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Kassidy Caitlin, an HIV/AIDS advocate and sophomore English major at Fresno Pacific University, was born to a mother with AIDS in the mid-1990s—at a time when HIV/AIDS was making headlines. President Bill Clinton created a Presidential Advisory Council for the disease, gold medal Olympian Greg Louganis disclosed his HIV-positive status and medical breakthroughs in drug therapies reduced the mother-to-infant infection rates by two-thirds. But not for Kassidy.
For 14 years Sandra Miller and her good friend Janet Tanaka have been regulars at the Wednesday morning cancer support group at California Cancer Center. The two breast cancer survivors trained to help others through the ordeal they endured since they know just how important this kind of emotional support was to their own healing.
The World Health Organization has determined that breastfeeding provides immediate benefits for children and their mothers, and contributes to a lifetime of better health. Adolescents and adults who were breastfed as babies were less likely to be overweight or obese, or experience Type-2 diabetes, and they’ve been shown to perform better in intelligence tests. Women who nursed their babies reduced their own risks for ovarian and breast cancer.
More than 14% of Valley children younger than age 11 have never been treated by a dentist, despite the fact that tooth decay is the single most common childhood health problem – five times more frequent than asthma. Untreated childhood dental problems can lead to difficulty chewing, swallowing and speaking, needless pain and lost school days.
Patients at one of California’s busiest emergency departments now have an alternative for non-life-threatening health conditions. Community Regional Medical Center has opened a Prompt Care Clinic on its campus with extended hours to treat walk-in patients for health issues such as like flu symptoms lacerations, minor broken bones and the need for X-rays or medication refills.
Community Medical Centers and University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center (UCSF) have signed a formal Letter of Intent to significantly expand pediatric specialty care and the pediatric medical education program at Community hospitals and clinics.
Soua Xiong’s hospital room was eerily empty so Jane Lee, a Hmong interpreter at Community Regional Medical Center, poked her head in to check on this patient and chat for a while. Normally Hmong elders are attended by their children or grandchildren, explained Lee, so a room empty of visitors should be an alert for staff to pay a bit more attention.
California’s hospitals report nearly 13 million emergency department patient encounters a year. With the number of hospitals with emergency care decreasing statewide from 365 to 330 since 2000, and the number of patients increasing by 35% during the same time period, those seeking care can experience long waits. Community is working in a number of ways to expedite treatment – especially at its busiest hospital, Community Regional Medical Center.
Two potentially important health insurance events occur for some Valley residents in November.
A machine keeps Charles Lewis alive. For 12 hours each week – every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – Lewis treks to Community Medical Centers’ outpatient dialysis center on the campus of Community Regional Medical Center where a hemodialysis dialysis machine filters toxins from his blood. Sometimes his treatments last as long as five hours.
“It’s like going to a part-time job.” Lewis said.