Joe’s Health Calendar April 6


Informational Evening at Health Careers Academy

April 10 (Thursday) 6 to 7:30 p.m.: Stockton Unified School District’s Health Careers Academy is holding an informational evening for 9th-12thgraders and their parents interested in the 2014-15 school year. Health Careers Academy, 931 E. Magnolia St., Stockton, inside University Park at California and Magnolia streets. Information: (209) 933-7360 or

Valley Fever Lectures Bring Attention to ‘Silent Epidemic’

Valley fever, described as a “silent epidemic” by the Centers for Disease Control, will be explored through a series of wide-ranging talks at the University of California, Merced. Lectures will be held through May. Ten will be presented on the university campus. One will be presented remotely by the founder and one presentation will be held at the UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research. “The aim of the lecture series is to raise awareness of a largely silent disease that has a significant impact on the San Joaquin Valley,” said Professor Paul Brown, director of the campus’s Health Sciences Research Institute. “Great strides are needed to enhance prevention, detection and treatment. UC Merced is committed to developing a collaborative approach to respond to this regional ailment.” Researchers estimate that each year, more than 150,000 people are infected by Coccidioides, the fungus that causes valley fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Infection occurs when microscopic fungal spores are inhaled. Most people who are infected do not show symptoms, while others may experience flu-like symptoms that last from weeks to months. Severe cases can even result in death. The fungus is commonly found in the Southwest, particularly Arizona and California, including the San Joaquin Valley. Lectures are free and open to the public. People unable to attend in person can watch as the discussions are streamed online, and will be available online afterward, too. Attendees can register online or contact Erin Gaab at or (209) 228-4803 for streaming details and for more information:

  • April 11 (Friday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “Ecology of Coccidioides immitis – Challenges to Detect this Fungal Pathogen in its Natural Habitat”; Antje Lauer, Ph.D., assistant professor, California State University, Bakersfield; UC Merced, Social Sciences and Management Building, Room 317.
  • April 16 (Wednesday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “Valley Fever Basics,” plus an update from the 2014 Cocci Study Group meeting; Herbert Boro, M.D., Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Cocci Study Group; UC Merced, Classroom and Office Building, Room 322.
  • April 18 (Friday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “Inflammasome Activation by the Fungal Pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus”;
  • David Ojcius, professor, UC Merced; UC Merced, Social Sciences and Management Building, Room 317.
  • April 23 (Wednesday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “Public and Medical Misinformation on Valley Fever”; David Filip, founder, Valley; UC Merced, Social Sciences and Management Building, Room 366.
  • April 30 (Wednesday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “The Ebb and Flow of Coccidioidomycosis in Kern County”; Kirt Emery, master of public health, County of Kern, Public Health Services Department; UC Merced, Classroom and Office Building, Room 322.        
  • May 1 (Thursday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “Regulation of Cell Shape and Virulence in Thermally Dimorphic Fungi”; Anita Sil, M.D., associate professor, UC San Francisco; and “Coccidioides Species Outside a Living Host: Saprophytic or Saprozooic?”; John Taylor, professor, UC Berkeley; UC Merced, Social Sciences and Management Building, Room 317.
  • May 7 (Wednesday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “Undocumented Accounts of Valley Fever: Farmworkers in the Central Valley”; Sarah M. Rios, UC Santa Barbara; UC Merced, Classroom and Office Building, Room 322.
  • May 14 (Wednesday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “Preliminary Perspectives of Children with Valley Fever”; Erin Gaab, Ph.D., UC Merced; UC Merced, Social Sciences and Management Building, Room 117.
  • May 21 (Wednesday) 1 to 3 p.m.: “The Costs Behind California’s Rising Silent Epidemic”; Leslie Wilson, professor, UC San Francisco; UCSF Fresno Center, Room 116.

The lecture series, funded in part by Sierra Health Foundation, is the next step in an effort led by the UC Merced Health Sciences Research Institute aimed at combating valley fever. In November 2013, UC Merced, UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program and California State University, Fresno’s Central California Center for Health and Human Services held a “Valley Fever Research Day” to determine research priorities and public service needs related to valley fever. Because valley fever is a rare disease outside the Southwest, it does not attract sufficient research funding. More than 40 percent of people infected with valley fever have symptoms. Many of those infected with valley fever are sick without knowing why or without being diagnosed. HSRI is developing a consortium to increase awareness about the disease and to improve detection and treatment through research, clinical care and community outreach. Partners include UCSF Fresno, Fresno State, Community Medical Centers, Children’s Hospital Central California, the public health departments in the eight counties that make up the San Joaquin Valley and community organizations serving or working with people most at risk for valley fever.

What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty

April 24 (Thursday) 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: This is a workshop in Stockton for faith-based organizations covering the hidden rules of class, language patterns and cognition, violence and conflict resolution, family and relationship building, and church participation. Click here for more information, call First 5 San Joaquin (209) 953-5437 or

Bridges Out of Poverty

April 25 (Friday) 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: This Stockton workshop on Bridges Out of Poverty discusses strategies for professionals and communities. It provides a comprehensive approach to understanding the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty from the individual to the systemic level. Click here for more information, call First 5 San Joaquin at (209) 953-5437 or

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 or schedule is subject to change without notice. Walk-In appointments are available.

  • Mondays 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: St. Linus Church, 2620 B St., Stockton. On April 21, only blood pressure and diabetes screening will be available.
  • Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Dollar General, 310 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Stockton.
  • Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 4:30 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.

Free Hygeia Health Fair

May 4 (Sunday) 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Lambda Kappa Sigma’s 3rd Annual Hygeia Health Fair is open to the public and free of charge. We will have a mixture of educational booths as well as screening booths.  The screenings we will administer for free are: lung screening, bone mineral density screening, glucose screening, blood pressure and cholesterol, anemia, and heartburn screenings. This third annual event will be at First Baptist Church, 3535 N. El Dorado St., Stockton. Lambda Kappa Sigma is an international professional pharmacy fraternity of women affiliated with the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Free Family Health and Wellness Fair

May 4 (Sunday) 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: A free Family Health and Wellness Fair with medical, vision and dental screenings sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Stockton will be held at St. Stanislaus Community Center, 1416 Maze Blvd., Modesto. Learn more about Cal-Fresh, Covered California, immigration legal services and counseling services.

Awards Breakfast Hosted by Healthy San Joaquin Collaborative

May 14 (Wednesday) 8:30 to 11 a.m.: The Healthy San Joaquin Collaborative will be hosting its third Awards and Recognition Breakfast (read more here) to honor those who have made a healthy difference in our community and recognizing the individual, group or organization that have contributed time, energy or support that promote and encourage nutrition and/or physical activity in San Joaquin County. Please join us at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center, 2101 E. Earhart Ave., Stockton. RSVP required at

New Approaches to Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges

May 16 (Friday) 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.: The Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County presents its 2014 Conference at the Hilton Stockton, 2323 Grand Canal Blvd., Stockton: Obesity, Depression and Birth Trauma: New Approaches to Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges featuring Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA. This year’s conference will be GREEN!  All presentation handouts and materials will be available electronically for you to print and bring to the conference or access on your electronic devices. Continuing Education:  Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #001354 for 6.0 contact hours.  3.34 L-CERPs and 2.5 R-CERPs have been allocated by IBLCE. Approval #C1331991. Please note that you must attend the entire conference to be eligible to receive continuing education credits. No certificates will be issued for partial attendance. Registration fees: Early Bird (by April 15) – $129; Regular (April 16 – May 16) – $139. Cancellations: Only cancellations received in writing before 5/9/14 will be granted a full refund.  No refunds provided after 5/9/14. Register here.

San Joaquin County Health Forum

May 17 (Saturday) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: The County Health Forum: Connecting the Community for a Healthier Tomorrow! will be held at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium, 525 N. Center St., Stockton. The forum will empower 300 parents and their children who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-ED) to create a healthy environment. The goal of the forum is to increase the consumption and access to healthy foods and beverages and promote physical activity to prevent obesity. There will be speakers, healthy food and physical activity demonstrations. There will also be health screenings, health information and insurance enrollment assisters. Click here to learn more or to find vendor registration or call (209) 210-8898.

ER Wait Watcher: Which ER Will See You the Fastest?

Heading to the emergency room? ProPublica provides a great tool to help. You may wait a while before a doctor or other treating professional sees you — and the hospital nearest to you might not be the one that sees you the fastest. Click here to look up average ER wait times, as reported by hospitals to the federal government, as well as the time it takes to get there in current traffic, as reported by Google.

Farmers Markets In San Joaquin County

San Joaquin County Public Health Services Network for a Healthy California program has developed a list of San Joaquin County Farmers Markets as part of its goal to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Click here for the latest list of farmers markets around San Joaquin County, including times and locations.


Funding for Street Outreach Programs

May 12 deadline: The Family and Youth Services Bureau is now accepting applications for the Street Outreach Program. The Street Outreach Program funds organizations that provide street-based services to runaway, homeless and street youth who have been subjected to, or are at risk of being subjected to, sexual abuse, prostitution or sexual exploitation. These services, which are provided in areas where street youth congregate, are designed to assist youth in making healthy choices and ultimately help them leave the streets. Read the funding opportunity announcement.

Encouraging news on obesity front

The latest CDC obesity data, published in the Feb. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, show a significant decline in obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years. Obesity prevalence for this age group went from nearly 14 percent in 2003-2004 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012 – a decline of 43 percent – based on CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. Although the JAMA study does not specifically compare 2009-2010 with 2011-2012, NHANES data does show a decline in the 2-to-5-year-old age group during that time period – from just over 12 percent in 2009-2010 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012. “We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping. This report comes on the heels of previous CDC data that found a significant decline in obesity prevalence among low-income children aged 2 to 4 years participating in federal nutrition programs,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “We’ve also seen signs from communities around the country with obesity prevention programs including Anchorage, Alaska, Philadelphia, New York City and King County, Washington. This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic.” While the precise reasons for the decline in obesity among 2 to 5 year olds are not clear, many child care centers have started to improve their nutrition and physical activity standards over the past few years.  In addition, CDC data show decreases in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among youth in recent years. Another possible factor might be the improvement in breastfeeding rates in the United States, which is beneficial to staving off obesity in breastfed children. “I am thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans,” said Michelle Obama, first lady of the United States of America. “With the participation of kids, parents, and communities in Let’s Move! these last four years,  healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm.”

Measles Cases Increasing in California

SAN ANDREAS – The California Department of Public Health has reported a sharp increase in measles cases in the state.  Fifteen cases of measles have been confirmed so far this year.  Last year at the same time only two cases had been reported. “No measles cases have been reported at this time in Calaveras County,” Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita said as of Feb. 24. “Measles is a very contagious viral disease that is spread through the air when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.”  A measles outbreak is occurring in the Philippines. Many other parts of the world are experiencing cases.  Since 2000, almost all measles cases in the United States have been linked to world travel in areas where measles is present. Travelers that are not vaccinated can bring it back to our country if they are not vaccinated prior to travel. The vaccination rate for school children in Calaveras is below that of the state. “That means that we have a large group of children who are susceptible to measles,” Kelaita said. Infants less than 12 months of age are too young to receive the vaccine. Infants, pregnant women and immune compromised persons are at more risk of severe complications from measles. Two doses of MMR [Measles, Mumps Rubella] vaccine are needed by children before entering kindergarten. Unvaccinated children and adults who have not already had the disease increase the risk of spreading the disease in the community. Measles symptoms begin with a fever lasting for a few days, followed by a cough, runny nose, red watery eyes and a rash. The rash usually starts on the face, behind the ears and then covers the rest of the body. An infected person can spread the disease for about eight days – foru days before the rash starts and four days after the rash appears on the body. The best prevention is to receive the recommended doses of vaccine. Measles and other childhood diseases can be prevented with immunizations. “Now is the time to be sure your child is vaccinated so that we can prevent measles cases in Calaveras County,” Kelaita said. “Contact your doctor or clinic about receiving the vaccine.” Immunizations for children are available at Public Health Services for children up to 18 years of age if they do not have immunization coverage or if they have Medi-Cal. No one who is eligible to receive vaccine is denied because of inability to pay the $16 fee. Immunization clinics are held at the Public Health office in San Andreas every Monday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon. On the third Tuesday of each month an immunization clinic is held at Valley Springs United Methodist Church from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Call Public Health Services for more information at(209) 754.6592 and visit the Public Health website at

Soldiers Exposed to Blasts at Greater Risk for PTSD, TBI, Other Long-Term Injuries

WASHINGTON – U.S. soldiers exposed to blasts while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have an increased risk of developing adverse health outcomes over the long term, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, in certain cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI), growth hormone deficiency, and persistent post-concussive symptoms including headaches, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine. The committee that wrote the report focused on health consequences experienced at least six months after a blast. Tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed or wounded by explosions during those wars. Blasts are the leading cause of death and injury on the battlefield, accounting for about 75 percent of all combat-related injuries in U.S. military personnel.  Several major patterns of injury result from explosions, from injuries caused by the blast wave itself to those caused by fragments of debris propelled by the explosion, to subsequent illnesses from, for example, chemical substances released by a bomb. When the energy from the blast shock wave is absorbed in the human body, it disrupts the natural state of the body at a basic or even molecular level, which can cause tissue damage not immediately apparent after the blast. “Acute physical and psychological health outcomes in people who survive blast explosions can be devastating, but the long-term consequences are less clear, particularly for individuals who show no external signs of injury from exposure to blast waves or may not even be aware that they were exposed,” said Stephen Hauser, chair of the committee that wrote the report, Robert A. Fishman Distinguished Professor, and chair of the department of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. Some evidence suggests that blast exposure can result in long-term hearing damage and muscle or bone impairment such as osteoarthritis. However, the data on these outcomes were not strong enough to draw a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Though an association could exist, evidence was more tentative to link blast exposure to long-term effects on cardiovascular and pulmonary function, substance-abuse disorders, and chronic pain in the absence of a severe, immediate injury. While there is substantial overlap between symptoms of mild TBI and PTSD, limited evidence suggests that most of the shared symptoms could be a result of PTSD and not a direct result of TBI alone. The committee outlined several recommendations for urgent research to inform decisions on how to prevent and better diagnose blast injuries, and how to treat, rehabilitate and support victims of battlefield trauma in the immediate aftermath and in the long term. In this research agenda, it is especially important to emphasize that blasts create unusual patterns of injury that can affect multiple organs and systems of the body, a complexity that has often been overlooked in previous studies. Understanding these cross-system interactions should be a priority for future research, the committee stressed. It also is essential that future studies use a standardized definition of blast exposure, once it is developed. For health outcomes associated with blast exposure, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs should evaluate the approaches already in place to detect, treat and rehabilitate blast injuries, the report says. Because injuries from blast may go undetected for long periods, the VA should conduct epidemiologic and mechanistic studies to identify biomarkers of blast injury through advanced imaging and molecular methods that could serve as surrogates of exposure. The majority of past studies have used self-reported exposure data, rather than objective measures.  Therefore, the committee recommended DOD develop and deploy data collection technologies that quantitatively measure components of blast and characteristics of the exposure environment in real-time and also link these data with self-reported exposure histories and demographic, medical and operational information. The Institute of Medicine study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Copies of Gulf War and Health, Volume 9: Long-Term Effects of Blast Exposures are available from the National Academies Press at or by calling (202) 334-3313 or (800) 624-6242.

Future of Medicine?

You be the judge. Check out this video from HealthTap Then, go to their website here.

Participate in Community Needs Survey on Child Abuse

Child Protective Services is in the process of completing the San Joaquin County Community Needs Assessment. As part of this assessment, we want to survey as many people in the community as possible so we can get a pulse for the needs of the county and can then tailor our services to meet those needs. We want to flood the communities with these surveys so we can get the input of those who may not otherwise be heard. Click here for the survey

Help Out a Veteran This Year

Many military veterans are facing tough times and may have difficulty meeting basic needs. Some are unable to find work or are coping with financial strains or chronic health conditions. Other veterans may be dealing with several issues at once—all of which makes everyday life a challenge. As a veteran and veteran-supporter, please let others know that VA can help. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, familiarly known as the VA, provides a variety of benefits to help eligible veterans live healthy, productive lives, including:

  • Compensation for those with service-connected disabilities.
  • Education and training to make veterans more competitive in the work force.
  • Employment services to open up new career possibilities.
  • Home financing and foreclosure prevention assistance.
  • Home modification grants to accommodate disabilities.
  • Physical and mental health care services.
  • Pension benefits for low-income veterans and their families.

See what VA has to offer at And then share what you know with the veterans in your life and in your community. Thank you for your service, and for taking time to help VA reach and serve every veteran. No matter when they served, veterans also may be eligible for home loans or housing benefits. Explore these and other VA benefits at

Volunteers Needed To Drive Cancer Patients

The American Cancer Society needs volunteers to drive cancer patients in the Stockton area to and from their treatment appointments. Every day thousands of cancer patients face seemingly overwhelming obstacles with transportation to treatment facilities. Many health care providers consider transportation the leading nonmedical challenge for people facing cancer. Studies have shown that 3.6 million Americans each year delay or have difficulty getting needed medical care in the absence of available and affordable transportation. For 30 years, the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program has provided free rides to cancer treatment for patients and their caregivers. In 2011, the American Cancer Society assisted more than 11,000 cancer patients with transportation support in California. To become a volunteer driver, all you need is:

  • a safe and reliable vehicle.
  • a current, valid California driver’s license.
  • proof of automobile insurance.
  • a good driving record.
  • a commitment to confidentiality.
  • to participate in convenient live or online training.
  • to be available a minimum of one morning or afternoon Monday to Friday.

To learn more about volunteering for Road To Recovery, other Society programs, free patient services or the latest cancer information, call (800) 227-2345 or visit All programs are free of charge.

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.
  • Furniture.
  • 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

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.

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 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!

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 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.

$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, 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.


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 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

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

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

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

Precious Preemies

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: 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

  • 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 detailsSt. Joseph’s Medical Center, Cleveland Classroom, 2102 N. California St., Stockton. Information: (209) 944-8355 or

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.orgor (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

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

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:

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) 464-7369or

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

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

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

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

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


Community Medical Centers

Click here for Community Medical Centers (Channel Medical Clinic, San Joaquin Valley Dental Group, etc.) website.

Dameron Hospital Events

Click here for Dameron Hospital’s Event Calendar.

Doctors Hospital of Manteca Events

Click here for Doctors Hospital of Manteca Events finder.

Hill Physicians

Click here for Hill Physicians website.

Kaiser Permanente Central Valley

Click here for Kaiser Central Valley News and Events

Lodi Memorial Hospital

Click here for Lodi Memorial Hospital.

Mark Twain Medical Center

Click here for Mark Twain Medical Center in San Andreas.

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Click here to find a Planned Parenthood Health Center near you.

San Joaquin General Hospital

Click here for San Joaquin General Hospital website.

St. Joseph’s Medical Center Classes and Events

Click here for St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s Classes and Events.

Sutter Gould Medical Foundation

Click here for Sutter Gould news. Click here for Sutter Gould calendar of events.

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital Education and Support

Click here for Sutter Tracy Community Hospital events, classes and support groups.


San Joaquin County Public Health Services General Information

Ongoing resources for vaccinations and clinic information are:

  1. Public Health Services Influenza website,
  2. Recorded message line at (209) 469-8200, extension 2# for English and 3# for Spanish.
  3. 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:

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol based sanitizers.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve, when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Stay home if you are sick until you are free of a fever for 24 hours.
  4. 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 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 Shots in Calaveras County

Fall brings cooler temperatures and the start of the flu season. Getting flu vaccine early offers greater protection throughout flu season. The Calaveras County Public Health Department recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get flu vaccine every year. Flu season can start as early as October and continue through March. “Seasonal flu can be serious,” said Dr. Dean Kelaita, Calaveras County health officer. “Every year people die from the flu.” Some children, youth and adults are at risk of serious illness and possibly death if they are not protected from the flu. They need to get flu vaccine now.

  • Adults 50 years of age and over.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Children and youth 5-18 years on long-term aspirin therapy.
  • Everyone with chronic health conditions (including diabetes, kidney, heart or lung disease).

If you care for an infant less than 6 months or people with chronic health conditions, you can help protect them by getting your flu vaccine. Even if you had a flu vaccination last year, you need another one this year to be protected and to protect others who are at risk. The Public Health Department will offer five community flu clinics:

  • Every Monday (3 to 5:30 p.m.) and Thursday (8 a.m. to noon): Calaveras County Public Health, 700 Mountain Ranch Road, Suite C2, San Andreas. The monthly Valley Springs Immunization Clinic (third Tuesday, 3 to 5:30 pm) will also offer flu vaccine during flu season.

The flu vaccine is $16.  Medicare Part B is accepted.  No one will be denied service due to inability to pay. For more information about the vaccine or the clinics, contact the Public Health Department at (209) 754-6460 or visit the Public Health website at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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 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 Thanks, Joe

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