A unique program that sends doctors from Contra Costa County to train physicians around the world is holding an event, on Monday, March 14 in Pleasant Hill, to raise money to continue its work in countries with limited medical resources.
The Contra Costa Global Health Fellowship is one of only six family medicine global health fellowships in the country, according to Dr. Neil Jayasekera, the fellowship’s founder and co-director. The fellowship, an initiative of the Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency Program that works in collaboration with UC San Francisco, was started in 2011.
Fellows train family physicians in other countries to build capacity for them to provide care in their communities. Global health fellows have trained local doctors in Kenya, South Sudan, India and Mexico. Most recently, fellows have been the African nation of Malawi to train medical students there. Malawi has one of the lowest physician-to-patient ratios in the world, as well as some of the poorest health outcomes.
“We are helping train the next generation of physicians in Africa. We’re providing the mentorship and the skills that will allow them to diagnose and treat disease, alleviate suffering, and save their patients’ lives,” said Dr. Jayasekera, who works in the emergency department at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. “Our philosophy is teach one, help many.”
Dr. Mena Ramos, a current global health fellow, recently returned from a training expedition to Malawi. The experience was extremely rewarding, she said.
“After 3 years of residency training, the global health fellowship allowed me to share the skills I learned while at Contra Costa with providers in East Africa, and in turn, learn from their experiences providing care in a resource constrained setting,” Dr. Ramos said. “There is nothing more empowering than walking away knowing that you have shared a skill that will be useful to patients and communities beyond your own.”
Dr. Jayasekera added that the program also produces local benefits. Global health fellows are the most committed to working with the underserved and are very likely to stay here in our community and work with most underserved and vulnerable patients, Dr. Jayasekera said. For example, he noted, two recent fellows are currently the lead physicians at two prominent homeless clinics in the Bay Area.
The March 14 event is being hosted by the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation (CCRHF), a nonprofit agency that supports Contra Costa Health Services. Global health fellows will share their stories about the places they’ve been and the people they’ve helped.
Proceeds from the event will help pay for the fellows’ travel expenses and the purchase of critical medical equipment, such as portable ultrasound devices. The Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency program is a recognized leader in point-of-care ultrasound training for family physicians.
While most people think of ultrasound in connection with prenatal care, its use has become standard in many areas of medicine. Ultrasound is especially well-suited for physicians who work in under-resourced settings locally and abroad. Global Health fellows devote a lot of time teaching doctors and medical students in other countries how to use ultrasound devices in their healthcare practices.
“Ultrasound is like radiology in your pocket,” said Dr. Erin Stratta, a current global health fellow who has worked in Peru. “It can be used every single day with just about every patient that you see. It’s the future of clinical practice and I think it is going to change the face of medicine.”
Those who are unable to attend can still donate to the cause by on the Regional Health Foundation’s website at ccrhf.org.
For more information about the Contra Costa Global Health Fellowship, visit cchealth.org/residency/ghf.
WHAT: Fundraiser for Contra Costa Global Health Fellowship. Admission is $35. There will be complimentary wine (donated by Sky Terrace Vineyards) and appetizers (provided by caterer Lovable Feast).
WHEN: 6 p.m. to 8.pm. on Monday, March 14
WHERE: Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill
WHO: Hosted by the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Contra Costa Health Services
HOW: Register for the event or donate to the cause at ccrhf.orgRead More
The nomination period for those interested in running for office ends this Friday, March 11th at 5:00 p.m. to file or March 16th for those offices in which the incumbent is not seeking reelection.
Candidates must complete nomination papers if they plan to run for certain elected offices.
OFFICES NOMINATED UNDER THE “TOP TWO” PRIMARY SYSTEM – In these races, the top two vote getters advance to the November election.
UNITED STATES SENATOR
UNITED STATES CONGRESS
COUNTY OFFICES (4 Year Term) – Candidates win in June if they receive 50% plus one of the vote. If no candidate receives 50%+1, the top two will have a run off in November.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
2nd Supervisorial District
3rd Supervisorial District
5th Supervisorial District
The nomination period closes 5:00 pm, Friday, March 11, 2016.
In addition deadline for filing for the following offices is also this Friday at 5:00 p.m. without any extension to March 16th.
COUNTY CENTRAL COMMITTEES
The County Elections Office will provide updates throughout the nomination period via Twitter and Facebook about who has pulled papers to run for office and when candidates signatures have been verified.
The Contra Costa Elections Division staff recommends that interested candidates read through the 2016 Candidate Guide for more information about the process, including the necessary number of signatures for nomination, candidate statements, ordering campaign resources, maps and filing fees.
A Contra Costa Board of Supervisor candidate, for example, must pay a $1,044 filing fee and collect 20 signatures to be on the ballot.
The Candidate Guide can be found online at: http://www.cocovote.us/wp-content/uploads/2016_CandidateGuide_Combined_Updated-12-30-15.pdf.
For those interested in seeking local political offices in November, the nomination period for the November 8th General Election starts in mid-July.
For more information, call 925-335-7874 or visit their new website at www.contracostacore.usRead More
By Joe Canciamilla
Our new web address – www.contracostacore.us – reflects what we believe is our CORE mission (Clerk, Outreach, Recorder, Elections) which is customer service. The goal of our entire team is to ensure that your experience with our office is unlike any you might have had or expected when dealing with a government agency: fast, friendly, efficient and helpful whether you are in need of a vital record, recording a document or registering to vote.
Please let us know what you think about our new site and our services. You can follow us on Facebook at Engage Contra Costa. Keep up to date with elections on Facebook at Contra Costa Elections and on Twitter @cocoelections. Follow what’s happening in the Clerk-Recorder Division on Facebook at Contra Costa Clerk Recorder and on Twitter @CCClerkRecorder. We even have YELP reviews for you to check out.Read More
Congressmen Mark DeSaulnier (D, CA-11) and Jerry McNerney (D, CA-09) will host a joint town hall meeting in Antioch on Wednesday, March 9th, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
This unique forum will be an opportunity for residents to receive a Congressional update on key issues of importance to their community and learn more about the broad range of constituent services the Representatives’ offices can provide.
- What:Representatives DeSaulnier and McNerney’s Joint Town Hall Meeting in Antioch
- When: Wednesday, March 9, 2016, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Check-in begins at 6:00 pm
- Where: Antioch Middle School, 1500 D Street, Antioch
For more information or to request ADA accommodations, please email CA11.RSVP@mail.house.gov or call (925) 933-2660.Read More
Candidate for District 3 Supervisor, Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, announced Saturday, he has received endorsements from fellow city council members Mary Rocha and Tony Tiscareno.
Rocha is the longest serving member of the current Antioch City Council and first Hispanic mayor of Antioch (1996-2000). Rocha is very knowledgeable of the nonprofit world and has dedicated her life to supporting Contra Costa County families. She has been a community liaison for Brighter Beginnings, with the Mary Rocha Child Development Center named in her honor. She serves on the board of directors for Tri-Delta Transit and Delta Diablo Sanitation District with Harper.
“I am supporting my mayor because he has done a great job bringing our city together to address many of the problems that we face,” Rocha said. “Wade is the most experienced candidate in the race. As a directly elected mayor and 24-year veteran police officer, he is the strongest candidate to tackle the challenges that persist in the county.”
Tiscareno was appointed to the city council in 2012 to fill Harper’s unexpired term when Harper won the race for Mayor. Tiscareno is a 33-year retired steelworker, and a former Political Director for the Contra Costa Labor Council. In the 1990’s, Tiscareno owned a small business trading sports cards. The 46-year resident of Antioch is now a real estate agent.
“What stands out about Wade is he cares about people,” he said. “I share Wade’s commitment to stand up for hard-working people when we returned city employees back to a full-time work week after five-and-a-half years of work furloughs. I am honored to stand with Wade for Supervisor and support his campaign. He will make a great supervisor.”
When Harper was elected as mayor he led the city council in team-building and strategic planning. He also led the charge in authorizing violent crime suppression teams, while also spearheading the Measure C campaign to hire more police. Measure C is bringing in more than $5 million per year to hire police officers, code enforcement officers and blight reduction.
Harper is chair of Delta Diablo Sanitation and a member of the board of directors for Tri Delta Transit. In the past, he has served on the Transplan, Highway 4 Bypass, eBART and East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Finance Authority committees. Harper was also elected to serve as chair of the Contra Costa County Conference of Mayors.
“Today, on my birthday, I am honored to have key support from my fellow council members,” Harper said. “I look forward to bringing my leadership to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. The community deserves integrity, excellence and hard work from their elected officials. I will work with the current supervisorsand community to find solutions to problems and add value to the community.”
Harper also added that he is “ready to work on the many issues facing our community such as public safety, jobs, protecting our Delta, healthcare and transportation to name a few.”
Harper is one of seven candidates running for Supervisor in District 3, which includes most of Antioch. The election is June 7th. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two candidates will face each other in a run-off during the November General Election.Read More
Concord, Calif. — Linda Minnich, RN, BSN, CPAN, who works as a staff nurse in the Perioperative Services Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at John Muir Medical Center, Concord, was recently named by Press Ganey as its 2015 National Nurse of the Year. Press Ganey is a leading national provider of patient experience measurement and performance analytics.
The award, which was presented at a ceremony in Orlando, annually recognizes the contributions of an outstanding direct-care nurse who has demonstrated a commitment to care innovation, transformation and collaboration to support an exceptional patient experience. According to Press Ganey, Linda was honored for her superior leadership and active role in developing and implementing pain management strategies that have improved the patient experience across John Muir Health.
“Linda has touched the lives of our patients for more than 35 years and is a very worthy recipient of this award,” said Donna Brackley, senior vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at John Muir Medical Center, Concord. “Through her work on pain management, she has fostered outstanding collaboration among surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and other members of our care team, which ultimately benefits our patients.”
Linda’s interest in pain management began back in 2012 when she and two other staff nurses, Heather Crowder and Tammy Montoya, attended the Pain Resource Nurse training program at the City of Hope in Los Angeles. Since that time, they have been driving forces in championing pain management in the care of post-surgical patients at John Muir Health.
“I appreciate the individual recognition from Press Ganey, but this is really a team award that represents the great work of my very talented colleagues,” said Minnich. “We recognized that in order to enhance the patient experience, our health system had to keep up with and implement best practices in pain management therapies.
“Our orthopedic patients now experience less post-operative pain and improved functional outcomes. In addition, many of our complex chronic pain patients experience fewer side effects, such as nausea and risks associated with opioid pain control,” added Minnich.
Linda currently serves as the co-chairperson of John Muir Health’s Quality Improvement Pain Team. She and her team have been instrumental in working with anesthesiologists at John Muir Health to implement a series of treatment modalities, including femoral nerve blocks in joint replacement and hip fracture patients and the use of ketamine infusions to treat pain in surgical patients with chronic pain. The work of this team related to the implementation of a nerve block program was identified as a Leading Practice by VHA, a health care alliance of more than 2,400 non-profit organizations, and “blue printed” to assist other facilities in achieving the same levels of success.
“We’ve made great improvements in the area of pain management and patient experience for our surgical patients, and greatly appreciate Linda’s leadership of this effort,” said Brackley. “This recognition is emblematic of the high-quality and compassionate care provided by our nurses, physicians and staff at John Muir Health.”
Both of John Muir Health’s medical centers are Magnet® recognized by The American Nurses Credentialing Center® (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association, for quality and excellence in nursing. Magnet® recognition is the highest level of recognition that the ANCC can grant to a health care organization.
About Press Ganey
According to their website, for nearly 30 years, Press Ganey’s mission has been to support health care providers in understanding and improving the entire patient experience. As a strategic business partner to more than 20,000 health care organizations, they lead the industry in helping clients transform the patient experience and create continuous, sustainable improvement. For more information visit www.pressganey.com.
About John Muir Health
John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, nearly 6,000 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with San Ramon Regional Medical Center, UCSF Medical Center and Stanford Children’s Health to expand its capabilities, increase access to services and better serve patients. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care.Read More
Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) will continue his longtime practice of meeting on-on-one with constituents during Mobile District Office Hours in Martinez on Saturday, March 5th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Since elected as a new Member of Congress, DeSaulnier has held eleven town halls throughout Contra Costa County and continues to hold listening tours across the district.
“We strive to be accessible to the people we serve, and invite Contra Costa County residents to join us in Martinez or at one of our future stops. This is an opportunity for constituents to talk with me about issues of importance or concern and learn about the constituent services my office can provide,” said DeSaulnier.
The congressman will be on hand to share thoughts and to answer questions on federal legislation, and to assist with issues related to Social Security, the Veteran’s Administration, passports, or other federal agencies.
- What: Congressman DeSaulnier’s Mobile District Office Hours
- When: Saturday, March 5th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
- Where: Contra Costa County, Department of Conservation and Development, 30 Muir Road, Martinez
First-come, first-served. No appointment necessary. Event is open to all residents of California’s 11th congressional districtRead More
Today, candidate for County Supervisor in District 3, Doug Hardcastle announced he has received the endorsement of former Congressman and taxpayer advocate William P. “Bill” Baker.
“Doug Hardcastle has protected the taxpayers while he’s been in office. We need that kind of financially responsible leadership in our county,” Baker said. “In addition, his over 40 years of business experience gives him the understanding of how to help grow our economy and create the jobs our residents need. That’s why I’m supporting him for Supervisor.”
Before being elected to Congress, Baker served as a State Budget Analyst and worked as Executive Vice President of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, writing a weekly column entitled, The Angry Taxpayer.
He then successfully ran for the State Assembly in 1980 and served six terms in a district that included portions of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. In the Assembly Baker was the chief Republican budget negotiator for seven years as Vice Chair of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, and on the Budget Conference Committee.
In 1992, Baker was elected to Congress, where he was active in addressing California’s economic, transportation, and science research policies. He served on both the science and transportation committees and played an influential role as an Assistant Majority Whip and an advocate for Contra Costa County His instrumental work on transportation projects include authoring the building of the Benicia Bridge and BART-San Francisco Airport extension that led to his winning of the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s “Legislator of the Year” award. Baker also played an important role in championing the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and helped secure needed funding for science and defense programs including the groundbreaking National Ignition Facility (NIF).
He is now a partner in the investment firm of Baker, Brose & Mitsutome in Walnut Creek.
“Bill Baker has been a champion for the taxpayer in our county and I will do the same on the Board of Supervisors,” Hardcastle stated. “His work on transportation issues is an example I will follow. I appreciate his endorsement and support in my campaign.”
Hardcastle was elected to the Oakley City Council in 2012 and recently completed a year as Mayor. From 2000 to 2012 he served as a Director on the Ironhouse Sanitary District Board, for which he served as President in 2010-2011. He currently serves on both the Transplan Committee and the Tri Delta Transit Board of Directors. Doug and his wife Lyn own Hardcastle’s RV in Oakley and have for over 40 years. Doug was selected Oakley Business Person of the Year in 2006. He’s a life-long resident of Contra Costa County. For more information visit www.doughardcastle.com.
Supervisor District 3 includes Oakley, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Blackhawk, Diablo, Camino Tassajara, Bethel Island, Byron, Knightsen and a portion of Antioch. The election is on June 7, 2016.Read More
County Issues Requests for Proposals Tied to Public Safety Realignment
Matching the formerly incarcerated with jobs, housing and other support services is seen as key in keeping them from going back to a life of crime. With that goal, Contra Costa County’s Board of Supervisors is soliciting proposals from qualified agencies to provide a range of services to bolster the transition for those released to County supervision following California’s Public Safety Realignment.
The Board is making available a total of $3,530,000 for services in specific program areas. Four Requests for Proposals (RFPs) were released Tuesday, March 1, to deliver services in the following amounts: $2,000,000 for Employment Support and Placement Services, $1,180,000 for Short and Long-Term Housing Access, $200,000 for Peer Mentoring and Family Reunification Services, and $150,000 for Civil Legal Services.
Supervisor Candace Andersen, Chair of the Board and of the County’s Public Safety Committee, notes Contra Costa has been a leader among counties in its approach to implementing Realignment. “Partnering with experienced, innovative, effective agencies will ensure we’re tackling recidivism with the right tools,” Andersen added. Private, not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, and public agencies that offer programs serving the needs of the target population, with demonstrated effectiveness in providing evidence-based and research-informed services aimed at reducing repeat offenses, are invited to submit proposals.
A mandatory Bidders Conference for interested responders is scheduled at the following locations and times: March 7, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Pittsburg City Council Chambers; March 8 from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Zoning Administrator’s Room at 30 Muir Road in Martinez; or March 9 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Richmond City Council Chambers. Potential bidders need only attend one conference.
Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2016. Additional information and RFP copies are available at website: www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/2366/Services-Programs or by calling (925) 335-1097.Read More