California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of June 1, 2012
Children's Hospital Central California, Madera
Last week, Children's Hospital Central California officials said the facility was treating 11 patients for valley fever, the Examiner reports.
Valley fever -- also known as Coccidioidomycosis -- is an infection caused by a fungus found in the soil of much of the southwest U.S. People contract the disease by inhaling airborne spores of the fungus.
According toÂ a hospitalÂ release, late summer and early fall are considered peak periods for the infection. However, late rains this year have caused longer periods of dry conditions.
Kirt Emery -- an epidemiologist with the Kern County Public Health Services Department -- said the year's late rain "may mean we start picking up [valley fever] cases earlier this year, like May, June, July and into the fall" (Herriman, Examiner, 5/27).
Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo
The Association of Oncology Social Work has named Lauren Hyman -- an employee of Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo -- the 2012 Dennis Roth Neuro-oncology Social Worker of the Year, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
According to the hospital, Hyman has served as a social worker at the facility for eight years.
The National Brain Tumor Society sponsored the award (Lochner, San Jose Mercury News, 5/30).
Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles
Kaiser Permanente recently purchased a large portion of a redevelopment site in South Los Angeles known as Marlton Square as part of a plan to build two medical office buildings, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Kaiser physicians will treat patients at the facilities (Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 5/28).
Lodi Memorial Hospital
A former Lodi Memorial Hospital patient has filed a lawsuitÂ charging the facilityÂ with medical malpractice, the Stockton Record reports.
According to the lawsuit, while Geraldine Melhaff was a patient at the facility in 2011, the hospital was "negligent and careless in and about the medical prescription for care, treatment and diagnosis of [the] plaintiff." Melhaff is seeking compensatory damages exceeding $25,000.
In a response filed on May 23, J. Randall Andrada -- an attorney representing Lodi Memorial -- cited almost two dozen defensesÂ in the hospital's denial of "each and every allegation contained in the unverified complaint" (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 5/31).
Sutter Health, Elk Grove
Last week, Sutter Health opened its $10.8 million surgery center on its medical campus in Elk Grove on Laguna Boulevard, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.The 7,622 square-foot center includes two operating rooms expected to accommodate about 1,250 procedures inÂ its first year of operation (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/25). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.