Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Masks once again required on BART

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

After judge in Florida tossed out federal mask mandate for public transit systems and airlines

The BART Board of Directors at its meeting today, Thursday, April 28, 2022, approved a temporary amendment to the District’s Code of Conduct to require riders to wear masks in paid areas of the system with limited exceptions. This requirement applies to trains and all portions of stations beyond the fare gates. Children ages two and under as well as people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt from the mandate. The rule is effective until July 18, 2022, unless it is extended by the BART Board.

“I strongly support requiring a mask to ride BART to keep all our riders safe,” said BART Board President Rebecca Saltzman. “I’m especially concerned for our riders who are immunocompromised, people with underlying health conditions, and children under the age of five who are not yet eligible for vaccination.”

The update to the Code of Conduct comes after a federal judge in Florida earlier this month tossed out a federal mask mandate for public transit systems and airlines. Like other Bay Area transit agencies, BART’s previous mask mandate had been based on the now former TSA directive.

“It is essential the BART Board take action to protect our riders and employees after the surprising ruling that threw out the federal mandate,” said BART Board Vice President Janice Li. “Wearing masks helps to protect everyone, which is especially important now as COVID cases rise in the Bay Area.”

Free masks are available at station agent booths and from all safety staff for those who need one. As with the previous federal mandate, BART PD will continue its education-based enforcement of the mask requirement by offering free masks to anyone who needs one before taking any enforcement action which could include a citation up to $75 or being ejected from the paid area.

Throughout the pandemic BART has prioritized the safety of riders. BART has installed MERV 14 (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) air filters on all train cars new and old. These filters are dense enough to trap the virus and provide an extra layer of protection to our riders. Air is replaced every 70 seconds onboard cars mixing filtered air with fresh air. That means the circulation on BART train cars is better than most offices. In addition, all BART employees are fully vaccinated.

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Learn about the Six Pillars of Brain Health at TreVista Antioch Thursday

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

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Kaiser Permanente Northern California honored with the 2021 Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Kaiser Permanente Advance Alert Monitor. Source: doctorsatkaisertpmg.com

By ThJoint Commission, National Quality Forum for KP Nor Cal’s Advance Alert Monitor program for predicting risk, saving lives among hospitalized patients

By Antonia Ehlers, PR and Media Relations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

OAKLAND, Calif., April 19, 2022 – Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s life-saving Advance Alert Monitor (AAM) program – an early detection system that helps care teams predict when hospitalized patients are at risk for clinical deterioration – has been recognized by The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum (NQF).

The program has been honored with the 2021 John M. Eisenberg Award for Local Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. The prestigious national award recognizes those initiatives that improve patient safety and overall quality of care.

AAM uses a predictive algorithm developed by physician researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research that scans almost 100 elements from patient health records hourly at 21 hospitals in Northern California, giving clinicians a 12-hour lead time prior to clinical deterioration, permitting early detection and intervention.

“Advance Alert Monitor is another example of how our physicians and staff maximize our extensive clinical and operational expertise, our technologically advanced systems, and our integrated care delivery model to provide exceptional care to our patients,” says Richard Isaacs, MD, FACS, who is the CEO and Executive Director of The Permanente Medical Group. “By combining the groundbreaking use of predictive analytics with clinical workflows, we’ve created a Northern California virtual center that is saving lives by helping us identify patients in medical-surgical and transitional care units who may need expedited care.”

The output of the algorithm is monitored remotely by clinical staff who virtually observe all Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals, and who immediately contact the patient’s local care team in the event of an alert, enabling physicians and nurses to provide critical and potentially life-saving treatment more quickly.

A recent analysis of the program by the physician researchers who developed it, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the system was responsible for preventing on average 520 deaths per year over a 3-and-a-half-year study period. It also showed a lower incidence of ICU admissions and shorter hospital stays.

“This award is a testament to the ongoing work of Kaiser Permanente Northern California to provide our clinical care teams cutting edge technology that enables them to predict and prevent serious complications before they happen,” said Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, president of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region. “Our staff is intervening early and swiftly, providing the appropriate medical attention to keep patients safe with improved outcomes.”

Last year, Kaiser Permanente Northern California was recognized by the International Hospital Foundation with the Autsco Excellence Award for Quality and Patient Safety for the AAM program, which is in place at all 21 Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals, with nurses handling more than 16,000 alerts a year.

How it works

KP Monitor screen. Source: spotlight.kaiserpermanente.org

AAM predicts the probability that hospitalized patients are likely to decline, require transfer to the intensive care unit or emergency resuscitation, and benefit from interventions. Early warnings could be helpful for patients at risk of deterioration where intervention may improve outcomes.

To do this, AAM analyzes electronic hospital patient data to identify those at risk of deteriorating and alerts a specialized team of Virtual Quality Nurse Consultants who determine if on-site intervention is needed. The virtual nurses contact the Rapid Response Team of nurses, which performs an assessment, and then works with the supportive-care team and the patient and/or family to develop a patient-centered treatment plan.

“Analytics tools allow us to use complex patient data to improve our care in real-time,” said Vincent Liu, MD, MS, a research scientist with the Division of Research, whose advanced analytics group developed the algorithm that underpins AAM. “They support clinicians’ practice by finding signals hidden within the electronic health record,” added Liu, whose advanced analytics group developed the algorithm with leadership from retired DOR investigator Gabriel Escobar, MD.

Nurses confirm AAM’s value

Vincent Emeziem, an ICU nurse at Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center, is part of the Advance Alert Monitor team at the hospital. He said he’s seen firsthand how the program saves lives, including a recent case where a hospitalized patient was declining rapidly and because of early intervention was rushed into surgery for a life-threatening aneurism.

“This program has been very useful, and a lot of patients have benefited,” said Emeziem, a Kaiser Permanente nurse for 18 years. “These patients are getting the care they need very fast.”

The success of the Advance Alert Monitor program is attributed to the integration of care, collaboration between the clinical care teams, and the early intervention provided to patients, said Dr. Vanessa Martinez, DNP, MHA, RN, director of Virtual Nursing Care at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “This advance technology and the expertise of our clinical care teams is allowing us to help those patients who are at most risk for severe complications and provide the necessary treatment to improve patient outcomes,” she said.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve almost 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. http://about.kaiserpermanente.org

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Nurses, health care workers hold one-day strike at Antioch’s Sutter Delta Medical Center Monday

Monday, April 18th, 2022

Photo: CNA

More than 8,000 participating in strike at 15 Sutter facilities for safe staffing and health and safety protections; Sutter Health responds

By Allen D. Payton

The California Nurses Association (CNA) and CNA affiliate Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union (CHEU) announced on the National Nurses United website on April 8, that “Nurses and health care workers at 15 facilities across Northern California will hold a one-day strike on April 18 to protest Sutter Health’s refusal to address their proposals about safe staffing and health and safety protections.” The CNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United. The list of facilities includes Sutter Delta Medical Center on Lone Tree Way in Antioch.

This notice follows nearly unanimous strike authorization votes in March. Nurses and health care workers have given advance notice to Sutter Health for the strike. More than 8,000 registered nurses and health care workers are participating in the strike.

Sutter Health RNs and health care workers have been in negotiations since June 2021 for a new contract, with little to no movement on key issues. They urge management to invest in nursing staff and agree to a contract that provides:

  • safe staffing that allows nurses to provide safe and therapeutic care and
  • pandemic readiness protections that require the hospitals to invest in personal protective equipment stockpiles and comply with California’s PPE stockpile law.”

“The Sutter nurses voted for this strike,” said Renee Waters, a Trauma Neuro Intensive Care RN with 26 years of experience. “We are striking because Sutter is not transparent about the stockpile of PPE supplies and contact tracing. They resist having nurses directly involved in planning and implementation of policies that affect all of us during a pandemic. We must address these issues and more. A fair contract is needed to retain experienced nurses, have sufficient staffing and training, and ensure we have the resources we need to provide safe and effective care for our patients. Nurses are fighting back against Sutter putting profits before patients and health care workers.”

“Nurses overwhelmingly voted to go out on strike because we see no other option left for us and our patients,” said Amy Erb, RN , who works in Critical Care at California Pacific Medical Center. “We have tried repeatedly to address the chronic and widespread problem of short staffing that causes delays in care and potentially puts patients at risk, but hospital administrators continue to ignore us. We have a moral and legal obligation to advocate for our patients. We advocate for them at the bedside, at the bargaining table, and if we have to, on the strike line.”

Nurses and health care workers will be picketing from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sutter Health Responds

Emma Dugas, Media Relations Coordinator with Sutter Health offered the following response from the healthcare organization late Sunday afternoon:

“Despite resuming negotiations with the involvement of a federal mediator, the California Nurses Association (CNA) has refused to call off their strike beginning 7 a.m. Monday. Work stoppages at 18 of our sites – even for a single day — require complex and costly preparation, and obligate us to make plans that our teams, patients and communities can rely on. Given the uncertainty of a looming strike, and in order to provide surety for our patients, communities and care teams, we will staff our hospitals on Monday with the contracted replacement workers where needed. We hope the CNA union will call off this strike so our nurses can return to work and do what they do best — care for our patients. We remain committed to continue bargaining as long as negotiations are progressing effectively toward averting the strike.”

Dugas provided an additional statement from Sutter Health on Monday:

“By moving forward with today’s costly and disruptive strike, union leadership has made it clear they are willing to put politics above patients and the nurses they represent – despite the intervention of federal mediators and our willingness to bargain in good faith while under threat of a strike. Our attention is on providing safe, high-quality care to the patients and communities we’re honored to serve. We are confident in our ability to manage this disruption. We are hopeful CNA shares our desire to reach an agreement and enable our nurses to turn their focus back to the patients the union has asked them to walk away from.”

Dugas also provided a Labor Fact Sheet dated April 2022 from Sutter Health with the following information:

“SUTTER HEALTH’S INVESTMENTS & COMMITMENT TO EMPLOYEES

Sutter Health is consistently recognized as one of the region’s best employers and a leader in providing safe, high-quality care for more than 3 million patients each year. The two go hand in hand: our caregivers provide exceptional, compassionate care for our patients, and we are dedicated to recognizing, investing in and supporting them.

PROVIDING COMPETITIVE PAY & BENEFITS

We know the quality of care we deliver is made possible by the dedicated clinical and professional teams across our integrated network. Sutter provides competitive wage and benefits packages that recognize employees’ hard work and support their total well-being. A nurse who chooses to work full-time at Sutter hospitals with CNA contracts receives generous benefits, including:

Competitive Salaries: An average of more than $140,000 (or more than $81/hour). The average annual wage for California nurses in 2021 was $124,000 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Employer Provided Healthcare Coverage: Access to comprehensive healthcare coverage for employees and their families — provided at no or low cost to staff.

Paid Time Off: Up to 41 paid days off annually and access to extended sick leave, as well as short- and long-term disability leave.

Retirement Benefits: We are proud to offer our employees several benefit plans that help our workforce plan for their retirement. For those employees participating in our cash balance pension design, we have proposed enhancing the earned interest that Sutter contributes to employees’ cash balance pension balance each year starting in 2024.

Career Development Support: Coursework, coaching, hands-on experience and other support for nurses seeking stability and growth over the course of an entire career.

Voluntary Benefits: Critical illness, supplemental life insurance and legal plans that provide essential resources when it’s needed most.”

See more details from Sutter Health’s Labor Fact Sheet, here: Sutter Health Labor Fact Sheet April 2022

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Kaiser Permanente behavioral health professionals mentor students at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Dozier-Libbey students (from right) Emma Mauri, Syncere Jordan, Saniya Maka, Arena Armin. Source: Kaiser Permanente

To inspire, educate, and impart life skills to future mental health professionals

By Alex Madison, Content Marketing Writer III, Kaiser Permanente

Like many high schoolers, students at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School in Antioch, California, are unsure about their career moves post-graduation. With the help of a mentorship program led by Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s Mental Health Training Program, these students are getting a window into the behavioral health medical profession.

“Everyone has a different path in life, and my mentor allowed me to see the huge variety of pathways available to me,” said 18-year-old Syncere Jordan. “She told me what it took to get where she is today and what the day-to-day responsibilities of a health care worker are.”

Kaiser Permanente Northern California partnered with the 800-student high school last year to create a mentorship program in which 12 students meet virtually every week for 30 minutes with a mental health provider to talk about career pathways, resumes, college, and the realities of working as a mental health professional.

“I really appreciate the diversity the program allows,” said 16-year-old Emma Mauri. “My mentor and I have talked about everything from life skills, to education, to just telling stories. She’s inspired me to stop being so nervous about the decisions I’m facing about the future of my career.”

Giving back to student and mentor

Reflecting Kaiser Permanente’s core commitment to support mental health and wellness in the communities it serves, every mental health trainee of the Mental Health Training Program is required to complete over 30 hours of community outreach. The outreach focuses on improving the mental health of the local community in some important respect, beyond treating Kaiser Permanente members.

The mentors said educating young people on the importance of mental health and helping guide their future has been very fulfilling.

“My mentor and I have talked about everything from life skills, to education, to just telling stories. She’s inspired me to stop being so nervous about the decisions I’m facing about the future of my career.” – Emma Mauri

“As a first-generation Mexican American and first in my family to graduate college, I’m incredibly passionate about supporting these young people and creating awareness around the complex experiences of being a first-generation student,” said Irais Castro, PhD, a psychology postdoctoral resident at Kaiser Permanente Antioch.

“It’s important to foster these student’s interest in mental health or whichever field they are interested in,” said Nicole Wilberding, PhD, a psychology postdoctoral resident at Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek. “We encourage them to talk about their concerns and fears so they don’t feel overwhelmed about their future.”

Increasing awareness of mental health care

A goal of the 8-week mentorship program is to increase awareness about the field of clinical psychology and mental health among diverse youth populations. Kaiser Permanente shares in the U.S. challenge to meet the demand for mental health care that has been greatly exacerbated by the national shortage of trained mental health professionals.

Although many of the students involved in the mentorship program had not considered a career in mental health, some of them said they are now interested in learning more about the profession as a possible career choice.

Kathryn Wetzler, PsyD, regional director of Mental Health Training Programs, said, “It’s really valuable to identify the young people who are interested in mental health as a career and provide them with the understanding of what being a mental health professional is all about.”

Castro explained that it’s a vital time to educate people about the importance of mental health as a profession.

“We need more clinicians of color and diverse populations in the field, so I am grateful to have the opportunity to create awareness of the need.”

For Jordan, who is 3 months away from graduating high school, her relationship with her mentor is a “bond I will never forget and hope to continue after I graduate.”

Learn more about the Northern California Mental Health Training Program.

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April is Alcohol Awareness Month – learn about Alcohol Use Disorder and ways to get help

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022

What is a Standard Drink? Although the drinks pictured here are different sizes, each contains approximately the same amount of alcohol and counts as one U.S. standard drink or one alcoholic drink-equivalent. Source: NIAAA

This year’s theme is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunity for Recovery.”

How aware are you?

If you are not aware of what one “drink” means it could be any of the following: 12 oz. of beer, 8 oz. of malt liquor, 5 oz. of table wine, 5 oz. of 80 proof liquor or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits

By AlcoholAwareness.org

While you may not know, April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a good time to reflect on our drinking patterns and the role that alcohol plays in our lives.

This is a tradition that started as a way to increase awareness about a disease many Americans suffer from. The idea is to spread information locally, statewide, and overall nationwide. Alcohol has touched almost all of our lives in one way or another. The general goal of this month is to create some sort of catalyst for change and awareness.

In 2018, the World Health Organization reported that alcohol contributed to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, ranging from liver diseases, road injuries, and violence, to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, suicides, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers additional facts and statistics about alcohol misuse in the United States.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Most adults in the United States who drink alcohol drink moderately and without complications. At the same time, alcohol-related problems are among the most significant public health issues in the country. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects about 15 million adults in the United States, and an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the nation.”

Connecting the Dots: Opportunity for Recovery

This year’s theme is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunity for Recovery.” This year’s efforts are being directed towards young individuals. These are the people that can be easily influenced by alcohol and drugs if not informed. As a parent the best thing you can do for your child is interfere. While you may want to let your kids grow and learn on their own, it is your job to actively educate them. A whopping 50% of children are less likely to use drugs and alcohol that have conversations with their parents about the risks, than those who do not.

Whether we drink, or have been surrounded by those who do drink, alcohol is a huge part of the lives of Americans.  At a time in our lives when we are being molded, the use of substances can change our lives forever. The use of alcohol at a young age opens the possibility of developing substance abuse issues later in life. As a parent every effort to help your children “connect the dots” will make a world of difference.

A huge part of Alcohol Awareness Month is Alcohol-Free Weekend which takes the first weekend in April. The aim of this weekend is to go 72 hours without drinking a single drop of alcohol. This may seem like a small task to some, but to others it could be almost impossible. That is the reason this weekend is so important. If it allows even one person to come to realization that they can’t go even 72 hours without alcohol, maybe that will inspire them to get some help.

The origins of Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol awareness month was started in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). It was started as a way to get the word out and possibly draw attention to those who suffer from alcohol use disorder. Most of us associate this disease as alcoholism.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, originally called the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism, was founded by Marty Mann in 1944.

Once an alcoholic herself, she knew that there were many others going through the same struggles she had to, without anyone there to help. There was a stigmatism surrounding alcoholism. It wasn’t looked at as a disease like it is today. She wanted to reach out and share her experiences with others to help aid in their recovery.

The three creeds of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence are:

  1. Alcoholism is a disease, and the alcoholic is a sick person;
  2. The alcoholic can be helped, and is worth helping;
  3. Alcoholism is a public health problem, and therefore a public responsibility.

Mann traveled the country educating individuals on the effects of alcohol. She needed people to understand the consequences drinking had on the body. Though she died before alcohol awareness month was created, she was the inspiration for it.

Alcohol Use Disorder

To understand why there is an alcohol awareness month, you must first understand the disease itself. A lot of us have heard of the term alcoholism and assume that this is the only form of alcohol abuse that occurs. Many are not aware that alcohol abuse can come in several different forms. The true term for alcohol abuse is Alcohol Use Disorder. This can still include alcoholism but is not limited to only that.

Alcohol Use Disorder is an affliction that can be observed if you use alcohol to the point where it becomes an issue. If you cannot control your urges and continue to use it even though it causes problems, you could be suffering from this. You may also start to notice withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking and an increase in your tolerance.

Binge drinking is another type of Alcohol Use Disorder. This is the consumption of excessive alcohol in a short period of time. For women this means consuming 4 drinks within 2 hours, for men, 5 drinks. This can have long term and short term effects on your health. This is not an obvious form of alcohol abuse, mostly because it can occur as little as once a week. However, this is the most common form of Alcohol Use Disorder.

The NIH defines a standard drink as having about 14 grams of pure alcohol. If you are not aware of what one “drink” means it could be any of the following:

  • 12 oz. of beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
  • 8 oz. of malt liquor, which is about 7% alcohol
  • 5 oz. of table wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
  • 5 oz. of 80 proof liquor, which is about 40-50% alcohol
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol

What is moderate drinking?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to two drinks or less in a day for men or one drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed. The Guidelines also do not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason and that if adults of legal drinking age choose to drink alcoholic beverages, drinking less is better for health than drinking more.

What signs to look for

There are many different signs to look for when determining if someone suffers from alcohol use disorder. Some are very apparent while others require you to take notice. If you are experiencing hangovers often accompanied by nausea, shakiness, sweating, and trouble sleeping; these are short term symptoms. Many people try to fight off these symptoms by drinking more. While these may seem like minor consequences, if this becomes a pattern that is sign there may be a problem. If you try to stop drinking and are unable to because you constantly crave alcohol this is a clear sign it is time to ask for help.

Drinking can cause a lot of conflict in your life aside from your health. If you start missing out on daily activities like work or outside interests due to hangovers than your life is being affected by drinking. Keep an eye out for family and friends. They may not consciously realize what they are doing. When drinking creates problems with friends or family it is a clear sign that you may have an addiction. Ask yourself how is my drinking affecting myself and those I care about?

Organizations Fighting Alcohol Use Disorder

Taking that first step toward recovery may seem daunting. Though we have already mentioned the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, many organizations and groups have been developed and funded to help aid in the recovery of alcohol use disorder:

Alcoholics Anonymous- The first and most common would be AA or Alcoholics Anonymous. The reason this group has gained so much popularity is because it is run by a community of recovering alcoholics. They too have been where you are now and will understand better than anyone what you need to her. They have free meetings in almost every city or town around the country. Their 12 step process will give you an optimistic, driven path to follow on the road to recovery.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)- This is an organization that publishes material to help you stay informed. They stay up to date with alcohol and treatment research so that you always have a place to find the answers. If you have questions about the effects of alcohol and other consequences this is the organization to reach out to. Rethinking Drinking is a resource that can help you assess your drinking habits and provide valuable, research-based information to help you cut back or stop drinking if needed. It is available online as an interactive tool at https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov and as a brochure that can be downloaded at  https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/RethinkingDrinking/Rethinking_Drinking.pdf.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)- If you have questions about the science behind alcohol abuse, this is the organization to check out. They release data that shows the long term and short-term effects of alcohol use. They also may help lead you to a correct diagnosis; if you are unsure of how severe the problem is that you or someone you care about is struggling with.

Al-Anon and Alateen- There are a lot of resources available to those on the path to recovery. However, they are not the only ones that need help. If you know someone struggling with this disease you may not know how to help them or deal with the stress that accompanies supporting someone through this tough time. This is group you can reach out to in person or over the phone when things seem to be getting too hard. They will show you how to be both encouraging and understanding.

While these are only a few of the groups that you can reach out to, there are many more ready and willing to help. Check your area to find groups that are specific to your local and may be able to help.

What resources can you use?

Once you are ready to address the problem, seeking out treatment is a good next step. Since this is already a hard step to take; you do not want to have to worry about how costly it can be too. Private rehab centers can be very expensive. But they are not the only choice. There are a lot of options that don’t put a drain on your finances.

Two less expensive avenues you can take are government funded treatment and non-profit treatment. While the two rely on very different funding support, both can help assist you in a less costly matter.  If you are not ready to take that extreme of a step, there are countless helplines that you can call. Just having the opportunity to talk to someone anonymously can make a difference.

Impact of Alcohol Awareness Month

What can on month do for the lives of so many alcoholics? The important of awareness is more critical now than ever. A 2014 study from the CDC revealed that excessive alcohol consumption was responsible for the death of almost 1 in 10 U.S. adults between the ages of 20 and 64. This means that approximately 88,000 lives are a lost to excessive alcohol use every year. What this accounts for is roughly 2.5 million years of potential life lost every year. These are a result of a combination of long term and short-term effects.

This is why it is so important to raise awareness on a local, state, and national scale. There are about 20 million individuals and their family members who are living in recovery. This proves that anything is possible.

Spread the word

While a month is not enough time to educate and help everyone recover, it at least gets the public talking. Do what you can in your community. Create pamphlets, or newsletters and distribute them around your neighborhood town. Host an event and invite everyone around the community to learn and spread alcohol awareness. Host a fundraiser to donate money to a local non-profit treatment facility.

The most important thing we can do as a society is to recognize that there is a problem. With that realization only then can we move forward. There are many people still in the dark about this disease. There are those who struggle with the disease or some who may know, but not recognize someone who is suffering. Maybe this month is an opportunity for us to fix that.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

 

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Mental health treatment module opens at Martinez Detention Facility

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

Photos: CCCSheriff

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

A new module for inmates who have mental illnesses has opened at the Martinez Detention Facility. This follows an 18-month remodel of a module which previously held 52 inmates. Now, it will house only 24 inmates who have mental illnesses. They will be supervised 24/7 by county health staff in addition to deputy sheriffs. The cells are all single-occupancy and include 5 cells for acute cases. There are also two private medical evaluation suites in the module.

“I am proud of this new module which is part of the jail modernization we planned many years ago,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston. “Now, inmates who have mental illnesses will have a dedicated housing unit where they will receive mental health treatment, programming, and services, in addition to healthcare.

Photos: CCCSheriff

The new module has incorporated the latest technology and best practices for detention facilities. This includes state of the art software for managing the module, furnishings that will help prevent suicides and a design that allows for greater observation of the inmates. The new module also uses a biophilic design to create a calm environment, reduce stress, and is more conducive to therapy.

“This new module sets the standard for these types of detention facilities,” said Livingston. “This reflects the commitment of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and Contra Costa County in serving the needs of inmates who are living with mental health issues.”

 

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TreVista in Antioch named Agemark Senior Living’s Rising Star Community

Monday, March 28th, 2022

The TreVista Antioch Team. Pictured left to right: Ifrana Nisha, Erika Mendez, Teresa Glenn, Ali Haddadi, Alberto Maldonado, Jeanette Marquez, Ana Munoz, Elena Patchin, Connie Madrigal. (Not pictured: Tamsen Meierdierck). Photo by Agemark

The community’s first honor under Executive Director Alberto Maldonado

Antioch, CA – Agemark Senior Living recently recognized several of the company’s senior living communities as well as individuals from those communities in a company-wide virtual awards ceremony held February 10. TreVista Senior Living and Memory Care in Antioch was recognized as the company’s Rising Star Community of the Year. This award is given to the Agemark community that has shown tremendous improvement and future promise.

Agemark Founder and Managing Partner Richard Westin is impressed with the team at TreVista in Antioch.

“After undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation, the community has filled nearly all of its available apartments, thanks to the excellent efforts of the entire TreVista team,” he said. “We are so thankful for their commitment to providing excellent care, love and support to all residents of the community.”

TreVista Senior Living and Memory Care in Antioch is under the direction of Executive Director Alberto Maldonado. He began leading the community in August 2020 and says the team is honored to be recognized by Agemark.

“Our community and incredible team embody the values of Agemark proudly and I believe that they are the reason for our tremendous growth, particularly over the last year,” Maldonado stated. “Agemark empowers its leaders and team members to operate as a family, and that’s another reason for our success. We are so thankful for Agemark’s belief in what we do, and we are proud to be the Rising Star recipients.”

TreVista in Antioch offers both Assisted Living and Memory Care in one comfortable and homelike community. Located at 3950 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, the community was acquired by Agemark Senior Living in fall 2017, with management takeover shortly thereafter. In 2020, the community completed an extensive remodel, which improved all common areas and added a bistro, theatre room, in-house beauty salon and manicure station, among other improvements for residents to enjoy. The in-house memory care community, The Villa, was completely redone, and made into a more homelike and comfortable environment for those who live with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

A sister community, TreVista in Concord, is also managed by Agemark Senior Living. To learn more about TreVista, visit trevistaseniorliving.com.

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