Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Delta-Antioch Kiwanis to hold 43rd Annual Holiday Run & Walk for Health Saturday, Dec. 14

Friday, December 6th, 2019

The Kiwanis Club of the Delta-Antioch will hold their 43rd Annual Holiday Run & Walk for Health fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Contra Loma Regional Park. Following is the schedule for the various races and age categories.

Registration Begins at 7:30 a.m.

1 Mile Run/Walk 9 a.m.

Ages: 6 & under, 7-9, 10-12. All ages are welcome. For those over the age of 12 entry is for fitness and fun. Ribbons will be awarded to all participants.

10K Run 9:30 a.m.

Ages: 13 & under; 14-18; 19-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; 70+

3 Mile Run/Walk 9:35 a.m.

Ages: 9 & under; 10-12; 13-15; 16-18; 19-24; 25-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69, 70+

Kids Dashes with Santa 10:15 a.m.

Ages: 3 & under (20 yds.); 4-5 (40 yds.); 6-7 (60 yds.)

For more information and to register online visit www.holidayrunandwalk.org.

 

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Supervisors ban vaping product sales, plan to approve cannabis retail, cultivation permits

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized CCTV on its 25th anniversary at the supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday. Accepting the resolution on behalf of CCTV was Susan Shiu, Contra Costa County director of communications and media. CCTV currently broadcasts six channels – CCTV, City Channel, Ed TV, Community Access, Hercules Community TV, and Delta TV. The Contra Costa Television network provides public, education and government access services for users in Contra Costa County, in the cities of Antioch, Clayton, Danville, Hercules, Martinez, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, and San Ramon. CCTV has adopted the slogan “Making Television Part of the Solution.” Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

Recognize 25th anniversary of CCTV.

By Daniel Borsuk

A few hours after supervisors had unanimously passed an ordinance banning the sale of vaping products and prohibiting the delivery of cannabis vaping products in unincorporated Contra Costa County, the elected officials instructed Planning Department officials on Tuesday to prepare for supervisors’ potential approval of land use permits for commercial cannabis storefront retailers and cultivators at the supervisors’ upcoming December 10th meeting.

Supervisors adopted the county’s anti-vaping ordinance, after supervisors listening to 10 speakers advocate for the prohibition of the sale or delivery of tobacco vaping products, cannabis vaping products, and flavored tobacco products in 54 retail stores in unincorporated areas of the county. A week ago, more than 50 speakers called on supervisors to pass the proposed anti-vaping ordinance.

Prior to adoption of the new law banning the countywide sale of vaping products, the county prohibited the retail sale of vaping products to persons under 21 years old within 1,000 feet of a public or private school, playground, park or library. That law had affected about 45 retailers in unincorporated parts of the county.

More than 2,000 Americans, many of them teenagers and young adults, have become sick from using vaping products since March, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some persons have died from using vaping products.

Supervisors set the stage to select candidates who will be invited to apply for either cannabis storefront retail and commercial cannabis cultivator land use permits from the Conservation & Development Department.

Supervisors learned a 10-member Cannabis Review Panel consisting of representatives from the county Administrator’s Office, Department of Agriculture, Contra Costa Fire Protection District, Health Services Department and Conservation & Development Department(CDD), had met 15 times to score and rank candidates seeking land use permits to start the regulatory process of legally operating in accordance with the County’s Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance that was approved by county voters on Nov. 6, 2018.

The county cannabis ordinance permits for the creation of four storefront cannabis retailers, 10 commercial cannabis cultivators and two commercial cannabis manufactures in agricultural zones.

CDD official Ruben Hernandez, said proposals for storefront retailers were received from Bay Point, 2; from Clyde, 1; Pacheco Boulevard, 10; El Sobrante, 7, and North Richmond, 1.

Eleven of the 19 commercial cannabis cultivator proposals were found to be ineligible because the subject properties are not within service area of a retail water supplier, a requirement set in the Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance.

A majority of the commercial cannabis cultivation proposals were located in the Eastern Contra Costa areas of Bethel Island, Kingston and Brentwood area. Three proposals were located in North Richmond.

“Since fewer proposals were received than the maximum number of commercial cultivation businesses to be permitted, the panel is recommending that all seven eligible proposals be invited to apply for land use permits,” a document from CDD Director John Kopchik stated.

During the public speaking portion, several persons protested that the cultivation operations nearby housing subdivisions will stimulate crime and/or health problems.

Knightsen resident Ann Richie said permitting cannabis cultivation operations nearby her residence will only increase crime. “We’ve had two incidents recently,” she said. “They were violent crimes. Please don’t let this happen.”

Patrice Kintral of Knightsen told supervisors that allowing a cannabis cultivation operation nearby her home will mean more health problems for her nine-year-old special needs daughter. “This proposal could mean she may expect to have more migraines,” Kintral said.

In the meantime, some Supervisors plan to study the proposed sites before the December 10, meeting.

Board Chair John Gioia plans to look at each site before the Board’s next meeting. “Some of these locations are better than others,” he said.

“We want to start slow on this,” said Vice Chair Candace Andersen. “We want to dot the i’s and cross the t’s because we have seen how other counties have made mistakes when they enacted cannabis laws.”

District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, who has five cannabis proposals in his district, and District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who has 10 cannabis proposals in her district (Pacheco Boulevard), both liked the community benefit proposals that bidders submitted. “You did a fabulous job,” Mitchoff said.

In other action, supervisors approved on consent the following:

  • Renewed a $322,927 a year contract with Baker & Taylor for book rental services for the Contra Costa County Library from Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2020. Baker & Taylor builds and maintains an economical method for maintaining an inventory of the most current, high demand hardcover titles.
  • Approved the $13 million Marsh Drive Bridge Replacement Project over the Walnut Creek Channel. Constructed in 1938, the existing bridge is structurally, seismically and hydraulically deficient and will be replaced with a new five-span bridge, pre-stressed concrete slab structure on concrete piles that is longer and wider than the existing bridge, at about 340 feet long and 55 feet wide. The bridge is currently 325 feet long and 34 feet wide.
  • Increased solid waste collection rates in the unincorporated West County areas covered by the Richmond Sanitary Service. The residential rate increase of 4.63 percent effective Jan. 1, 2020
  • The rate increase corresponds with a monthly raise of $1.17 in the most common (35-gallon cart) collection rate.
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Diabetes getting you down? Class offers answers close to home

Friday, November 1st, 2019

ANTIOCH – The farther outside of metropolitan areas people live the harder it can be for them to access healthcare services, in large part due to the time and money it takes to travel outside of the community for care. Diabetes education is no exception.

Now, people with diabetes can access the most up-to-date and accurate diabetes education without leaving the area. Recently, Sutter Delta Medical Center’s Outpatient Diabetes Center achieved accreditation by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), joining other affiliated hospitals within the Sutter Health integrated network of care.

Shahla Cano, R.D., a registered dietician, certified diabetes educator and board certified advance diabetes manager says the accreditation is important because, “We want to make sure our patients don’t have to travel for diabetes education. Forty-five to 50 percent of patients here in Eastern Contra Costa County have diabetes—and those are only the ones who know about it. Unfortunately, there are not that many resources available to a population that is so critically impacted.”

Sutter Delta’s accreditation by AADE means that the program operates based on evidence-based guidelines, offers approved educational materials, and the educators are accredited.

Cano says that all too often people don’t realize the dire consequences of unmanaged diabetes. More than that, people with Type 2 diabetes can easily fall into a “shame and blame” trap and end up feeling guilty, which impacts their motivation to seek care. She wants to see more people in the community get educated on what she calls the “basics of diabetes management.”

“It’s about the little things: taking the proper medications, taking care of your eyes and feet, and seeing your doctor,” she says.

Effective diabetes management is a team effort. It requires patient participation, effective education and communication with clinicians. Physicians don’t have the time to spend hours with individual patients, which is why Cano says resources like the Outpatient Diabetes Center are critical.

Sutter Delta’s accreditation is important for several reasons according to Cano. “The accreditation is recognized by the physicians. We have to follow certain standards. And it pushes us to follow evidence-based care. What we say to people carries a lot of weight, and if the information you give isn’t evidence-based, it could cause major harm. What I teach my patients is not something I am making up—it is based on years of research.”

Cano is proud of the accreditation because it helps Sutter Delta better serve the local community by providing easier access to diabetes education. “Diabetes education is a challenge, but we have to try because one person could make the difference. I want to give it everything I have because it could make a difference in one person’s life.”

Cano has a wealth of information she’s eager to share with members of the community living with diabetes, from diabetes management tips to information about glucose monitoring devices that may be covered by insurance.

The free Living Well with Diabetes Class is held once a month from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Sutter Delta Medical Center Education Center at 3901 Lone Tree Way in Antioch. The class covers:

  • Weight management
  • Stress reduction
  • Blood sugar control
  • Complication reduction

The class also includes a $5 lunch voucher for the hospital’s cafeteria.

Those who would like the schedule or are interested in registering can call the center at (925) 779-3605.

 

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Bay Area Lifeline Nursing training school opens in Antioch

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

Located in the heart of Antioch, Bay Area Lifeline Nursing is a Nursing Assistant and Home Health aide training school. Our goal is to help change lives within the community one heartbeat at a time.

We prepare our students for the California Health Department Certification for Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides. We also offer CEU (Continuing Education Units) and CPR classes.

Our instructors are highly experienced nurses with backgrounds from various healthcare settings including nursing education.

We offer an accelerated 21-day program to complete the Nursing Assistant Training and get you ready for the board examination and certification.

Certified Nursing Assistants are currently in high demand in health care facilities such as hospitals, nursing and convalescent homes, assisted living facilities, doctors offices, rehabilitation facilities, group homes, and in-home settings.

The California Health department requires periodic continued education units by every certified nursing assistant for certification renewal. Bay Area Lifeline Nursing offers courses to meet these requirements.

Let BALN help you start a new lifestyle with better job opportunities in California. They’re located at 3501 Lone Tree Way, Suite 1 in Antioch. For more information call (925) 839-7279, email info@balnursing.com or visit www.balnursing.com.

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Contra Costa Health Services celebrates Black Breastfeeding Week Aug. 25-31

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

WHAT: Join our celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 25-31 at the Chocolate Milk Lounge, a free health education event to help black moms and families meet each other and learn about the importance of breastfeeding their infants.

The Lounge includes certified lactation consultants and information about community resources to support breastfeeding mothers, along with prizes, gift bags, snacks and more. The lounge is sponsored by Contra Costa Health Services, Black Infant Health and First 5 Contra Costa.

For more information, call Pam Moore at 925-313-6128, Marlene Ceballo at 925-646-5200 or Lonnie Watkins at 925-313-6254.

WHO: All are welcome. Registration is required – links below.

WHEN: 12-2pm Tuesday, Aug. 27 at Antioch First 5 Center, 300 H Street – register

11am-2pm Wednesday, Aug. 28 at Pittsburg Health Center, 2311 Loveridge Road – register

10am-12pm Thursday, Aug. 29 at LifeLong Brookside San Pablo Health Center, 2023 Vale Road, San Pablo – register

8:30am-12pm Friday, Aug. 30 at West County Health Center, 501 Gateway Avenue, San Pablo – register

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Antioch doctor working to reduce childhood obesity one family at a time

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Richard D Singer, M.D. Photo by Sutter Delta.

New Program Aims to Help East Contra Costa County Kids Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

By Meg Walker, Sutter Health

Making sure kids eat a balanced diet and maintain a proper weight can be a difficult task. Especially if the child is overweight, obese or a picky eater.

In Contra Costa County the problem is especially acute. Kidsdata.org, a program at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, compiled data in 2018 by grade level and found that in the county 36.1 percent of fifth graders, 35.7 percent of seventh graders and 33.4 percent of ninth graders are overweight or obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control, overweight or obese children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life. They are also more prone to develop stress, sadness, and low self-esteem.

Richard Singer, M.D., a pediatrician with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) based in Brentwood, had become increasingly concerned about the overweight children he sees in his practice and the lack of nutritional counseling services available in eastern Contra Costa County.

So, after careful planning, Dr. Singer recently started a pediatric weight management program at outpatient pediatric offices in Antioch and Brentwood. As part of the program, a registered dietician on the staff at Sutter Delta Medical Center sees patients one day a week at an SEBMF care center.

“There is an epidemic of childhood obesity and all of the complications associated with obesity,” Dr. Singer said. “Our community needs resources to help intervene and improve the quality of life of these children. The pediatric dietician will help parents and their children make better food choices as well as providing ongoing support and helping to monitor their progress.”

In June, Elika Vargas, a registered dietitian at Sutter Delta Medical Center, began meeting with parents and their children on Mondays, either in the SEBMF primary care clinic in Antioch or Brentwood. Children from 2 to 18 years of age are referred to her by primary care physicians.

Vargas reviews the child’s medical history and assesses the child’s eating patterns. Her goal is not to put the child on a diet but to guide the child and the parents on how to eat healthy meals. She also asks the parents and child about physical activity, as lack of exercise contributes significantly to being overweight or obese. Follow-up care is important to assess adherence to nutrition recommendations and weight trends.

“The idea is to promote a healthy lifestyle and gradual weight loss, and to teach families about nutrition so they can make these decisions on their own,” Vargas said. “I let them know why they should be eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables to get the right nutrition.”

Many barriers to healthy eating exist. The availability of convenience and processed foods, larger portion sizes and lack of physical activity are some of the contributors to obesity. Families are busy and eating fast food may be easier than preparing a balanced meal.

 

It can be difficult to get children to eat fruits and vegetables. Parents have to be willing to be role models by following their own healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and plenty of exercise.

Some of her advice to parents on how to help children adopt a healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Cut out sugary desserts and juices or try fruit-infused water.
  • Avoid processed and convenience foods. Cook meals at home so children are more likely to have enough vegetables and whole grains.
  • Encourage kids to get involved in preparing meals or in helping with grocery shopping.
  • Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables with different colors, flavors and textures.

“With kids you have to offer healthy choices such as fruit and vegetables multiple times,” Vargas said. “It’s persistence and communication.”

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Kaiser Permanent responds to strike vote by SEIU United Healthcare Workers

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

In response to the vote to strike by the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers (see related article), John Nelson, Vice President, Communications, Kaiser Permanente issued the following statement:

Kaiser Permanente and SEIU-UHW have been working together toward a mutually beneficial agreement as part of the national bargaining with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions that began in April. Unfortunately, UHW leadership has decided to use the threat of a strike as a bargaining tactic, designed to divide employees and mischaracterize Kaiser Permanente’s position, even though most of the contracts don’t expire until October.

We believe the result of the strike vote reflects obviously misleading ballot questions used by the union:

  • “I vote YES to authorize our bargaining team to call for a strike to protest Kaiser’s illegal behavior and unfair labor practices and to show my support for a contract with good raises, no take-aways and a ban on subcontracting.”
  • “I vote NO and am willing to accept a contract that increases our medical costs, cuts our pensions and retiree medical benefits, offers lower pay scales and raises that are less for Oregon and Washington than California.”

To be clear, Kaiser Permanente has presented a contract proposal that would provide annual pay increases that would keep our employees compensated higher than market averages and maintain excellent benefits. Contrary to the union’s claims, there are no pay cuts and no changes to our employees’ defined pension benefit, under our proposal.

It is important to understand that a strike vote does not mean that a strike is imminent, although it does place Kaiser Permanente in the position of having to spend millions of dollars preparing for the threat of a strike event. Our first priority is always continuity of care for our patients and members.

SEIU-UHW leadership is more interested in a power play to position themselves vis a vis other Kaiser Permanente unions – rather than focusing on what is best for their membership.  At a time when we are working hard to keep our care affordable, the Coalition’s demands are not fair to our members and the communities we serve. Coalition-represented employees are already compensated 23% above market rates—we pay well and we have markets where our wage rates are challenging our ability to be affordable. The Coalition’s proposal would actually increase our wages on average 32% above the market over the next five years, adding a billion dollars to our labor costs.

Despite the union leadership’s disruptive tactics, we are hopeful that our employees will value our proposal and SEIU-UHW and the other Coalition unions will move forward with us to reach a new agreement. Our goal is to continue to make Kaiser Permanente a great place to give and receive care.

Proposed Contract Offer

Kaiser Permanente’s bargaining proposal would provide employees with the following best-in-class conditions:

  • Solid wage increases. The average salary of Coalition-represented employees is already higher than market averages. Mindful of our goal to improve the affordability of health care and engage our employees in the effort, the current proposal provides guaranteed wage increases across the board each year through 2022 of 3% each year in Northern and Southern California.
  • Opportunities for new hires. Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition are proposing a $40 million Workforce Development Fund and creation of new-hire training positions, all part of the solution to address the national shortage of health care workers and help develop the next generation of unionized workers in health care.
  • Retirement security. The proposal preserves the existing defined pension plan along with other strong retirement benefits.
  • Career mobility. The proposal includes a more robust tuition reimbursement program for employees that allows more funds to be used for travel.
  • Affordable health care. The proposal includes a pharmacy utilization approach that incents employees to take greater responsibility for their health by rewarding them for increasing their use of mail-order prescriptions.

Just last year SEIU-UHW touted what it described as “strong wages and benefits” in the agreement it reached with Dignity Health, which included lower wage increases (13% over 5 years plus a one-time 1% bonus) than being offered by Kaiser Permanente, and only $2.5 million for workforce development, as compared to $40 million in Kaiser Permanente’s current proposal. (Source: SEIU-UHW press release, March 2018, http://www.seiu-uhw.org/archives/26114)

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Kaiser Permanente workers in Antioch, state vote to support strike beginning in October

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Strike would affect more than 24,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in the Bay Area, including more than 1,200 in Antioch. Voting results in five other states, D.C. expected by September; would be nation’s largest walkout since 1997

OAKLAND, CA  Kaiser Permanente workers in California poured out in large numbers to overwhelmingly authorize a strike in early October that would be the biggest in the United States in more than two decades.

Becoming the first of more than 80,000 Kaiser workers to vote, members of the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) across the state voted between July 29 and Aug. 11 whether to approve the unfair labor practices strike at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics. More than 37,000 cast ballots in support of a strike (98 percent) while only 867 voted to oppose (2 percent). The turnout was uncommonly high for a strike vote in any industry, with two-thirds of workers casting ballots.

Strike authorization votes among other groups of Kaiser workers in California, and Kaiser Permanente employees in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia run through mid-September. The strike would start in early October and be the nation’s largest since the Teamsters’ walkout at United Parcel Service in 1997.

“Kaiser workers all over California are putting a stake in the ground that it’s time for this corporation to get back on track and live up to its mission to help patients, workers and communities thrive, said Heather Wright, a women’s health clerk at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif. “This strike vote is about stopping Kaiser’s unfair labor practices. This company should be all about providing the best possible patient care, but unfortunately its focus in recent years has been on making billions of dollars in profits and millions of dollars for Kaiser executives.”

Workers want Kaiser Permanente to bargain in good faith and stop committing unfair labor practices, and are fighting for a new contract that would:

  1. Restore a true worker-management partnership, and have Kaiser bargain in good faith;
  2. Ensure safe staffing and compassionate use of technology;
  3. Build the workforce of the future to deal with major projected shortages of licensed and accredited staff in the coming years; and
  4. Protect middle-class jobs with wages and benefits that can support families.

As a non-profit entity, Kaiser Permanente is supposed to serve the public interest in exchange for billions of dollars in tax breaks. But in recent years, the corporation has departed from its mission:

  • Profits: Kaiser made more than $5.2 billion in profits during the first half of 2019, bringing its profits to more than $11 billion since Jan. 1, 2017. The company also sits on $35 billion in reserves.
  • Executive pay: Kaiser gave its CEO a $6 million raise to $16 million a year and pays at least 36 executives a million dollars or more a year.
  • Care for low-income patients: Kaiser provides very little care to Medicaid patients, far less than other non-profit health systems, even though it gets massive tax breaks in exchange for supposedly working in the public interest.
  • Financial transparency: Kaiser lacks transparency and operates in the shadows. It is exempt from many of the financial reporting requirements of other hospitals and health systems. Operating secretly allows Kaiser to avoid the kind of scrutiny consumers, employers, unions and regulators need to protect themselves and the public.
  • Turning its back on workers: Kaiser has worked to destroy what had been the most successful and largest worker-management partnership in the country that was a source of innovation and problem-solving for many years; it has committed numerous unfair labor practices, including refusing to bargain in good faith.
  • Destroying good jobs. Kaiser is actively destroying good jobs by outsourcing them to companies that pay low wages with few benefits, and wants to limit the wages and cut the benefits of its frontline healthcare employees.

The workers’ national contract expired Sept. 30, 2018, and in December 2018 the National Labor Relations Board charged Kaiser Permanente with failing to bargain in good faith. Since then, Kaiser has continued to commit unfair labor practices.

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions comprises labor unions in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, representing more than 80,000 Kaiser caregivers. To learn more, visit www.KaiserKeepThriveAlive.com.     

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