Health

News on health, wellness and health care

Diana Aguilera

Today state health officials arrived in Fresno for a four day meeting to tackle what local leaders are calling a chlamydia epidemic.

In a rare occasion, the state department of public health sent a team of experts to Fresno. They’re meeting with local health providers in hopes of reducing the alarming rates of chlamydia, especially in teens and young adults.

“Fresno County is a hot spot for chlamydia and for reproductive and sexual health in general,” says Heidi Bauer, a doctor with the Department of Public Health.

Cultiva La Salud

A local group is putting pressure on Fresno Unified School District to unlock school gates after hours and on weekends. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, they say every child no matter what zip code they live in should have a place to play.

The Fresno-based organization Cultiva La Salud, which means “cultivate health” is asking the district to keep school gates unlocked in south Fresno. They say in an area with high rates of obesity and lack of green spaces, kids need a place where they can play and be physically active after hours.

Community Hospitals / UCSF Fresno

One of Fresno’s largest hospitals is expanding its partnership with a Bay Area health care giant, with the possibility of building a new facility in the future.

Community Medical Centers of Fresno and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco say the partnership will expand pediatric care at Community’s downtown Fresno campus, including plans for a new pediatric ICU and inpatient surgery services.

Community Regional Medical Center’s CEO Craig Wagoner says the partnership could lead to even more services in the future.

THOMAS VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

California health officials are noticing a big jump in babies born with congenital syphilis and the Central Valley is at the top of the list. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, state and county health leaders met in Fresno Wednesday to discuss the alarming trend.

Cases of congenital syphilis in California jumped from 30 in 2012 to 100 in 2014. Babies who contract the disease from their mothers during pregnancy can face lifelong health problems and even death.

Fresno’s Planned Parenthood clinics are the latest target in a series of controversial videos about the clinics and their practices. A former employee claims she was pressured to collect fetal body parts without the mother’s consent.

“It really wore me down. The environment is morbid. You can feel it,”

That’s Holly O’Donnell a phlebotomist who says she used to work at Planned Parenthood clinics in Fresno.

The video is the sixth released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress.

Vasilios Sfinarolakis VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

A new study suggests that the Central Valley’s extreme heat is linked with increasing levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports.

A group of scientists say that in recent decades, heat waves in the Central Valley are more severe due to higher humidity and warmer night temperatures.

Roberto Mera with the Union of Concerned Scientists led the study.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The California Department of Public Health is investigating a case of human plague after a child was hospitalized following a visit to Yosemite National Park and Stanislaus National Forest.

The child from Los Angeles County stayed at Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite in mid- July. The child, whose identity has not been released, was the only one ill among family members. State health officials said Thursday that the child is recovering.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Thousands of farmworkers travel all over the Central Valley on a daily basis to pick crops under some very hot weather. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports farmers now have to comply with new regulations to avoid heat illness and deaths among workers.

Farmer Joe Del Bosque, owner of Del Bosque Farms, knows what it’s like to work in the valley’s hot temperatures. He’s been doing it his whole life.

“I grew up with this kind of work by the time I was 10, 11-years-old I was actually picking melons,” Del Bosque says.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

A new app is making it easier for people in California to receive STD testing within the comfort of their own home. FM89’s Diana Aguilera explains how it works.

Android and iPhone users can now download the app called Planned Parenthood Direct. For a cost of $149, users will receive a kit in the mail that tests for both chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Linda Williams with Planned Parenthood says this app makes it easier for people to get tested without feeling judged.

A new report from Fresno State's Central Valley Health Policy Institute highlights the high incidence of infant mortality in the African-American Community. According to study data, African-American babies in Fresno are three times more likely to die when compared with white infants. Recently on Valley Edition we spoke with Lauren N. Lessard, PhD MPH, a research scientist at the Central Valley Health Policy Institute about the study, and why the numbers have grown in recent years. 

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