California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of June 1, 2012
Children's Hospital Central California, Madera
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.