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On Valley Edition: Rural Health Care; Graduation Task Force; Heart Month

Feb 28, 2012

This week on Valley Edition we talk about the challenges of providing health care in the Valley's rural communities. We'll hear a special report about a Reedley hospital that has recently emerged from bankruptcy, and talk with Assembly Member Linda Halderman, who is a physician, about the efforts to reform the state's Medi-Cal program. We'll also learn more about Fresno Unified's new graduation task force and find out what this commission will do to help stem the wave of dropouts that has been a major source of concern in the district. 

Segment 1: Rural Health Care
Like many small Valley communities, the Fresno County town of Reedley was in danger of losing its only hospital after the Sierra Kings Health Care District declared bankruptcy in 2009. But when a deal with Adventist Health emerged last year, the once beleaguered hospital is now under new management, and area residents are enthusiastic about the future. FM89's Juanita Stevenson reports on how Reedley turned its health care nightmare around, and what other rural communities can learn from this story. Assembly Member Linda Halderman also shares her thoughts on the challenges of providing rural health care services within the Medi-Cal system, and studio guests Rebecca Plevin, a reporter for Vida en el Valle, and Steve Barrow from the California State Rural Health Association both join us live to talk about the future of rural health care in California.

Segment 2: Graduation Task Force
The Fresno Unified School District has recently received scrutiny for its handling of efforts to keep students in school, from truancy to dropouts. In an effort to address community concerns and develop strategies to keep kids in district classrooms, the district has appointed a new graduation task force, chaired by former state Assembly Member, and former FUSD school board member Juan Arambula. On this segment of Valley Edition, Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson and Arambula join us to talk about the role and scope of this new task force and what the district is doing to solve the dropout problem.

Segment 3: Heart Month
February is National Heart Month. Each year nearly 300,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest with no prior heart conditions. The American Heart Association reports that 4 out of 5 times, these types of heart attacks happen at the home. The sooner cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is started, the greater the chance of survival. Our reporter Tracey Scharmann caught up with local Clovis resident at his home and the strangers who saved his life by performing CPR until the paramedics arrived. Later, Valley Edition host Juanita Stevenson talks with Kristy Sherman, RN and owner of Heartlink, a local business that provides CPR training.

Special funding for this program comes from the California HealthCare Foundation