Health & Medicine

Health, Medicine

Lane County Public Health officials kicked into high gear Tuesday after a case of measles was confirmed in Eugene. They have launched a full investigation to determine the potential reach of the case. It is believed the un-named 40-something man who lives and works in Eugene, contracted the disease while at Disneyland.
County Health spokesman Jason Davis says hundreds of people  have been notified, interviewed and in some cases, tested.

A case of measles has been confirmed in Eugene. Lane County Public Health officials say it's believed to be related to an outbreak linked to Disney theme parks in Southern California.
County Health spokesman Jason Davis says a Eugene man in his 40s went with his family to a Disney park in the outbreak area. After returning to Eugene, he  displayed symptoms and went to a medical provider.
Davis says he believes this is the first Oregon case linked to the Disney parks outbreak. It's the first measles case in Lane County since 2007.

Jes Burns

There have been no new reports of University of Oregon students becoming ill with a bacterial infection that causes meningitis. A student who was diagnosed with the infection has been hospitalized and is reported to be in stable condition. 

Chris Bradshaw/FeaturePics.com.

Despite Oregon's decision to abandon its own health exchange system in favor of the federal portal, the State's Medicaid program is doing well.

A new report from the Oregon Health Authority says costs for inpatient hospital services decreased by about 5.5% since 2011. And there are 380,000 Medicaid enrollees in the new system. CareOregon's Director of Public Policy, Martin Taylor, says developing the State's Coordinated Care Organizations, or CCO's, helped ease the changeover to the federal exchange.

Angela Kellner

A new clinic offering a one-stop shop to treat substance abuse, mental health and primary care held a grand opening in downtown Eugene Thursday.

Willamette Family is a non-profit that has been in the Eugene area for fifty years. It offers residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, detox and help for families. Now they've opened a Rapid Access Clinic for walk-ins or appointments. Senior Manager Jonathan Smith.

Beginning Wednesday a new partnership is bringing a mobile crisis intervention team to Springfield and Glenwood.

Since 1989, White Bird in Eugene has operated two CAHOOTS vans. It stands for Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets.

Paid for with a grant from Lane County, there will be one CAHOOTS van dedicated to serving those in need in Springfield and Glenwood. The van is staffed with a mental health crisis worker and an emergency medical technician.

Niel Laudati is Spokesman for the City of Springfield.

Flu season usually peaks in the second or third week of January, but not this year. Flu cases are still increasing in Oregon, and at a steep rate.

The strain of the flu affecting most people in Oregon this year is called H-3-N-2. Jason Davis is with Lane County Health and Human Services. He says there's been misunderstanding about this year's flu vaccine.

"The vaccine will actually work against H3N2, it's just not working as well as we'd like it to, but it's still working. So, it's still a really good idea to get the vaccine, and it's far better than not getting it."

Amanda Butt

Foggy days are common during Oregon winters. When damp air lingers for too long, it can lead to health problems.

Air stagnation occurs when two layers of cold air trap a layer of warm air between them. This warm air can then become saturated with pollutants such as car exhaust and chimney smoke.

Jason Davis from Lane County Health says this poor air quality can result in many symptoms.  

www.aces.edu

The Willamette Valley and parts of southern and eastern Oregon have higher radon levels than elsewhere in the state. January is Radon Action month and the Oregon Health Authority urges everyone to test their homes for the gas.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odorless, invisible and tasteless. Brett Sherry with the Oregon Health Authority says regardless of your zip code it’s a good idea to test.

Visitor Restrictions At Salem Hospital Due To Flu Risk

Jan 3, 2015
Salem Hospital

Salem and West Valley Hospitals are limiting visitors to protect patients from the flu virus. Only people needed to give support to and care for patients should visit. And people who are currently, or just slightly ill should not visit. Since December 28th, Salem Hospital has admitted 9 patients who tested positive for the flu, and health care officials are concerned activity will increase. The Oregon Health Authority encourages all residents to get vaccinated even though flu season is underway.

copyright, 2014 KLCC

Chris Thomas

There's a new system to help patients organize multiple medications and communicate with their doctors. It's called the "My Easy Drug System."

The "MEDS" system is designed to create easy communication between pharmacists, doctors, and patients to keep track of what they are taking and why. CareOregon is a nonprofit that serves the health care needs of low-income Oregonians. James Slater is Director of Pharmacy services for CareOregon. He says an the organization form starts with the name of the drug and the dosage.

Eugene agogo

A bedbug problem at the Eugene Public Library seems to have been solved. But, the pests are popping up in rentals in Lane County.

St Vincent de Paul Executive Director Terry McDonald says bedbugs do not discriminate.

McDonald: "You can be in a very expensive place or a very modest home or facility and bedbugs can find their way in."

McDonald says he's heard of bedbugs in some of St. Vinnie's rental properties.

Lane Blood Center

During the holiday season, blood banks around the county tend to have shortages. Lane Blood Center in Eugene is hoping to inspire people to donate blood with the promise of free beer.

Kristi McElhinney is with Lane Blood Center. She says with schools closed for winter break, and other changes due to the holiday season, fewer people give blood this time of year.

Lane County

Lane County Commissioners Tuesday voted 3 to 2 to regulate the sales of e-cigarette products. The ordinance would establish tobacco retail licensing and ban e-cigarette sales to minors.

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend

Nurses at PeaceHealth Medical Center RiverBend and University District continue to seek public support through an online petition. Understaffing is at the core of their campaign. For years, the hospital has been cited in hundreds of staffing request forms filled out by floor nurses when patient care is affected because units are short-staffed.

Hospital management insists the problem is being resolved. I spoke with PeaceHealth’s new Chief Administrative Officer, Rand O’Leary, about nurses’ workplace concerns and how the hospital is addressing them.

susan komen oregon

When an Oregon Latina gets breast cancer, there is a significant chance that it will be more serious than breast cancer found among other women. A variety of groups are trying to do something to change that:

Proportionately fewer Latinas in Oregon get breast cancer, but 36-percent of Latinas who do get breast cancer have it detected at an advanced stage compared to 26-percent of other women. Thomas Bruner is former CEO of the Susan Komen Foundation of Oregon:

ratehospitals.com

Caregivers at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center have agreed on a two-year contract. Over 300 members of  S-E-I-U Local 49 had been without a contract for the past year. Jesse Stemmler is with the Service Employees International Union. He feels the walkout in late October was key:

Stemmler: “Having the three-day strike, and just seeing the overwhelming support was really a big help for these workers. This is a process, and the contract has been settled. This is by no means an end to the important work they’re doing.”

toysrus.com

The holiday season often means shopping for toys and games for young people. One Oregon consumer advocacy group wants people to remember to avoid dangerous toys.

Benton County Children Diagnosed With Pertussis

Dec 3, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Children ages 10 to 14 have been diagnosed with Pertussis in Philomath, Monroe and Corvallis. Making sure children and adults are vaccinated against whooping cough is an important preventative measure.

Benton County Public Information Officer Rick Osborn says Pertussis cases are serious and can be fatal in infants.

oadp.org

Dr. Todd Huffman is a pediatrician in Springfield affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including McKenzie-Willamette and Peace Health.  He's been in practice for 22 years.  He's also written innumerable OpEd pieces and commentaries for regional and national publications. He speaks with KLCC's Claude Offenbacher of his concern that  Oregon's legalization of marijuana will have a negative effect on teens.  

PeaceHealth RiverBend

Nurses and doctors PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center have a problem with inadequate staffing. They say "staff to patient ratios" are insufficient and lead to more errors, infections and injuries. Now they've started an online petition to get the community involved.

public.health.oregon.gov

Oregon's rate of unneeded prescribed antibiotics is among the Nation's lowest. Growing resistance to the drugs is a concern for physicians. The tendency of doctors not to prescribe antibiotics is part of a trend in other western states.

Wikimedia Commons

Lane County Public Health will offer free vaccinations against Whooping cough Friday for adults. The agency has 500 vaccines available to administer at Charnelton Clinic in Eugene.

T-dap shots vaccinate against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough.  Lane County Public Health Doctor Patrick Luedke says adults need to get a booster shot even if they were vaccinated as children. He says in the last 20 years or so, more people have opted out of getting the vaccine.

Online Guide Helps Explain Health Care Costs

Nov 18, 2014
Stethescopes

The health insurance open enrollment period began November 15th. This is the date by which those who buy their health insurance can change plans or change companies. To clarify some health coverage costs, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services put together an online guide.

Rachael McDonald

Lane County has offered a site for a temporary rest stop for people who are homeless and have mental and physical disabilities. The Eugene City Council must approve the site before it can be established.

Egan Warming Center

The Egan Warming Center, which offers shelter for homeless people in Eugene and Springfield on freezing nights, is on standby to activate this Saturday night.

Bill Winkley is the newly appointed coordinator for the Egan Warming Center. He says they were taken by surprise by the early onset of cold weather this week. Their season runs from the 15th of November through March 31st.

Winkley: "We don’t want anybody unnecessarily to be having to spend the night out in the cold when we could be ready to go with a warm bed and 2 hot meals and shelter."

13th Annual Civil War Blood Drive

Nov 10, 2014
Lane Blood Center

At the end of the month, the Ducks and the Beavers will face off on the football field for the annual Civil War game. For over a decade, Oregonians have been getting involved in the competition themselves by donating blood. 

The Civil War Blood Drive has seen more than 85,000 people donate blood in the past 12 years. Now in its 13th year, Drive sponsors hope to see its largest turnout. Kristi McElhinney from Lane Blood Center shares why the event is so successful:

oregonlive.com

Lane County is joining other areas of the state participating in a pilot program that expands in-home care to people with disabilities.

Oregon Project Independence originally launched in 1975, but was only eligible to people 60 and over. Services include personal care, home delivered meals, and housekeeping. Kate Scott is an Analyst for Lane County's Senior and Disabled Services.

McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield issued a press release Wednesday saying it wanted to correct inaccurate information about its most recent proposal submitted October 17 to the union bargaining committee.

Unionized hospital staff began a three-day strike Tuesday, saying they've been working without a contract for nearly a year.

The Springfield hospital says it's proposing a 14-month contract and a 2.75-percent wage increase.

Health Officials Discuss Ebola Preparedness

Oct 16, 2014
CBS Local website.

Oregon health officials have plans for the possibility of an Ebola case in the state. They’re following CDC protocol. KLCC’s Corinne Boyer has more.

As the Ebola situation evolves, Lane County Health and Human Services has been participating in table top exercises to simulate what would happen if the disease came to the county. Spokesman Bradley Sheets says the risk of an Ebola case being found in Lane County is low.

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