Health

News on health, wellness and health care

Fresno County

Fresno County's Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday two people have died from complications of flu infections. Both men, one in his 40’s and the other one in his 50’s, had medical conditions which put them at risk from the flu.

Joe Prado, the county’s community health manager, says the men were hospitalized in intensive care for five days before they died earlier this month due to influenza A.

“It’s concerning to our community when we lose two individuals but also it reminds us how deadly flu is.”

Community Regional Medical Center

The ongoing battle over pediatric services between two Central Valley hospitals reached another level Monday. 

Community Medical Centers and UCSF plan to strengthen their partnership in the valley by expanding pediatric specialty care and a pediatric medical education program at CMC’s downtown Fresno hospital.

The center’s announcement came weeks after rival Valley Children’s Hospital revealed a plan to build its own pediatric residency and fellowship programs, after working with UCSF for years.

Craig Kohlruss / The Fresno Bee

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is spending more than $5 million dollars to test around 90,000 inmates for the potentially deadly illness. The goal is to reduce number of infections, and determine who can be housed at both Avenal and Pleasant Valley Prisons.

The results from the newly available skin test will reveal who is at a higher risk of catching Valley Fever and who is not. Those found to be in high-risk groups will not be transferred to the two prisons.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Valley Children’s plan for a new medical education program for pediatric residents and fellows might lead to the breakup of a long running partnership in local medicine.

The new program will train doctors to become pediatric sub-specialists at the hospital, and will establish a fellowship program. The hospital’s choice to have its own residency program means that the hospital’s 40 year medical education partnership with UCSF – Fresno could come to an end.

Fountains For Schools With Limited Water Access

Jan 8, 2015
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

More than 100 schools in California's Central Valley will receive water purification stations under a new program designed to give kids fresh water instead of sugary drinks with lunch. Capital Public Radio's Bob Moffitt reports.

The California Endowment created the pilot project called "Agua For All" and has joined with three regional groups in the state to identify schools that need water fountains or water filtration systems. 

Sarah Buck with the Rural Community Assistance Corporation says 120 schools will receive new fountains.

Children's Hospital Central California

Valley Children's Hospital has announced a plan for a new graduate medical education program for pediatric residents and fellows.

The new program will trains doctors to become pediatric sub-specialists at the hospital, and will establish a fellowship program.

The hospital says it has offered to sponsor the existing pediatric residency program,  which is a partnership with UCSF. Officials with Valley Children's say the hospital will continue to support that program financially until the hospital's own residency program is established. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

With the final vote for the Fresno General Plan Update and Environmental Impact Report just around the corner, activists are appealing for changes to the plan that could potentially alter the health of children in the region. 

A group of activists an    d health leaders met today at the site of a proposed new park in Northwest Fresno near Highway 99 to protest what they call a big problem with the city's proposed new general plan. Their concern - this park and another would be built next to busy freeways - and the polluted air that comes from them.

http://www.childrenscentralcal.org/Info/Leaders/Pages/ToddSuntrapak.aspx

Last week the valley’s only pediatric hospital announced some big changes, starting with a new name – Children’s Hospital Central California is now returning the name it had from 1950’s through the early 2000’s Valley Children’s Hospital.

Valley Children's Hospital

Children's Hospital Central California announced three big changes they say will improve quality of care for children in the Central Valley.

First, Children's Hospital Central California is returning to its old name Valley Children's Hospital, which it hasn't officially used since 2002.

Second, the hospital revealed its own new health network that will provide a full spectrum of pediatric services for kids in the region.

Health In An Age Of Change: State Health Czar Diana Dooley Reflects On The ACA's Impact

Dec 8, 2014
CHHS Dept

Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, oversees 13 departments and supervises the state’s rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act, including Covered California, the state’s insurance marketplace, and the Medi-Cal program for the poor. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her in late 2010. A native of Hanford, she earlier served as president and CEO of the California Children’s Hospital Assn. She worked for Brown during his first administration.

Health Reform In California: A State Of Accelerating Change

Dec 8, 2014
Lauren M. Whaley / CHCF Center for Health Reporting

Gail Fulbeck, 64, relies on her body for work. She hauls soda, energy drinks, snacks and water to the 23 vending machines she owns around downtown Sacramento.

The physical demands of her job, coupled with her husband’s history of migraines and bad knees, make health insurance essential.

Last year, Fulbeck and her husband paid a monthly insurance premium of $2,555.

Starting Jan. 1 of this year, the couple’s premium for a nearly identical plan totaled $165. It was, she said, almost unbelievable.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

After being forced to evacuate in March because of a gas leak, eight Arvin families are finally returning to the place they call home. But, as Fm89’s Diana Aguilera explains, some residents are still concerned about the situation.

State and Kern County officials met with the families on Friday and told them it was safe for the residents to return home.

Representatives from the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources say the rounds of testing done in and around the homes on Nelson Court confirmed that the level of gasses were back to normal.

Covered California Attempting To Calm Immigrants' Fears

Dec 3, 2014

Covered California is trying to reassure immigrant communities their information will not be turned over to immigration authorities if they sign up for health insurance.

Only documented immigrants are eligible for California’s health insurance exchange. But Executive Director Peter Lee says the fear of deportation still prevents some from using the service.   

Fresno County

It's still illegal to grow marijuana in Fresno County. The Board of Supervisors entertained the possibility of lifting the outright ban on cultivation during their meeting today but instead decided to retain the county's zero tolerance policy.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

Immigrant advocates say more undocumented Californians could receive health care as a result of President Barack Obama’s recent executive action. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

California already allows some undocumented immigrants to enroll in Medi-Cal if they’ve qualified for deportation relief. Anthony Wright is Executive Director of the consumer advocacy group Health Access California. He says the president's executive action will expand the pool of Medi-Cal eligible immigrants.

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

With the second open enrollment period of Covered California in full swing, state officials are boosting their efforts to reach out to Latinos. Yet, there are many people in the Central Valley who are living in the shadows when it comes to enrolling for health care.

Covered California officials say they're proud to have signed up 1.2 million people for health insurance during the first year. But Executive Director Peter Lee says there’s still some things they want to improve.

Covered California Gears Up For Open Enrollment

Nov 13, 2014

Covered California is trying to raise awareness about the start of open enrollment this Saturday, November 15th. As Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone tells us from Sacramento, the experience this year may be different for people buying their own insurance.

Covered California says its website this year will be able to accommodate more people who might be logging in at the same time. And Director Peter Lee says it will have 200 storefront locations and expanded service center hours.

Fresno County

Undocumented immigrants may not lose access to specialty health care in Fresno County, after the Board of Supervisors approved a new $5.5 million plan on Tuesday. 

The move comes just months after the county voted to exclude those in the country illegally from accessing the Medically Indigent Services Program or MISP, a safety net program that had provided immigrants care for decades. 

Fresno County

After months of uncertainty, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors will decide on Tuesday the future of health care for its undocumented community.

The board has two options. They can accept or reject a deal from the state to defer the county’s payment of $5.5 million for road funds in exchange of continuing to provide specialty care for the medically indigent.

Fresno State / Fresno State Official Facebook

A female Fresno State student was recently diagnosed with active tuberculosis, Fresno County health officials announced Thursday.

David Luchini, the assistant director of the county’s department of public health, says the female student was diagnosed about a week to ten days ago. Luchini says the student was infectious.

"Now we're working very closely with the Fresno State medical staff to identify students who we consider close contacts to the student who has tuberculosis, to get these contacts screened with a TB skin test," he says.

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