Health

The TwoCents News Chronicles Of The Inland Empire: Impact Of Influenza

By Richard McDonough “Another type of dwelling in Virginia City,” reads the description of an “Indian dwelling” in rural Nevada in 1918. “In this shack I found four people lying on the dirt floor wrapped in rags apparently all suffering from influenza. I was told they had refused medicine from the white doctor and Dick Mauwee, a Paiute enrolled at Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, was the doctor. The small four-light window admitted the only light. It was nailed tight, the only door was kept shut tight and no ventilation was attempted or possible. The stench which greeted us when we entered was most horrible and could be endured but a short time. An Indian had just been taken from this structure for burial. The father of the family was the Indian alluded on another page as a ‘walking case’.” (“Photo of Indian dwelling and description of conditions at Reno Indian Agency, Nevada Bureau of Indian Affairs” was provided courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.) The spread of viral infections is now a daily news story for many residents in the Inland Empire. According…

Helping the helpless: LLU, U of Redlands offer walk-In medical services to homeless

Loma Linda University and University of Redlands have partnered to offer free walk-in medical services for the homeless throughout the duration of the California order to shelter in place. The Redlands Walk-In Medical Services comes from both universities’ commitment to service and advancing the health of the community.  The walk-in medical services is located at University of Redlands main campus in Hentschke Hall, Room 102 (chosen for its proximity to Sylvan Park and the availability of restroom facilities). Hours of operation are Tuesday and Thursday 4-6 pm, and Saturday 5-6 pm. Redlands Walk-In Medical Services is operated by the faculty of Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions, Department of Physician Assistant Sciences. The healthcare team is composed of licensed and board-certified PAs who are providing medical care to help the homeless and transient members of the Redlands community most at risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mark Milliron, MSC, MPA, PA-C, assistant professor of Physician Assistant Sciences and the clinic’s coordinator, says the services being offered are in response to the California order to shelter in place. Many resources for obtaining food, showers and shelter have been…

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center physician heads to New York City

When Gov. Newsom issued an urgent request for California doctors to travel to New York City and support urgent medical needs there, Dr. Louis Tran answered the call. Dr. Tran, an emergency room physician with the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, flew to New York Thursday, Apr. 23, along with 19 other California doctors. He will be working at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, where approximately 100 patients are currently intubated on ventilators and in critical condition. “When the governor sent a request for volunteers, I responded immediately; this is why I became a physician,” said Tran. “I not only get to help care for desperately ill people, but it gives me an incredible, hands-on learning opportunity that will be invaluable back at home in California.” Dr. Tran noted that he was impressed and humbled by the New York doctors, many of whom have been working extremely long hours, under extraordinarily stressful conditions, for several weeks without a break. “They have been fantastic sharing information and insights that they’ve gained during this crisis — and that includes being candid about failures. I am so happy to be…

Dignity Health hospitals offer onsite grocery mart to staff

Community Hospital of San Bernardino (CHSB) and St. Bernardine Medical Center (SBMC) are trying to make a difficult situation a little easier for their healthcare workers with the implementation of an onsite grocery store. At CHSB, a section of the cafeteria has been set-up as a mini-mart with shopping available every day of the week. At SBMC, their food and nutrition services department has started an ordering process with groceries being bagged on the go for staff to pick-up on their way out the door. “We are so proud of the continued dedication of our entire staff and physicians that we want to do anything we can to ease their way during this time,” states Doug Kleam, SBMC Hospital President. “It’s hard at the end of an exhausting day to think about going to the store, so we hope this program provides more time for our staff to spend with their families.” As grocery chains face restocking issues, safety concerns, and restricted operating hours, it can be difficult for the essential healthcare workers to get items they need for their families. Thanks to the hospital’s…

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center names new chief operating officer

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) recently announced that Andrew Goldfrach, FACHE, was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Medical Center, effective immediately. Goldfrach was brought in early to help on the hospital’s COVID-19 Task Force team. “Andrew’s breadth of experience in leadership positions and operational management, from strategic direction in both short- and long-range planning makes him a perfect fit for our organization,” said ARMC Hospital Director, William Gilbert. “He is highly respected for his integrity and his successful track record of delivering results.” Goldfrach joins ARMC from University Hospitals Avon Rehabilitation Hospital in Ohio, an acute care rehabilitation hospital, where he served as chief executive officer. Previously he was an administrator at Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Penn Medicine and the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network. Goldfrach has also held positions with Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Phoenixville Hospital in Pennsylvania, and with DGA Partners, Inc. in Pennsylvania. “I am honored to join the ARMC team to oversee strategic growth and facility expansions,” said Goldfrach. “Along with the dedicated ARMC health care team, I look forward to achieving even greater success building…

Rialto City Council extends citywide local emergency, plans to reopen June 1

During a virtual meeting on April 14, Rialto City Council extended its citywide local emergency until at least May 31. “City of Rialto’s public counters will be closed through May 31, God willing we will have a reopening date on June 1,” said City Manager Rod Foster. Between now and the next council meeting on April 28, city staff will generate a progress edition magazine, which will possess COVID-19 information for city staff and residents. “At our next meeting, we will work towards coordinating some type of Fourth of July event, we will report back in two weeks on the feasibility of this item,” continued Foster. Also, in the meantime, city staff will be coordinating a plan and utilize resources to protect the safety and health of its grocers,” Foster said. When Foster mentioned the full functionality and staffing of the city manager’s office, police and fire department, Mayor Deborah Robertson said, “First off I would like to thank all of our city employees who are working through this public health crisis. I would like to send a special thank you to our fire, police…

Inland Chinese Association along with San Bernardino Valley College and Inland State Legislators donate masks, shields to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

There continues to be a shortage of personal protective equipment for our hospital personnel during these difficult times. San Bernardino County is nearing 1,000 positive cases of COVID-19, and tragically, we have lost 31 lives. Fortunately, there is not a shortage of community angels who are willing to step up and help those frontline workers who put their lives on the line for others. During these times of uncertainty, state and local leaders were quick to step up and provide support and assistance to the nurses, physicians, and staff working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Wednesday, Apr. 15 brought a piece of hope and certainty to our community and the essential workers who are sacrificing every day to protect us. The Inland Chinese Association generously donated thousands of N95 and surgical masks to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, through their president, Gary Liaou. Additionally, San Bernardino Valley College donated 100 medical-grade face shields made with the 3D printers from their MakerSpace lab. Students at the local college took the lead. They utilized their resources to contribute to their community and assist in any way…

San Bernardino business gives back to healthcare professionals while struggling to operate

In the midst of the Covid-19 public health crisis, locally owned businesses are hit with implications causing a struggle to operate and remain open. Regardless of the transparent struggles, locally-owned business and champion Viva La Boba continues to shine light in San Bernardino. Owners David Friedman and Tansu Philip donated 50 vegan boba drinks to the emergency ward at Dignity Health’s – St. Bernardine Medical Center on Monday, April 6. Photo VLB: During the Covid-19 public health crisis, boba just so happens to be one of the safest drinks to order, due to its sealant lid. Pictured is Viva La Boba co-ownerTansu Philip “Our goal is to donate 300 boba drinks per week to assist healthcare professionals and front-line employees in San Bernardino and beyond. These are the people in the community that have elevated us into success, so it’s important to give back to them in any way we can,” said Friedman. On Wednesday, April 8 Viva La Boba is slated to donate more of its award winning boba drinks, this time to healthcare professionals at San Bernardino Community Hospital. “My aunt and uncle…

San Bernardino County’s effort to shelter homeless underway

In alignment with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Project Roomkey to shelter extremely vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness to protect them from COVID-19 by securing hotel rooms and travel trailers, the County of San Bernardino unveiled 20 state-funded trailers set up at Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore on Monday, April 13. According to Supervisor Janice Rutherford the trailers provide the opportunity to place “high risk individuals off the street and in shelter for their safety and for the wellbeing of the greater community.” Photo MJ Duncan: Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Josie Gonzales and Sheriff John McMahon preview the state-funded trailers. Each trailer can house one person or a family of two. Occupants will sign agreements requiring them to remain on the park grounds for the duration of the emergency. According to CaSonya Thomas, San Bernardino County Human Services Assistant Executive Officer, individuals are being identified by the County Department of Public Health and the Hospital Association to be placed in trailers over the next few days, those who need isolation who are either COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 exposed but do not require hospitalization or ready for…

SB Community College District 3D printers producing face shields for local hospitals

Like many of us these days, 21-year-old Juan Zavala spends a lot of time alone in a room. Luckily for local hospitals, his room contains 19 industrial-grade 3D printers. As of last Tuesday night, he had printed 422 medical quality face shields in the MakerSpace lab at the San Bernardino Community College District, for a world with a shortage of personal protective equipment, or “PPE.” Photo Erick Zambrano/SBCCD:    These face shields are gifts from SBCCD for local hospitals. The shields are made up of three parts, a plastic headpiece, a clear sheet of plastic, and a rubber band. These face shields are gifts for local hospitals: Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, Mountains Community Hospital in Lake Arrowhead. They have also given face shields to the campus police department, and to Providence Healthcare Group, which operates about ten skilled nursing facilities locally. As hospital staff members arrive to pick up the boxes, there are no handshakes or hugs. But Zavala can tell his work is appreciated. “Their expressions are really great,” he said after Renee and MacKenzie Limpus picked up the order for the…

County, partners provide more locations for drive-up COVID-19 testing

San Bernardino County residents who display symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough and shortness of breath can get tested at five upcoming specimen-collection events through the end of April.  “We understand the high demand for COVID-19 testing in our county and we are making every effort to organize drive-through events throughout the county,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We are working closely with state and federal partners and exploring all avenues to increase testing capacity, despite a nationwide challenge with shortage of supplies.” The following drive-through testing events are currently scheduled, weather permitting: Montclair Place – 5060 E. Montclair Plaza Lane, Montclair April 14 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fox Farm Lot – 41850 Garstin Dr., Big Bear Lake April 17 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Because of hazardous conditions, it is strongly recommended that only mountain residents attend the Big Bear Lake event). Copper Mountain College – 6162 Rotary Way, Joshua Tree April 22 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. LoanMart Field (“Quakes stadium”) – 8408 Rochester Ave., Rancho Cucamonga April 27 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. San Bernardino County residents who have…

Public Health officer orders face covering, electronic-only religious services

In an effort to protect the public from further spread of COVID-19, the County’s Acting Health Officer has formally ordered everyone in San Bernardino County to wear a face covering when leaving home. Face coverings may include coverings that secure to the ears or back of the head and encompass the mouth and nose. Homemade cloth ear loop covers, bandannas and handkerchiefs, and neck gaiters may be used to reduce the spread of COVID-19 particularly among asymptomatic people. Surgical masks and N95 masks must be preserved for healthcare workers and emergency responders. “Staying home, practicing social distancing and frequent handwashing are far more effective ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, and face coverings are not a substitute for those practices,” said Dr. Erin Gustafson, the County’s Acting Public Health Officer.  Tuesday’s order also says faith-based services must be electronic only through streaming or online technology. People may not leave their homes for driving parades or drive-up services or to pick up non-essential items such as pre-packaged Easter eggs or bags filled with candy and toys at a drive-thru location. “We understand that this is…

Redefining Public Health Week – Community Advocacy & Justice

Everybody deserves to live a healthy, prosperous, and safe life regardless of their race, gender, religion, age, or socioeconomic status. Within the public health field, we public health professionals strive to do just that: ensure that everyone has access to health-promoting resources regardless of their status. As public health professionals, one of our main goals is to provide education on how to better one’s health. Every year public health professionals dedicate a week to promote this knowledge and call it National Public Health Week. This year, public health professionals are excited to share their knowledge with America the week of April 6th, with each week day highlighting a specific aspect of health.  On Monday, mental health will be advocated for. Mental illness is more prevalent within the nation than one may think; one in five Americans experience mental illness. As public health professionals, we aim to increase awareness about the prevalence of this illness, and promote knowledge about resources that are available for those in need. Through these actions, we hope to help people struggling with mental illness to lead positive and functional lives to…

LifeStream encourages community to donate blood in wake of COVID-19

With cases of COVID-19 increasing in San Bernardino County, a significant decrease in blood donations has transpired. In recent weeks, San Bernardino’s LifeStream has cancelled numerous of its blood drives across the county. “LifeStream and the American Red Cross have acknowledged that there is a nationwide blood shortage. Due to COVID-19 there is a lack of blood; but there are still cancer patients needing transfusions, babies are still born everyday and lifesaving procedures are still taking place,” said Don Escalante, LifeStream spokesperson. Another element that has halted donors from giving blood is the concern of social distancing, an order issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom the week of March 16. “Blood donation sites are as safe as can be for prospective donors. First our staff is screened before coming into work to check for respiratory related infections, their temperature is taken, and we have repositioned our seating arrangements throughout the building, distancing all people at least six feet apart,” continued Escalante. He also shared that volunteers and donors go through the same health screening as their employees to ensure the safety of all. “We urge…

Governor Newsom launches one-stop website for donations, sales of essential medical supplies in fight against COVID-19

Governor Gavin Newsom announced Saturday, Apr. 4 the launch of a new website, covid19supplies.ca.gov, to get critical medical supplies to the front lines of California’s fight against COVID-19. The website will allow individuals and companies to donate, sell or offer to manufacture 13 of the most essential medical supplies, including ventilators, N95 respirators and testing materials.   Governor Newsom also announced the COVID-19 Testing Task Force, a public-private collaboration that will work with stakeholders across the state to quickly and significantly boost California’s testing capacity. The Task Force plans to scale up testing as demand increases.  “These actions marshal the generosity and innovative spirit of Californians to help us achieve two essential goals: getting more lifesaving supplies into our health care system and increasing our testing capacity,” said Governor Newsom. Governor Newsom called on companies, organizations and individuals who have medical supplies to contribute, either for donation or purchase, to support California’s response to COVID-19 and visit covid19supplies.ca.gov.  Additionally, three specific collaborations have launched today as part of the testing effort:   Collaboration with the University of California, San Diego and University of California, Davis to establish high throughput…

San Bernardino County creates Nursing Facilities Task Force; issues order mandating patient safety measures

The County Department of Public Health has established a multiagency Nursing Facilities Task Force aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 among the county’s most vulnerable residents, and the Acting County Health Officer has issued an order requiring nursing facilities to take multiple steps to protect their elderly and health-compromised clients. There are 171 state-licensed nursing facilities in San Bernardino County caring for at least 6,600 of the county’s most at-risk residents. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday identified San Bernardino County as one of four nursing home “hotspots” in the state. “The County is dedicating every resource we can to fighting the spread of COVID-19,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “This task force will focus on supporting our senior living facilities in their efforts to preserve the safety of their residents.”  Work on forming the task force began early last week after a COVID-19 outbreak occurred at Cedar Mountain Post-Acute Rehabilitation in Yucaipa. Seventy-five residents and staff at the facility have tested positive and five residents have died of causes related to COVID-19. Later in the week, an outbreak was detected at the…

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