Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Doctors, organizers of today’s World Ivermectin Day claim it is “The Key to End the Pandemic”

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

A day for the recognition of Ivermectin – “Covid is treatable with ivermectin and can end the pandemic”

By British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group

An international coalition of medical professionals together with journalists, musicians, artists and others, have established World Ivermectin Day this Saturday 24 July 2021, with the aim of sharing the evidence-based message that the cheap, safe and easily-distributed medicine ivermectin can remove the fear of the covid pandemic to lives and economies. (See website with videos)

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Ivermectin is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antiparasitic drug that is used to treat several neglected tropical diseases, including onchocerciasis, helminthiases, and scabies.

Reports from in vitro studies suggest that ivermectin acts by inhibiting the host importin alpha/beta-1 nuclear transport proteins, which are part of a key intracellular transport process that viruses hijack to enhance infection by suppressing the host’s antiviral response. In addition, ivermectin docking may interfere with the attachment of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein to the human cell membrane.

Some studies of ivermectin have also reported potential anti-inflammatory properties, which have been postulated to be beneficial in people with COVID-19.”

“We have an incredibly positive and uplifting message to share; Ivermectin treats and prevents covid and it is the key to unlocking the never-ending cycle of pandemic peaks and personal restrictions and will help restart economies.” states Dr. Tess Lawrie, UK-based founder of the Day and co-author of a recent peer-reviewed study that verified the efficacy of the medicine.

Created in just a few weeks by a team of volunteers, World Ivermectin Day features talks and discussions that will be available to millions online. The decentralized and grassroots nature of the day has inspired individuals to organize their own live meetings and activities across the globe from a growing list of countries including the UK, Canada, Kuala Lumpur and Japan.

The principle aim of the day is for people to encourage their own governments to join the 20 or so countries already deploying ivermectin and so help protect their nations’ health and do so at low cost.

Ahead of the day, the central website, worldivermectinday.org is filling up with written and filmed testimonials from people from all around the world; many of whom are celebrating their good health and even their lives thanks to ivermectin.

World Ivermectin Day has been endorsed by the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) Group and the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) in the USA, key players in campaigning for ivermectin approval.

About BIRD

The British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group (BIRD) is a truly grassroots initiative bringing together clinicians, health researchers and patient representatives from all around the world to advocate for the use of ivermectin against covid-19. (See BIRD Affiliates)

BIRD Affiliates

About FLCCC

The FLCCC Alliance was organized in March 2020 by a group of highly published, world renowned Critical Care physician/scholars – with the academic support of allied physicians from around the world – to research and develop lifesaving protocols for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in all stages of illness. Their MATHHospital Treatment Protocol, introduced in March 2020, has saved thousands of patients who were critically ill with COVID-19. Now, the FLCCC’s new I-MASKProphylaxis and Early At-Home Outpatient Treatment Protocol with Ivermectin has been released – and is a potential solution to the global pandemic.

The doctors and volunteers behind the event have designed the day to be organic, encouraging individuals and groups worldwide to organize their own activities to mark the day. There’s no financial interest in the medicine for any of them, but they are all resolutely unified by one aim – seeing ivermectin saving lives everywhere.

Graphic by BIRD

About Ivermectin

You may not be aware that Covid can be prevented and treated with a simple low-cost, generic tablet called Ivermectin.

On World Ivermectin Day we want you, and everyone on the planet to know this so we all can look forward to a healthier, happier future and not one of fear and uncertainty.

We are joined by health professionals, lawyers, musicians and artists and people of all backgrounds and nations to spread the amazing news about ivermectin.

Ivermectin, has a successful history stretching back to 1975 with 5 billion doses given and an impeccable safety record. Its inventors even won a Nobel Prize.

Ivermectin is not even the only generic treatment for covid, but leads a number of safe, widely available medicines that are being successfully used around the world to beat covid.

Sharing Good Health Worldwide

World Ivermectin Day is encouraging all nations who haven’t yet adopted ivermectin as part of their Covid treatment plan to take a serious review of the mountain of robust clinical evidence so they too can improve their people’s health and economies.

They are sharing the good news of how it is being successfully used by thousands of doctors in multiple countries as the way to prevent, treat and beat covid and end the pandemic. It is even effective against variants.

For more information visit WorldIvermectinDay.org.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Contra Costa to remain in Orange Tier until June 15, won’t follow CDC’s new mask guidelines

Thursday, May 20th, 2021

Graphic by State of California from Gov. Newsom’s Wear a Mask campaign.

Following state’s guidelines instead; Antioch library reopening delayed until June 8

By Daniel Borsuk

Seventy percent of Contra Costa residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but  Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth says that vaccination rate is still insufficient to convince state health officials to change the county current Orange Tier health restrictions to less stringent Blue health restrictions until at least June 15.

“We are accepting the state’s instructions to keep masking guidelines in place,” Roth said at Tuesday’s board of supervisors’ meeting.

Even though COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to children as young as 12 to 15, requirements remain in effect for persons to wear masks while indoor businesses, Roth said.

But CCHS Ambulatory Care Director Dr. Gabriela Diaz Sullivan presented a study’s gloomy findings about how COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the state’s health care delivery system.

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, 48,000 more Californians have died,” said Dr. Sullivan, “Heart attacks was the number one cause of death followed by cancer as number two and COVID-19 as number three.”

“Thirty-three percent of Californians had an urgent care need, unrelated to COVID-19, wanted to see a physician, but did not see a physician,” Dr. Sullivan emphasize.  She said mammograms, colorectal cancer screenings, diagnostic colonoscopies, and blood pressure procedures were all down.

In summation, the COVID-19 pandemic has eroded the state’s health care system with Californians foregoing medical care when needed in preference to staying home.

On another related matter, Contra Costa Public Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano denied Supervisor Candace Andersen’s statement that she has learned 3,500 people have died from taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine has caused deaths,” Dr. Farnitano said.

Supervisors Approve Keller Canyon Permit

Over the objections of the City of Pittsburg’s Environmental Affairs Manager Laura Wright, who was the only opponent, supervisors unanimously approved a three-year land use permit for Republic Services to continue to operate the Keller Canyon Landfill on Bailey Road.

The supervisors’ action does require the county Department of Conservation and Development to conduct a one-year permit review of the landfill to determine if new or modified conditions should be considered.

Wright objected to the three-year permit renewal because the county did not adequately address the visual impacts by the inadequate number of trees that have been planted to block the view of the landfill and the inadequate measures undertaken to eradicate the dumping of litter outside the landfill.

Initially launching operations in 1995, the landfill has served as either an environmental irritant to residents living nearby the landfill or as a valuable source of money for numerous Pittsburg and Bay Point nonprofit organizations that Supervisor Federal Glover oversees the distributes thousands of dollars from Republic Services’ mitigation fund.

Two years ago, the landfill was the site of public concern when reports surfaced that radioactive waste from the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco had been transported and deposited at the Contra Costa County landfill.  A landfill radiation study last year revealed no evidence that any radioactive material had been deposited at Keller Canyon Landfill.

Antioch Library Reopening Delayed Until June 8

Citing the need for additional time to install shelving and update computers at the Antioch Library, supervisors approved County Librarian Alison McKee’s request to extend the reopening of the library to Tuesday, June 8.

In late April, supervisors had approved a request to close the library on June Tuesday, June 1 for interior paint and the installation of new carpeting and shelving, but due to additional time needed to install shelving and update computers the reopening has been delayed by a week.

Tougher Fireworks Ordinance Proposed

Supervisors are expected to consider at the June 8 meeting a proposed ordinance toughening the law banning the possession, manufacture, sale, use and discharge of fireworks.

“The proposed ordinance would amend Chapter 44-2 (i.e., vegetation fires, structure and exterior fires, personal injury or death, and noise or other public nuisances) and authorize the Sheriff to arrest and cite a responsible party, as defined in the ordinance, for violations for Chapter 44-1.  The proposed ordinance establishes that a responsible party is required to maintain, manage, and supervise the property or vessel for which they are responsible to prevent violations of Chapter 44-2. A responsible party is liable and violates the probation on fireworks under Chapter44-2 if any person possesses, manufactures, sells, offers to sell, uses, or discharges, any fireworks at the property, or on the vessel, for which the responsible party is responsible, regardless of whether the responsible party is present when the violation occurs.

“The proposed ordinance defines a responsible party as any of the following:

  1. A person that owns, rents, leases, or otherwise has possession of, or is in immediate control of, aa residence or other private property or a vessel.
  2. A person that organizes, supervises, sponsors, conducts, allows, controls, or controls access to, the possession, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use, or discharge of fireworks at a residence or other private property or on a vessel.

If a residence or other private property is rented or leased for a period of more than 30 consecutive days, the landlord or lessor is not a responsible party unless the landlord or lessor: has possession of, or is in immediate control of, the residence or other private property; or has knowledge of the possession, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use, or discharge of fireworks at the residence or other private property.

The owner of a residence that is rented for a period of 30 consecutive days or less (a short-term rental) is a responsible party and is liable for violations of Chapter 44-2 if the short-term renter, or any other person, possesses, manufactures, sells, uses, or discharges, any fireworks at the residence, regardless of whether the owner of the short-term rental is present when the violation occurs.”

The proposed tougher fireworks ordinance already has won the support from the Discovery Bay Community District which released a letter from district board president stating:

“The revisions, in essence, would hold persons in control or possession of private property responsible for fireworks violations occurring on their property,” wrote board president Byron Gutow. “The discharge of fireworks is a common problem in the district, especially during celebrations of Independence Day and New Year’s.  In many cases, the fireworks are professional grade and pose a significant risk of danger to persons and properties. We support efforts to dissuade the use of illegal fireworks.”

Promote Chief Assistant to County Counsel

Chief Assistant County Counsel Mary Ann McNett Mason was promoted to County Counsel by supervisors to fill the position that became vacant when Contra Costa County Counsel Sharon Anderson died on April 30.

Ms. Mason will earn $463,000 a year of which $105,000 is pension costs.  All the costs are budgeted in the county’s General Fund within the County Counsel’s Office operating budget.

Mason, a graduate of the University of California Hastings College of Law, started to work for the county counsel’s office in 1987 as a deputy county counsel.  In 2010 she was appointed assistant county counsel and in 2016 was promoted to chief assistant county counsel.

While serving the role of chief assistant county counsel, Mason assumed the duties of the County Counsel in her absence, supervised the attorneys in the General Government Group, and assisted in management of the County Counsel’s Office. In addition to those duties, Mason has served as the county’s retirement and employee benefit counsel, is the office specialist on open meeting and conflict of interest laws and serves as General Counsel to Delta Diablo.

Mason previously served as the counsel to the Contra Costa County Board of Education and County Superintendent of Schools, the Contra Costa Superior Court, the Grand Jury, and the Assessment Appeals Board and other clients.

“I am so happy to have this opportunity to represent the board of supervisors and the county at an important time in our history and to carry on Sharon Anderson’s legacy,” Mason told the Contra Costa Herald.  “I have some big shoes to fill.”

Load Limits Imposed on Delta-Mendota Canal Bridge

In an unusual action, supervisors approved the Contra Costa County Department of Public Works request to post 23 ton per vehicle (i.e., Type 3 Truck) load limit signs for the deteriorating Delta-Mendota Canal Bridge on Lindemann Road over the Delta-Mendota Canal because of “on-going deterioration found in multiple timber columns of the bridge.”

Supervisors did not receive any public comment pro or con on the proposal for the bridge’s load limit. “This order shall remain in effect for 90 days, or until Caltrans issues a Director’s Order establishing a permanent load restriction on the bridge, whichever occurs first,” the supervisors’ resolution states.

Alamo Architect Appointed Acting Planning Commissioner

District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville received board consent action approval on her request to appoint Alamo architect Sanjiv Bhandari to fill on an acting basis the planning commission post vacated by Rand Swenson’s resignation on April 28.

“Supervisor Andersen has been advertising the District II Commission seat since April 15, 2021 in preparation for filling the vacancy scheduled to arise at the end of Mr. Swenson’s current term on June 30, 2021.  Mr. Bhandari applied and met with Supervisor Andersen. Supervisor Andersen feels his knowledge an experience will be a positive addition to the commission,” the board agenda item report states.

 

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Frazier bill to eliminate Los Medanos Healthcare District passes Assembly on 70-0 vote

Friday, May 14th, 2021

Source: Office of Assemblymember Jim Frazier

Would transfer tax revenue to county, eliminate Antioch Mayor Thorpe’s executive director job

On Monday, May 10, 2021, Assemblymember Jim Frazier’s (D-Fairfield) bill, AB 903, to dissolve the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District, unanimously passed the Assembly floor on a 70-0 vote. The district serves Pittsburg and Bay Point.

AB 903 will require Contra Costa County to be the successor of all rights and responsibilities of the district. AB 903 will also require the county to complete a property tax transfer process to ensure the transfer of the district’s health-related ad valorem property tax revenues to the county in order to operate the Los Medanos Area Health Plan Grant Program.

The Los Medanos Hospital closed in 1994 but the district, covering Pittsburg and Bay Point, has continued to exist, collecting property taxes and using the funds to pay for staff and provide grants to local organizations, direct service programs including a community garden and district sponsored programs including REading ADvantage for early literacy. The district’s 2020-21 Fiscal Year budget projected $1.13 million in tax revenue and $1.3 million in expenses.

“This bill effectively creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for badly needed healthcare services in the region. A lot of this funding comes from the savings on LMCHD’s extremely high administrative expenses, which topped 60% in some years,” said Frazier.

The Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) has approved of the dissolution of the existing healthcare district, and Contra Costa County already serves the communities within district boundaries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed critical shortfalls in healthcare and health services funding across the state. Communities of color have been especially impacted by the emergency,” said Frazier. “Now more than ever, we have seen the life-changing impacts of devoting every possible dollar to serving those we represent. AB 903 effectively creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for badly needed healthcare services in the region.”

“Comparable programs in the county average at about 15% admin cost, and rather than lose over half the funding to wasteful administrative expenses, AB 903 dedicates those dollars to the community,” Frazier added.

Part of the administrative expenses includes Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe’s executive director position which included an annual salary of $96,000 when he was hired in 2019, plus merit-based salary increases, according to the minutes of the Dec. 16, 2019 LMCHD Board meeting. He is also provided one hour of paid personal leave time for every 30 hours worked. When reached, previously about having his position eliminated if the bill is signed into law, Thorpe said he could find another job.

Previously, LMCHD Board President Patt Young challenged Frazier and his legislation, claiming he doesn’t represent but a portion of the healthcare district and that he is “taking political orders from your top political advisor in an effort to turn our district into a political slush fund for one of your top allies on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.” (See related article)

However, Assemblymember Tim Grayson, whose district includes most of the healthcare district, is the Principal couthor of the bill.

The bill requires passage by the State Senate and signing by the governor before it becomes law.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch council moves forward moratorium on oil, gas drilling in city

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Three oil well pumps operate at the site owned by Sunset Explorations just south of Antioch city limits on Deer Valley Road. Photo by Allen Payton

Would affect two potential wells in the city; no one from city reached out to owner for his input or to offer comments during meeting before council “consensus vote”; majority also supports county-wide moratorium

By Allen Payton

During their meeting on Tuesday night, May 11, 2021, a majority of Antioch City Council members expressed their support for a moratorium on oil and gas drilling inside the city limits. While the agenda item was only a discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson who proposed the matter, Council Members Tamisha Torres-Walker, Mike Barbanic and Lori Ogorchock supported directing the city attorney to return with a proposal for the council to vote on at a future meeting.

Wilson, Barbanica and Torres-Walker also expressed support for a countywide moratorium. Ogorchock was opposed. Mayor Lamar Thorpe didn’t express an opinion on either proposal.

The moratorium in Antioch would currently only affect one company, Sunset Explorations, owned by East County businessman Bob Nunn, who was not aware of Tuesday night’s agenda item until this reporter reached out to him for comment prior to the start of the meeting.

“I brought this item back up,” Wilson said. “It has two parts, first as a resolution as a city to call a moratorium and then a moratorium for the county. After hearing from many advocates in the community, I believe this is the time for it.”

In response to questions from the Herald, Nunn said he has “drilled a well in city limits a number of years ago”, but that “was a dry hole.” His company has also “filed a permit in the southeast corner of town that we have stalled,” and owns “mineral rights on FUA2 (Future Urban Area 2)” which is located north of Lone Tree Way and southwest of Highway 4, near the future extension of Laurel Road.

Nunn’s company also has a permitted site on the east side of Deer Valley Road just outside Antioch city limits, which started drilling three wells, three years ago.

Public Comments

Charles Davidson, who said he lives in Hercules, spoke about the oil drilling on Deer Valley Road. “The well’s owner denied the Air District’s inspector access to the site,” he claimed.

Antioch resident, Harry Thurston spoke in support of a county moratorium. “There has been limited oversight of this site by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Antioch citizens are at unacceptable risk,” he said. “It will lead to unrestricted oil drilling in East County. We should be stopping all oil extraction” and then spoke about “environmental justice”.

Another speaker, an Antioch resident who said she purchased her home in 2008, spoke against oil drilling. “I’m in an area I can breathe clean air and drink clean water,” she said. “I want to live in a place where no environmental injustices take place. We have everything in Antioch. You just need to promote the right businesses. I have seen firsthand the destruction of many places in the U.S. and around the world due to oil. It’s time to embrace wind and solar.”

Shoshana Wechsler spoke next saying, “I’m a coordinator of Sunflower Alliance…and a resident of unincorporated west county. The toxic emissions in unincorporated Contra Costa don’t stay there. They go wherever the wind blows them. The greenhouse gas emissions threaten everyone and everything on this planet. The permit application slipped through the cracks. Phase out the existing drilling on Deer Valley Road. Other cities have done that. They got it done. It’s Antioch’s chance to put the climate resiliency plans to work. Your forward momentum on this, lifts everyone up.”

Barbara Collins, a resident of East Contra Costa County wrote in favor of the moratorium.

Another public comment submitted read, “Does the city have any power to limit the mineral rights of owners in Antioch? Please stop all this posturing about oil wells.”

Council Discussion and Consensus Votes

The council then took up the matter.

“About a year ago this month, three of us voted and approved a Climate Action Resiliency Plan. This would go along with that,” Wilson stated. “We are committed to making sure we have a healthy city and are free from health risks. The action that we did a year ago moves us away from fossil fuel. We also discussed the climate in our Strategic Plan. This needs to be more than just an item we discuss. We need to call for a moratorium in our city and ask for our county to do the same.”

Asked to offer her input, the city’s Environmental Resources Coordinator, Julie Haas-Wajdowicz said, “I would definitely echo what Mayor Pro Tem Wilson says. So, I think we should support a moratorium. Additionally, I would look forward to working on a declaration of climate emergency.”

“I don’t have a whole lot of background in oil drilling,” she added.

“I would like to bring this back for council to discuss a ban on oil drilling,” Wilson said.

Thorpe then asked for a “consensus vote” of council members.

Torres-Walker, Barbanica and Ogorchock all said, “yes”.

“This is something we have to research and come back,” said City Attorney Thomas Smith. “To me it sounds like something that can go through the zoning process.”

Torres-Walker and Barbanica also added their support to Wilson’s efforts for a county-wide moratorium. When asked, Ogorchock said “no”.

Asked if they were prepared to pay Nunn for his mineral rights, Barbanica, Ogorchock and Wilson did not respond. Asked if she had reached out to Nunn or had asked city staff to, prior to the meeting, Wilson did not respond.

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Meals on Wheels offers program to prevent falls by aging parents

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Aging in place: Caring for an aging parent

By Rachel Heggen, Community Relations & Development Specialist, Meals on Wheels, Diablo Region

Yvonne Tweeten and Mom Gloria. Photo: MoW

In honor of National Occupational Therapy Month Yvonne Tweeten, Occupational Therapist with Meals on Wheels Diablo Region’s Fall Prevention Program, talked about the work we do with seniors to keep them safe at home.

Difficulty climbing stairs, feeling unbalanced, or being unsure about getting in and out of the bathtub are everyday problems that Yvonne has addressed for the past ten years at MOW Diablo Region. These are common issues for aging seniors who have difficulty accepting that everyday tasks that once were simple are now challenging. For many seniors, this can be extremely frustrating and for their adult children, it can be worrisome. The Fall Prevention Program focuses on helping seniors age safely in their home.

“We are an ally to the adult children,” says Yvonne. “I assess the home and point out potential fall risks. I also observe how the senior is getting around.” Once the assessment is completed, Yvonne works with a licensed contractor to make needed home modifications “We might recommend a ramp, railings, or a tub transfer bench. We develop trust with the senior and the adult children who are often the main caregivers. We also provide education to keep the senior safe.”

An analysis by the Center for Retirement Research found that 10 percent of adults ages 60 to 69 serve as caregivers to their aging parents, as do 12 percent of adults aged 70 and older. Having an Occupational Therapist as a part of the support team is important when it comes to caring for an older parent and helps the elderly parent maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Yvonne has a special understanding of concerns many may have with an aging parent. Her mom is 90 and lives in Wisconsin. “It’s important that a senior age with dignity, and that’s what Meals on Wheels Diablo Region’s Fall Prevention Program helps them to do.”

To learn more about Meals on Wheels Diablo Region’s Fall Prevention Program, visit https://www.mowdiabloregion.org/fall-prevention

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Antioch Police: National Prescription Drug TAKE BACK Saturday, April 24

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration & the Antioch Police Department announce its 20th Take Back Day is scheduled for April 24th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 300 L Street in Antioch.

At its last Take Back Day in October, DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.

Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.

Learn more about the event at www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.

 

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Frazier bill to dissolve Los Medanos Community Healthcare District passes committee

Friday, April 16th, 2021

Would eliminate Antioch mayor’s job; Board President challenges Frazier whose district doesn’t include most of the healthcare district

By Serina Hartinger, Media & Communications, Office of Assemblymember Jim Frazier

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Friday, April 16, 2021, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield) passed AB 903 the Assembly Local Government Committee on a unanimous vote of 8-0 to dissolve the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District. The bill will now be sent to the Committee on Appropriations. If it passes there it will head to the floor for a vote by the full Assembly. Should it pass there, it still needs both State Senate approval and the governor’s signature before becoming law.

The Los Medanos Hospital closed in 1994 but the district, covering Pittsburg and Bay Point, has continued to exist, collecting property tax dollars and using the funds to pay for staff and provide grants to local organizations, direct service programs including a community garden and district sponsored programs including REading ADvantage for early literacy. The district’s 2020-21 Fiscal Year budget projects $1.13 million in tax revenue and $1.3 million in expenses.

“As all of you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed critical shortfalls in healthcare and health services funding across the state. Communities of color have been especially impacted by the emergency,” said Frazier. “Now more than ever, we have seen the life-changing impacts of devoting every possible dollar to serving those we represent. AB 903 is a district bill that takes strides towards addressing this issue. The bill effectively creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for badly needed healthcare services in the region.”

AB 903 will dissolve the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District and require the County of Contra Costa to be the successor of all rights and responsibilities of the district. AB 903 will also require the county to complete a property tax transfer process to ensure the transfer of the district’s health-related ad valorem property tax revenues to the county in order to operate the Los Medanos Area Health Plan Grant Program.

The Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) has approved of the dissolution of the existing healthcare district, and Contra Costa County already serves the communities within district boundaries.

The bill was co-sponsored by Assemblymember Tim Grayson, (D-Concord).

The Los Medanos Community Healthcare District (LMCHD) was formed in 1948 to operate the Los Medanos Community Hospital. In rural communities, such districts were created to provide for hospitals that otherwise would not exist. LMCHD operated the hospital until 1994 when the hospital closed due to bankruptcy. Since then, LMCHD has not provided any hospital, physician, or emergency medical services. Instead of providing direct services, LMCHD funds third-party agencies that provide health-related programs.

“This bill effectively creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for badly needed healthcare services in the region. A lot of this funding comes from the savings on LMCHD’s extremely high administrative expenses, which topped 60% in some years,” said Frazier. “That is simply unconscionable.”

“Comparable programs in the county average at about 15% admin cost, and a nearby healthcare district runs at a maximum of 20% in admin costs. Rather than lose over half the funding to wasteful administrative expenses, AB 903 dedicates those dollars to the community,” he added.

Some of those administrative expenses include the salary and benefits for Executive Director Lamar Thorpe who is the mayor of Antioch, whose job would be eliminated if the bill becomes law.

UPDATE: In response to efforts to reach him and Board President Patt Young, Thorpe provided the following letter from Young to Frazier.

“Dear Assemblymember Frazier:

On behalf of the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District, I am writing to you in response to your introduction of AB 903.

Given that 98 percent of our healthcare district does not fall within your assembly district, or the fact that you have never attempted to build a relationship with our board or programs, I am quite perplexed as to why you would introduce this legislation without attempting to understand how we serve eastern Contra Costa County.

This letter is not intended to be interpreted as an attempt to appeal to your reason or logic, as we are well aware of the fact that you are taking political orders from your top political advisor in an effort to turn our district into a political slush fund for one of your top allies on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

Let me be clear in stating that, although to you this is simply a political game, to our healthcare district, you are jeopardizing a critical healthcare prevention lifeline for many in our community. From free reading glasses for children to HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, many of the community members we serve participate in our programs because they do not feel that they have their needs met via Contra Costa’s public healthcare system.

Lastly, I have to state for the record that the manner by which you introduced this legislation has been interpreted to be highly disrespectful by both my board and community. I suspect that, if the makeup of our board were more in line with the makeup of the Oakley City Council, you would not have been as disrespectful as you have been to date.

Neither my board, nor my community will stand idly and accept to be treated in any manner less than the respect we deserve.

Sincerely,

Patt Young

President

Los Medanos Community Healthcare District”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

 

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Kiwanis Club presents checks to winning schools in annual, virtual Holiday Run competition

Friday, April 16th, 2021

Members of the Kiwanis Club of the Delta-Antioch present checks and certificates to the principals of Antioch Middle and Carmen Dragon Elementary Schools on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

Over 15,000 miles were logged during the 12-day competition

By Allen Payton

Members of the Kiwanis Club of the Delta-Antioch presented checks of $500 each to three schools in Antioch, this week, rewarding them for their participation in the service organization’s annual Holiday Run and Walk for Health. This year, the competition was held virtually and required participants to run or walk and log their own miles during a 12-day period. The top Antioch schools that formed teams and participated in each category were Deer Valley High, Antioch Middle and Carmen Dragon Elementary. Checks were presented to the schools, this week with two done by club members on Thursday, April 15.

The students could recruit whomever they wanted to run for their team and Prospects High School, with one of the smaller teams, recruited some ultra-marathoners and almost beat Deer Valley. Both teams logged over 2,000 miles.

Paul Schorr, who has led the organizing of the event in previous years, said the club has held the competition for the past 43 years. This was their 44th year.

“Katie Young stepped up and coordinated the event, this year,” he shared.

“Close to 600 participants signed up,” Young said. “They logged their miles they walked or ran over a 12-day period. A total of about 15,000 miles were logged. A couple teams recruited ultra-marathoners.”

“And 2,000 miles were from our school,” said Antioch Middle School Principal Lindsay Wisely.

“I think you did a heck of a job coordinating,” she said to Young.

“On behalf of the faculty staff and students we are grateful for the support from the Kiwanis Club,” Wisely stated. “We have a running club on campus and plan to use the funds for equipment and prizes associated with our club.”

During the presentation to Carmen Dragon Elementary, Principal Mark Hemauer said, “we had 31 participants who completed 1,837 miles.”

Asked how he planned to spend the money Hemauer replied, “I’d like to use it for our PE program because it was a physical activity and competition for when the students come back, hopefully fully next year.”

“I really appreciate the Kiwanis Club organizing this, I’ve been a runner in past years. But continuing it this year during the pandemic and having them give back to us is really special,” he added.

Deer Valley teacher Michael Green, the school’s head coach for both the cross country and track teams, received the check on March 31, during the Delta-Antioch Rotary Club meeting.

“The funds will be used to take those same runners who helped us earn that money to multi-school invitational cross-country races,” he said.

“Thank you to the Kiwanis Club for doing these great events and I encourage others to join their club and other service clubs to serve our community,” Green said.

Club President and Antioch Unified School District Board of Trustees Vice President, Dr. Clyde Lewis shared thoughts from both of his positions.

“This is an example of community and schools working together. Our goal as a Kiwanis Club is to engage, encourage and promote collaborative opportunities,” he said. “As a school district this approach mirrors the support and relationship building that we hope to promote in our young leaders.”

 

 

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