring Valley, the event also includes tours of the facility and Tai Chi and Zumba demonstrations.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS INTRODUCES BILL TO HELP PREVENT DIABETES IN SENIORS

March 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) and Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) introduced legislation to prevent diabetes in seniors and rein in health care costs. The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (H.R. 962) would extend the proven benefits of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to seniors under Medicare.

“With thoughtful, responsible action we can get growing healthcare costs under control and make our country healthier at the same time,” said Davis. “In fact with targeted prevention initiatives, like the National Diabetes Prevention Program, Congress can achieve cost savings by preventing diabetes and its complications, meeting our goals of improving health and reining in spending.”

CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS PASS MEDI-CAL EXPANSION

By Lori Abbott, California News Service

March 10, 2013 (Sacramento) - One million more low-income and uninsured Californians are closer to getting health care.  The state Assembly and Senate have passed key legislation that will expand California's Medi-Cal program and make it easier and faster to use.

Assembly Speaker John Perez says the bills are an important step to ensure those living below the poverty line have access to quality care. "People living at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line," Perez says. "We're talking about people surviving on $15,400 a year or less."

DON'T GO IN THE WATER: RAIN BRINGS URBAN RUNOFF TO COUNTY BEACHES

   

March 8, 2013 (San Diego)--The Department of Environmental Health has issued a General Advisory for coastal waters of San Diego County due to recent rainfall. Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation.

While many coastal storm drains within San Diego County are permanently posted with white metal warning signs, additional temporary warning signs are not posted for General Advisories. Activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain.

SAN DIEGO NAMED FITTEST CITY IN AMERICA BY APARTMENT GUIDE

 

March 8, 2013 (San Diego) – March marks the beginning of spring (as well as spring break!) and National Nutrition Month.  So Apartment Guide has issued its recommendations on the most fit places to live nationwide. The publication found that for many consumers—about 20 percent—the barrier to entry for getting fit isn’t due to lack dedication, but lack of disposable funds. With median income levels continuing to drop—8 percent since 2007—monthly gym memberships can be cost prohibitive. However, with so many apartment buildings featuring fitness centers (often gratis!), apartment dwellers are at an advantage here; there’s no excuse for passing on your workout! 

BUMBLEBEE RECALLS TUNA DUE TO LOOSE SEALS, RISK OF BOTULISM

March 8, 2013 (San Diego)- Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, has issued a voluntary recall on specific codes of 5-ounce Chunk White Albacore and Chunk Light Tuna products. The recall has been issued because the products do not meet the company’s standards for seal tightness.

Loose seals or seams could result in product contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens and lead to illness if consumed.

5 MORE FLU DEATHS REPORTED, EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS DROP

County News Service

March 6, 2013  (San Diego)--Five more influenza deaths were reported last week, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced today. That brings the total this season to 48, the second highest on record.

HHSA also reported a decline in the percentage of emergency department patients with influenza-like-illness, as well as in the number of lab-confirmed flu cases.

FREE BRAIN HEALTH FAIR IN SAN DIEGO MARCH 16: PATIENTS AND FAMILIES CAN LEARN ABOUT LATEST TREATMENTS AND HOW TO KEEP THE BRAIN HEALTHY

March 6, 2013 (San Diego) – Patients and families affected by brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as the general public interested in brain health, are invited to register for free now to attend the Brain Health Fair, Saturday, March 16, 2013, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel in San Diego.  Free registration is open at http://www.BrainHealthFair.com.

The Brain Health Fair is a free, daylong family event connecting thousands of patients, families, and caregivers affected by a brain disease with important resources to win the battle against these diseases, which affect one in six people in California. The Brain Health Fair is hosted by the American Brain Foundation, the foundation for the American Academy of Neurology, which is bringing more than 10,000 neurologists to San Diego for its Annual Meeting.

FDA'S MEDWATCH SAFETY ALERTS: JANUARY 2013

March 2, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued alerts or other safety information about a number of products, including metal-on-metal hip implants, which release metal particles into the bloodstream, sleep drugs that reduce morning alertness—especially in women, and a motion sickness drug packaged in error as an iron supplement.

SPRING INTO HEALTHY LIVING: YMCA HOSTS FREE HEALTH FAIR MARCH 20

March 2, 2013 (Spring Valley) – Spring Into Healthy Living, a health and wellness fair featuring free health screenings and healthy living information from seniors and community service providers in the East County, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, March 20 at the McGrath Family YMCA, 12006 Campo Road, Spring Valley. Admission is free, and continental breakfast will be served.



Health screenings will check blood glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, hearing and stroke risk. Information will be available on nutrition, volunteer opportunities, disaster preparedness and various diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes. Demonstrations of tai chi and zumba, along with tours of the YMCA, will be held. Health officials will accept unused prescription medications.

AGENT ORANGE: ONE VETERAN'S STORY

By Carolyn Ballou, California Department of Veterans Affairs



March 1, 2013 (San Diego) -- U.S. Air Force veteran, Ohio native, and California resident George Chappell loved classic cars.  In fact, he owned a ’36 Olds and ’67 Chevy, which he occasionally entered into competition. As a surprise for his 59th birthday in 2006, his wife, Sue, gave him a beautiful, new, last-year-of-production GTO.



George and Sue loved going to classic car shows together—especially Hot August Nights in Reno—in their limited-edition desert orange corvette, another car he occasionally showed. They also shared a love of George’s children, his grandchildren, their three rescued dogs, ‘50s and ‘60s music, and art. George was quite an accomplished artist! He also belonged to a model car club and built models with his sons. His perfectly-crafted models won many awards through the years and were sometimes featured in model car magazines.

RAMONA'S FIRST URGENT CARE CENTER TO OPEN IN MARCH

February 28, 2013 (Ramona) – Construction is now complete on Palomar Health’s Ramona Ambulatory Care Center, a new $4.5 million satellite clinic in Ramona.  When open to the community in March 2013, the 7,600-square-foot, single-story outpatient medical clinic built on approximately an acre of land will expand the healthcare services for the Ramona community.

BOIL WATER NOTICE ISSUED IN TECATE

  

The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for the Tecate Vista Mutual Water Company located at 444 Highway 188, Tecate, CA 91980 effective immediately.  This public water system serves two residences, commercial businesses and the Tecate Mission School.

The drinking water system has tested present for total coliform bacteria and absent for E. coli.  Total coliform bacteria can come from soils and other sources in the environment and can indicate a problem with the water supply system.   The Boil Water Order was issued to ensure all water used is free from contamination. 

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT SOLICITS NOMINATIONS TO HONOR EAST COUNTY VOLUNTEERS FOR 2013 HEALTHCARE HERO AWARDS

February 13, 2013 (La Mesa)--The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is seeking nominations for its 2013 Healthcare Hero Awards, the annual program honoring residents whose volunteer efforts help advance the delivery of quality healthcare in the East County region. Nomination forms are attached or available at www.grossmonthealthcare.org. Deadline for submission of entries is 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, at the GHD offices, 9001 Wakarusa St., in La Mesa.

STUDY OF 85,000 PREGNANCIES FINDS TAKING FOLIC ACID REDUCES AUTISM RATE BY 39%

 

February 13, 2013 (Norway) – A major study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that Norwegian researchers have found a strong link between folic acid and autism. Of 85,000 pregnancies studied, women who took folic acid supplements four weeks before conception and through the eighth week of pregnancy were 39% less likely give birth to children with autism.

BINGE DRINKING PUTS GIRLS, WOMEN AT RISK, CDC REPORTS

Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County working to reduce youth access to alcohol

February 13, 2013 (San Diego) – Girls and young women throughout San Diego County share common drinking habits with their counterparts elsewhere in the country. About one in five high school girls in San Diego County reported binge drinking on the latest California Healthy Kids Survey, mirroring national statistics on binge drinking released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DRUG AND DEVICE MAKERS MUST DISCLOSE PAYMENTS TO DOCS

 

Lori Abbott, California News Service

February 11, 2013 (Washington D.C.) --The Food and Drug Administration has just announced it's looking for dozens of doctors to serve on advisory committees that evaluate new medical devices before they hit the market. But the agency is also operating under new rules that could make it harder to fill those vacancies. The Affordable Care Act requires drug companies and medical device makers to publicly disclose payments they make to doctors and hospitals. 

LOVE YOUR HEART

February 9, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--In the spirit of Valentine's Day, the San Miguel District Fire Stations will be offering free blood pressure screenings, February 14th from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at any San Miguel District Fire Station. Come get your blood pressure checked. Take the first step towards heart health.  Read more for locations.

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