Joe’s Health Calendar


Medicare Part D Health Fairs

Every year between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7, Medicare beneficiaries face what for many can be a daunting task – re-enrolling in annual prescription drug coverage known as Part D that not only covers their specific medications but does so at the lowest premium cost available. It is of critical importance to those on fixed incomes. For the past 10 years, student pharmacists trained in the enrollment process through a program offered at University of the Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences have been assisting seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries, as well as those enrolling for the first time. And all their services are free. “In light of all the legislative uncertainty in health care, it remains critically important that Medicare beneficiaries annually reevaluate their Part D plan,” student pharmacist Aman Raikhy said in an email. “In the 10 years of our program, we have found that more than 80 percent of beneficiaries can save money by switching prescription drug plans during the Medicare open enrollment period and on average could realize more than $1,000 in out-of-pocket drug cost savings,” Raikhy stated. “Our main goal is to give the patients we serve peace of mind during these uncertain times.” Through their 13 Medicare Health Fairs this year offered in nine cities throughout Northern California, the supervised pharmacy students also offer more than a dozen health screenings for things such as blood pressure, diabetes, bone mineral density and mental health. In addition, they also administer free flu shots and provide medication therapy management. That very important service provides a comprehensive review of a patient’s current medications, including both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, to make sure they do not cause undue harm, are effective and understood by the patient. In the past decade, the Pacific students have held 112 events in 20 California cities, assisting more than 5,500 beneficiaries in saving more than $5.7 million, or an average of $1,030 per beneficiary on their out-of-pocket drug costs. Almost 1,000 of those beneficiaries were helped in a language other than English, and the students discovered 723 people with severe drug-related problems that required their doctors be notified. For those who may have attended a past health fair, they will notice some new features this year. The students will be handing out drug takeback bags and sharps containers so patients can safely dispose of unused or unwanted medications, injectable products and syringes. The takeback bags include prepaid postage so all the patient has to do is drop the bag in the mail. Pacific has partnered with San Joaquin County Public Health Services in its Diabetes Prevention Program to identify patients at risk of pre-diabetes. Patients may also notice the collaboration with other health care professionals, including nurse practitioner students from the University of San Francisco and physician assistant students from Pacific, in an effort to improve the provision of care. For beneficiaries needing help with Medicare Part D drug plans and/or interested in a complete drug review, be sure to bring your Medicare card and all your medications. Make an appointment by calling the phone number provided for the event you plan to attend:

  • Nov. 11 (Saturday) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Christ Community Church, 5025 Manzanita Ave., Carmichael; (916) 375-3763.
  • Nov. 14 (Tuesday) 1 to 6 p.m.: Bethany Home Town Square Campus, 1350 Nikkel Way, Ripon; (209) 253-5128.
  • Nov. 17 (Friday) 1 to 5 p.m.: Sierra Vista Homes, 2436 S. Belleview St., Stockton; (209) 460-5085.
  • Nov. 18 (Saturday) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: LifeLong Medical Care, Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline St., Berkeley; (510) 981-4100.

For more information, phone (209) 910-DRUG (3784) or visit

Lunch and Learn with CV-RAPS About Strokes, Brain Health

Nov. 28 (Tuesday) 12:30 to 2 p.m.: Stockton nonprofit Healings In Motion sponsors CV-RAPS – Central Valley Recovery, Awareness, Preventing Strokes – on the fourth Tuesday of the month at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Basement Classroom, 1800 N. California St., Stockton. Survivors, caregivers, social workers, clinicians and others interested in learning more about the brain and stroke have come together to exchange resources, learn from a different expert each month focused on brain health, stroke care and recovery. Seating is limited so register now at

Free Diabetes Workshops

Diabetes can be managed successfully. Let us walk with you on your journey. Newly diagnosed or are you pre-diabetic? Do you need help managing diabetes or know someone with diabetes that you would like to help? These free workshops are for you.

  • Wednesdays 10 a.m. to noon in the Cleveland Classroom, 2102 N. California St., Stockton.
  • Thursdays 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 1800 N. California St., Basement Classroom 4, Stockton.

Come and be a part of the diabetes support offered by St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Loved ones and/or caregivers are welcome to participate as well. These fun and informative workshops will empower you to take control of diabetes. Topics include: Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes Overview; Healthy Eating and Physical Activity; Diabetes Medications; and Heart Health and Diabetes. Registration is required. Information: (209) 944-8355.

Red Cross Issues Urgent Appeal for Blood Donations

Appointments can be scheduled by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting or calling (800) RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To help reduce wait times, donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at Blood donation opportunities include:

  • Modestoevery day at Modesto Blood Donation Center, 1900 W. Orangeburg Ave. – Mondays noon to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays 12:15 to 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays 12:15 to 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays 10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Saturdays 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sundays 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Aug. 23 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sonora: Sonora Blood Donation Center, 850 Sanguinetti Road – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
  • StocktonNorth Stockton Blood Donation Center, 2888 W. March Lane– Mondays 12:15 to 7:30 p.m.; Tuesdays noon to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays 12:15 to 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays 10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sundays 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
  • Turlock: Turlock Blood Donation Center, 655 E. Hawkeye Ave. – Thursdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Diabetes Exercise Program – Free in Stockton

You may be qualified for St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s free 10-week supervised diabetes exercise program. Exercise in a supervised, safe environment with an individualized program. Regular exercise has been shown to help control blood sugar as well as lower the risk of diabetes-related health complications such as heart disease and stroke. Classes will be held twice a week at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 1800 N. California St., Stockton. Each participant will have an individual evaluation and personalized program. Classes are designed to build strength while increasing endurance and flexibility. And they are supervised closely by qualified exercise trainers. Information: Paul Vosti at (209) 461-5157 or

More Than Walking For Health at the Mall

Doors open for walkers 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. Sunday: The Weberstown Walkers program includes walking, aerobics, line dance, yoga and a variety of tai chi programs, all free and open to the public seven days a week. Participants are responsible for their own safety and the security of any possessions they bring with them to theWeberstown Mall, 4950 Pacific Ave., Stockton.  The mall does require that all participants sign a Registration & Release form (available from the mall walk coordinator) and respect the mall’s Standards of Conduct available from security. The mall also recommends that you consult with your physician or other health care provider before undertaking any new exercise program, or in the event that you experience any pain, shortness of breath or other discomfort while engaging in any exercise. Escape heat, cold and rain outside to enjoy window-shopping inside while you stroll or stride the half-mile circuit around the interior of the mall. Bring a friend or make a friend. People of all ages are welcome. We recommend comfortable, supportive shoes, and it’s a good idea to bring drinking water. Seating, restrooms and a drinking fountain are available. Strollers are fine. or like Weberstown Walkers on Facebook.

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.


I’m Drunk

I’m Drunk is a free app to eliminate drunk driving. Our mantra is “We are dedicated to saving lives by eliminating drunk driving.” Co-founders Carmen Dellutri and Tom Marquardt have seen firsthand the damage that drunk driving has done to the world and they wanted to come up with something that was proactive to solve this problem, seeing that decades of public service announcements in all forms, millions of dollars and untold work hours have been utilized and the problem still exists and in some places, has increased.  THIS MUST STOP TODAY. The I’M DRUNK ® application was designed to be a “Two Clicks to Save Lives,” where the user, once they download our Emoji-Hope, they can rest assured that no matter where they go, they never have to worry about driving drunk.  It’s simple, free and our mission is to change the social mindset of people about going out and being among friends and also about not driving drunk. By using your smartphone you are two simple clicks away from saving your life and the lives of others. Read more here.

Summary Of Dignity Health Financial Assistance Programs

Dignity Health’s Financial Assistance Policy describes the financial assistance programs available to uninsured or underinsured patients who meet certain income requirements to help pay for medically necessary hospital services provided by Dignity Health. An uninsured patient is someone who does not have health coverage, whether through private insurance or a government program, and who does not have the right to be reimbursed by anyone else for their hospital bills. An underinsured patient is someone who has health coverage, but who has large hospital bills that are not fully covered by their insurance.

Free Care

  • If you are uninsured or underinsured with a family income of up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level you may be eligible to receive hospital services at no cost to you.

Discounted Care

  • If you are uninsured or underinsured with an annual family income between 200-350% of the Federal Poverty level, you may be eligible to have your bills for hospital services reduced to the highest amount reasonably expected to be paid by a government payer, which is usually the amount that Medicare would pay for the same services.
  • If you are uninsured or underinsured with an annual family income between 350-500% of the Federal Poverty level you may be eligible to have your bills for hospital services reduced to the Amount Generally Billed, which is an amount set under federal law that reflects the amount that would have been paid to the hospital by private health insurers and Medicare (including co-pays and deductibles) for the medically necessary services.

If you are eligible for financial assistance under our Financial Assistance Policy you will not be required to pay more than the Amount Generally Billed described above. If you qualify, you may also request an interest-free extended payment plan. You will never be required to make advance payment or other payment arrangements in order to receive emergency services. Free copies of the hospital’s Financial Assistance Policy and financial assistance application forms are available online at your hospital’s website listed below or at the hospital Admitting areas located near the main entrance. (Follow the signs to “Admitting” or “Registration”). Copies of these documents can also be mailed to you upon request if you call Patient Financial Services at the telephone number listed below for your hospital.

Traducción disponible: You may also obtain Spanish and other language translations of these documents at your hospital’s website, in your hospital’s Admitting area, or by calling your hospital’s telephone number. Dignity Health Financial Counselors are available to answer questions, provide information about our Financial Assistance Policy and help guide you through the financial assistance application process. Our staff is located in the hospital’s Admitting area and can be reached at the telephone number listed below for your hospital.

Chest Pain is ALWAYS A Reason To Go To The ER

The recent and sudden deaths of several well-known celebrities from heart-related issues should focus everyone’s attention on the dangers of heart disease and knowing the symptoms of a serious problem. Chest pain can be caused by indigestion, which is usually minor or a heart attack, which can be life-threatening.  It’s important to take chest pain symptoms seriously and immediately call 9-1-1 or seek care in the nearest emergency department.  It could save your life or the life of a loved one. “Patients should never diagnose themselves,” said Becky Parker, MD, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.  “Often it takes a team of medical experts and various tests to diagnose the specific causes of chest pain.  If it’s a heart problem, that delay in time can prove fatal.”

  • About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, according to the CDC.
  • That’s about 1 in every 4 deaths.
  • It is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
  • About 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year.  About two-thirds of those experience their first heart attack.
  • The CDC reports that only 27 percent of people were aware of all major symptoms of a heart attack and knew to call 911 or seek emergency care.
  • Almost half (47 percent) of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside a hospital.  Many people with heart disease don’t act on early warning signs.

The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, jaw, arms, or back.
  • Chest discomfort associated with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath.

Heart Attack signs can differ between men and women.  According to the American Heart Association, the most common symptoms in women include:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest.  It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Some less common warning signs of heart attack in both men and women that should be taken seriously, especially if they accompany any of the above symptoms include:

  • Abnormal chest pain (angina), stomach, or abdominal pain.
  • Nausea or dizziness.
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
  • Unexplained anxiety, weakness, or fatigue.
  • Palpitations, cold sweat, or paleness.

“Not all these signs occur in every attack. Sometimes they go away and return,” said Dr. Parker.  “However in all cases, a person can help lower the chance of dying from a heart attack by recognizing symptoms and getting medical help immediately.” ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

Positive Health Gains Threatened by Rise in Cardiovascular and Drug Deaths

The nation’s health is seeing concerning upticks in key health indicators that threaten to offset years of public health successes, according to the key findings in United Health Foundation’s 27th America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. Through an analysis of 34 measures of behaviors, community and environment, policies and clinical care data, America’s Health Rankings Annual Report provides a holistic view of the nation’s health. The report finds that the United States has made notable long-term improvements across key health indicators, including:

  • A reduction in the prevalence of smoking among adults. Since 1990, smoking among adults has decreased by 41 percent – including a 17 percent decrease in the last four years.
  • Preventable hospitalizations have declined by 35 percent over the past decade, and achieved a 13 percent decline in the past year alone.
  • In the past five years, the rate of uninsured Americans declined by 35 percent – from 16.2 percent to 10.6 percent, which is the lowest point in the report’s 27-year history.

While Americans have made substantial health gains in key areas, the report highlights serious challenges for the country that are eroding these hard-won gains, such as:

  • For the first time in the 27-year history of the America’s Health Rankings’ Annual Report, the cardiovascular death rate has increased in the past year (from 250.8 to 251.7 deaths per 100,000).
  • The rate of drug deaths has increased by 9 percent over the past five years, and increased by 4 percent in just the past year.
  • The premature death rate has increased for the second consecutive year – suggesting a troubling trend.
  • Since the first America’s Health Rankings’ Annual Report was released in 1990, the prevalence of obesity among adults has increased by an astounding 157 percent.

State Rankings in 2016:

  • Hawaii ranks as the healthiest state in 2016 for the fifth straight year, followed by Massachusetts (2), Connecticut (3), Minnesota (4) and Vermont (5).
  • Mississippi drops from 49th to 50th this year, replacing Louisiana, now 49th. Arkansas (48), Alabama (47) and Oklahoma (46) round out the states with greatest opportunities for improvement.
  • California ranks as the 16th healthiest state in the nation. As we look ahead to health care reform discussions in 2017, a few of our state’s health strengths are a low prevalence of smoking and a low infant mortality rate, but lower rankings in certain community and environment data points – like air pollution and violent crime – contribute negatively to our state’s overall health rankings.
  • In San Joaquin County, adult obesity is at 29 percent compared to 24.2  percent overall in California.

“We have made important strides across the country against public health challenges; however, we are at a crossroads between a healthier future as a nation and a future in which troubling public health measurements become increasingly common,” said Dr. Reed Tuckson, external senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation. “Of particular concern is the first-time rise in cardiovascular deaths, despite all the medical advances in this area. This data provides a roadmap for states, local communities and the public health sector to work together to get ahead of the challenges coming.”

Liquid Nicotine for Electronic Cigarettes Toxic for Kids

A 6-year-old child who accidentally swallowed liquid nicotine intended for her parents’ electronic cigarettes required immediate emergency medical treatment that included intubation and an overnight stay in a pediatric intensive care unit. The unique case report was reported online in Annals of Emergency Medicine (“Unintentional Pediatric Ingestion of Electronic Cigarette Nicotine Refill Liquid Necessitating Intubation”) just a couple of weeks after the U.S. Surgeon General released a report warning of the dangers of electronic cigarettes as a “major public health concern.” “Liquid nicotine is highly concentrated, which makes it especially dangerous in households with children,” said lead study author Dr. Matthew Noble of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University. “In this instance, the girl lost consciousness nearly immediately after drinking the liquid nicotine and despite prompt action by her parents and emergency medical services, she still required mechanical ventilation and admission to the intensive care unit. Fortunately, she was ultimately discharged from the hospital in stable condition, but under slightly different circumstances could have suffered a tragic outcome.” The patient’s mother had filled an empty ibuprofen bottle with liquid nicotine she mixed herself, using a combination of unflavored nicotine she purchased online and vegetable glycerin. The child’s father, not realizing the ibuprofen bottle contained his wife’s nicotine, administered a dose to his daughter for pain associated with a sprained ankle. The effects were immediate and the father contacted poison control and 9-1-1 within 5 minutes. Even after she regained consciousness, she had altered mental status, her heart rate dropped, and she developed vomiting, profuse sweating, muscle twitching, and inability to control her copious secretions. Maximum commercial liquid nicotine concentrations are currently neither well established nor well regulated. Some electronic cigarette consumers have advocated increasing nicotine concentrations in electronic cigarettes to more closely approximate nicotine delivery from conventional tobacco cigarettes.  With nicotine products being marketed online and available for direct purchase by consumers, electronic cigarette users now have access to a range of nicotine refill products, including highly concentrated liquid. “As electronic cigarette use proliferates, children are now increasingly at risk of toxicity from ingestions of much larger quantities of nicotine from highly concentrated refill liquid, as in our case study,” said Noble. “We expect that emergency physicians and poison centers will continue to encounter clinical significant cases of nicotine toxicity, especially in pediatric patients.”

Shelter for Domestic Violence Victims Seeking Help and Support

Imagine 450 or 500 people or more coming through your house each year. Hundreds of people, including small children, living, sleeping, cooking and eating. Think about the degree of wear and tear on the house. Now imagine that volume of people every year for five years, even a decade. How about more than 30 years? This is the scenario at DAWN House, Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services’ shelter for domestic violence victims, which houses up to 40 people at a time and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “These families who are in crisis, who are fleeing domestic violence. They come into the shelter scared, not knowing what to expect. We want to make sure it’s a healing place where they can put their lives back together,” said Joelle Gomez, Women’s Center-YFS’ CEO. Gomez says that maintaining a safe, functional and welcoming shelter, while serving hundreds of families a year, is a constant challenge. “We rely on community donations to help replace furniture and large appliances. So much of our furniture is old and worn out. Right now we need a lot of help to make the shelter a more comfortable, livable space for our families.” The organization is asking people to pitch in to help them reach their goal of $20,000. Community members can donate at, or by calling (209) 941-2611. All funds raised will be used to purchase couches, chairs, cribs, tables and chairs, dressers, and a large freezer for food storage. Gomez said the campaign is about much more than the practical matter of replacing old furniture. The goal is to make the shelter feel as much like a real home as possible. “In the end, this isn’t about furniture. It’s about a safe place for a baby to sleep, it’s about providing a place for support groups to meet or families to share a meal. It’s about giving peace to these families.” Women’s Center-YFS is San Joaquin County’s only provider of free, confidential shelter and services specifically designed to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homeless and runaway youth. Each year the agency serves more than 20,000 individuals through its direct services and community outreach, including more than 700 women, children and youth who stay in its four shelters annually. The mission of Women’s Center–Youth & Family Services is to build a stronger community by fostering the strengths in individuals and by acting as a catalyst to end violence and youth homelessness. For more information about the Women’s Center-YFS and its programs and services, or to donate please visit

Department of Insurance Online Complaint Center Available

The California Department of Insurance has announced that several portals are now available to assist consumers, insurers and health care providers in communicating and interacting with the department through the complaint process. The new portals provide simple and helpful solutions for California consumers and insurers. Users are now able to submit complaint applications while using a desktop or smart device. Additionally both the consumer and licensee portal allows users to upload supporting documents directly to their online application, saving time and moneyClick here for the Consumer and Provider Complaint Center“Since taking office I have put a concerted effort into improving our processes by increasing efficiency to better serve consumers and the insurance industry,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “The new online portal will help consumers, insurers and health care providers navigate the complaint process with ease and in less time than ever before.” Consumers who become registered users can use the consumer portal to check the status of a complaint, upload additional documents and create a draft complaint which allows the user to complete and submit the complaint at their convenience. The licensee portal allows fluid two-way communication between the department and its licensees. Licensees are able to upload resources and supporting documentation related to their complaint.

Zika Virus Information From CDC, County Public Health

The Zika virus is an evolving public health issue in many countries and travelers from San Joaquin County should take precautions to prevent infection when traveling. Public Health Services has posted easy to find Zika information on its website homepage

Resources for Victims of Violence in San Joaquin County

Here’s the latest list of government and nonprofit resources for victims of violence in Stockton and San Joaquin County:

$20,000 Health Grants Available

The Sierra Health Foundation Center for Health Program Management has announced the second round of funding through the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund. The fund is offering grants of up to $20,000 for new prospective grantees working to promote community health and health equity within the eight targeted San Joaquin Valley counties – Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare. Local recipients in the first round of funding included Community Partnership for Families of San Joaquin, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, and People and Congregations Together. Applications are due by noon Dec. 1 and awards will be announced in March. Applicants are encouraged to review the 2015 Funding Opportunity and participate in a proposer conference Oct. 6, 8 and 9 or a webinar on Oct. 15. Information can be found on the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund web page at The San Joaquin Valley Health Fund was launched in the fall of 2014 and is supported by Sierra Health Foundation, The California Endowment, the Rosenberg Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Following the launch, a San Joaquin Valley Health Fund Briefing Paper and Mapping Report were released highlighting the Valley’s challenges and opportunities.

Tobacco Bans, Taxes Discourage Teens From Taking Up Smoking

Banning smoking in the workplace and increasing taxes on cigarettes have discouraged teens and young adults from taking up smoking, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Merced. The study, published Sept. 8 in JAMA Pediatrics, used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, which was established to study the health, education, attitudes and lifestyle habits of close to 4,000 respondents — representative of the U.S. population — over the course of 11 years. The researchers found that a 100 percent smoke-free environment reduced the odds of taking up smoking by one third. During the period studied, smoke-free laws at the state, county and city level were becoming more commonplace and comprehensive, and cigarette taxes had increased. In 1997, no respondent had a 100 percent probability of being covered by a smoke-free workplace law; by 2007, smoke-free workplace laws were in effect for 27.3 percent of respondents. The probability of being covered by smoke-free restaurant laws increased from 11.6 percent to 43.3 percent over that same time period, and the probability of smoke-free bar laws increased from 11.6 percent to 36 percent. The researchers found that adolescents and young adults living in areas with 100 percent smoke-free bar laws were 20 percent less likely to be smokers, and that current smokers smoked 15 percent fewer days per month than those not living under these laws. Anna Song, a health psychology professor with the UC Merced Health Sciences Research Institute and the study’s first author, said smoke-free laws can deter smoking among young people even before they are of an age where some of the laws affect them directly. “Because smoking initiation typically occurs before youth enter the workplace, smoke-free workplace laws likely affect smoking initiation by showing kids that adult smoking norms reject smoking,” she said. “The effects of smoke-free laws are similar or larger than other determinants of smoking, including age, sex, race/ethnicity and poverty level.” “Smoke-free workplace laws have the most powerful effect on smoking initiation, equivalent to the deterrent impact of a $1.57 tax increase,” said UCSF Professor Stanton Glantz, the lead researcher on the study. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, federal tax jumped from 24 cents per pack in 1995, two years before the study period, to $1.01 per pack in 2009, two years after the study period. The average state taxes for 1995 and 2009 had increased from 32.7 cents to $1.20 per pack. The authors found that these tax hikes had an impact on par with the effects of smoke-free workplace laws, with each 10-cent tax increase followed by a 3 percent drop in the odds of smoking initiation. “Our results suggest that the $2 tax increase being discussed in the California Legislature would cut youth smoking initiation nearly in half,” Glantz said. The study was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Other authors of the study are Lauren Dutra, of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education; and Torsten Neilands, of the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and the Department of Medicine.

Giving Up Car Keys Linked to Depression in Seniors

Older adults who have stopped driving are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression and nearly five times as likely to enter a long-term care facility as those who remain behind the wheel, according to a new report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Columbia University. The study examined older adults who have permanently given up driving and the impact it has on their health and mental well-being. The importance of understanding the effects this lifestyle change has on older adults is essential, as the number of drivers aged 65 and older continues to increase in the United States with nearly 81 percent of the 39.5 million seniors in this age group still behind the wheel. “The decision to stop driving, whether voluntary or involuntary, appears to contribute to a variety of health problems for seniors, particularly depression as social circles are greatly reduced,” AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said. “When the decision is made to relinquish the keys, it is vital to counteract the negative effects through participation in programs that allow seniors to remain mobile and socially connected.” The AAA Foundation’s report on Driving Cessation and Health Outcomes for Older Adults examined declines in general health and physical, social and cognitive functions in former drivers. For seniors who stopped driving, the study found:

  • Diminished productivity and low participation in daily life activities outside of the home.
  • Risk of depression nearly doubled.
  • Fifty-one percent reduction in the size of social networks over a 13-year period.
  • Accelerated decline in cognitive ability over a 10-year period.
  • Former drivers were five times as likely to be admitted to a long-term care facility.

As a leading advocate for senior driver safety AAA provides many programs and resources for senior drivers including Roadwise Review. Roadwise Review Online is a free, confidential screening/self-assessment tool developed by AAA to help older drivers measure certain mental and physical abilities important for safe driving. In as little as 30 minutes, users can identify and get further guidance on the physical and mental skills that need improvement — all in the privacy of their own home. For more information on all the free resources AAA offers to older drivers, visit

Need Help in San Joaquin County? Call 2-1-1

Have no money for food? Just lost your job? Sick and need a health clinic? Depressed? How do I file taxes? Call 2-1-1 for help. Click here for the flier.

AMA Strengthens Youth Policy on E-Cigarettes

With the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes among the nation’s youth, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted new policy to further strengthen its support of regulatory oversight of electronic cigarettes. The policy calls for the passage of laws and regulations that would: set the minimum legal purchase age for electronic cigarettes and their liquid nicotine refills at 21 years old; require liquid nicotine to be packaged in child-resistant containers; and urge strict enforcement of laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014. The survey data showed e-cigarette use among high school students increased from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014 – an increase from approximately 660,000 to 2 million students. Among middle school students, the data indicated that e-cigarette use more than tripled from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014 – an increase from approximately 120,000 to 450,000 students. “The AMA continues to advocate for more stringent policies to protect our country’s youth from the dangers of tobacco use and improve public health. The AMA’s newest policy expands on the AMA’s longtime efforts to help keep all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, out of the hands of young people, by urging laws to deter the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21,” AMA President Dr. Robert Wah said. “We also urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to act now to implement its proposed rule to effectively regulate electronic cigarettes.” The new policy extends existing AMA policy adopted in 2013 and 2014 calling for all electronic cigarettes to be subject to the same regulations and oversight that the FDA applies to tobacco and nicotine products, seeking tighter marketing restrictions on manufacturers, and prohibiting claims that electronic cigarettes are effective tobacco cessation tools. “Improving the health of the nation is AMA’s top priority and we will continue to advocate for policies that help reduce the burden of preventable diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, both of which can be linked to smoking,” Wah said.

Top Chronic Conditions: 11 Million and Counting

GET THE CHARTS Chronic conditions are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, and the biggest contributor to health care costs. But there is wide variation in their incidence, with major differences depending on age, income, race and ethnicity, and insurance status. In addition, many Californians with chronic conditions are delaying needed care because of cost. Californians with the Top Chronic Conditions: 11 Million and Counting looks at five major chronic conditions — asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and serious psychological distress — and how each of these affects Californians. Among the key findings:
  • About 40% of adults reported having at least one of the five chronic conditions studied.
  • High blood pressure is the most common chronic condition, affecting about one in four, or 7.6 million, adults in California.
  • As income rises, the prevalence of chronic conditions falls. Adults living under 138% of the federal poverty level were more likely to have two or more chronic conditions (14%) than those in the highest income group, 400%+ of the federal poverty level (8%).
  • Of Californians with psychological distress, 34% delayed needed medical care, and 27% delayed filling prescriptions. Cost or lack of insurance was frequently cited as the reason for these delays.
  • Of Californians age 65 or older, 70% have at least one chronic condition, compared to 26% of those age 18 to 39.

See the complete report and charts now. This report is published as part of the CHCF California Health Care Almanac, an online clearinghouse for key data and analysis examining California’s health care marketplace. Find all Almanac reports at

Protect Your Family From E-Cigarettes

Read some facts from the California Department of Public Health. To learn more, click here.

HICAP Seeking Volunteers to Counsel Seniors on Medicare

HICAP – the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program – is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the Medicare maze.  We do this in one-on-one counseling sessions, with registered HICAP volunteer counselors. HICAP counselors help Medicare beneficiaries: understand Medicare; compare supplemental policies; review HMO and PPO benefits; learn about government assistance programs; prepare appeals and challenge denials, and clarify rights as a health care consumer.  Our services are always free and always unbiased.  We neither sell nor recommend specific insurance companies.  Rather, we educate beneficiaries to make the choice best for their needs. We are looking for energetic seniors who are computer-savvy, interested in learning, and good communicators.  We will conduct training in San Joaquin County soon.  If you are interested in learning more about HICAP volunteering, contact HICAP at (209) 470-7812.

Breastfeeding and Working

The Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County offers its “Working & Breastfeeding” Toolkit at This toolkit contains tips, answers to frequently asked questions and links to online resources for families and employers. Jump on over to to check it out.

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.

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.

$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.


Child Passenger Safety Seat Classes

  • Free car seat safety classes in English are held every Wednesday at 11 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., 420 S. Wilson Way, Stockton.
  • Free car seat safety classes in Spanish are held the second Thursday of the month at 2:30 p.m., 1601 E. Hazelton Ave., Stockton.
  • Free car seat fitting station is held every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Public Health Services Clinic parking lot, 1601 E. Hazelton Ave., Stockton.

Registration/appointments are recommended. Phone (209) 468-8914 or (209) 468-8637.

Weberstown Mall Walkers Program

This program is free, fun and for everyone. Weberstown Mall, 4950 Pacific Ave., Stockton, is open for walkers seven mornings each week – 7:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday – with exercise programs including line dance, aerobics, tai chi, yoga and more from Monday through Saturday. Participants are responsible for their own safety and the security of any possessions they bring with them to the mall. The mall does require that all participants sign a Registration & Release form (available from the Mall Walk Coordinator), and respect the Mall’s “Standards of Conduct” (available from security). The mall also recommends that you consult with your physician or other health care provider before undertaking any new exercise program, or in the event that you experience any pain, shortness of breath or other discomfort while engaging in any exercise. Seating, restrooms and a drinking fountain are available.  Strollers are fine. Information: or like Weberstown Walkers on Facebook.

Cambodian and Hmong Language Diabetes Classes

The Cambodian and Hmong communities of Stockton are invited to attend free diabetes classes presented in the Khmer and Hmong languages. Call Jou Moua at (209) 298-2374 or (209) 461-3224 to find a class.

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.

Al-Anon Freedom to Change Support Group

Mondays and Thursdays 7 to 8:30 p.m.: Lodi Health offers Al-Anon Freedom to Change meetings for family and friends of problem drinkers. The group helps people to know what to do when someone close to them drinks too much. Meetings are offered several times each month at Lodi Memorial Hospital, 975 S. Fairmont Ave., Lodi. Information:

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

Lactation Support Group in Lodi

Tuesdays 10 a.m.: Lodi Health offers The Lactation Club, a support group for breastfeeding moms that is held in Classroom A at Lodi Memorial Hospital, 975 S. Fairmont Ave., Lodi. Lactation consultants are readily available to answer questions and help with breastfeeding issues. A scale will also be on hand to weigh babies. Information: (209) 339.7872 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 Ask about programs in English, Spanish and Hmong. Daytime and evening classes. Specialized exercise programs. Let a St. Joseph’s diabetes navigator guide you to success.

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: 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.

Diabetes Support Group in Stockton

Third Wednesday of month 5:30 to 7 p.m.: This support group will help you deal with issues of diabetes through avoiding lifelong complications. Accomplished by increasing daily activities, learning to take your medications  properly, and overcoming depression, frustration and feeling alone. Each month there will be resources including dietitians, doctors, pharmacists and literature is available to assist you. Knowledge is power. This is a free program (no registration is required). Monthly meetings will be held at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 1800 N. California St., Stockton, in the basement Classroom 3. Any questions or comments call Susan Sanchez, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator: (209) 662-9487.

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) 944-8355. 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

Self-Help Mental Health Group Meeting in downtown Stockton

Fridays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Recovery International (RI) holds lay-led, self-help mental health group meetings at St. John the Evangelist Church, 316 N. El Dorado St. (at the corner of Miner Avenue), Stockton, in the church office building. Meetings offer understanding and support, hope and reassurance, special techniques for wellness. Learn about anger management, and how to deal effectively with stress, anxiety, panic or worry, sleep problems, depression or fatigue, feeling of helplessness or hopelessness, and other emotional problems. Plenty of free well-lit parking; enter from northbound El Dorado. Everyone is welcome. Information: (209) 684-8204 or (916) 684-8204.

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) 944-8355. 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.

Multiple Sclerosis Self-Help Group

Second Saturday of Every Month 10 a.m. to noon: Multiple Sclerosis Self-Help Group meeting are for family, friends, caregivers and individuals with multiple sclerosis. We invite you to join us for a few moments of exchanging ideas and management skills to help you live and work with multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease. Meetings are at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, 1800 N. California St., Stockton, in Classroom 1 in the basement. Information: Laurie (209) 915-1730 or Velma (209) 951-2264.

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)

UPDATED: 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) 468-3832 or (800) 839-4949.

  • 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.
  • Sexually transmitted disease clinic and family planning: Tuesday* 1-4 p.m.;Wednesday 3-6 p.m. and Friday 1-4 p.m. walk-in and by appointment; Friday 1-4 p.m.
  • PrEP*: Monday 8-11 a.m.
  • Tuberculosis skin testing: Monday 1-4 p.m.; Tuesday 1-4 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Friday 8-11 a.m.
  • HIV testing: Tuesday 1-4 p.m.; Thursday 1-4 p.m.
  • LTBI Treatment*: Monday 8-11 a.m.; Tuesday 8-11 a.m.; Thursday 1-4 p.m.
  • B-1 Immigrant*: Tuesday 1-4 p.m.
  • Shelter Screening: Monday 8-11 a.m.; Tuesday 8-11 a.m.; Thursday 8-11 a.m.

Manteca Health Center: 124 Sycamore Ave.; (209) 823-7104 or (800) 839-4949.

  • Immunizations (temporary 2016 schedule for walk-ins): 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. on the following dates: March 2, 16, 30; April 13, 27; May 11, 25; June 8, 22; July 6, 20; August 3, 17, 31; September 14, 28; October 12, 26; November 9, 23; December 7, 21.

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.

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

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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 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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