Health & Medicine

Health, Medicine

Rachael McDonald

Wednesday evening, more than 100 people showed up for a town hall meeting about how to help homeless people in Eugene. The theme was YIMBY, Yes in My Back Yard.

Wikipedia

Syphilis has increased by 1,500 % in Oregon since 2007. Public health officials announced the disturbing trend after Lincoln County reported its 12th case this year.

Rachael McDonald

To help homeless people get through the winter, Eugene City Councilors are considering allowing camping on sanctioned property for overnight sleeping.  The Eugene City Council heard public comments Monday evening on the proposal.

Domoic Acid May Delay Dungeness Crab Season

Nov 13, 2015
www.theoceanharvest.com

Dungeness crab season is about to begin. Fishermen are stacking their pots and preparing boats for the season that usually starts in December. But this year, domoic acid levels found in some catch may prove to be a problem. The naturally occurring acid can concentrate in fish and shellfish, and is capable of causing sickness in animals that eat them. Hugh Link is the Executive Director of the Oregon Dungeness crab Commission. He says they test for domoic acid annually, but this year cases are elevated due to a large algae bloom off the west coast.

Community Supported Shelters

White Bird Health Clinic is partnering with Eugene's Community Supported Shelters to provide a temporary shelter for people in mental health crisis. It's at the Roosevelt Safe Spot, a rest stop for the homeless.

Wikipedia

For the first time, Oregon has the lowest premature birth rate in the country, earning an “A” grade from March of Dimes.

The Oregon Health Authority is investigating E. coli cases linked to Chipotle restaurants in Oregon and Washington.

Three people in the Portland area and at least 19 people in Washington have been sickened since October 14. No deaths have been reported but about 1/3 of reported cases were hospitalized.

O.H.A. spokesman Jonathan Modie says people have reported symptoms in Clackamas and Washington counties in Oregon.

Oregonians enrolling or re-enrolling in health insurance for 2016 will face some of the highest rate increases in the country, but their monthly premiums will remain among some of the lowest in the U.S.

Oregon residents will use the federal exchange portal to sign up, renew or change plans.

Federal data shows that from 2015 to 2016, Oregon saw some of the highest rate increases for benchmark silver plans.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases via CDC

Health officials say a teen girl from eastern Oregon has contracted the bubonic plague. Officials say the Crook County girl is believed to have gotten the disease from a flea bite during a hunting trip.

wikimedia commons

Lane County Health officials say Norovirus is the most likely cause of more than one hundred teachers and students becoming ill Thursday at O'Hara Catholic School in Eugene. The school is closed Friday and likely to re-open next week.

Flu season is upon us. Typically it starts in Southeast Asia and makes its way around the globe. Oregon is one of the last states to see flu outbreaks— they start appearing in mid-October.

People underestimate the common flu—it can be deadly-- especially to those with compromised immune systems. Jason Davis is with Lane County Public Health.

oregon.gov

Incidents of elder abuse are increasing in Oregon. A report from the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention last week documents a 10 percent jump in allegations and investigations.

The most common types of adult abuse are financial, for those living at home, and neglect, for those living in care facilities. Rebecca Fetters of Oregon’s Department of Human Services says the reason for the increase is partially demographic:

Fetters: “We might anticipate continuing to see an increase in those numbers going forward, in part because of the rapid aging of the 65 and older population.”

  “Hello!” Squeals Drea Lake as she enters her husband Tyrone’s room. They have been married for more than 50 years; Tyrone has had Alzheimer’s since 2002. He recently moved into a nursing home in Seattle, where Drea visits him 5 days a week.

Newport Seeks Public Input on Fluoridating Water

Oct 7, 2015
City of Newport

Newport is considering adding fluoride to the city water system. The City Council is seeking public input.

Call for Blood Donors in Wake of Shooting

Oct 2, 2015
Lane Blood Center

Lane Blood Center is asking for donations in the aftermath of Thursday's shooting at Umpqua Community College.

Cynthia Vignos with Lane Blood Center says they are primarily seeking donors with O Negative and O Positive blood types.

Vignos: "Currently what we're asking from the community is that they can make an appointment to donate within the next couple weeks. People came down yesterday in large numbers and now our responsibility is to maintain an adequate blood supply which will take us a couple of weeks to build back up."

Jon Rosman / OPB

The state is creating a task force to research the medical and health properties of cannabis.

The legislature last session asked the Oregon Health Authority to create the task force. Doctor Katrina Hedburg with the OHA's Public Health Division says it will look at gaps in knowledge and research about the plant.  Since marijuana is illegal under federal law, there's not a lot of research available.

Hedburg says there is one FDA approved medication under the brand Marinol. It's made from THC, a chemical in marijuana.

The Portland-based nonprofit Albertina Kerr will stop providing services to people with developmental disabilities in Lane County. So what's next for the clients and staff?

32 clients, including 23 from around the clock group homes, will need new accommodations. Issues with state funding is one of the reasons Albertina Kerr said it is leaving Lane County after 18 years. Even so, the person in charge of overseeing the transition of clients is confident there are enough local agencies to take them on.

A Portland-based agency announced today it is closing all of its Lane County programs serving people with developmental disabilities.

Albertina Kerr operates 8 group homes in Lane County and provides community inclusion programs.

In a statement, Albertina Kerr CEO Chris Krenk said it is difficult to operate the programs from the Portland headquarters. He added it is hard to recruit and retain staff, and funding issues have increased fiscal challenges.

MCAA

The Oregon State Psychiatric Hospital has made progress during a decade of change. But more can be done to improve mental health treatment and staff safety. That's according to a recent audit by the Secretary of State's office.

http://www.co.benton.or.us

People in and around Sweet Home will soon have a new health care center, due to a $1.1 million dollar federal grant.

The two-year grant comes from Affordable Care Act funds, and will be used to expand an existing clinic. Sherlyn Dahl is Director of Community Health Centers for Benton and Linn Counties. She says it’s important for residents of rural areas to be able to easily find high-quality wrap-around services:

www.lanecountyfarmersmarket.org

Fresh, local produce has been a fixture in downtown Eugene since 1915. The Lane County Farmers Market celebrates its 100th anniversary this weekend.

It used to be called the Eugene Producers’ Public Market, but it originally opened in the same space it occupies today: 8th Avenue and Oak Street. Today the Farmer’s Market includes more than 85 growers, and has incorporated the wintertime holiday market, and Tuesdays and Thursdays in the summer. Carrie Swarts is the Market Manager. She says the long-term dream is for an indoor-outdoor space at the Park Blocks:

Lane Regional Air Protection Agency

Air quality in the south Willamette Valley declined earlier this week due to smoke from wildfires in southern Oregon and northern California. A new fire south of Eugene has further increased risks. Residents may need to prepare for a long stretch of hazy conditions.

Rachael McDonald

Scientists at Oregon State University have developed a wristband that can detect chemicals in the environment. Advocacy groups see them as a tool to help people to find out what they're being exposed to and eventually use the information to affect policy. And a new company hopes to sell the wristbands commercially.

Liam Moriarty / JPR

This week, Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty is introducing us to several people with a front-row view of Southern Oregon’s epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction. In this final part of the series, we meet 27-year-old Diana Cooper. She’s a mother of four from Medford -- and a recovering heroin addict.

Residents in the rural community of Pleasant Hill have a new option when it comes to health care. As KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, an urgent care clinic is now open for business.

Pleasant Hill Urgent Care may not have an expensive cat-scan or ultrasound. They don’t admit patients or perform surgery. But they do provide primary care. They offer x-ray services and can give I-V fluids and meds. If you need a bone set or a wound sutured, medical staff at this clinic can do it.

And no one will be turned away, even the uninsured.

Silent Epidemic: Heroin In Southern Oregon Part Three

Jul 22, 2015
Liam Moriarty / JPR

This week, Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty is introducing us to people with a front-row view of Southern Oregon’s epidemic of addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers. Today, we meet Darryl Inaba. He’s a Doctor of Clinical Pharmacy and co-author of “Uppers, Downers, All Arounders,” a book on addiction and the brain that’s widely used as a training text.

Liam Moriarty / JPR

This week, Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty is introducing us to several people with a front-row view of Southern Oregon’s epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction. Today, we meet Dr. Jim Shames, an addiction specialist and the medical director for Jackson County Health and Human Services. He says doctors like him played a key role in creating that epidemic. Now, he’s leading innovative efforts to turn it around.

file photo

Like many areas in the country, southern Oregon is experiencing what public health officials describe as an epidemic of addiction to heroin and prescription opioid pain relievers such as OxyContin. One symptom of this epidemic has been a sharp rise in deaths by overdose. This week, Jefferson Public Radio's Liam Moriarty looks at this problem through the eyes of people on the front lines.

plannedparenthood.org

Last week, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon received a federal grant for its teen pregnancy prevention programs.

The Office of Adolescent Health awarded nearly 19 million dollars, spread over multiple programs in the Northwest. Eugene-based Planned Parenthood Vice President Mary Gossart says their portion—150- to 180 thousand dollars--will fund a five-year program:

Tiffany Eckert

About 5,500 Oregonians live with HIV/AIDS. A quarter of them reside in rural areas. Eugene-based HIV alliance is the only AIDS service organization helping patients in the eastern and southern parts of the state. The agency recently received a grant to fund a unique, telehealth project for HIV-positive people in remote places.

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