Watch for West Nile Virus Mosquito Bites

By Corey Egel, CDPH  |  2019-07-02

Californians Urged to Protect Against Mosquito Bites

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges all Californians to protect themselves from mosquito bites during West Nile virus (WNV) season, which extends from summer through early fall.

“West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing, so it is important to take every possible precaution to protect against mosquito bites,” said State Public Health Officer and CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith.

West Nile virus spreads to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Late-spring rains have contributed to standing water, which serves as a breeding source for mosquitoes that can spread WNV. Hot temperatures also contribute to increasing numbers of breeding mosquitoes and an increased risk of virus transmission to humans.

Currently, WNV activity is within expected levels and is similar to activity at this time last year. The risk of disease due to WNV increases as the summer progresses, and declines in early fall as the weather cools. In 2018, there were 217 reported WNV cases in California, including 11 deaths. Since WNV was first introduced into California in 2003, there have been more than 6,000 human WNV cases and 303 WNV-related deaths across the state.

West Nile virus is influenced by many factors, including climate, the number and types of birds and mosquitoes in an area, and the level of WNV immunity in birds. For most people, the risk of developing serious illness is low. However, some individuals – less than one percent – can develop serious neurologic illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis. People 50 years of age and older, and individuals with diabetes or hypertension, have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications from WNV infection.

CDPH recommends that people protect against mosquito bites and WNV by practicing the “Three Ds”:

DEET – Apply U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions. EPA-registered repellents are recommended for use because they have been tested for safety and efficacy in preventing mosquito bites. Insect repellents should not be used on children under two months of age. For more information, visit CDPH’s insect repellent toolkit.

DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes that transmit WNV usually bite in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property by emptying flower pots, old car tires, buckets, and other containers. If you know of a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained, please contact your local mosquito and vector control agency.

California’s West Nile virus website includes the latest information on WNV activity in the state. Californians are encouraged to report dead birds on the website or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473). www.cdph.ca.gov

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - VSP Global® announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire San Antonio, Texas-based Visionworks, subject to completion of regulatory approval. With a footprint of more than 700 stores in nearly 40 states, the Visionworks acquisition will be the single largest VSP network investment in the company's 65-year history.

“This transaction is highly complementary to our business and marks a significant leap forward in continuing to fulfill our vision to provide access to affordable, high-quality eye care and eyewear to more people,” said Michael Guyette, President and CEO of VSP Global. “With expanded nationwide access, we'll provide our clients and members with an option for a more substantial, consistent and sustainable retail experience, further enhanced by the professional care of VSP network doctors.”

“We are aligned with VSP's values and our shared commitment to help people see,” said Visionworks CEO, Pete Bridgman.” Grounded in our passion to deliver affordable quality eye care in a simple way, and strengthened by our new partnership with VSP, we will focus on advancing patient care and accessibility.”

“The Visionworks acquisition, once closed, will position VSP to meet expectations of our clients and to grow membership,” said Gordon Jennings, O.D., VSP Global Board Chair. “Together, we will be able to provide greater access for our members.”

The transaction will close as soon as the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained.

VSP Global is a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. Our industry-leading businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for nearly 90 million members through a network of over 40,000 doctors worldwide; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world's largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high-quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services, providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the industry leader in practice management and electronic health record software; VSP Retail, which focuses on increasing access to eye care and eyewear through multiple channels, and VSP® Ventures, which offers care-focused, customized choices for doctors looking to transition their practice.


 

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Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County is pleased to announce that funding for two proposed permanent supportive housing developments for persons experiencing homelessness has been awarded by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The No Place Like Home (NPLH) program funding, totaling nearly $13 million in new money for Sacramento, will provide permanent housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and who are living with a serious mental illness.  

Sacramento County’s successful applications in the State’s first competitive funding round were the result of a collaborative effort with the development sponsors, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, and the cities where the developments are located. 

The two new housing facilities, Sunrise Pointe and Capitol Park Hotel, will result in 180 new housing units for persons experiencing homelessness, 87 of which will be dedicated for persons that also have a serious mental health illness and need services (designated NPLH units). Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services has committed to providing mental health treatment services to the designated NPLH units for a minimum of 20 years. “This is a priority for Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services. Investing in permanent, stable housing is critical for our consumers’ recovery,” said Ryan Quist, Ph.D., Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director. 

Sunrise Pointe is a new construction project located at 7424 Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights and consists of 47 one- two- and three-bedroom units. Of these, 22 will be designated NPLH units. All units will serve families and individuals experiencing homelessness.  The site will be developed and operated by Jamboree Housing and  Hope Cooperative (aka TLCS, Inc.)  respectively. 

“We are grateful for No Place Like Home funding to support this important project in the Citrus Heights community,” said Erin Johansen, Hope Cooperative executive director. “Sunrise Pointe is a collaboration between Hope Cooperative and Jamboree Housing that will provide 47-units of much-needed permanent, stable housing for individuals and families in need. Hope Cooperative will provide on-site Residential Service Coordinators who will work closely with residents in accessing a variety of resources including job training, budgeting and other needed services, as well as an on-site property manager. This project will help people live successfully in the community and is an essential step in ending the cycle of homelessness in the Sacramento region.”

“Jamboree has a long, rich history of effectively utilizing new state resources in order to create more affordable and supportive housing,” said Laura Archuleta, President and CEO of Jamboree Housing Corporation. “We are thrilled to have successfully partnered with Sacramento County and Hope Cooperative in securing more than $3 million from the new No Place Like Home program for the development of Sunrise Pointe. This funding will be instrumental in addressing the region’s affordable and supportive housing needs, and will positively transform and strengthen the Citrus Heights community for years to come.”

Capitol Park Hotel is a rehabilitation project located at 1125 9th Street in downtown Sacramento. This development will be an acquisition and rehabilitation of a historic building and will include 134 units for households experiencing homelessness. Of these, 65 will be designated NPLH units. The site will be developed and operated by Mercy Housing California (MHC). 

“We are thrilled with the huge step the proposed permeant supportive housing at Capitol Park Hotel has taken this week with the award from HCD,” said Stephen Daues, Regional Director of Mercy Housing California. “We have a lot of work remaining, but this provides the momentum needed to secure the remaining funding.” 

MHC is also the lead developer on another emerging project in Sacramento County, the remodeling and repurposing of the Courtyard Inn off Watt Avenue in North Highlands. They are transforming the once problem property into 92 new affordable housing units, including 14 workforce housing units and 78 permanent supportive housing units for special needs individuals and families. Of these, 15 units will be dedicated to people living with a serious mental illness and the Division of Behavioral Health Services has committed to providing mental health treatment services for a minimum of 20 years. The complete transformation of this highly visible site at the gateway to North Highlands will have an immediate and lasting improvement in the quality of life in the community.

“The Courtyard Inn transformation is well underway and only delayed by one month after enduring the heavy spring rains and the many surprises that come with striping the building down to the studs.” Daues says, “The rebuilding stage is now underway and handing over keys to the new apartment homes for 92 formerly homeless households is well within sight.” 

For more information about what the County is doing to address homelessness, visit the “Responding to Homelessness” website. ​

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Shriners Ranked as a Top 10 Provider of Pediatric Orthopedics

By Catherine Curran, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California  |  2019-07-02

Frontal view of the Sacramento Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. Courtesy of Shriners

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - For the eighth year in a row, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Northern California is ranked as one of the nation's elite providers of pediatric orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report.

In its annual Best Children's Hospitals rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks the Northern California Shriners Hospital as number eight in pediatric orthopedics in conjunction with the UC Davis Children's Hospital. The Northern California Shriners Hospital also achieved the ranking of 20th in Urology in conjunction with UC Davis.

Rankings are based on a combination of clinical data and reputation with pediatric specialists. According the U.S. News & World Report web site, U.S. News generates hospital rankings by evaluating data on nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult medical specialties, 9 adult medical procedures or conditions and 10 pediatric specialties. To be nationally ranked in a specialty, a hospital must excel in caring for the sickest, most medically complex patients.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized as one of the top 10 providers of pediatric orthopedic care in the entire United States. The ranking is a reflection of the reputation of our exceptional team of specialists and the quality of care they provide children with complex medical needs,” says Margaret Bryan, administrator and CEO at the Northern California Shriners Hospital.

“As a regional pediatric medical center, our hospital stands ready to serve families throughout Northern California who want the very best for their children,” she adds.

Among the thousands of children treated by the orthopedic team each year are children with scoliosis, limb deficiencies, sports injuries, hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder malformations, brachial plexus birth palsy, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy. The hospital also is engaged in clinical trials and scientific research to advance orthopedic care.

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of sick children find the best medical care available. The rankings open the door to an array of detailed information about each hospital’s performance. The full rankings and methodology are available atwww.usnews.com/childrenshospitals.

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The members of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and plaintiffs in the class action litigation suit Mays vs. County of Sacramento, represented by Prison Law Office (PLO) and Disability Rights California (DRC), have reached an agreement on a consent decree regarding jail conditions.

Multiple counties throughout the state, including Santa Clara, Fresno and Riverside, have been targeted with similar lawsuits and challenges. Sacramento County has been working collaboratively for several years with Plaintiffs’ counsel to reach agreement on a plan to bring the jail up to current Constitutional standards.

By agreeing to settle the lawsuit, the County avoids significant litigation costs and the risk of potentially more challenging mandates being imposed by the court.

The consent decree addresses conditions of confinement at both the main jail and Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center and imposes new obligations on the County with regard to inmate medical care, mental health care, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and out-of-cell time, among other issues.

“I’m pleased this consent decree achieves common ground between the parties,” said District 2 Sacramento County Supervisor and Board Chair Patrick Kennedy. “The County will provide improvements for inmates in custody that build upon the enhancements the County has already implemented in recent years.”

The actions agreed to by the County are driven by a number of factors. The County’s main jail was built before the passage of the ADA and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HPAA). Additionally, there have been a number of federal court decisions that have set new standards and imposed new requirements on county jails.

In addition, due in part to Correctional Realignment, in which large numbers of inmates were transferred from State prisons to county jails, the County jails’ population has also changed significantly. The populations shifted from a younger, relatively healthy, shorter-term inmate population to an older, more criminally sophisticated, longer-term population with more complex physical health conditions, behavioral health conditions, including higher rates of mental health and substance use disorders, and other health and behavior issues.

Like most counties in California and across the nation, Sacramento County has seen a long-term trend of an increase in the number and proportion of jail inmates with serious mental health issues. The jail psychiatric services caseload has doubled from 2004 to 2018.

Key points of the consent decree include:                                                                    

Segregation/Restrictive Housing – Inmates will be pre-screened for mental health concerns and housing, health care and management needs will be adjusted for those inmates; most inmates will receive more out-of-cell time.

Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Compliance – Policies, procedures, training and accommodations will be put in place to ensure compliance with ADA requirements.

Suicide Prevention – For inmates at risk of suicide, the County will ensure appropriate intake screening, staff training, suitable housing/environment and inmate observation.

Disciplinary Measures for Inmates with Mental Health or Intellectual Disabilities – the County will make overall changes in staff training and use of force policies, as well as consult with mental health providers when considering discipline for inmates with cognitive disabilities or mental health issues.

Mental Health Care – For inmates with mental illness, the County will ensure appropriate housing and settings for group and individual treatment, sufficient staffing to meet and maintain improved standards of care and staff training.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The California Assembly Education Committee passed SB 428 by a bipartisan vote (5-0). It now moves ahead to the Assembly Health Committee for approval. The bill would require a percentage of staff and teachers in each school be trained in a program like Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). YMHFA is a comprehensive training specifically designed to equip educators, family members, and caregivers with the skills and knowledge to identify, understand, and respond to the signs or risk factors of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth. The purpose of the bill is to increase school and community-level capacity to tackle California’s growing youth mental health crisis.

SB 428 is supported by a broad coalition led by Born This Way Foundation, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CBHA), County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA), and Children Now. Following the assembly’s action today, Le Ondra Clark Harvey, a spokesperson for the coalition and Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for CBHA said:

“Our coalition came together in support of this bill because the mental wellbeing of students is critical to their ability to lead healthy lives. As representatives of service providers and experts in the field, we believe there are actionable solutions to California’s growing youth mental health crisis. This coalition strongly supports SB 428, which seeks to better equip teachers and school staff on the frontlines of this crisis, and to increase access to mental health trainings in schools. We thank Senators Pan and Portantino for introducing this important piece of legislation, and we thank the Assembly Education Committee for their support with passing the bill out of committee.”

Rimmi Hundal, Director of MHSA and Ethnic Services at the Tri-City Mental Health Services, and Andrea Zimmerman, a retired teacher and school administrator and current YMHFA trainer with Wellness Together provided testimony alongside Senator Pan at the hearing.

“I think about all the missteps I could have avoided as a teacher and an administrator if I had Mental Health First Aid training at the beginning of my career, and the impact that would have multiplied across all teachers and schools. Our youth deserve learning environments where they’re surrounded by adults who are trained to respond to their mental health needs,” said Andrea Zimmerman.

California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CBHA) is a statewide association of county funded non-profit community agencies dedicated to the proposition that the people of California deserve a rational, comprehensive, community-based behavioral health system that is adequately funded to serve all those in need of services. We are their voice at the Capitol and with state agencies, and work to ensure that state and county programs support integrated services for children, youth, adults and the elderly which includes physical health, behavioral health, housing, social services, education, substance abuse services and vocational rehabilitation.

The County Behavioral Health Directors Association is a statewide non-profit association that represents all 58 county behavioral health directors and 2 city mental health programs (Berkeley and Tri-City) which is dedicated to advocating for public policy and services on behalf of people who are living with substance use disorders and mental illness.

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, the Foundation leverages evidence-based programming and authentic partnerships in order to provide young people with improved mental health resources and kinder communities - online and offline.

Children Now is a non-partisan, whole-child research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health and education in California. The organization also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a network of more than 3,000 direct service, parent, civil rights, faith-based and community groups dedicated to improving children’s well-being.

 

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - On June 11, 2019, all Sacramento area Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs kicked off this year’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) fundraising campaign to help treat local children who are sick or injured. All money raised during the Sacramento area CMN Hospitals campaign directly benefits UC Davis Children's Hospital to fund critical treatments, pediatric medical equipment, research and charitable care. The Walmart - Sam’s Club CMN Hospitals campaign runs through July 7.

“There are so many Sacramento families depending on donations from Walmart’s Children’s Miracle Network campaign to provide hope in times of desperation,” said Roseville Walmart store manager Patrick Phelps. “We are proud to raise funds for the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, and admire the customers who help us give back every year with their donations.”

Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, members and customers in Sacramento area have raised over $7,080,273 for UC Davis Children's Hospital, most of it one dollar at a time. On a national level, Walmart and Sam’s Club have raised more than $1 billion for CMN Hospitals; the largest cash amount ever raised by one company for a nonprofit in North America.

The need is staggering – 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network hospital for treatment every minute. Helping these children is easy, here’s how to participate: Donate $1 or more at the checkout lane or self-checkout of any Sacramento area Walmart store or Sam’s Club; Spread the word and encourage others to support the CMN Hospitals campaign via social media with custom CMN Gifs and the hashtag #HelpKidsLiveBetter

Through the leadership of Sam Walton, Walmart and Sam’s Club joined the CMN Hospitals fundraising family in 1987. This annual fundraising campaign supports Walmart’s core belief of leveraging the company’s strength to give back to local communities.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity's Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit's mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children's hospitals need community support, identify your member hospital and learn how you can Put Your Money Where the Miracles Are, at CMNHospitals.org and facebook.com/CMNHospitals.

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