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FDA APPROVES NASAL SPRAY FLU VACCINE TO PROTECT AGAINST 4 STRAINS OF INFLUENZA

 
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. 

SAN DIEGO’S HIGH SUICIDE RATES—AND HOW TO GET HELP

 

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

LOCAL MAN TAKES A “POLAR PLUNGE” TO SUPPORT HOSPICE PATIENTS

 
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.

 

CHICKENPOX OUTBREAK AT GEORGE BAILEY DETENTION FACILITY

 
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.
 
 

TWO BICYCLE-RELATED RECALLS ANNOUNCED

 

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:

SHOULD YOUR EMPLOYER DECIDE WHAT HEALTHCARE YOU RECEIVE? AMENDMENT TARGETING WOMEN’S HEALTH WOULD IMPACT MEN , TOO

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.” 

MARCH PROGRAMS FOR SENIORS ANNOUNCED BY SHARP GROSSMONT

 
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.

STATE TO CONTINUE ADHC PROGRAM THROUGH MARCH

 
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.

LIFE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT

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.

 

LOVE YOUR HEART FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

 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.

 

YES, THERE IS A FREE LUNCH! FEB. 25 FOR SENIORS INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING AT ALVARADO HOSPITAL

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.

HALF OF LOCAL ADOLESCENTS NEED VACCINES, COUNTY SAYS

 

 
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 BLOOD DRIVE FEB 16

 
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.

 

 

NEW PROCEDURE REPAIRS SEVERED NERVES IN MINUTES, RESTORING LIMB USE IN DAYS OR WEEKS

 
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.

 

COUNTY ACCESS AND CRISIS LINE: NEW, EASY-TO-REMEMBER NUMBER (888) 724-7240 LAUNCHES FEB. 15


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.

ASSEMBLYMEMBER MARTY BLOCK HONORED WITH LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD FROM THE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY, PACIFIC SOUTH COAST CHAPTER


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.” 

ZOCDOC LAUNCH IMPROVES ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE IN SAN DIEGO


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 physiciansobstetrician-gynecologists, and dermatologists are now offering medical appointments through ZocDoc. Additional doctors, specialties, and appointment times are continually being added. 

LIGHTBRIDGE HOSPICE ACHIEVES HIGHEST NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR VETERAN CARE

 
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.

 

LIFE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: DIAGNOSIS MURDER

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.

HEALTHCARE WORKERS STRIKE AT KAISER


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.”

2 VOTES NEEDED TO PASS SINGLE-HEALTHCARE BILL BY TUES. DEADLINE: VARGAS HAS NOT VOTED, COULD LOSE PARTY ENDORSEMENT

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.

STATE SCHOOLS CHIEF TOM TORLAKSON APPLAUDS NEW NUTRITION STANDARDS FOR SCHOOL LUNCHES

 
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.

 

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM RANKS AMONG TOP 15 IN NATION

 
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.

 

STOP “DANGEROUS” BUDGET CUTS THREATENING DISABLED PATIENTS, DISABLED SAN DIEGO MAN IMPLORES: RALLY SET FOR FRIDAY

 

 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.

INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS’ GROUP CALLS FOR HALT TO WIRELESS SMART METERS

 
Organization tells CPUC that smart meters pose health risks, especially for children

 
January 24, 2012 (San Diego)--The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has become the first national physicians’ group to adopt a resolution calling for a halt to wireless smart meters.
 
The group sent a  resolution to the California Public Utilities Commission opposing smart meters due to health risks and calling on the CPUC to take preventative actions to protect public health. 

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT PRESENTS SCHOLARSHIPS TO NURSING STUDENTS


January 24, 2012 (La Mesa) -- The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD, a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County, has presented $6,000 in scholarships to three nursing students based on their community involvement and future plans in the nursing profession. They include Karen Adams of El Cajon, Melissa Foster of La Mesa and Linda Matheny of El Cajon. Adams received $3,000, while Foster and Matheny each received $1,500. All three are nursing students at Grossmont College.

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR HEALTHCARE HERO AWARDS

 
January 25, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) seeks nominations for its 2012 Healthcare Hero Awards, GHD’s annual awards program that honors East County residents whose volunteer efforts help advance delivery of quality healthcare in the East County region.

RAIN BRINGS URBAN RUNOFF TO BEACHES: NO SWIMMING FOR 72 HOURS, COUNTY WARNS

 
January 23, 2012 (San Diego)--The San Diego Department of Environmental Health has issued a General Advisory for the coastal waters of San Diego County due to recent rainfall.  Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned that the 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. 

 

SENIOR FINANCIAL CARE AND HEALTH CARE SEMINAR ON JANUARY 31

 
January 23, 2012 (San Diego) – Assemblymember Marty Block is sponsoring a Senior Financial Care and Health Care seminar on Tuesday, January 31 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.  It will be held at The College Avenue Center at Beth Jacob Synagogue, 4855 College Avenue in San Diego.

 

PRESIDENT MAINTAINS AFFORDABLE CARE ACT RULE EXPANDING COVERAGE FOR CONTRACEPTIVES, KEEPS RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION NARROW


January 22, 2012 (Washington D.C.)
-- Despite pressure from the powerful U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops lobby, the White House announced today that the President would not call for an expansion of the religious exemption in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'(HHS) proposed rule regarding contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing by female employees.

 

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