Health & Medicine

Health, Medicine

Jacob Lewin

It's called the Latino Paradox. It's what happens to the health of Latinos after they migrate from Mexico and other Latin American countries to Oregon.  KLCC's Jacob Lewin has the latest in our ongoing series on health disparities amongst Latinos:

An ironic thing happens to immigrants when they come from relatively resource-poor Central American countries to the resource-rich U.S, according to Alberto Moreno of the Oregon Latino Health Coalition:

Tiffany Eckert

A new University of Oregon-led study reveals some interesting notions about sleep. The research included middle-aged and older people in six countries. Anthropologists found a correlation between "optimal" sleep and increased cognition. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with the study's lead author.

Meeting Date: June 20th, 2014

Air Date: June 23, 2014

Some 30,000 Lane County residents who had no health insurance last year are now covered by the Affordable Care Act. To provide care to the newly insured requires meeting challenges, not least of which is the nationwide shortage of primary care physicians.

SEIU Local 49

Health care workers and their supporters held picket signs and rallied for fair wages and benefits Thursday outside Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.

Last November about 120 hospital employees in Lincoln City voted to unionize and join SEIU Local 49. Union spokesman Jesse Stemmler says they've been bargaining with hospital management since then. But he says the workers don't feel they're receiving the same compensation as those at other Samaritan hospitals, including Newport, Corvallis and Albany.

The head of McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield is stepping down to take a job in Washington State.

Maurine Cate is moving on to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane. She had accepted the same position last year, but reconsidered in order to concentrate on projects at McKenzie-Willamette. That includes launching an $80-million hospital expansion.

Cate has been CEO since 2007. She will stay on until late July. The search for a new CEO is underway.

Dr. Lorne Bigley, a family physician for 24 years practicing in Eugene, is offering his patients shared appointments.  He discusses what's involved in serving eight to twelve patients at one time in one room.

Oregon Allergy Associates

With the NCAA Track and Field Championships underway in Eugene, thousands of athletes and their fans will spend hours at historic Hayward Field in the thick of pollen season.  KLCC's Tiffany Eckert visited a leading allergist to learn just how bad it is out there and what allergic athletes can do.

Food Rx Program Brings Together Food, Doctors, And Patients

Jun 1, 2014
CareOregon

A pilot program in Portland is hoping to prescribe healthy meals for low income families and individuals. Oregon Health Plan members at select clinics can get a $15 prescription for healthy food and fill it at their doctor's office. 

The Food Rx (Prescription) program features a trolley car parked in select doctors' parking lots filled with healthy food. Patients obtain a voucher from their doctor to use at the trolley. CareOregon spokesman Tom Wunderlich says the response has been positive so far.

Portland Residents Ordered to Boil Water

May 23, 2014

The city of Portland has issued a boil water notice for all Portland Water Bureau customers.

Until further notice, all customers should boil all tap water used for drinking, food preparation, tooth brushing and ice. The water should boil for at least one minute. Ice or any beverages prepared with un-boiled tap water on or after May 20th should be discarded.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish met with reporters to explain what that order will mean for customers.

Oregon Latinos Face Bigger Problems with Alcohol

May 19, 2014

Compared to other Oregonians, a lot of Latinos in Oregon don't drink alcohol. Yet those who do drink face bigger problems. Some of the reasons are cultural.  This is the latest in KLCC's series on health disparities amongst Oregon Latinos.

(Mariachi music)

Northwest Mothers Milk Bank

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend will now accept donations of breast milk. It's the first hospital-based project of its kind in Lane County. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert reports how the new milk drop site works.

Midwives and health care practitioners have long known mother's milk is the best food an infant can get. But, sometimes a woman can't produce milk for her new born. That's when other mothers can help.

Registered nurse and lactation consultant Jana Langeliers coordinates the donor milk drop site (at PeaceHealth Medical.)

Professor of Economics Gerald Friedman of the University of Massachusetts will be in seven Oregon cities this month, including Eugene, Portland, Corvallis and Bend (schedule below). He’ll be presenting on the merits of government financed universal -- “single payer” -- health care coverage. Professor Friedman is heard below in conversation with KLCC’s  Claude Offenbacher. 

{See pnhp.or/prof-gerald-friedman and "Gerald Friedman" on You Tube.}

May 13  LaGrande:  BMCC at Noon

May 13  Pendleton:  3:30 and 7 p.m. at EOU

livinginthesun.info

A nonprofit serving Fern Ridge is offering a one-day, one-stop event for anyone in need of free personal services. 

While Eugene and Springfield residents in need have several agencies to turn to, that's not the case in Oregon's rural areas.

Mid Lane Cares, a nonprofit serving the Fern Ridge community, seeks to change that:

Kis:   "We get very little attention from all the big agencies based in Eugene, and people here have a pretty hard time getting to Eugene."

HIV Cases Rise Amongst Oregon Latinos

Apr 21, 2014

The number of H-I-V cases in Oregon is declining, but not amongst Latinos.  They are twice as likely to contract the virus as non-Hispanic whites.  This is the first in an ongoing series on Latino health disparities in Oregon:

"Buenos días.  Mi nombre es Diana Herrera......"

Twice a month, dozens of Latinos from throughout Oregon come to the Mexican consulate in Portland to see about documentation.  They also get a primer on HIV and AIDS and an HIV test if they want one:

"A empezar el timbre...lista?..."

Jes Burns

It’s been years in coming.   Officials broke ground on a new Veterans health facility in Eugene Monday afternoon.  

The site of the future Veterans Health Care Center in North Eugene sits within eye shot of I-5.  That’s the same interstate veterans in Lane County now travel long distances on to get health services not provided at the current small clinic in Eugene.    Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Jes Burns

The national deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has already passed.  But in Oregon, persistent tech problems prompted the Governor to extend the final sign-up date by a month to April 30th.  The Cover Oregon website is still not fully functional, although people can complete most of the application process on-line.

Angela Kellner

Since the great recession, job security has been elusive. One bright spot is the health care field. Lane Community College in Eugene offers training programs to help students land well-paying jobs in the health care industry, including dental care. Lane recently opened a new dental clinic on Willamette Street where students can learn by treating patients.

lanefood.org

On Tuesday, residents can get to know Eugene area farmers and help those in need get access to healthy food. The 15th annual "That's My Farmer" event showcases local community shared agriculture programs.

John Pitney was a farm kid with a passion for food and people. When he moved to Eugene to be a minister at First United Methodist, he formed a group to link farmers and the community.

Pitney: "One of the things that was a natural component of the organizing from the very beginning was that we would encourage donations at the door and create a low-income fund."

Benton County

New rankings say the healthiest people in Oregon live in Benton County. The annual report is from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It measures factors such as education, income, tobacco use and quality of life.

Charlie Fautin is the Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department. He says it's great to rank first in the state, but there are plenty of people in Benton County who are not doing as well as they could.

Children First for Oregon

Nearly one in four Oregon children lives in poverty. That's according to a new report on child well-being.

The 2014 Progress Report from Children First for Oregon shows about 23 percent of children in the state live in poverty. The report defines poverty at or below an annual income of 23-thousand - 50 dollars for a family of four. Tonia Hunt is Executive Director of Children First for Oregon. She says for very young children, poverty can mean less stability, access to health care, and inadequate childcare while parents are working.

Grook Da Oger

Deschutes County Health Services has identified six confirmed cases of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough. This is an increase from last year where there were only three.

Tom Kuhn, a Community Health Manager at Deschutes County Health Services says they’re looking into what’s causing the larger outbreak this year.  

Kuhn:  “We don’t have any sources that we’ve identified or any really concrete links to all these cases. There are some cases that are linked but then there are some that are not. So, we really haven’t pinpointed what the cause of this is.”

A Lane County horse has died and four others have tested positive for equine herpes virus.  Bruce Pokarney is with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He says equine herpes is widespread among horses and can lie dormant for long periods of time. It is not transmissible to humans. It is spread by direct horse to horse contact. Pokarney says the outbreak is believed to be is isolated.

geneticliteracyproject.org

A new state health care initiative in Portland seeks to keep people out of doctor’s offices. 

CareOregon administers the state’s Medicare and Medicaid.  It has formed four “Community Innovations” teams to reach out with pilot programs to people with issues that impact their health. The first pilot, “Give to Get,” is an informal network of neighbors seeking to reduce social isolation among people with chronic conditions.  Rose Englert, a senior CareOregon manager, says this involves everything from simply checking in on older people to raking leaves for those with disabilities:

Desmond O'Boyle

Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio and about 40 students from the University of Oregon are pushing super markets to voluntarily label products containing Genetically Modified Organisms.

The Oregon Legislature and the U.S. Congress continue to debate GMO labeling. The Oregon Student Independent Research Group is taking the discussion directly to grocery stores. Recently, OSPIRG requested Market of Choice voluntarily label products. At the U of O Friday, OSPIRG Spokeswoman Hannah Picknell said so far the super market chain has been receptive.

HIV Alliance To Host LGBTQ Health Fair

Feb 28, 2014

Even though progress has been made in the fight against AIDS, the disease still requires continued education. Saturday, the HIV Alliance is holding a health fair aimed at addressing the specific needs of the LGBTQ community. Lane County Health and Human Services Spokesman Jason Davis says even though advances have been made to fight the disease, it's still serious.

Davis: "There still is no cure and individuals can still and should still engage themselves in preventative practices to avoid the circumstance all-together."

Trillium Community Health Plan was expecting about 27,000 people to join the Oregon Health Plan over the course of two years. Instead, about 20,000 have signed up the past two months. This has put a strain on the health care infrastructure in Lane County, leaving about 9,000 OHP patients without a primary care physician. Trillium is taking steps to address the issues and build immediate and future health care capacity.

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.

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