California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon appointed on Tuesday, Oct. 15 prominent patient advocate Anthony Wright to the Healthy California for All Commission.
Wright is the second and final appointee from Speaker Rendon, who also appointed civil rights leader Antonia Hernandez to the Commission earlier this year. Since 2002, Anthony Wright has been Executive Director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.
“Anthony brings to the Healthy California for All Commission a proven track record of making health care more affordable, transparent, and accessible,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
“I’m honored and excited to be part of the process to plan and achieve universal health coverage in California,” said Wright.
As provided in the 2019-2020 state budget, the Healthy California for All Commission will serve to “develop a plan that includes options for advancing progress toward achieving a health care delivery system in California that provides coverage and access through a unified financing system, including, but not limited to, a single-payer financing system, for all Californians.”
The Commission will total eighteen members, with the Secretary of California Health and Human Services serving as chair, and twelve additional members as appointees of Speaker Rendon, Pro Tem Atkins, and Governor Newsom, as well as five ex officio members.
Wright has served as a consumer advocate on health issues in California and New Jersey for over 20 years, including the last 17 years as executive director of Health Access.
Wright led California’s coalition effort to help pass the Affordable Care Act and state laws to implement and improve it.
Fresno County receives Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant
The Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) Lead Hazard Control Program was recently awarded an additional $2 million to assist low income families that reside in pre-1978 dwellings with the remediation of lead-based paint hazards.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes awarded more than $314 million to 77 state and local government agencies to eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards in thousands of privately owned, low-income housing units.
The FCDPH Environmental Health Division will administer the additional $2 million grant award totaling $3 million for a four-year period to provide services to remediate lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 dwellings where low income families with children under six years of age reside.
About $1.3 million will be used for the identification and remediation of deteriorated lead-based paint hazards to ensure a healthy living environment. The Lead Hazard Control Program will address lead hazards in an additional 108 housing units, for a total of 173 housing units, to provide safer homes for low and very low-income families with children
FCDPH will assist both rental and owner-occupied dwellings to remediate lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 homes at no cost to the property owner or tenant.
For more information about the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes for the Lead Based Paint Hazard Control Grant visit https://www.co.fresno.ca.us/departments/public-health/lead-hazard-program-control-program-3.
Hilmar Unified, Partners to Host Free Heart Screenings
The Hilmar Unified School District is partnering with several other organizations to provide its second free heart screening Nov. 3 for anyone 12 to 25 years of age.
The free heart screening will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Hilmar High School, 7807 Lander Ave., Hilmar. It’s open to all 12 to 25-year-olds regardless of the school they attend.
Organizers are hoping people from Merced, Delhi, Livingston and Turlock areas will take part in the screening conducted by the San Francisco-based Via Heart Project. Heart screenings are completely painless and non-invasive.
Michelle Komos, the district’s nurse, and Frank Marques, Hilmar head football coach, are co-chairing the upcoming screening. They need 150 to 200 medical and non-medical volunteers to help with the screening.
The screening is conducted by volunteer Hilmar and Bay Area health professionals including cardiologists, sonographers, and nurses. The entire process takes about 60 to 90 minutes, with no needles or X-ray exposure.
Participants also have the option to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills and how to use an automated external defibrillator during the screening.
To participate, register at the Via Heart Project website https://viaheartproject.org/events/coach-franky-silveira-teen-heart-screening-2019/.
Registration closes at noon Nov. 1 and the screening is limited to 750 people.
Governor signs Farmworker Housing Act of 2019
Governor Newsom signed this month the legislation AB 1783, the Farmworker Housing Act of 2019, authored by Assemblymember Robert Rivas, D-Hollister, to provide quality, dignified housing for farmworkers in California.
“This is a momentous victory for farmworkers who, together with our family farmers, work to bring the freshest produce to market and help feed the entire country,” said Rivas, who was raised in Farmworker Housing at Almaden Vineyards
AB 1783, the Farmworker Housing Act of 2019, creates an opt in, new streamlined process—cutting through red tape—to build housing on surplus agricultural land, sets quality standards to ensure that the new housing is dignified and family friendly, and puts safeguards in place to protect the environment. AB 1783 focuses state financial support for farmworker housing that is dignified, permanent and family oriented, rather than for a temporary guest worker program.
Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta hailed the passage of AB 1783 as a milestone in farmworker rights, saying “History has been made and I commend Assemblyman Robert Rivas, the son of farmworkers, for working to build more housing for the people who feed us. This new law is a major victory for farmworkers and farmers – who desperately need quality housing for our workers.”
Rabies case in Fresno County
The Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) received on Oct. 9 a report of a positive case of rabies in a domestic cat that bit a Fresno County resident . Rabies is a very serious disease and is almost always fatal if not treated before symptoms appear.
This is the first confirmed case of feline rabies in Fresno County since 1943.
Health officials reminds residents, that Fresno County is identified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) as a rabies endemic area in the state. Although not mandated, it is highly recommended to have your cat vaccinated for rabies.
Rabies remains a concern among wild mammals in Fresno County, especially among bats and skunks. While any mammal can be infected with the rabies virus, bats are the most common mammal in Fresno County that carry rabies. In 2018 and 2019, six bats tested positive for rabies in Fresno County.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the rabies virus infects the central nervous system of humans and animals. If a person does not receive the appropriate medical care after a potential rabies exposure, the virus can cause disease in the brain, ultimately resulting in death.