Health & Medicine

Health, Medicine

PeaceHealth

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend is implementing a new surgical safety program developed by the US Department of Defense. The first training is Friday at the Springfield hospital

Riverbend has earned industry recognition for surgical patient care as well as “middle of the road” scores on a national hospital safety ranking. Hospital staff says they want to get medical error rates to “near zero.” They believe TeamSTEPPS will help.

KLCC and OPB will collaborate on a Think Out Loud program focusing on homelessness in Eugene. Listen at noon Thursday on KLCC for a discussion of what works and what's possible as we address the crisis of homelessness.

peacehealth.org

Many who work in the hospital industry claim the “aura” of modern medicine has lulled many Americans into a false sense of security. Errors and accidents continue to harm or even kill patients at an alarming rate. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports on the current state of hospital safety and what every potential patient should know.

Winter Is A Good Time To Check Radon Levels

Jan 18, 2014
Oregon News Service

The Oregon Health Authority is encouraging residents to check levels of Radon levels in their homes this month. They say winter is the best time to test for the cancer-causing agent.

Radon occurs naturally in the soil and is a byproduct of decaying uranium. It has also been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths for non-smokers. Brett Sherry, the state radon coordinator for the Oregon Health Authority says when windows and doors are closed in the colder months, levels are easier to detect.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oregon's flu season has arrived early, with scores of patients visiting emergency rooms and at least seven deaths caused by the infectious disease. 

According to Lane County Health and Human Services Spokesman Jason Davis, about 150 flu cases have been confirmed in Lane County over the past month.  And the actual number is likely much higher.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oregon Health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot. They hope you will because there's been an uptick in cases in the past week. A number of people in Lane County have tested positive for swine flu, or H1N1.

Monique Perry Danziger.

Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend welcomed its first baby of 2014 at 7:26 Wednesday morning. Emma Grace Baer is named after her maternal grandmother. She is the fourth child of Miriam and Levi Baer. Their three other children are all girls under the age of six.

The couple lives in Halsey, but is originally from Kentucky. They had planned for a homebirth, but opted for the hospital because the baby was found to have a cyst on her lung. Doctors say she appears to be in very good health but will need to be brought in for check-ups over the next few months.

Oregon Health Authorigy

In Oregon, low-income adults used to have to get on a waiting list and enroll in a lottery-style drawing to get health insurance. But that's changed because of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Oregon is one of 26 states expanding its Medicaid program, called the Oregon Health Plan. This means up to 300-thousand more people are eligible for coverage. Erin Fair Taylor is with Care-Oregon.

Kate McMahon

Imagine shopping around for a new home, but instead of looking for a new place to live, you are looking for a place to die. That’s the situation 83-year-old Norma Chaty found herself in. It’s hard enough to lay the groundwork for one’s own death. It’s even harder for people like Norma, who are alone and have little money. This is a story of one woman’s choice between quality and quantity of life, and what she discovered about the business of dying.

Every other day, a driver picked up Norma Chaty and took her to Portland Adventist Medical Center.

Ken Charpie
Karen Richards

Community before profit. That's the message caregivers from McKenzie-Willamette hospital's union want their management to adopt.

Since the hospital went for-profit in 2003, members of SEIU Local 89 say the Mckenzie-Willamette Medical Center makes more money than almost every hospital in Oregon. It also has one of the worst records for charity care. They'd like to re-balance that trend. Tuesday, union members read a message to the hospital's leadership:

(GROUP) "This holiday season, caregivers are being let go while those left are faced with having to do more with less."

The extended frigid winter weather has been hard on everyone. It's toughest on those who are already living on the edge. Food for Lane County is hoping those who are able can contribute to their food drive this Saturday.

The Letter Carriers Food Drive started last Saturday but was hampered by the heavy snow that fell Friday. Dawn Marie Woodward is with Food for Lane County. She says families who are suffering financially have taken a big hit from the extended cold snap.

Newport Residents Need To Boil Water

Dec 11, 2013

Due to a loss of water pressure in a section of Newport's distribution system, residents are being asked to boil their drinking water until tests can confirm it is safe to drink. A water main break at NE 5th and Eads St. Tuesday evening forced the City to de-pressurize the system in that area. Newport's Director of Public Works, Tim Gross, says the State requires a boil water notice to go out after they de-pressurize any water system.

Egan Warming Center

  The Egan Warming Center in Eugene / Springfield has been open to homeless people seeking shelter from the frigid cold for the past 8 nights. They're not planning to open Wednesday night because the low is not expected to dip below 30.

More than 300 people volunteer their time to help operate the Egan Warming Centers. Program Director Doug Bales:

Last Day To Sign Up For Cover Oregon Is December 4th.

Dec 4, 2013
Cover Oregon

The last day to sign up with Cover Oregon to get health insurance coverage on January 1st is today (December 4th). And because the website still isn't processing applications online, that means paper applications need to be faxed or postmarked no later than today.

World AIDS Day

HIV / AIDS was once a high-profile communicable disease. Due in part to effective medications, it has fallen in the public's awareness. Sunday's "World AIDS Day" hopes to renew focus on HIV.

World AIDS Day was established in 1988, at the height of the epidemic. Now, the deadly condition can be managed and those infected can live full lives. However, because it's not in the spotlight, fewer people are being tested.

Susan McCreedy is the Deschutes County Health Educator. She says she's been shocked by a surge of new AIDS diagnoses in the past five years.

Rachael McDonald

Oregon State University has launched a new center aimed at strengthening local food systems.

OSU's Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems is under the umbrella of the Extension Service. It is tapping into the continuing growth in local and organic food. Director Garry Stephenson says their goal at the center is to help Oregon farmers take advantage of consumer demand.

States Respond to Obamacare Fix

Nov 22, 2013
Cover Oregon

President Obama has tried to fix a problem with the Affordable Care Act that’s become a growing political headache for his administration. In the process, he threw a new variable into the already-confused health insurance market place. A look at how the dust is settling in Oregon and California.

meat
Flash Alert News Wire

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (or OSHA) fined Bright Oaks Meat, Incorporated for violations after an employee's hand was pulled into the blades of a tenderizing machine.  

A female employee had to get 60 stitches on her right hand after the August incident. The meat tenderizer she was using had no safety guard. Darla Harris is co-owner of Bright Oaks Meat. She says the guard on this particular machine was made of plastic and constantly broke.

Cover Oregon Director Faces Oregon Lawmakers

Nov 21, 2013
Chris Lehman

Oregon’s online health insurance exchange won’t be up and running in time for people to get covered by the beginning of the year. That was the prediction offered to a pair of legislative panels Wednesday by Cover Oregon’s director. Lawmakers peppered health care managers with examples of problems with the system:

Democratic Representative Brian Clem's mother-in-law has Lou Gehrig's disease. She was kicked off her former health insurance plan. So Clem and his wife looked forward to the opening of Oregon's online insurance marketplace.

Cover Oregon

Cover Oregon Executive Director Rocky King goes before lawmakers this week to explain why the website still isn't fully functional and the state still has not enrolled a single person in coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Cover Oregon's Chief Communications Officer Amy Fauver  says there have been successes with the state's Medicaid enrollment-- The Oregon Health Plan. She spoke in a conference call with reporters Monday.

Beyond Toxics

A pilot research project will study the health effects of air pollution in West Eugene.

A new technology will be deployed to track West Eugene residents' exposure to air pollutants. Participants will wear a wristband that takes air samples, use a cell phone app to transmit data and a spirometer to test lung function. Oregon State University Environmental Health Sciences Center is running the study. They've been working closely with Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics.

Tracking Health Care Exchange From Consumer To Call Center

Nov 14, 2013
Jessica Robinson

Washington’s health exchange has been up and running for a month now. It got off to a rocky start—from the temporary shut down on its first day to the recent errors in calculating tax credits. Even so, Washington’s technical problems pale in comparison to the federal website’s. We have two reports checking in on Washington’s health exchange. We’ll hear from a call center in Spokane. But first, we begin with KUOW’s Ruby de Luna in Seattle, who talked with some of the users of the website.

Health Insurance Freakout- Time To Take A Deep Breath

Nov 13, 2013

The end of the year is approaching, government health care websites are failing and people across Oregon are anxious about how the new health care reform law will affect them.  Liam Moriarty reports there’s cause for concern, but there’s no need to panic.

Rachael McDonald

The website problems persist for the state's health insurance marketplace, Cover Oregon.  Individuals can compare insurance plans, but the site still can't determine if someone is eligible for financial help.  

This has been a source of frustration for potential customers - and for local organizations working on behalf of Cover Oregon to walk people through the process.

These community partners are counting down the days until the website is fully functional.

Department of Health and Human Services

Four healthcare sites in Oregon were awarded grants from the affordable care act Thursday. The funds, totaling over $2.3 million, will be used to bring community-based care to those who need it most.

The Umpqua Community Health Center in Roseburg was chosen to receive 316-thousand dollars. The money will be used to open and provide support for a new clinic in Sutherlin. Development Director Brenda Lewis says north Douglas County is currently underserved. She's excited because the benefits from the grant will be felt quite soon:

Rachael McDonald

Oregon's health insurance exchange did not meet its goal of allowing online enrollment by the end of October. Officials at Cover Oregon announced Thursday they'll begin processing applications by hand. They say they've received more than 7,000 applications so far.

At an information session this week in Springfield, Kate Wheeler, coordinator of White Bird's "Cover Oregon" education program, explained the situation to about 12 participants.

5-Year-Study To Focus On Expansion Of Medicaid In Oregon

Oct 28, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control wants to study the impact of expanding the Oregon Health Plan to more people.

Oregon State University and the Oregon Health Authority have received $1.25 million to study the impact of expanding Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. Marie Harvey is the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs at OSU. She says the main objective of the study is to link data together.

There are plenty of places to get food poisoning: potlucks, restaurants, even your own kitchen. This time of year, public health officials warn sports fans that a tailgate party can be a breeding ground for food borne pathogens.

Three Foster Farms plants have been identified as distributing chicken with the “Heidelburg” strain of Salmonella. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports most of the product went to outlets in the Northwest. So far, Oregon-based Foster Farms has not recalled the chicken in question. But at least one Northwest retail chain has pulled it from their shelves.

As soon as reports started coming in that some brands of Foster Farms chicken were associated with an outbreak of salmonella, Fred Meyer stores stopped selling it.

Legislative Health Care Town Hall Meeting

Oct 9, 2013

At this Legislative Health Care Town Hall Meeting Trish Bohnert of Cover Oregon walks us through the state health exchange. Medical Director Dr. Patrick F. Luedtke with the Department of Health and Human Services speaks about infectious diseases, and State Epidemiologist & Acting State Health Officer Dr. Katrina Hedberg with the Oregon Public Health Division tells us about chronic diseases in Oregon.

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