Author: Helen Afrasiabi

Counties consider public option as part of healthcare reform

As California begins to build a new health benefits marketplace that will be part of federal health reform, counties are debating whether to allow their public health insurance programs to be among the plans offered to consumers. Orange County has quickly decided to keep its public program out of the marketplace, but other counties, including Santa Barbara and San Francisco, may go the other way.

Students starting school without whooping cough vaccinations

Despite a mandatory vaccination law that followed a pertussis outbreak last year, some California students are returning to class this fall without their TDAP booster shots. The immunization law, passed last September, required that junior high and high schoolers show proof of a TDAP booster, the vaccination that prevents pertussis, also known as whooping cough, by the first day of school. Another bill passed this summer gave students an additional 30 days to get vaccinated.

Walking group a win-win proposition for city and residents

For years, Santa Ana residents were scared away from their parks by high crime rates. Mattresses, drugs and other indications of illicit activities littered the park grounds. Public trails and walking areas were gradually being converted to dumping grounds and destinations for crime, residents told Gerardo Mouet, executive director of the city’s Parks and Recreation department.

At California senior centers, resources dwindle

Resourcefulness and a little luck are fueling senior center staff across the state, advocates say. Municipalities operate 60 percent of California’s 800 senior centers. As municipal revenues dwindle, fewer and fewer resources are trickling down to fund services for seniors. “What we’ve been seeing in this environment in the last five years is a reduction in resources and consolidation of recreational programs,” said Sandi Fitzpatrick, California Commission on Aging Director.

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