Health & Medicine

Health, Medicine

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.

Jes Burns

Impulsive adolescents who lack focus, and show signs of weak memory skills are more likely to have substance abuse problems, according research from the University of Oregon.

The findings are drawn from a study of more than 350 teens ages 11 to 13. The data shows early drug experimentation will probably lead to consistent use among youth who are habitually distracted. Atika Khurana is an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology and Human Services at the U of O.  

Karen Richards

For the past week, a group of Armenian professionals have been visiting Oregon. Hosted by Eugene-based Mobility International, they aim to bring back tools to help youth with disabilities in their country.

The 10-day program is sponsored by the State Department. It has included a rigorous schedule of meetings and demonstrations. Suren Maghakyan founded Full Life, a group that works for the rights of people with disabilities. He says programs in his country have a lot of catching up to do:

Senior Planet

Americans have a hard time talking openly and honestly about sex. When it comes to the sexual intimacy of older adults, it's a topic most would rather ignore. This week, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon launched a new program designed to promote sexual health and education for the oldest generations in our society.

Health Officials Investigate E. Coli Deaths

Sep 11, 2014
National Institutes of Health

Health officials say it will take several days to identify the source of two E. Coli cases originating in Lincoln County. The county held a press conference Thursday in Newport with public health officer Dr. David Long. Bill Hall is a Lincoln County Commissioner.

Camp Starlight

Kids from around the Northwest come to summer camp in the hills west of Salem this week.  But this camp is like no other in the region.

(sound of splashing in a pool)

Like most summer camps, Camp Starlight has swimming, games like Sharks and Lifeguards, archery, movie night.  But there's a difference:

"My name is Randy Bodkin and I'm the Camp Starlight director.  This is a camp for kids that are affected by HIV/AIDS.  Doesn't necessarily have to be them themselves who are affected with HIV/AIDS. It could be a direct family member,  Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, aunt."

Lane County Health and Human Services

A new primary healthcare facility is opening this week in West Eugene. The Brookside Clinic is the fifth Community Health Center to serve new patients in Lane County.

A Community Health Center is much like any other doctor’s office except *these clinics focus not only on individual health but the well being of the entire community. Jason Davis is with Lane County Health and Human Services.

Davis: “As you, a patient, are going in and seeing your doctor you’re also being challenged toward prevention.”

Karen Richards

Salmon and sweet potato or chicken with blueberries. All gluten free and organic, of course. These are not choices on the menu of Eugene’s newest restaurant, but options in the pet food aisle. Pet owners are spending more on specialized food every year.

Waldszenen

There's a blood shortage in Lane County. It's partly a seasonal thing-- donations tend to drop off during summer months. But there have also been multiple trauma victims recently in area hospitals.

Kristi McElhinney is with Lane Blood Center. She says they need about 80 donations a day to replenish blood supplies for the region. She's hoping folks will come in to donate before the Labor Day holiday.

Lane Community College's Senior Companion Program

Aug 19, 2014

The Senior Companion Program is celebrating forty years of connecting with senior citizens  and helping them stay active and engaged.  KLCC's Tripp Sommer speaks with Barbara Susman, director of the Successful Aging Institute and the Senior Companion Program at Lane Community College.  His other guest is Brian Pindell, a Senior Companion Program volunteer.    

Pages