Four Counties Act on Health-Related Issues
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 4-1 to discuss and consider action on a needle exchange program after voting to accept a report addressing injection drug use and its health effects in the county, the Fresno Bee reports.
The report by Edward Moreno, the county health officer, found that 81% of illicit drug users in Fresno County are infected with hepatitis C, while 1.8% of the overall population is infected with the disease. Moreno said that county programs should "continue to provide education, testing, counseling, medical referrals, drug treatment and clean needle access to injection drug users."
Supervisors in 2005 declined to create a needle-exchange program after a grand jury report recommended establishing such a program (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 5/17).
A committee of community and health care leaders on Tuesday submitted 10 recommendations to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors that detail strategies to maintain operations at Natividad Medical Center, the Monterey County Herald reports. According to the report, Natividad needs a long-term financial commitment from the county.
The report recommended that the board identify ongoing strategies to fund health care in the county and consider developing a county health plan. The report called for any agreement that would transfer administration of Natividad to maintain existing services.
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, which is in negotiations with the county to takeover administration of Natividad, should solicit input from physicians and personnel at Natividad, the report recommended.
SVMC spokesperson Adrienne Laurent said SVMC administrations met with Natividad physicians and personnel last week (Melendéz Salinas, Monterey County Herald, 5/17).
Negotiators for San Mateo County and the California Nurses Association on Wednesday reached a tentative contract agreement, ending the possibility of a two-day strike nurses previously approved, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Davidson, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/18). Negotiators for both sides declined to release details of the agreement (Ernde, Oakland Tribune, 5/18).
CNA planned to present the agreement to members on Wednesday and Thursday, and a vote could take place as early as next week, according to CNA spokesperson Joanne Jung.
If nurses ratify the agreement, the county board of supervisors on June 6 would vote on it. The contract would be retroactive to May 21 (Carpenter, San Francisco Examiner, 5/18).
CNA represents about 380 nurses employed by San Mateo County, with most of the nurses employed at San Mateo Medical Center (Oakland Tribune, 5/18). The previous contract expired March 25 (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/18).
San Mateo Medical Center on Wednesday resumed full operations after limiting services in preparation for the possible strike. It cost the hospital about $200,000 to fly in 50 temporary nurses to work at the hospital in case of a strike (Oakland Tribune, 5/18).
Stanislaus County supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously on three health care-related issues, the Modesto Bee reports. Supervisors voted to:
- Sell the Medical Arts building but retain ownership of the site of the former county hospital;
- Approve an application to qualify the county clinics as federally qualified health centers, a move that could increase net revenue by more than $3 million annually; and
- Enact a plan to reduce costs at county Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, including the closure on July 1 of mental health centers in Ceres, Oakdale and Patterson (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 5/17).