Widespread Fraud in America’s Largest Medicaid Program
July 31 (today) CNN at 5 and 7 p.m.: A one-year groundbreaking investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN into taxpayer-funded drug rehab programs, part of America’s largest Medicaid program, has found widespread fraud, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. CIR and CNN reviewed thousands of pages of government records, interviewed dozens of counselors, patients, officials and investigators on the frontlines, and conducted undercover surveillance of troubled clinics. The joint CIR/CNN investigation found that nearly half of the more than $100 million in public funds spent on the program in the last fiscal year goes to clinics that have shown signs of deception and questionable billing practices. The three-part series, “Rehab Racket,” shows its final installment tonight on Anderson Cooper 360° at 5 and 7 p.m. CIR published online articles starting July 29. The CIR team includes reporters Christina Jewett and Will Evans, Senior Editor Amy Pyle, Director of Digital Media Susanne Reber and Editorial Director Mark Katches. The CNN team includes Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin, Senior Investigative Producer Scott Zamost and Richard T. Griffiths, vice president and senior editorial director. You can find the stories, including resources that explain how public money flows to rehab centers, biographies on the main players and more on their websites at www.cironline.org and www.cnn.com.
CareVan Offers Free Mobile Health Clinic
St. Joseph’s Medical Center CareVan offers a free health clinic for low-income and no-insurance individuals or families, 16 years old and older. Mobile health care services will be available to handle most minor urgent health care needs such as mild burns, bumps, abrasions, sprains, sinus and urinary tract infections, cold and flu. Clinics do not offer chronic care services such as high blood pressure and diabetes, unless noted. No narcotics prescriptions will be available. Information: (209) 461-3471 orwww.StJosephsCares.org/Carevan. Clinic schedule is subject to change without notice. Walk-In appointments are available.
- Mondays 2 to 8 p.m.: St. Linus Church, 2620 B St., Stockton. NOTE: on Aug. 12 and Aug. 26, blood pressure and diabetes screenings will be only services available.
- Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Dollar General, 310 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Stockton. Health clinic, blood pressure and diabetes screening available.
- Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Rite Aid, 1050 N. Wilson Way, Stockton.
- Thursdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: For those 16 and older only; San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, 1658 S. Airport Way, Stockton.
Farm to Fork Free Event at Fairgrounds
Aug. 1 (Thursday) 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (in conjunction with Flea Market): The first annual Farm to Fork event aims to educate the public on “best practice” use of public assistance food programs and implementation of local farmers markets seasonal offerings for the benefit of healthy living. Click here for more information. It focuses on those living in food deserts, Cal Fresh and/or WIC, and Emergency Food Bank constituents and their families, as well as Community Garden participants. It will be held at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, Building 3 and outside picnic area, 1658 S. Airport Way, Stockton. There will be information booths on obesity prevention, healthy choice eating, diabetes and blood pressure screening, community living and active living. There will be demonstration booths including three interior cooking stations, one exterior station, farmers market, meal planning and budgeting meals with program benefits. There will be a cook-off with local chefs providing constituents with preparation techniques with seasonal items available at farmers markets and pantry using WIC and/or Emergency Food Bank basket. Volunteers will receive participation certificates for community efforts. Attendees will leave the event with recipe cards; shopping lists for “best practice” use of Cal Fresh funds, WIC and/or Emergency Food Bank program; knowledge and contact information of community partners and health services; and a sense of empowerment and well-being. Information: (209) 948-7930.
Aug. 2 (Friday) 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Delta Health Care invites all WIC participants, family and friends to its second annual Breastfeeding Celebration, a free event at Delta Health Care, 4662 Precissi Lane, Suites 500 & 200, Stockton. Please bring your WIC folder or identification.
Learn About the Sun
Aug. 3 (Saturday) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Bring your family down to the World of Wonders Science Museum, 2 N. Sacramento St., Lodi, for some fun in the sun. We will be holding our first Solar Day at the WOW. The WOW Science Museum will be teaming up with local solar organizations to bring you a variety of hands-on solar activities throughout the day, including racing solar cars and building a solar water fountain. You can even have the chance to cook a tasty snack using a solar oven. Price: regular museum admission of $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 children. Information: www.wowsciencemuseum.org or Jen Young at (209) 368-0969.
Explore Intersection of Community Development and Health
Aug. 13 (Tuesday) 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Join a Connecting Communities audio conference to learn more about exploring the intersection of community development and health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America successfully brought to the attention of the nation a startling fact: your zip code is more important than your genetic code in determining your health. But as impressive as the commission’s report was, one thing it did not do was explain how to improve zip codes as a means to improve the overall health of the nation. Fortunately, there is an entire industry—community development—with annual resources in the tens of billions of dollars, that is in the zip code improving business. The time to merge these two approaches—ameliorating the social determinants of health and revitalizing low-income neighborhoods—is now. This session will explore this idea and offer several examples of successful partnerships between the community development and health sectors. It will also discuss how federal policies, such as the Affordable Care Act and the nonprofit hospital Community Benefit obligation, may create opportunities for collaboration in the future. David Erickson, community development manager with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco will be the main speaker. Registration is required for this audio conference. To register, go to the Connecting Communities website and enter your email address in the ‘Join the Call!’ box. Once registered, you will receive an email containing the call-in information.
San Joaquin General Hospital Interim Board Meeting
Aug. 14 (Wednesday) 4:30 p.m.: The San Joaquin General Hospital Interim Board of Trustees meeting will be held at San Joaquin General Hospital, Conference Room 1A & 1B, 500 W. Hospital Road, French Camp.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Aug. 31 (Saturday): Free prostate cancer screening for men older than 40 at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, 1420 N. Tracy Blvd., Tracy. Information: (209) 835-1500.
Community Health & Wellness Fair
Sept. 28 (Saturday): The community is welcome at a free Health & Wellness Fair at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, 1420 N. Tracy Blvd., Tracy. Information: (209) 835-1500.
Free Community Health Fairs
University of the Pacific’s Phi Delta Chi pharmacy fraternity continues the tradition of providing free community health fairs. The Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences students will offer free blood pressure testing, cholesterol testing, diabetes testing, bone density (osteoporosis) testing, and free oral cancer exams. For those who are interested, there will also be free medication therapy management where attendees can receive advice from pharmacists on prescription and over-the-counter medications. Translators will be available for those who speak Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages. Information: Long School of Pharmacy at (209) 946-2545.
- Oct. 15 (Tuesday) 1 to 5 p.m.: Jene Wah, 238 E. Church St., Stockton.
- Oct. 18 (Friday) 1 to 6 p.m.: Casa de Modesto, 1745 Eldena Way, Modesto.
- Oct. 19 (Saturday) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton.
- Oct. 20 (Sunday) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Seven Trees Community Center, 3590 Cas Drive, San Jose.
- Oct. 24 (Thursday) 1 to 7 p.m.: Hutchins Street Square, 125 S. Hutchins St., Lodi.
- Oct. 26 (Saturday) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: McGeorge School of Law, 3200 Fifth Ave., Sacramento.
- Oct. 27 (Sunday) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: O’Connor Woods, 3400 Wagner Heights Road, Stockton.
- Oct. 31 (Thursday) 1 to 6 p.m.: LOEL Center and Gardens, 105 S. Washington St., Lodi.
- Nov. 1 (Friday) 1 to 6 p.m.: Franco Center, 144 Mun Kwok Lane, Stockton.
- Nov. 7 (Thursday) 1 to 6 p.m.: Northeast Community Center, 2885 E. Harding Way, Stockton.
- Nov. 9 (Saturday) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Lytton Gardens, 646 Lytton Ave., Palo Alto.
- Nov. 14 (Thursday) 1 to 6 p.m.: Lolly Hansen Senior Center, 375 E. Ninth St., Tracy.
- Nov. 15 (Friday) 1 to 6 p.m.: First Congregational Church, 3409 Brookside Road, Stockton.
- Nov. 16 (Saturday) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Alameda Alliance for Health – Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline St. No. 160, Berkeley.
Time for Immunizations Before School Starts
With the new school year fast approaching, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the state public health officer, is encouraging parents not to wait until the fall to make sure their children are fully immunized before classes start. “Immunizations are a safe and effective way to help our kids stay healthy in school and protect them from vaccine-preventable illnesses that can be very serious and have lifelong consequences,” Chapman said. “As families make plans for heading back to school, those plans should include making sure their children are up-to-date on required immunizations for school, including an adolescent whooping cough booster shot (Tdap) for incoming 7th graders.” Schools are required to verify each child’s immunization record to ensure all shots and boosters are completed before entry to kindergarten and 7th grade. Kindergartners need a total of five DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), four polio, three hepatitis B, two MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and one varicella (chickenpox) shot. Kindergarten boosters for DTaP, polio and MMR are given at 4 or 5 years of age. Since 1962, California has required certain vaccinations for incoming kindergarteners. In 2012-2013, nearly 90 percent (almost 500,000 California kindergarten entrants) were fully immunized, with the remainder typically behind on only one or a few required vaccines. In addition, since a new California law was signed in 2010, students entering 7th grade will need to show proof of the whooping cough (pertussis) booster before starting school. Chapman urges parents to make an appointment with their provider now to protect themselves and their families and to ensure kids start school on time. If a child does not have health insurance, or is only partially insured, a doctor or theSan Joaquin County Public Health Department can provide information about the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides free or low-cost immunizations. Some local health departments are offering expanded immunization clinics during the month of August, National Immunization Awareness Month. To learn more about immunizations required for school entry, visit shotsforschool.org
Have Fun Getting Fit With Your Family
First 5 San Joaquin invites you to partner with us to help families and communities in San Joaquin County HAVE FUN GETTING FIT! Recent reports indicate that 1 in 5 children between 2-5 years old are already overweight or obese. More than two-thirds of obese children will become obese adults. Obesity can cause health problems that may include high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. Children who are physically fit are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases in childhood and adulthood, and are more likely to become physically active adults. This quarter’s health messaging efforts (click here) will focus on equipping educators and advocates with resources to help families have fun while getting fit.
United HealthCare Pulls Out of California Market
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones expressed concern July 2 about the negative impact on consumers as a second health insurer – United Healthcare – announced its exit from California’s individual market. “United Healthcare’s decision to exit the California individual health insurance market is bad news for consumers,” Jones said. “While both United Healthcare and Aetna have a very small share of California’s individual health insurance market, their departure means less choice, less competition, and more market consolidation by the remaining big three health insurers – Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, and Kaiser – which means an increased likelihood of even higher prices from those health insurers downstream. One of the factors I believe contributed to this decision, even if the two companies are disinclined to acknowledge it, is the special tax break that California law gives to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which has allowed and continues to allow those two companies to avoid paying $100 million in state taxes a year. Aetna and United Healthcare don’t get the special tax break provided to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and so they faced a major competitive disadvantage in California,” Jones said. Aetna had approximately 60,000 people covered by individual policies as of March 31, and it projects it will have approximately 50,000 people covered by individual policies at the end of 2013, when the company exits the individual market. United Healthcare, through its subsidiary PacifiCare, had approximately 10,000 individual policyholders late in 2012. Policyholders from both companies have been informed they can keep their existing health insurance until December 31, 2013. Aetna and United Healthcare policyholders will be able to purchase health insurance from other health insurers inside and outside the new California health benefits exchange.
Pre-Pregnancy Diabetes Increases Risk of MRSA
Pregnant women with diabetes are more than three times as likely as mothers without diabetes to become infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) before hospital discharge, according to a study in the July issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). The study aim was to investigate the extent to which pre-pregnancy and gestational diabetes are associated with MRSA infection. Researchers found that pre-pregnancy diabetes was associated with increased risk of MRSA following delivery, but found no association between MRSA and gestational diabetes. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles analyzed more than 3.5 million delivery-related hospital admissions from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), a system that accounts for 20 percent of community hospitals in the United States. Of these admissions, 5.3 percent of mothers (185,514 women) acquired diabetes during their pregnancy (gestational diabetes) and nearly one percent (28,939) had pre-pregnancy diabetes. The researchers identified 563 cases of invasive MRSA among the mothers following delivery. To the extent that infection site information was available, the most frequent sources of infection were skin (30.9 percent), urinary tract (6.4 percent), other genitourinary sites (5.2 percent), wound infections (3.0 percent) and septicemia (2.0 percent). “When combined with previous research showing increased risk of certain infections in diabetic persons, it seems likely that diabetic women are at increased risk of MRSA infection compared with other women admitted for delivery of an infant,” conclude the authors. “As we wait for further research on this topic, it might seem prudent for hospitals to be vigilant about possible MRSA risk among diabetic women in labor and delivery.” MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and is an important cause of illness and sometimes death, especially among patients who have been hospitalized.
American Heart Association Applauds S-Mart
The American Heart Association applauded the efforts of Save Mart and S-Mart Supermarkets as they announced having crossed the halfway mark in the race to raise $400,000 to BEAT heart disease. Through their year-long BEAT campaign, the Modesto-based grocer has collected more than $300,000 from online donations and sales of heart icons at its stores throughout Northern California and Nevada. For more information about the campaign and to take a look at inspirational stories from local survivors, visit savemart.com/beat.
Obesity is a Disease, AMA Says
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) applauds the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates for its action June 18 to approve a resolution recognizing obesity as a disease state requiring a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention. AACE, the sponsor of the resolution, was joined by specialty and state medical societies in advocating for recognition of obesity as a disease state, including The Endocrine Society, American College of Cardiology, American College of Surgeons, American Urological Association, and the Texas State Delegation among many others. AACE vigorously advocated its position in light of the abundance of clinical evidence to identify obesity as a multi-metabolic and hormonal disease state, producing signs, symptoms, and morbidity which satisfies the AMA’s established definition of a disease. AACE has also recently advanced a complications-centric model of medical care for the obese patient as a component of its Comprehensive Treatment Algorithm for Diabetes. In this model, treatment is targeted to obese patients with complications who will benefit most from weight loss therapy in a paradigm that optimizes the benefit-risk ratio and patient outcomes. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including breast cancer, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, hypertension and stroke. The medical cost of adult obesity in the United States is estimated to range between $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year. In the United States, obesity is estimated to cause 111,909 to 365,000 deaths each year. On average, obesity reduces life expectancy by six to seven years, while severe obesity, characterized as a BMI greater than 40, reduces life expectancy by 10 years. The CDC reports that 60 million Americans age 20 and older are obese, with African Americans and Latinos having a greater prevalence of obesity than non-Latino whites. Past efforts to contain obesity as a social and lifestyle phenomenon have failed and have led the nation to the point of epidemic obesity in our country. Based on accumulating scientific evidence, AACE concludes that the disease of obesity must be addressed using a robust medical model for treatment and prevention that includes lifestyle modifications, medications, and surgery together with interventions targeted to public education, behavioral change, and the built environment. “A paradigm shift is needed to reverse the course of this epidemic that now afflicts more than 60 million Americans,” said Dr. Jeffrey Mechanick, president of AACE. “The action by the AMA House of Delegates represents a major step in addressing obesity head-on and helping patients to get appropriate interventions and treatment they need.”
First 5 Funding Now Available
First 5 San Joaquin is pleased to announce the release of the 2013-14 Event Sponsorship Application for funding up to $1,000. The application may be downloaded from the First 5 website here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from July 1, 2013 – May 30, 2014, or until funds are no longer available. For more information, contact First 5 San Joaquin at (209) 953-5437 or email@example.com.
Changes to Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment Program
Starting July 1: If you, a friend or loved one has Original Medicare and needs certain medical equipment and supplies, you should know that Medicare is scheduled to expand its successful competitive bidding program to more areas of the country, including the greater Stockton area. This program will help you save money and ensure that you have access to quality medical equipment and supplies from suppliers you can trust. It will also help limit fraud and abuse in the Medicare program. Beginning on July 1, if you have Original Medicare, live in the greater Stockton area, and need equipment or supplies included in the program, you will likely need to use Medicare contract suppliers for Medicare to help pay for the item. The equipment and supplies included in the program are:
- Oxygen, oxygen equipment, and supplies.
- Standard (power and manual) wheelchairs, scooters, and related accessories.
- Enteral nutrients, equipment, and supplies.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices, respiratory assist devices (RADs) and related supplies and accessories.
- Hospital beds and related accessories.
- Walkers and related accessories.
- Negative Pressure Wound Therapy pumps and related supplies and accessories.
- Support surfaces (Group 2 mattresses and overlays)
If you’re already renting certain medical equipment or receiving oxygen or oxygen equipment when the program starts, you may be able to stay with your current supplier. Suppliers that aren’t Medicare contract suppliers can choose to become “grandfathered” suppliers and continue to rent your equipment to you. Here are some simple steps you should take if you use any of the equipment listed above:
- Visit Medicare.gov/supplier to determine if you live in (or will travel to) a ZIP code where the program is expanding or call (800) MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call (877) 486-2048. If you live in or travel to a competitive bidding area and need equipment or supplies included in the program, you will likely need to use a contract supplier to make sure Medicare will help pay for your item.
- View the list of suppliers to see if your current supplier is a contract supplier. If so, you don’t need to do anything else.
- If you rent certain medical equipment or are receiving oxygen or oxygen equipment when the program starts, check with your supplier to find out if they plan to become a grandfathered supplier. If your supplier chooses to become a grandfathered supplier, they will let you know in writing 30 business days before the program begins. You may choose to keep using them or switch to a contract supplier. If they choose not to become a grandfathered supplier, see Step 4 below.
- Consult the list of contract suppliers for your area and contact them as soon as possible to ensure continued access to your medical items and Medicare payment for the items.
Also scheduled to begin in July 2013, Medicare will implement a national mail-order program for diabetic testing supplies. When it starts, you’ll need to use a Medicare national mail-order contract supplier for Medicare to pay for your diabetic testing supplies that are delivered to your home. Make sure to let your friends and loved ones know about these changes as well. If you have questions or want more information, Medicare has resources to help you understand the new program, includingMedicare.gov and (800) MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call (877) 486-2048. Stockton area residents can also call HICAP for free, noncommercial health insurance counseling and personalized help at one of the following numbers: Lodi, (209) 334-9608; Manteca, (209) 456-8650; or Stockton, (209) 470-7812. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your plan will notify you if your supplier is changing. Contact your plan for more information.
Food Bank Needs Our Help
The Emergency Food Bank and Family Services, 7 W. Scotts Ave., Stockton, is in great need of your help. As we are seeing a gradual depletion of our food surplus, we are asking for your support in donating to the Food Bank. The following is our current need:
- All types of food: meats, dry, perishable, dairy, frozen.
- Cars, boats, RV’s, etc.
If you have questions, or would like to donate to the Food Bank to help your community, please contact Pete Mata, food development coordinator at (209) 464-7369 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immunizations: Protecting Our Children
Vaccines save an estimated 3 million lives every year, as well as prevent millions of people from suffering and disabilities caused by vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccinations prevent dozens of harmful vaccine-preventable diseases and their serious side effects including hospitalizations, seizures, amputations, brain damage, meningitis, paralysis, deafness and even death. Children need vaccines to be ready for school. Without the proper vaccinations, children may be denied attendance to schools and childcare centers. Diseases can spread quickly and easily in these settings. All children need protection from contagious diseases in schools and childcare centers. When everyone in a community is vaccinated, the potential for dangerous diseases to spread and cause outbreaks is greatly reduced. Vaccines not only protect individuals, but entire communities! Click here for more from First 5 San Joaquin.
San Joaquin County Health Collaboratives and Initiatives
The San Joaquin County Health Collaboratives and Initiatives database, a project of First 5 San Joaquin, will facilitate greater exchange of knowledge and information about the community. It will help to identify a collective capacity to analyze gaps in services and to develop future plans of action toward a healthier community. Click here for the complete database.
Volunteers Needed to Help With Healthy Retail Survey
San Joaquin County Public Health Services is seeking volunteers to conduct short surveys at neighborhood retail stores for a statewide Healthy Retail Environment Campaign. Volunteers will need to complete training to understand survey requirements. For their efforts, they will grocery store credits or a movie gift card. Survey teams will:
- Attend a hands-on training on retail data collection.
- Work in small groups to visit 10 to 15 store sites.
- Complete observational surveys on tobacco, nutrition and alcohol products.
- Survey customers to get individual feedback.
Youth volunteers ages 14 to 17 are welcome to participate with parental consent. To volunteer or for more information, contact program coordinator Ina Collins at(209) 468-2411.
Time to Bag the Junk
Bag the Junk is an informational website to support the NEA Health Information Network’s Healthier School Food Advocacy project, a national initiative to improve the nutritional quality of snack foods and beverages sold in school vending machines, cafeteria à la carte lines, school stores and fundraisers. These foods and beverages are collectively known as “competitive foods” because they compete with school meals for students’ spending. Many schools sell a wide variety of junk foods and sugary drinks to students and research shows that students eat less of their lunch, consume more fat, take in fewer nutrients and gain weight when schools sell such unhealthy fare outside of meals. Experts are calling for strong nutrition standards for competitive foods to help ensure all students are well-fed and prepared to learn. The overall goal of the Bag the Junk website is to provide school employees and other members of the school community with information on competitive foods, to help you act as informed champions for healthy snack foods and beverages in schools. Support for this website was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Diabetes Resources in San Joaquin County
Diabetes is a costly disease, both in terms of people’s health and well-being, and in terms of dollars spent on treatment, medications and lost days at work and school. San Joaquin County annually accounts for among the worst death rates from diabetes among all 58 California counties. In an attempt to make its estimated 60,000 residents with diabetes aware of the many local resources available to help them deal with the disease, a dozen billboards in English and Spanish have been posted around the county directing readers to the UniteForDiabetesSJC.org website. At that website is information on numerous free classes and programs that provide education and training on preventing diabetes, managing the disease, controlling its side effects, and links to more resources, including special events and finding a physician. For questions on how to navigate the website or find a class, residents may call Vanessa Armendariz, community project manager at the San Joaquin Medical Society, at(209) 952-5299. The billboards came about through the efforts of the Diabetes Work Group, a subcommittee of San Joaquin County Public Health’s Obesity and Chronic Disease Prevention Task Force. Funding was provided through a grant from Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Programs Division-Central Valley Area.
Better Mommy Care Will Improve Community
First 5 San Joaquin invites you to partner with us to help expecting and new parents give their baby the best possible start in life, and help keep new moms in good emotional and physical health. Statistics show that the earlier a woman starts prenatal care, the healthier she and her baby will be. San Joaquin County ranks near the bottom in infant mortality, low birth weights and prenatal care. However, there is much we can all do to address this and help to ensure that new and expecting mothers receive the best “mommy care” possible. Read on for more information and resources to assist you in your efforts!
State Makes it Easier to Dispute Health Plan
The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) launched a new secure, easy-to-use online form to allow Californians to file complaints regarding their health plan quickly and easily from any computer. The portal (click here), available in both English and Spanish, enables consumers to request an external review of a health plan’s denial of medical services, known as an Independent Medical Review. Previously, health plan enrollees had to submit the required forms and paperwork via mail or fax. “With more Californians to gain health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, this new online portal will ensure there is a fast and easy way for them to get the care they are entitled to,” said Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. Each year, the DMHC receives and resolves approximately 4,000 complaints from health plan members. Topics range from issues relating to access to care, claims, enrollment, benefits or coordination of care. Additionally, the DMHC annually administers approximately 1,700 Independent Medical Reviews of a health plan denial of service. These reviews are conducted by independent doctors not affiliated with the health plan. “This new online portal will help more Californians take advantage of the free health care assistance available through the Department of Managed Health Care’s Help Center,” said Brent Barnhart, DMHC director. The DMHC also unveiled two new online videos explaining the services available through the DMHC Help Center. Independent Medical Review process: http://youtu.be/zUjzcAVqjqY. Services available through the DMHC Help Center:http://youtu.be/zIbsB_1lz6Y. The secure complaint portal and online videos were funded through a federal Affordable Care Act grant. The DMHC regulates managed care health plans in California, protects the rights of approximately 20 million health plan enrollees, educates consumers on their health care rights and responsibilities, and preserves the financial stability of the managed health care system. Since 2000, the department has helped more than 1 million Californians resolve health plan problems through its Help Center. Information and assistance is available 24/7 at www.HealthHelp.ca.gov or by calling (888) 466-2219.
Senior Gateway Website: Don’t Be a Victim
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has unveiled a new consumer protection tool for California seniors, who have traditionally been prime targets for con artists. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) is hosting a new Web site www.seniors.ca.gov to educate seniors and their advocates and provide helpful information about how to avoid becoming victims of personal or financial abuse. The Web site, called Senior Gateway, is important because seniors, including older veterans, are disproportionately at risk of being preyed upon financially and subjected to neglect and abuse. The Senior Gateway is sponsored by the Elder Financial Abuse Interagency Roundtable (E-FAIR), convened by CDI and includes representatives from many California agencies who share a common purpose of safeguarding the welfare of California’s seniors. “The goal of this collaborative effort is to assemble, in one convenient location, valuable information not only for seniors, but their families and caregivers. This site will help California seniors find resources and solve problems, and will enable participating agencies to better serve this important segment of our population,” Jones said. The site offers seniors valuable tips and resources in the following areas, and more:
- Avoiding and reporting abuse and neglect by in-home caregivers or in facilities; learn about different types of abuse and the warning signs.
- Preventing and reporting financial fraud, abuse and scams targeting seniors.
- Understanding health care, insurance, Medicare and long-term care; know what long-term care includes.
- Locating services and programs available to assist older adults.
- Knowing your rights before buying insurance; what seniors need to know about annuities.
- Investing wisely and understanding the ins and outs of reverse mortgages.
The Great Health Care Debate Workshop-in-a-Box
The Central Valley Health Policy Institute based at Fresno State has developed an Affordable Care Act Policy Education Tool, “The Great Health Care Debate Workshop-in-a-Box,” to be offered to community organizations and members of the public. The Great Health Care Debate Workshop-in-a-Box can be described as a basic curriculum and process for introducing the Affordable Care Act, understanding its flaws, options for improvement and understanding the Romney/Ryan voucher care alternative. “It’s a nice, objective, nonpartisan presentation,” said Dr. John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute. “People learn tools that can be used for making their own judgments about health care reform.” Included in The Great Health Care Debate Workshop-in-a-Box is a complete power point presentation with a full script and accompanying participant workbook. The workbook provides a frame through which health care policy should be examined, as well as an examination of the ACA and Ryan/Romney proposal. The Workshop-in-a-Box also includes a supporting glossary, reference section, quick sheets and current health care policy news. The Great Health Care Debate Workshop-in-a-Box is designed so that even a health care policy novice can learn, examine and understand the ACA in a way that allows them the capacity to engage others in the debate around current health care policy options in the U.S. “We will facilitate workshops with organizations that request the service and will also provide the Workshop-in-a-Box to others in the hopes that they facilitate The Great Health Care Debate Workshop in their own communities or organizations,” Capitman said. To request The Great Health Care Debate Workshop-in-a-Box or to schedule a workshop, contact Dr. John Capitman at (559) 228-2159.
Affordable Care Act Toolkits
As consumers, businesses and health plans continue to prepare for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, the California Department of Managed Health Care has released a series of toolkits to educate Californians about the changes that have already occurred in the health care system. “The Affordable Care Act puts in place strong new consumer protections, provides additional coverage options and gives people more tools to make informed choices about their health care,” DMHC Director Brent Barnhart said. “These toolkits are designed to ensure that individuals, families, seniors and businesses are aware of the ways they can benefit from these changes in our health care system.” The four toolkits are designed to provide information and resources targeted to individuals, families, seniors and small businesses and contain audience specific questions and answers, a resource guide, and fact sheets on topics such as: when a plan can cancel your coverage; how to file a grievance or appeal; how to keep your coverage through a “grandfathered” health plan; getting the most from your health care dollars; and the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). The toolkits were funded through a federal Affordable Care Act consumer assistance grant.
$5,000 Grants Help Pay for Children’s Medical Expenses
UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan. Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids. To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at www.uhccf.org, and there is no application deadline. Organizations or private donors can make tax-deductible donations to the foundation at this website. In 2011, UHCCF awarded more than 1,200 grants to families across the United States for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy.
Facts About Fruits and Vegetables
Click here for lots of great information about fruits and vegetables.
Here are the latest statistics on Stockton and surrounding cities on overweight and obesity.
Questions About Health Reform Law?
How are small businesses affected by health reform?
Will everyone have to buy health insurance?
How will the new provision allowing young adults to remain on a parent’s insurance work?
The FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s new Health Reform Source provides concise answers to common questions about the health reform law. You can search for your question or submit a new question if yours is not addressed. http://healthreform.kff.org/faq.aspx. Additional questions addressing the affordability of health insurance, how programs like Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) will be financed under health reform and others are addressed in a series of Video Explainer clips featuring foundation experts answering specific questions about the law on a variety of health policy topics.http://healthreform.kff.org/video-explainers.aspx. Kaiser’s Health Reform Source, http://healthreform.kff.org, an online gateway providing easy access to new and comprehensive resources on the health reform law, provides these and other new features and tools including an interactive timeline showing when health-reform provisions take effect, all the latest polling data, links to other information resources, and the latest health-reform headlines from Kaiser Health News.
Fit Families for Life
Fit Families for Life is a weekly class for parents offered by HealthNet and held at Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, 338 E. Market St., Stockton. All parents are welcome and there is no cost to attend. Participants will learn about nutrition, cooking and exercise. Information and registration: Renee Garcia at (209) 941-0701.
Journey to Control Diabetes Education Program
Mondays 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Dameron Hospital offers a free diabetes education program, with classes held in the Dameron Hospital Annex, 445 W. Acacia St., Stockton. Preregistration is required. Contact Carolyn Sanders, RN, at email@example.com, (209) 461-3136 or (209) 461-7597.
Man-to-Man Prostate Cancer Support Group
First Monday of Month 7 to 9 p.m.: Dameron Hospital, 525 W. Acacia St., Stockton, holds a support group for men diagnosed with prostate cancer and their families and caregivers. The meetings are facilitated by trained volunteers who are prostate cancer survivors. Information: Ernest Pontiflet at (209) 952-9092.
Crystal Meth Anonymous Recovery Group
Mondays 6:30 p.m.: 825 Central Ave., Lodi. Information: (209) 430-9780 or (209) 368-0756.
Yoga for People Dealing with Cancer
Mondays 5:30 to 7 p.m.: This free weekly Yoga & Breathing class for cancer patients will help individuals sleep better and reduce pain. This class is led by yoga instructor Chinu Mehdi in Classrooms 1 and 2, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 1800 N. California St., Stockton. Information: (209) 467-6550 or SJCancerInfo@dignityhealth.org.
Respiratory Support Group for Better Breathing
First Tuesday of month 10 to 11 a.m.: Lodi Health’s Respiratory Therapy Department and the American Lung Association of California Valley Lode offer a free “Better Breathers’” respiratory-support group for people and their family members with breathing problems including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Participants will learn how to cope with chronic lung disease, understand lungs and how they work and use medications and oxygen properly. The group meets at Lodi Health West, 800 S. Lower Sacramento Road, Lodi. Pre-registration is recommended by calling (209) 339-7445. For information on other classes available at Lodi Memorial, visit its website at www.lodihealth.org.
The Beat Goes On Cardiac Support Group
First Tuesday of month 11 a.m. to noon: Lodi Health offers a free cardiac support group at Lodi Health West, 800 S. Lower Sacramento Road, Lodi. “The Beat Goes On” cardiac support group is a community-based nonprofit group that offers practical tools for healthy living to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers. Its mission is to provide community awareness that those with heart disease can live well through support meetings and educational forums. Upcoming topics include exercise, stress management and nutrition counseling services. All are welcomed to attend. Information: (209) 339-7664.
Planned Childbirth Services
Tuesdays 6 to 8 p.m.: Dameron Hospital, 525 W. Acacia St., Stockton, hosts a four-class series which answers questions and prepares mom and her partner for labor and birth. Bring two pillows and a comfortable blanket or exercise mat to each class. These classes are requested during expecting mother’s third trimester. Information/registration: Carolyn Sanders, RN (209) 461-3136 or www.Dameronhospital.org.
Say Yes to Breastfeeding
Tuesdays 6 to 8 p.m.: Dameron Hospital, 525 W. Acacia St., Stockton, offers a class that outlines the information and basic benefits and risk management of breastfeeding. Topics include latching, early skin-to-skin on cue, expressing milk and helpful hints on early infant feeding. In addition, the hospital offers a monthly Mommy and Me-Breastfeeding support group where mothers, babies and hospital clerical staff meet the second Monday of each month. Information/registration: Carolyn Sanders, RN (209) 461-3136 or www.Dameronhospital.org.
Second Tuesday of the month, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: Precious Preemies: A Discussion Group for Families Raising Premature Infants and Infants with Medical Concerns required registration and is held at Family Resource Network, Sherwood Executive Center, 5250 Claremont Ave., Suite 148, Stockton. Information:www.frcn.org/calendar.asp or (209) 472-3674 or (800) 847-3030.
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
Are you having trouble controlling the way you eat? Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) is a free Twelve Step recovery program for anyone suffering from food obsession, overeating, undereating or bulimia. For more information or a list of additional meetings throughout the U.S. and the world, call (781) 932-6300 or visit www.foodaddicts.org.
- Tuesdays 7 p.m.: Modesto Unity Church, 2547 Veneman Ave., Modesto.
- Wednesdays 9 a.m.: The Episcopal Church of Saint Anne, 1020 W. Lincoln Road, Stockton.
- Saturdays 9 a.m.: Tracy Community Church, 1790 Sequoia Blvd. at Corral Hollow, Tracy.
Diabetes: Basics to a Healthy Life
Wednesdays 10 a.m.: Free eight-class ongoing series every Wednesday except the month of September. Click here for details. St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Cleveland Classroom, 2102 N. California St., Stockton. Information: (209) 944-8355 or www.StJosephsCares.org/Diabetes.
Break From Stress
Wednesdays 6 to 7 p.m.: St. Joseph’s Medical Center offers the community a break from their stressful lives with Break from Stress sessions. These sessions are free, open to the public, with no pre-registration necessary. Just drop in, take a deep breath and relax through a variety of techniques. Break from Stress sessions are held in St. Joseph’s Cleveland Classroom (behind HealthCare Clinical Lab on California Street just north of the medical center. Information: SJCancerInfo@DignityHealth.org or(209) 467-6550.
Mother-Baby Breast Connection
Wednesdays 1 to 3 p.m.: Join a lactation consultant for support and advice on the challenges of early breastfeeding. Come meet other families and attend as often as you like. A different topic of interest will be offered each week with time for breastfeeding assistance and questions. Pre-registration is required. Call (209) 467-6331. St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Pavilion Conference Room (1st floor), 1800 N. California St., Stockton.
Adult Children With Aging Relatives
Second Wednesday of month 4:30 p.m.: Lodi Health offers an Adult Children with Aging Relatives support group at the Hutchins Street Square Senior Center. Information: (209) 369-4443 or (209) 369-6921.
Smoking Cessation Class in Lodi
Wednesdays 3 to 4 p.m.: Lodi Health offers an eight-session smoking-cessation class for those wishing to become smoke free. Classes are held weekly in the Lodi Health Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department at Lodi Memorial Hospital, 975 S. Fairmont Ave., Lodi. Topics covered include benefits of quitting; ways to cope with quitting; how to deal with a craving; medications that help with withdrawal; and creating a support system. Call the Lodi Health Lung Health Line at (209) 339-7445 to register.
Individual Stork Tours At Dameron
Wednesdays 5 to 7 p.m.: Dameron Hospital, 525 W. Acacia St., Stockton, offers 30 minute guided tours that provide expecting parents with a tour of Labor/Delivery, the Mother-Baby Unit and an overview of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. New mothers are provided information on delivery services, where to go and what to do once delivery has arrived, and each mother can create an individual birthing plan. Information/registration: Carolyn Sanders, RN (209) 461-3136or www.Dameronhospital.org.
Brain Builders Weekly Program
Thursdays 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Lodi Health and the Hutchins Street Square Senior Center offer “Brain Builders,” a weekly program for people in the early stages of memory loss. There is a weekly fee of $25. Registration is required. Information or to register, call (209) 369-4443 or (209) 369-6921.
Infant CPR and Safety
Second Thursday of month 5 to 7 p.m.: Dameron Hospital, 525 W. Acacia St., Stockton, offers a class to family members to safely take care of their newborn. Family members are taught infant CPR and relief of choking, safe sleep and car seat safety. Regarding infant safety, the hospital offers on the fourth Thursday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m. a NICU/SCN family support group. This group is facilitated by a Master Prepared Clinical Social Worker and the Dameron NICU staff with visits from the hospital’s neonatologist. Information/registration: Carolyn Sanders, RN (209) 461-3136 or www.Dameronhospital.org.
Group Meetings for Alzheimer’s Patients, Caregivers
Thursdays 10 to 11:30 a.m.: The Alzheimer’s Aid Society of Northern California in conjunction with Villa Marche residential care facility conducts a simultaneous Caregiver’s Support Group and Patient’s Support Group at Villa Marche, 1119 Rosemarie Lane, Stockton. Caregivers, support people or family members of anyone with dementia are welcome to attend the caregiver’s group, led by Rita Vasquez. It’s a place to listen, learn and share. At the same time, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients can attend the patient’s group led by Sheryl Ashby. Participants will learn more about dementia and how to keep and enjoy the skills that each individual possesses. There will be brain exercises and reminiscence. The meeting is appropriate for anyone who enjoys socialization and is able to attend with moderate supervision. Information: (209) 477-4858.
Clase Gratuita de Diabetes en Español
Cada segundo Viernes del mes: Participantes aprenderán los fundamentos sobre la observación de azúcar de sangre, comida saludable, tamaños de porción y medicaciones. Un educador con certificado del control de diabetes dará instruccion sobre la autodirección durante de esta clase. Para mas información y registración:(209) 461-3251. Aprenda más de los programas de diabetes en el sitio electronico de St. Joseph’s: www.StJosephsCares.org/Diabetes
Nutrition on the Move Class
Fridays 11 a.m. to noon: Nutrition Education Center at Emergency Food Bank, 7 W. Scotts Ave., Stockton. Free classes are general nutrition classes where you’ll learn about the new My Plate standards, food label reading, nutrition and exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables, and other tips. Information: (209) 464-7369 orwww.stocktonfoodbank.org.
Crystal Meth Anonymous Recovery Group
Fridays 6 p.m.: St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health (in trailer at the rear of building), 2510 N. California St., Stockton. Information: (209) 461-2000.
Free Diabetes Class in Spanish
Second Friday of every month: Participants will learn the basics about blood sugar monitoring, healthy foods, portion sizes, medications and self-management skills from a certified diabetic educator during this free class. St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 1800 N. California St., Stockton. Information and registration: (209) 461-3251. Learn more on St. Joseph’s diabetes programs at www.StJosephsCares.org/Diabetes.
National Alliance on Mental Health: Family-to-Family Education
Saturdays 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: NAMI presents a free series of 12 weekly education classes for friends and family of people with major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and co-occurring brain disorders. Classes will be held at 530 W. Acacia St., Stockton (across from Dameron Hospital) on the second floor. Information or to register: (209) 468-3755.
All Day Prepared Childbirth Class
Third Saturday of month 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Dameron Hospital, 525 W. Acacia St., Stockton, offers community service educational class of prebirth education and mentoring. Information/registration: Carolyn Sanders, RN (209) 461-3136 or www.Dameronhospital.org.
Big Brother/Big Sister
Second Sunday of month: Dameron Hospital, 525 W. Acacia St., Stockton, has a one-hour class meeting designed specifically for newborn’s siblings. Topics include family role, a labor/delivery tour and a video presentation which explains hand washing/germ control and other household hygiene activities. This community service class ends with a Certification of Completion certificate. Information/registration: Carolyn Sanders, RN (209) 461-3136 or www.Dameronhospital.org.
Outpatient Program Aimed at Teens
Two programs: Adolescents face a number of challenging issues while trying to master their developmental milestones. Mental health issues (including depression), substance abuse and family issues can hinder them from mastering the developmental milestones that guide them into adulthood. The Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) offered by St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center, 2510 N. California St., Stockton, is designed for those individuals who need comprehensive treatment for their mental, emotional or chemical dependency problems. This program uses Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to present skills for effective living. Patients learn how to identify and change distorted thinking, communicate effectively in relationships and regain control of their lives. The therapists work collaboratively with parents, doctors and schools. They also put together a discharge plan so the patient continues to get the help they need to thrive into adulthood.
- Psychiatric Adolescent IOP meets Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 7:30 p.m.
- Chemical Recovery Adolescent IOP meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
For more information about this and other groups, (209) 461-2000 and ask to speak with a behavioral evaluator or visit www.StJosephsCanHelp.org.
Stork Tours in Lodi
Parents-to-be are offered individual tours of the Lodi Memorial Hospital Maternity Department, 975 S. Fairmont Ave., Lodi. Prospective parents may view the labor, delivery and recovery areas of the hospital and ask questions of the nursing staff. Phone (209) 339-7879 to schedule a tour. For more information on other classes offered by Lodi Health, visit www.lodihealth.org.
HOSPITALS and MEDICAL GROUPS
Click here for Community Medical Centers (Channel Medical Clinic, San Joaquin Valley Dental Group, etc.) website.
Dameron Hospital Events
Doctors Hospital of Manteca Events
Click here for Hill Physicians website.
Click here for Kaiser Central Valley News and Events
Click here for Lodi Memorial Hospital.
Click here for Mark Twain Medical Center in San Andreas.
Click here to find a Planned Parenthood Health Center near you.
St. Joseph’s Medical Center Classes and Events
Sutter Tracy Community Hospital Education and Support
San Joaquin County Public Health Services General Information
Ongoing resources for vaccinations and clinic information are:
- Public Health Services Influenza website, www.sjcphs.org
- Recorded message line at (209) 469-8200, extension 2# for English and 3# for Spanish.
- For further information, individuals may call the following numbers at Public Health Services:
- For general vaccine and clinic questions, call (209) 468-3862;
- For medical questions, call (209) 468-3822.
Health officials continue to recommend these precautionary measures to help protect against acquiring influenza viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol based sanitizers.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve, when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are sick until you are free of a fever for 24 hours.
- Get vaccinated.
Public Health Services Clinic Schedules (Adults and Children)
Immunization clinic hours are subject to change depending on volume of patients or staffing. Check the Public Health Services website for additional evening clinics or special clinics at www.sjcphs.org. Clinics with an asterisk (*) require patients to call for an appointment.
Stockton Health Center: 1601 E. Hazelton Ave.; (209) 468-3830.
- Immunizations: Monday 1-4 p.m.; Tuesday 1-4 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Thursday 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.; Friday 8-11 a.m.
- Travel clinic*: Thursday 8-11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
- Health exams*: Tuesday 1-4 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday 8-11 a.m.
- Sexually transmitted disease clinic: Wednesday 3-6 p.m. and Friday 1-4 p.m., walk-in and by appointment.
- Tuberculosis clinic*: Tuesday; second and fourth Wednesday of the month.
- HIV testing: Tuesday 1-4 p.m.; Thursday 1-4 p.m.
Manteca Health Center: 124 Sycamore Ave.; (209) 823-7104 or (800) 839-4949.
- Immunizations: Wednesday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m.
- Tuberculosis clinic*: first and third Wednesday 3-6 p.m.
- HIV testing: first Wednesday 1:30-4 p.m.
Lodi Health Center: 300 W. Oak St.; (209) 331-7303 or (800) 839-4949.
- Immunizations: Friday 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
- Tuberculosis clinic*: Friday 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
- HIV testing: second and fourth Friday 1:30-4 p.m.
WIC (Women, Infants & Children) Program
Does your food budget need a boost? The WIC Program can help you stretch your food dollars. This special supplemental food program for women, infants and children serves low-income women who are currently pregnant or have recently delivered, breastfeeding moms, infants, and children up to age 5. Eligible applicants receive monthly checks to use at any authorized grocery store for wholesome foods such as fruits and vegetables, milk and cheese, whole-grain breads and cereals, and more. WIC shows you how to feed your family to make them healthier and brings moms and babies closer together by helping with breastfeeding. WIC offers referrals to low-cost or free health care and other community services depending on your needs. WIC services may be obtained at a variety of locations throughout San Joaquin County:
Stockton (209) 468-3280
- Public Health Services WIC Main Office, 1145 N. Hunter St.: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; open two Saturdays a month.
- Family Health Center, 1414 N. California St.: Wednesday 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m.
- CUFF (Coalition United for Families), 2044 Fair St.: Thursday 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m.
- Taylor Family Center, 1101 Lever Blvd.: Wednesday 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m.
- Transcultural Clinic, 4422 N. Pershing Ave. Suite D-5: Tuesday 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m.
Manteca (209) 823-7104
Public Health Services, 124 Sycamore Lane: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m.
Tracy (209) 831-5930
Public Health Services, 205 W. Ninth St.: Monday, Wednesday 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m.
Flu Vaccine Available at Calaveras Public Health Department
Recent news reports of an expected severe flu season in 2013 have created an interest in receiving flu vaccine. The Calaveras County Public Health Department encourages residents who have not been vaccinated to do so soon. “Flu cases in the U.S. have occurred earlier than normal and the severity of the flu this year is greater,” reported Dr. Dean Kelaita, county health officer. State and county health officials anticipate increased flu activity in California in the coming weeks and urge vaccination now. “Getting vaccinated now allows time for immunity to develop from the vaccine before cases increase,” Kelaita said. People at high risk for complications from the flu, include:
- Children aged 6 months until their 5th birthday
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities
All individuals over 6 months of age are recommended to get flu vaccine to protect young infants and high risk family members. Medi-Cal and Medicare are accepted. Fee: $16, but no one is turned away for inability to pay. Information: (209) 754-6460 or www.calaveraspublichealth.com. Vaccination clinics:
- Mondays 3 to 5 p.m.: Calaveras County Public Health Department, 700 Mountain Ranch Road, Suite C-2, San Andreas.
- Third Tuesday monthly 3 to 5:30 p.m.: Valley Springs United Methodist Church, 135 Laurel, Valley Springs.
- Thursdays 8 a.m. to noon: Calaveras County Public Health Department, 700 Mountain Ranch Road, Suite C-2, San Andreas.
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What You Need to Know About Joe’s Health Calendar
Have a health-oriented event the public in San Joaquin County should know about? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get it into my Health Calendar. I’m not interested in promoting commercial enterprises here, but I am interested in helping out nonprofit and/or community groups, hospitals, clinics, physicians and other health-care providers. Look for five categories: Community Events, News, Ongoing, Hospitals & Medical Groups, and Public Health. TO THE PUBLIC: I won’t list an item here from a source that I don’t know or trust. So I believe you can count on what you read here. If there is a problem, please don’t hesitate to let me know at (209) 546-8278 or email@example.com. Thanks, Joe