Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

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Supervisors move forward ban on second-hand smoke in apartments, hotels, motels

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

By Daniel Borsuk

With the health consequences of second-hand smoke to children and the elderly well-documented, Contra Costa County is on the verge of becoming the 42nd jurisdiction in the state to ban smoking in dwelling units of apartment buildings, hotels, and motels once supervisors approve the ordinance that’s slated for the board’s March 13th meeting.

In a lopsided meeting where supervisors did not hear any opposition against the proposed ordinance, District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond asked Contra Costa County Public Health Director Dan Peddycord whether the proposed ordinance will also apply to short-term rentals.  Short-term rents have become a hot button issue in most part of the county and have impacted the county’s housing crisis.

Peddycord answered that the proposed ordinance will not apply to short-term rental units.

The full impact of the proposed county ordinance will require apartment owners and hotel and motel operators to post no smoking signs in dwelling units and to apply measures designed to eliminate second smoke from drifting into dwelling units where children and the elderly reside and are most susceptible to the respiratory effects of tobacco smoke.

The cities of Danville, El Cerrito, Richmond and Walnut Creek and the counties of Sonoma, San Mateo and Santa Clara are some of the jurisdictions that have already adopted second hand smoke prohibition laws.

In the county Public Health Department’s research on the proposed ordinance, officials garnered the full support from the California Apartment Association.  Health department officials drew a 50 percent endorsement from four major homeowners’ associations in the county.

In the department’s research, officials learned four major hotels in the county are already in compliance with the proposed law by posting no smoking signs in guest rooms and common areas.  Those hotels are the Burlington Hotel in Port Costa, the Crowne Plaza in Concord, Embassy Suites, and the Renaissance Hotel in Walnut Creek.

In Contra Costa County there are approximately 10,000 individual dwelling units that would be affected by the new ordinance supervisors will very likely approve at the March 13 meeting.

According to the Public Health Department, a majority of the 120 second hand smoke complaints received by the department’s Tobacco Prevention Program over the last three years continue to emanate from multi-family housing residents.  During that period, 96 complaints were filed concerning unit-to-unit and outside-to-unit drifting smoke during that period.

“We are very happy to support this ordinance,” said Randy Uang of Breathe California, a San Francisco-based non-profit health organization.  “This ordinance will help in reducing chronic breathing and lung ailments, especially among children in Contra Costa County.”

Stephanie Robbins, an apartment dweller in unincorporated Walnut Creek, told supervisors the proposed ordinance will help people like her who lives in an upstairs apartment unit and has to constantly endure second-hand smoke from a downstairs neighbor.  “I’ve already spent $2,000 in hiring an attorney,” Robbins said.  “I endorse this ordinance because it will help me and my child fight against second hand smoke.”

The ordinance will go into effect July 1, 2019 after Public Health Department officials have educated and trained apartment owners.  The program will be funded by state Propositions 99 and 56.

Round Hill Police District Tax Hike Election Approved – A 150% Increase

The 1,296 registered voters in the unincorporated Round Hill area of Alamo, will have the opportunity to vote on whether the county should hike their property taxes from $330 per parcel to $812 per parcel in order to maintain two county sheriff’s deputies and a patrol car.

With no one speaking during the public speaking portion, supervisors approved on a 4-0 vote to have Round Hill residents vote in the June 5 election on whether to boost taxes on 739 parcels in order to raise $596,820 in tax revenue to cover increased patrol expenses on a yearly basis.

The measure will require two-thirds voter approval to pass during the June election.

Supervisors also approved, on a 4-0 vote, the acquisition of up to $2 million of solar panels to be installed over the 651 Pine Street parking lot for a 10-year period, Feb. 27, 2018 through Feb. 28, 2028.  The county will buy the solar panels from ENGIE Services U.S. Inc.  ENGIE Services will also install the solar panels.

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Regional Medical Center CEO named new Director of Contra Costa Health Services

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Anna Roth, RN, MS, MPH. Photo courtesy of Contra Costa Regional Medical Center

After a nationwide search, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors chose a healthcare leader with experience in the county by appointing Anna Roth as the new director of Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) January 30.

Roth has served as Chief Executive Officer of Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers for nine years. She succeeds Dr. William B. Walker, who served more than two decades as Health Services Director and over three decades as County Health Officer.

“We are pleased to announce the selection of Anna Roth as our new Health Services Director,” said David Twa, Contra Costa County Administrator. “Anna is a seasoned Health Services executive working in CCHS for nearly 25 years and we look forward to her leadership in addressing the many issues facing the health department in the coming years.”

Roth holds a master’s degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University. She is a registered nurse with more than 30 years of healthcare experience and is an Institute for Healthcare Improvement Quality Improvement Fellow. Roth is a renowned leader in system redesign and innovation and a strong advocate for the inclusion of patients, families and the community as full partners in the delivery of health services.

“We congratulate Anna on her appointment and look forward to working with her on healthcare issues that impact our residents,” said Karen Mitchoff, Chair for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors.

In addition to Roth’s healthcare experience, she’s also held executive leadership roles locally, statewide and nationally as board member and chair of both the Essential Hospitals Institute and the California Health Care Safety Net Institute. Roth is also a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

CCHS is the largest department of county government in Contra Costa, with more than 4,400 employees and an annual budget of $1.8 billion. CCHS includes primary, specialty and inpatient medical care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, public health programs, environmental health protection, hazardous materials response and inspection and emergency medical services, as well as a county operated health maintenance organization, the Contra Costa Health Plan.

More information about Contra Costa Health Services is available at

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Two public events at TreVista Senior Living & Memory Care in Antioch in January

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

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TreVista Senior Living & Memory Care offers five things needed to care for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

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Kiwanis Club’s annual Holiday Run & Walk for Health at Contra Loma, this Saturday, Dec. 9

Monday, December 4th, 2017

To download the entry form, click here: holiday_run_2017_registration_entry_form

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How Antioch’s elderly can improve their memory

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Photo by Hermes Rivera

By June Brown   

Antioch’s elderly population is merely 9% and of this figure, 20% are living alone according to Living alone has many implications including loneliness, isolation and even memory problems. While aging is a normal process, there are things that can be done about memory failure. The good news is there are ways to boost memory and for seniors who are living solo, it helps if memory is intact improving quality of life and their safety.

Lifestyle Changes

Who says no one can change bad habits even if already old? For the elderly, now is a great time to think about those lifestyle changes. There are several ways to enhance and improve memory and one of them is to follow healthy diets and exercise.

Eating well-balanced meals, including lots of greens and fruits as well as important omega-3 fatty acids can keep brains alive and healthy. A diet rich in proteins, lean in carbohydrates and low in bad fats helps brain cells which in turn promotes good memory.

Antioch has an abundance of fresh food markets such as Kaiser Permanente Antioch Farmers’ Market, Brentwood and Pittsburg Markets. Eventbrite is a good source of food and drink events in Antioch where seniors can go such as the upcoming Fall Harvest Festival 2017 and the Acorn Workshop.

Studies also validate that exercise and getting into physical movement can reduce sedentary living which can lead to diseases such as heart attacks, high blood pressure or certain types of cancers. If every senior works out at least 150 minutes a week, it would boost memory and thinking skills (Harvard Health Blog, 2014).

Antioch offers many gyms where the elderly can exercise. There are parks for quiet walks and relaxation. Contra Costa Canal Trail and Contra Loma Regional Park & Swimming Lagoon are great places to go for a walk, hike or a swim. There are golf, bowling and skating facilities for sports lovers and active seniors.

Brain Games and Exercises

The brain like any other part of the body needs to work out. Stimulation is part of keeping brain cells healthy and strong. There are many ways older adults can boost brain power and improve memory with simple daily tasks such as reading and doing crossword puzzles.  Playing chess, trying computer games, and learning new things (language, sewing or musical instruments) also help. By being mentally active, the brain remains sharp slowing down its degradation over time or as one ages.


Another factor that contributes to memory retention is socialization. Isolation is not a positive thing as it brings depression, anxiety and stress, factors that contribute to memory loss. Meeting new people whether by going to functions, eating together or volunteering at charities prevents negative psychological effects improving mood, memory and cognitive function. There is a correlation between socialization and dementia incidence. The longer the brain stays inactive, the more likely it will stagnate. Social engagement is important to keep it functioning well. It also forces people to respond and the brain to react.

The Antioch Community Center and Southeast Community Center organize activities for older adults to do things together.  They also hold social events on a regular basis. Older adults can also try some of the restaurants that won in the 2017Antioch People’s Awards after a night of bingo. Consider China City for Chinese or go to Celia’s for Mexican. The object is get out more often, meet people and do things together whether it is a haircut at Reign Salon or a massage at Relaxing Station.

Lifestyle changes, brain exercises and socialization are activities that older adults can easily do to improve memory. Enhanced memory also improves the quality of life, something every senior cherishes as the journey continues.

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Antioch schools remain closed Friday due to “extreme poor air quality”

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area showing Antioch in the orange zone as of 7:00 AM, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. From

The following message was posted on the Antioch Unified School District’s website on Thursday:

“This is Stephanie Anello, Superintendent of the Antioch Unified School District with an important safety announcement. We have been monitoring the air quality throughout the day. Once again, given the extreme poor air quality due to the recent, ongoing wildfires, schools will be closed tomorrow Friday, October 13th. Although the air appeared to be less toxic than predicted today, it is forecasted to be, once again, unhealthy tomorrow. Due to living in the Bay Area, our micro-climates are dynamic and air quality is always changing. Additionally, although some fires may have improved containment levels, this does not necessarily equate to different levels of toxic pollutants in the air that can reach our children. Please know that your child’s safety was the primary factor leading to this decision. Many of our students walk or ride their bike to and from school and will be exposed to the poor air quality even if we were to remain open and shelter in place. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you but, again, your child’s safety is our number one concern.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our schools and our District as we work to ensure your child’s health is not compromised in any way.  Our thoughts remain with the victims of this tragedy as well as with the firefighters and other first responders.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website the air quality in the Antioch area is designated with an orange color which is “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.” It further defines that category as “Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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