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Speaker Núñez Drives Home Importance of Health Insurance for All Children in California

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Fabian Núñez
Calls are flooding into local legislators offices. Local groups have met to hear the points of the proposed health care plans and time is running out for this legislative session. 

Supported by children's advocates, pediatricians, children and community and faith-based leaders during a Capitol press conference, Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) last week urged the Governor and Legislature to continue working toward comprehensive health reform.

"As a kid who grew up without healthcare, I know that reality - and I want it to be non-existent for the children of California," said Speaker Núñez. "As a dad, to me that means all children. I've said before when it comes to kids, the only document I care about is a clean bill of health."

Health care reform legislation covering all children and extending coverage to more than two million adults was introduced by Speaker Núñez in December. Assembly Bill 8, now co-authored by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"I got to thinking if parents can conceive, develop and deliver a child in nine months the three of us should at least be able to agree on a health care plan that covers the kids," said Núñez. "Yesterday we learned there are even more uninsured children in California - and in the country - than every before. That's unacceptable. Agreeing to insure all kids is a great starting point. If we don't want insurers cherry picking who they cover, we shouldn't follow the same practice. That's why AB 8 not only covers all kids, but extends coverage to more than two million adults as well."

SCE Urges Conservation Following Stage One Electrical Emergency Declaration

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Southern California Edison (SCE) is strongly urging customers this season to conserve energy following a Stage One Emergency declaration by the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO).

A Stage One declaration usually is made by Cal-ISO when power reserves fall below 7 percent.

With the increasing hot weather, Cal-ISO and SCE are making urgent appeals for all customers to immediately reduce their electricity consumption when electricity usage spikes.

Here are some effective ways to reduce power use:

Conservation Tips at Home

  • Set thermostats at 78 degrees or higher and use fans.
  • Give appliances and power tools the afternoon off - especially between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Block direct sunlight from over-heating rooms.
  • Use clothes and dish washers only for full loads.
  • Close doors and vents to unoccupied rooms.
  • Avoid using evaporative coolers or humidifiers at the same time an air conditioner is running.
  • Open windows during evening hours to take advantage of cool breezes.
  • Limit the reopening of a refrigerator, which is a major user of electricity in most homes.
  • Keep your refrigerator or freezer set at the proper temperature.
  • Be sure to use the "power-saver" switch if your refrigerator has one.
  • Keep the condenser coils behind or beneath your refrigerator/freezer clean (refrigerators represent approximately 25 percent of the electric bill for a typical residence).
  • Use drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight.
  • Run swimming pool equipment during early morning and evening hours.

Conservation Tips for Businesses

  • Set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and use fans.
  • Shut off lights in unused areas.
  • When possible, shift power-intensive work processes to morning or evening hours.
  • Turn off all auxiliary or redundant machinery where possible.
  • Consider shifting or staggering operations outside the hours of highest electrical demand, typically noon to 6 p.m.

Additional Tips

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR-qualified compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Be sure your home has adequate insulation.

Find energy efficiency tips, safety information and what to do in case of an outage at www.sce.com .

Temple MBC Holds Health Conference

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Temple Missionary Baptist Church Women's Ministry is holding a Health Conference on Saturday, September 8, 2007, from 9:00AM to 1:30 PM at the T. Hughes Memorial Building, 1777 W. Baseline Street, San Bernardino, California 92411.  Men are welcome.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States or 7% of the population, who have diabetes.  While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control, Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States.  In 2002, 696,947 people died of heart disease (51% of them women).  This was 29% of all U.S. deaths.  The age-adjusted death rate was 241 per 100,000 populations.

Loistine Herndon Program coordinator for Network for Healthy California -African American Campaign  (formally 5 a Day) working with Temple Missionary Baptist Church Women's Ministry is aware that women watching over their families are concerned about what they eat but they should also be aware of the warning signs that may lead to unhealthy behavior and chronic diseases.   Women should make sure that their families have the recommended amount of fruits, vegetables and physical activity.

This conference will offer basic information about Nutrition, Physical Activity, Diabetes, Stress and Heart, Disease. 

The Health Conference is featuring Special Speakers:  Ruth Tanyi, DRPH©, Dr. Tanyi is a fourth year doctoral candidate at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, family nurse practitioner, medical journalist, certified health & fitness instructor and nutrition specialist.  She is a public speaker on many health topics focusing on Mind-Body-Spirt lifestyle practices and disease prevention, such as diabetes and hypertension.  Her famous Award-Wining 13 part documentary TV series:  Bad Sugar, which focuses on Mind-Body-Sprit lifestyle practices and preventing diabetes and its complications.  Dr. Evelyn Thomas, will speak on women's health she is also a Missionary, Phalos Haire, Social Worker II, Mental Health Services will speak on stress. Mr. Haire is a community advocate and speaks through out San Bernardino and Linda Davis, Physical Activities Advocate and Educator.

Turner Construction & Union Bank of California Offer Minority Contractors Tools to Build an Empire

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In partnership with Union Bank of California, N.A., the Turner School of Construction Management Training Program will offer a free seminar to minority business owners to provide vital tools needed to secure contracts in the private and public sectors. Participants will learn critical information on how to develop business plans, estimate and bid for larger contracts, obtain bonding, enforce safety principals and establish and manage credit.

The program will begin with a kick-off reception on Monday, Sept. 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the MTA Plaza Lobby, located at One Gateway Plaza in Los Angeles.  Classes will be held each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the MTA building beginning Tuesday, Sept. 11. The seminar runs for seven weeks with a total of 14 classes. 

Registration is limited to 40 construction companies on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to members of the following co-sponsoring organizations; the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the City of Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Center, Los Angeles World Airports and the National Association of Minority Contractors Southern California.

"We are excited about our new partnership with Turner Construction as it marks a new era for supplier diversity. The program empowers minority business owners with vital access to invaluable business insight, management, development, and hands-on training to succeed in the industry," said Richard Chacon, manager of supplier diversity for Union Bank. Interested firms should contact Beverly King, director of community affairs with Turner Construction at 714-940-9039.

King-Harbor Shutdown Rekindles Fears

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By Chris Levister

Community Hospital of SB Reclaiming Local Hearts & Minds

As the 48 remaining patients were wheeled from the doomed Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital last week the question being asked by residents in the Inland Empire is ‘Who will be the next casualty'?

While the L.A. County hospital's struggle for survival hinged on failed attempts to meet minimum standards for patient care, health care experts warn more hospitals that serve the poor will close as the numbers of poor and medically uninsured grow.

Tobey Robertson spokeswoman for Community Hospital San Bernardino says she is not surprised to learn that the King-Harbor shutdown is rekindling local fears.

"It's understandable, so we want to reassure residents that we are committed to this community - We are not closing."

In 2004-05 Community Hospital of San Bernardino, credited with saving the life of entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. following an auto accident, weathered stinging criticism and public anxiety after threatening to shut its doors.

"Fortunately we were never threatened with quality of care issues," says Robertson. She is quick to point out that the hospital, a member of Catholic Healthcare West, is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)," the leading accrediting organization for hospitals.

"We were threatened financially but the outlook is improving," says Robertson. During the last 18 months the hospital has renegotiated higher federal and state reimbursements for patient services, and launched a community relations campaign wrapped around "family-friendly", "just like home" care.

"We're benefiting from the changing demographics and the region's fast growing population. And now we are the closest Inland Empire hospital to the newly completed 210 Freeway."

Community Hospital of San Bernardino once under threat of closure is rebounding with education outreach and the new 210 freeway expansion.
For nearly a century Community Hospital has followed an unswerving credo to serve the poor. Yet uncompensated "free" care, attracting and keeping good doctors and other staff, treating the uninsured and dwindling Medicare/Medi-Cal payments make for a fragile balancing act.

The chief culprit experts say is Medi-Cal reimbursement policy that requires hospitals to accept less than their own costs for health care services provided to the poor.

"Hospital emergency departments (ED) are in an awkward situation in that they really can't turn people away.  And if someone is in really bad shape, you can't stop and ask then to prepay or produce an insurance card," said Robertson

Records indicate the hospital's ED has about a 50% success rate collecting on outstanding bills. Approximately 12,000 patients are admitted to the Westside hospital each year and more than 100 people are treated each day in its emergency room many of them immigrant, poor, uninsured, very sick and have no money to pay.

Robertson says the hospital's broad community partnering campaign takes education outreach directly to the citizens by way of a new brightly colored van.

She says the van will be highly visible in the community. Residents can now get a one-on-one course in diabetes and asthma prevention, management and treatment.

"By emphasizing prevention, addressing underlying causes of health problems and working together we can improve the health of our residents while helping build a stronger healthier community."

Studies show the area around Community hospital suffers the highest level of risk for conditions such as adolescent diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Community offers children's immunizations, mammogram and prostate screening and education classes in childbirth preparation, nutrition and heart health. Free classes are offered in English and Spanish. A refurbished birthing facility offers new mothers private labor, delivery and recovery suites.

In March the hospital went online using a $1.3 million digital imaging computer network Picture Archival Communications System (PACS). The state-of-the-art system does away with the need for bulky X-ray film images and offers instant access to physicians and faster results for patients.

Community also installed a new 16-slice CT scanner offering improved image depth and resolution for detection of cancer, heart disease, internal injuries and other health conditions.

Robertson says residents worried about the future can rest easy. "We are serious about patient quality and creating a healthier community. The need is so great."


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BVN National News Wire