Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Rx Drop Boxes let residents safely dispose of unwanted medicine at CVS Pharmacy locations

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Contra Costa residents with unwanted prescription medicines can safely dispose of them at 27 CVS Pharmacy locations in the county thanks to new, secure drop boxes added through the county’s Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance.

The ordinance, passed in 2016, requires pharmaceutical drug manufacturers to provide collection services for unused drugs, to protect the environment and prevent accidental poisonings or intentional misuse of drugs such as prescription opioids.

“Safe storage and disposal of medications is one of the easiest and most important ways that each of us can help turn our county’s opioid abuse epidemic around,” said April Rovero, founder of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse and Chair of the Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition.

The drop-box service is free, secure and confidential. The medications can be disposed of at the sites even if they weren’t purchased at CVS. Most medications are accepted in their original containers or in sealed bags. Drugs and packaging placed in drop boxes will be safely destroyed. In addition to CVS Pharmacy locations, 10 Kaiser facilities in Contra Costa also have the drop boxes.

“This new medication disposal program will help save both lives and our environment by making appropriate disposal as easy as stopping by a nearby CVS Pharmacy or Kaiser Permanente,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis.

“We are pleased to work with the County to help provide access to safe medication disposal sites in Contra Costa County as part of our company’s commitment to helping prevent and address prescription opioid abuse and misuse,” said Tom Davis, R.Ph., Vice President, Professional Services, CVS Pharmacy.

Visit cchealth.org/safe-drug-disposal for more information about the ordinance and a link to a searchable database of Contra Costa locations with drop boxes.

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Federal labor board receives complaint against Kaiser Permanente for refusing to negotiate contract affecting 85,000 healthcare workers in 7 states

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

National Labor Relations Board to hold legal hearing March 19 in Oakland

By Sean Wherley, Media Relations Specialist, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West

The federal government recently indicted healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente for refusing to negotiate a contract affecting 85,000 employees in seven states and the District of Columbia, and for wrongly tying those negotiations to a ban on political activity against the company.

“The workers who have helped make this company so successful over the years now feel that their concerns are validated,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. “No longer can Kaiser Permanente claim it was trying to do right by its employees and patients by holding up bargaining and trying to stop workers from speaking out.”

Kaiser Permanente has until Jan. 11 to respond to the decision, and a legal hearing will begin March 19 in Oakland, according to the indictment released Dec. 28 by the National Labor Relations Board.

Kaiser Permanente employees filed a complaint in May 2018 because the company repeatedly canceled contract negotiations with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which comprises 11 labor unions in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The coalition’s national agreement with Kaiser Permanente expired Sept. 30, 2018. The company had previously negotiated contracts with the coalition since 1997.

Last November, Kaiser Permanente settled a contract with a different group of labor unions that prohibits those unions from taking action against the company, whether through ballot initiatives, legislation or other public campaigns. Kaiser tried to apply the same condition to bargaining with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions; however, the Dec. 28 indictment blocks that effort.

Kaiser Permanente’s refusal to bargain comes in the midst of a plan to outsource jobs to “save” money, despite the corporation reporting reserves of $30 billion and profits of $3.8 billion in 2017. In addition, the Kaiser CEO is paid more than $10 million annually, and 30 executives are paid more than $1 million a year.

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Contra Costa Health Services seeks volunteers for annual homeless count

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

WHAT: Contra Costa Health Services’ Division of Health, Housing and Homeless Services (H3) seeks volunteers for the county’s annual point-in-time count of residents who are experiencing homelessness.

Volunteers will work in groups at designated locations across the county to interview people and collect data.

WHO: Volunteers must be 18 or older. Spanish speakers are especially encouraged to volunteer.

WHEN: Each volunteer must attend a two-hour training during the week of January 21 and work a two- to three-hour shift during the week of January 28. Trainings and shifts are available across the county at a variety of times.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear warm clothing and comfortable footwear to their shifts and be prepared to stand for long periods.

WHY: Data collected during the count help H3 and its partners to improve services for Contra Costa’s homeless population and is used by federal, state and local government to determine funding for homeless services.

Visit cchealth.org/h3 for more information and to volunteer. For questions about volunteering, contact Georgia Lucey at georgia.lucey@cchealth.org or 925-608-6700.

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Contra Costa community colleges will remain closed until Monday, Nov. 26

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

By Timothy Leong, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa Community College District

The Contra Costa Community College District (District) has decided to close all College and District operations on Tuesday, November 20th and Wednesday, November 21st. due to ongoing poor air quality.  The District Office and Colleges (Contra Costa, Diablo Valley, San Ramon Campus, Los Medanos, and Brentwood Center) will resume regular operations on Monday, November 26th.

While the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is forecasting improved but fluctuating air quality over the next few days, the District has decided to err on the side of health concerns of its students and staff.  The District has been closed since Thursday, November 15, 3:00 p.m., due to very unhealthy air quality in Contra Costa County.

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Contra Costa Community Colleges closed until Monday due to poor air quality

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

By Timothy Leong, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa Community College District

Due to the unpredictable and poor air quality we are experiencing throughout Contra Costa County, the Contra Costa Community College District has decided to close all locations – Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College, Brentwood Center, San Ramon Campus and District Office – effective 3:00 p.m. today (Thursday), Friday and Saturday.  We will reopen all locations on Monday, November 19, 2018.

While the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is forecasting a significant improvement in air quality over the next few days, we believe this decision best serves the safety of our students, staff and community.

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Keller Canyon Landfill/Hunters Point Naval Shipyard radiation probe agitates East County residents

Monday, June 25th, 2018

By Daniel Borsuk

Some 400 Bay Point and Pittsburg residents exited a community meeting at Ambrose Community Center with more questions than answers Thursday night about stories that radioactive materials had been mistakenly delivered to the Keller Canyon Landfill, located in southeast Pittsburg off of Baily Road. (See related article).

With representatives from county, regional, and state agencies and the Navy in attendance, but no one on hand from TetraTec, the contractor responsible for the removal of nuclear waste material from the former shipyard, residents learned that TetraTec has rejected a request to pick up the bill to pay for an independent investigation into how radioactive material waste entered the landfill on at least two instances.

Those two documented instances where radioactive materials from the shipyard were delivered to the landfill included the January 2014 case when 42 trucks dumped tainted soil with elevated lead.  The case was not considered to be an RCRA hazardous waste situation.  “All contaminated soil was removed from Keller Canyon Landfill,” said    Scott Anderson a Deputy Base Closure Manager of the U.S. Navy Base Realignment. “The Navy wants the community to know that the public is safe.”

In another instance, February 2015, Anderson said the Navy cleaned up at Keller Canyon Landfill after 218 tons of radioactive asphalt that had been delivered to the landfill.   “All the asphalt plus 102 tons of dirt were removed,” he said.

Residents were uncomfortable with the responses that the Navy, and especially Rick King, general manager of Keller Canyon Landfill, offered.  King defended how the landfill properly screens trucks loads with debris from multiple departure points, including Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Some speakers like Jeanette Burgess questioned if the landfill operator rigged the monitors at the entrance to allow truck laden with radioactive materials to enter.   “I question your testers,” she said.

“I don’t know where you get your information,” rebutted King, who defended how the Republic Services Co. personnel monitors the testers and that they meet regulations.

Contra Costa County Environmental Health Director Marilyn Underwood said while there is the possibility Republic Services, operator of the Keller Canyon Landfill, might have to redraft an environmental impact report, she said the county is in the midst of searching for an independent consultant to assess the two documented events as well as other potential radioactive deliveries.

Supervisor Federal Glover, whose District 5 includes Keller Canyon Landfill, urged attendees to ask questions.  “Don’t leave here without asking your questions,” he said.  “We’re trying to get an independent investigation. We’re trying to get the information.”

Since TetraTec has refused to pick up the tab to pay for the independent investigation, Dr. Underwood of the county environmental health department said Supervisor Glover is looking into other potential sources to pay for the investigation.

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Antioch man to host 9th Annual Music Medicine benefit concert for Children’s Hospital at Yoshi’s June 20

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

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Free Q&A on Alzheimer’s with Dr. Robert Herrick at TreVista-Antioch Thursday, March 29

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

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