Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sutter Amador Hospital Welcomes Cardiologist Frank Pourzia, MD

JACKSON, Calif. – Sutter Amador Hospital is pleased to announce the arrival of board-certified cardiologist, Frank Pourzia, M.D. F.A.C.C. Dr. Pourzia is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been a cardiologist for more than 20 years. As part of Sutter Medical Group and a member of the Sutter Amador Hospital medical staff, he cares for patients in the NEW Sutter Cardiovascular office at 100 Mission Boulevard, Suite 2200 (located in the Sutter Amador Outpatient Services Center) in Jackson.

After earning his medical degree from the University of Montpellier in France, Dr. Pourzia completed his internship and residency at Hines VA Hospital and Loyola Hospital in Illinois. He also completed a fellowship at Northwestern University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and a second fellowship at the University of Montreal, Montreal Heart Institute in Canada

Prior to his arrival in Jackson, Dr. Pourzia was in private practice in Long Beach, California where he also served as a clinical instructor of cardiology for rotating Internal Medicine residents and Cardiology Fellows from the University of California, Los Angeles Medical School and the University of California, Irvine Medical School. Dr. Pourzia’s passion for instructing developed when he served as a clinical instructor for the first time during his fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Since his arrival in Amador County, Dr. Pourzia has been working closely with Sutter Amador Hospital to improve access and strengthen cardiology capabilities so that more community members will be able to receive advanced life-saving tests and procedures locally. Some of the additional cardiac tests and procedures that Dr. Pourzia is now able to perform at Sutter Amador Hospital include stress echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) and pacemaker implants.


“It is our goal to be able to minimize any stress on a patient, including stress caused by travel, and provide as many services locally as possible,” said Anne Platt, CEO of Sutter Amador Hospital. “Dr. Pourzia is a true advocate for our patients and has partnered with us to provide many cardiology services that we once were not able to do here, such as pacemaker implants.”

Dr. Pourzia is accepting new patients. For more information or to make a referral, please call the Sutter Cardiology office at (209) 223-5445. The Sutter Cardiology Office recently relocated to the Sutter Amador Outpatient Services Center on 100 Mission Boulevard, Suite 2200 in Jackson.


Flu Reports Increase: It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate

Sutter Creek, CA – Flu cases are increasing across the United States. California counties have reported an increase in influenza cases requiring hospitalization with reports of critical cases - many of them between the ages of 30 and 65.

“H1N1 virus is circulating and it is not only dangerous for the elderly, infants or people with medical conditions, but it could affect healthy, young adults as well,” says Dr. Bob Hartmann, Amador County
Health Officer. “Vaccination is your best protection again the flu.”

Amador County Public Health recommends that everyone receive their seasonal flu vaccine if they have not already received it this season. Public Health clinics are held the first and third Tuesdays from 2 pm to 5:30 pm. The next clinic will be held January 7th, 2014. The cost for flu vaccination is $20. Private providers, clinics and local pharmacies may also still have a supply of flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all people aged 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine yearly.

Flu prevention measures are also important. Key recommendations are:
(1) Wash your hands often with warm soapy water for at least 30 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizers.
(2) Cover your cough and your sneeze. If you cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw it away and then wash your hands.
(3) Stay home if you are sick. Wait until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school. Although medication to reduce fevers can make people feel better, they are still contagious and can spread the virus to others. Antibiotics are not effective in treating a virus.

Flu symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees or higher AND a cough or sore throat. Headache, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea could also be present.

For more information on flu prevention, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm or contact Amador County Public Health at 223-6407.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Amador's Best Loser - A Down to Earth Fitness & Weight-Loss Program

This is usually the time of year that people get more motivated to attend to their extra weight or lack of physical fitness.

Our 3-month small group program doesn't offer magic pills, or diets delivered to your door, or any get thin quick schemes . . . just encouraging support and guidance, a place to come and move and strengthen and tone your body with a small group of understanding people, and a place for planning your small and reasonable changes in your eating habits. 

This supportive and even fun 3-month program for men and women starts Monday January 13th. Includes weekly support and workouts, our Fitness For You program and more. Meets Mondays and Wednesdays and includes other workout days for free at Team Fitness in Pine Grove. Call Cherie at 209-296-BFit (2348) to learn more!

Next to the Pine Grove Post Office, Team Fitness is a 800 square foot open floor plan fitness studio for all ages and includes excellent exercise machines - including Elliptistrider, recumbant bicycle, treadmill, and elliptical, weight machines, mini-tramp, hand weights, punching bag, fit balls, hoola hoops, exercise bands, great music and much more.

PLUS - If you travel more than 30 minutes to get here for these 3 awesome months, Team Fitness will even help you pay for your gas!

Still not sure if you are ready to get fit at Team Fitness with a small friendly group? Then try our free week before our Best Loser Program starts!

The person to lose the biggest percentage of their weight and fat will even win the grand prize of $300!

Program is limited to 6 people so inquire and sign up soon! A $88 deposit will hold your spot!




Power Walking Classes resume in January


MotherLode Crossfit: New Year, New YOU!

INTRODUCING 

7 days a week!


STARTING IN THE NEW YEAR 2014,
WE WILL HAVE A SATURDAY MORNING WOD
AND SUNDAY OPEN GYM! 


 
JANUARY SCHEDULE

CLICK LINK BELOW

http://gallery.mailchimp.com/8360188d221ad5fccf5d4e109/files/january.pdf

EVERY DAY DEALS!

To all MLCF members-
If you did not already know
We have a great referral program which gets you a one time discount of $10 off your membership for every new member you bring in!
 
MONDAY-FRIDAY6am - 7:00am
9am -10:00am
4:30pm-5:30pm
5:30pm-6:30pm
6:30pm-7:30pm
DAILY WODS
 MON-WED-FRI10am - 11:00amWEIGHTLIFTING SESSIONS
Independent training for additional strength programming
PLEASE EXCUSE OUR CRAZINESS
WHILE WE TRANSITION
AND PIECE TOGETHER THE  EQUIPMENT
THAT WILL BE COMING IN OVER THE NEXT WEEKS


WE LOOK FORWARD TO A GREAT YEAR WITH A GREAT MEMBERSHIP!

GYM FYI

A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER AT THE GYM
-PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF THE ROLL UP DOORS, WE WANT TO KEEP THOSE CLEAR FOR TRAINING SPACE.
-PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THE BREEZEWAY BETWEEN THE AUTO RESTORATION PLACE AND OUR GYM, THEY HAVE ASKED US TO KEEP THAT AREA CLEAR.
-PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF. I.E PUT YOUR WEIGHTS AWAY AND CLEAN UP ANY CHALK MESS YOU MAY HAVE.
-PLEASE DO NOT WALK THROUGH OR BEGIN NEW TRAINING IN THE AREAS IN WHICH PEOPLE ARE STILL DOING THE WOD.
-IF YOU ARE THE FIRST TO FINISH, PLEASE RESPECT EVERYONE ELSE THAT IS PUSHING THEMSELVES TO THE LIMITS AND CHEER THEM ON.
-USE BARBELL CLIPS
-BEING LATE STILL EQUALS BURPEES
-THE WORD "CAN'T" ALSO EQUALS BURPEES

THANK YOU!


 

Now offering FITAID drinks and ProAnox Supplements for purchase

Please see coaches for additional information

Erica's Outdoor Fitness New Year Specials


Friday, December 20, 2013

Jackson Creek Dental Group Opens Office for “Smiles for Kids 2014” in mid-January.

Appointments will be scheduled in advance on a first-come-first-served basis beginning January 15, 2014

Jackson, CA - Jackson Creek Dental Group will once again open their office to treat children, at no cost, who “fall between the cracks” in healthcare – children who would not otherwise receive dental treatment – on Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Because of the overwhelming number of children attending this event appointments will be scheduled in advance starting
January 15th, 2014.  These appointments will be filled on a first-come-first served basis by calling Jackson Creek Dental Group at (209) 223-2712.  When the appointment blocks are full they will no longer accept patients. 

The doctors and their staff have provided this service to the community on a volunteer basis for the past 29 years.  Smiles for Kids also offers an opportunity to educate both the child and parent about how the effects of poor oral health extend far beyond problems in the mouth, often generating other related health problems.

To qualify for treatment, children must be 2-18 years of age, qualify for free or reduced fee school lunches, WIC or CHDP, be a resident of Amador County, and they must not be covered by private dental insurance or Medi-Cal/Denti-Cal.  A parent or legal guardian must accompany the child throughout the appointment. 

Children who meet the program requirements may receive, at no cost, a complete dental exam and
X-rays, as needed.  They will have their teeth cleaned, get a fluoride treatment and prescriptions, sealants, orthodontic evaluations, and other emergency dental care as time allows.  The doctors, staff and volunteers are honored to be able to give back to the community and make an impact one family at a time.

“Tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood disease in America and is largely preventable.  When left untreated, dental disease is painful and affects a child’s physical, emotional and social development,” stated Ron Ask, DDS and founder of Jackson Creek Dental Group.  “On this special day our doctors, staff and volunteers join together with others to help educate families about oral health and give these kids smiles for life.”

Crucial follow-up treatment may be provided through the Sacramento District Dental Society’s
Adopt-a-Child Orthodontic and Specialty Referral Care Programs.  Several Amador County dentists will also be providing these services as part of the Adopt-a-Child Program.  Children requiring Orthodontic and Specialty Referral Care follow-up appointments may be assigned to a specialist to receive necessary endodontic, periodontic, pediatric, orthodontic and oral surgery treatments.

Jackson Creek Dental Group offers a full range of advanced, comprehensive dental specialties, from general care, periodontal care, dental implants and orthodontics to cosmetic dentistry, smile design and full mouth reconstruction.  For more information contact us at (209) 223-2712 or visit our website at www.JacksonCreekDental.com.

Jackson Creek Dental Group is open Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday,
7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

PHOTO:
Over 65 children will receive treatment as a result of the 2014 Smile for Kids program. In addition, making sure they all have access to needed follow-up treatment is an essential part of this program.  Pictured above is Dwight Simpson, DDS working with one of the Smiles For Kids patients. 




Monday, November 25, 2013

CDPH Offers Food Safety Tips for Holiday Feasts



With the holiday season fast approaching, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman today reminded consumers about the importance of safe food handling to prevent foodborne illness.
“Bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and others can be present in foods, such as meat and poultry, and can cause illness due to insufficient cooking, inadequate cooling and improper food handling practices,” Chapman said.  “Properly prepared and handled foods can assure us all a safe meal every day of the year.”
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually in the United States are related to foodborne diseases.
Foodborne diseases can be prevented by simple safety steps in the kitchen. Wash hands with soap and warm water before and after food preparation, and especially after handling raw foods. Clean all work surfaces, utensils and dishes with hot soapy water and rinse with hot water after each use. Be sure to cook foods thoroughly and to refrigerate adequately between meals. Consumers can find more information about food safety tips on the CDPH’s website. 

Bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 are responsible for many foodborne illnesses, caused by eating contaminated foods. Contamination usually occurs as a result of poor food handling practices at the farms, factories, restaurants or homes.
Symptoms of foodborne disease include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea which may be bloody. Most infected people recover from foodborne illnesses within a week. Some, however, may develop complications that require hospitalization. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with a weakened immune system are at highest risk for potentially life-threatening complications.
Additional resources for information on food safety include the Federal Food and Drug Administration Food Information line at 1-888-SAFEFOOD (1-888-723-3366) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Consumers can also access the national Partnership for Food Safety Education’s “Fight BAC” (bacteria) Web page.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sutter Amador Hospital Certified as “Kid-Qualified”


JACKSON - Sutter Amador Hospital (SAH) in Jackson has been rated as “Kid-Qualified” by Valley Emergency Physicians (VEP), the physician group practice that provides emergency services at SAH and 35 hospitals in California and across the country. SAH’s Emergency Department treats approximately 3,000 children each year.

SAH received the “Kid-Qualified” certification on November 11, 2013, after a rigorous confirmation process that required the Emergency Department to demonstrate availability of a multitude of pediatric services, as well as substantial quality and safety measures for children. This includes incorporating best practice guidelines established by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Emergency Nurses Association for the care of pediatric patients in emergency departments.

“This certification validates all of our hard work,” says Paul Beatty, M.D., Emergency Department medical director at SAH. “It demonstrates to the community that our physicians and nurses are fully prepared to serve the community and provide outstanding pediatric care.”

Ronald Dieckmann, M.D., VEP Director of Pediatrics and Professor Emeritus of Pediatric and Emergency Medicine for the University of California, San Franciso and Rob Wyman, M.D., VEP Vice President of Quality presented the certification to Anne Platt, SAH CEO at a recent ceremony at the hospital. “We’re honored to receive this recognition,” says Platt. “As a mother, I know how anxious a parent feels when their child is in the emergency room. This certification will provide an extra level of comfort to parents who bring their young ones to our Emergency Room—they’ll know they are in good hands.”

SAH’s Emergency Department has implemented a number of innovative treatment methods, such as a rapid method of pain relief for children presenting with painful conditions like burns, fractures and cuts. Children tend to be uneasy around needles, so the staff at SAH is trained to administer powerful pain killers through a special syringe that aerosolizes the medication into the nose without the need for an injection or IV needle stick.

“Our goal is to be an ‘ouchless ER’”, says Nancy Leland, R.N., Emergency Department Manager, who helped lead the hospital’s campaign to become “Kid-Qualified”.

Another cutting-edge innovation now in the ED is a powerful software database called PEMSoft. Time is of the essence in an emergency and this database allows doctors and nurses to instantly access vital diagnostic and treatment information on over 1,000 conditions. “PEMSoft helps reduce the possibility of error when treating patients and this is especially important when treating young patients,” adds Dr. Beatty. “The highly graphic software program is part of a national trend toward physician use of easy-to-access, computerized medical information to assist in the care of complex, critical patients.”

Sutter Amador Hospital is proud to be certified as “Kid-Qualified”. “This reflects our ongoing commitment to compassion, collaboration and creativity. We strive to provide the best possible care to all our patients—and our young patients hold a special place in all our hearts,” continues Platt. 

PHOTO:
Pictured left to right:
Back Row - SAH ED Physician Kurt Popke, M.D., VEP Vice President of Quality Rob Wyman, M.D., SAH ED Physician Drew Hood, M.D., SAH ED Physician Ron Hood, M.D., SAH ED Physician Brad Chew, M.D., SAH ED Physician Shawn Brady, M.D.
Front Row – SAH CEO Anne Platt, SAH ED Director Nancy Leland, VEP Director of Pediatrics Ronald Dieckmann, M.D., SAH ED Medical Director Paul Beatty, M.D.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation Raises Nearly $50,000 Benefitting the Family Birth Center

JACKSON – The Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation raised approximately $48,000 during their second annual Theme Ball, which took place on Oct. 19, 2013, at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Proceeds from the event will help purchase valuable equipment for the hospital’s Family Birth Center, including a fetal heart monitor.

 “There was a real sense of community and creativity throughout the entire event,” said Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation Chair David Carlson. “It was a great way to come together and for a very worthwhile cause.”

Robert Young, M.D., longtime OB-GYN, spoke at the event and expressed his appreciation to those in attendance. Dr. Young said that everyone’s contributions can make a real difference in the lives of our youngest patients and their families.

The near sell-out crowd of 279 embraced this year’s theme of “Memorable Moments in History.” Guests were encouraged to pick a memorable moment in history and create a centerpiece for their table representing the moment they chose. Or, if they were feeling especially competitive, guests could arrive in costume representing their historical moment. Winners included Jackson Creek Dental for their centerpiece representing The Gold Rush era and Sutter Amador Hospital Surgery Staff and TSPN TV for their costumes representing NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar landing.

The Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation would like to thank all those who helped support the event, including the Sutter Amador Hospital Board of Directors; event judges David Melniczek, M.D., Michael Ingram, M.D., and Judge Steve Hermanson; auctioneer Seth Seever; and top event sponsors American Legion Ambulance, Sound Physicians, Thompsons and Toyota & Thompsons Buick GMC and the lengthy list of other businesses and community members who contributed to the success of the event. The Foundation is looking forward to partnering with the community again for next year’s theme ball in October 2014 – the theme will be “Heroes and Villains.”

The Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation supports Sutter Amador Hospital’s mission to enhance the well-being of the communities we serve through a non-for-profit commitment to compassion and excellence in health care services. Board members dedicate their time inspiring people to make charitable gifts that change and save lives right here in Amador County and the surrounding communities. They also lead by example through personal gifts and pledges. Current Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees members are: 

Paul Beatty, M.D.
Jody Boetzer, SAH Philanthropy and Marketing Manager
David Carlson, Chair
Richard Forster
Marv Hampton
Anne Lintz
David Melniczek, M.D.
Paul Molinelli, Jr.
Brett Moore, SAH CFO
Anne Platt, SAH CEO
D’Arcy Porter
Loretta Porteous
Colleen Riordan, RN
Betty Saterlie
Pat Simonsen
Cathy Smith
Paul Sobon





Friday, November 8, 2013

Prostate Cancer Information and Support Group Meeting - Tues Nov 12

The Amador County Prostate Cancer Information and Support Group will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday November 12, 2013 starting at 6:00 pm. The location is Sutter Amador Hospital in the Oakview Conference Room on the second floor
.
The group was formed to support men and their families and others who wishes to know more about Prostate Cancer. Meetings are open to all and includes men who have recovered from Prostate Cancer as well as those recently diagnosed, and those in treatment. The types of treatments range in scope from taking a watchful waiting active surveillance approach to radiation or surgery. Periodically meetings offer guest speakers, videos and updates on research
.
The meetings have information with regards to nutrition and prostate cancer. We encourage anyone who wants to learn more about cancer and nutrition to attend

For more information about the group and its meetings contact Jerry Trottier, 223-9133.

Thank You
Jerry Trottier
trottier@volcano.net

Mental Health First Aid Class offered by NAMI - Mon Nov 18

Dear NAMI Members, Friends...

We want to make you aware of this excellent program for all members of the public that provides an amazingly full overview of mental illnesses and substance abuse, along with how to respond and information about referrals and treatments.  The manual alone is worth a great deal, and this is offered free as a public service.

The second day, Monday November 18 is still available and contact information is on the flyer.  For NAMI members and Friends, it is a wonderful tool for talking with family members who need to know more about mental illness.  It's a good refresher for those who may have taken Family to Family class some time ago, or who may never have had the chance to do so.  

We urge you to make room for this class - it may not be offered again very soon.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sutter Diagnostic Imaging, Amador Hosts Free Mammography Day, Helps 29 Uninsured Women



Sutter Diagnostic Imaging, Amador, located at 100 Mission Blvd. on the Sutter Amador Hospital campus, gave uninsured women the opportunity to receive free digital screening mammograms on Oct. 26 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Twenty-nine women were seen during this free screening session.

Women will receive their results from Sutter within several days after their visit. Sutter will work to connect women who have an abnormal result to local not-for-profit agencies with which Sutter regularly partners so patients may take next steps and receive follow-up care.

Sutter’s Free Mammography Day was spearheaded at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital in 2009, where in two years’ time about 70 uninsured women were given free mammograms. Inspired by the feedback and success of the program, Sutter Diagnostic Imaging expanded it to its other locations in Davis, Elk Grove, Roseville and Sacramento in 2011, and even farther to Fairfield, Jackson and Vallejo in 2012. Sutter Health’s diagnostic imaging centers across the Sacramento region are dedicating every Saturday in October to offer free digital screening mammograms to uninsured women more than 40 years of age. Each of the sites quickly booked up as soon as the service was announced. Sutter gave a total of 388 women free digital screening mammograms during this year’s event, which took place at eight Sutter locations across the region.

Comprehensive, fully integrated imaging services are part of the Sutter Health all-inclusive approach to patient care. For more information about Sutter Diagnostic Imaging centers, call 1-877-515-0053 or visit www.checksutterfirst.org/imaging.

Monday, October 28, 2013

New Power Walk Schedule - Oct-Nov 2013

Power Walk Calendar
For Fitness Made Fun
 
Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 5:15pm
Margaret Dalton Children’s Center (Amador First 5)
975 Broadway, Jackson

***We've boosted our workout up by just
7 minutes!

You'll get an entire hour
and 4 REALLY BIG MILES
with this change!

REMEMBER:

This workout is for EVERYONE -
ALL Fitness levels can do this
 
 
*******Reminder: No classes Thursday, October 31!!
 

Upcoming Session:

4 Mile Tuesdays            Thursday

Nov. 5                         
(No Class - Room unavailable)
Nov 12                         Nov 14
Off week of 18th
Off week of 25th

Dec 3                            Dec 5
Dec 10                         Dec 12
Dec. 17


 
It's always a great day to WALK!

Beth Sands,
Certified Walk Leader
walkleaderbeth@yahoo.com
Phone or Text: (209) 471-8792
www.WalkLiveWithFitnessMadeFun.com

"LIKE" us on Facebook!
Walk Live With Fitness Made Fun

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Amador Public Health: School Flu Prevention - FluMist Clinics


FREE CLASS: TAI CHI - Mon Oct 28



TAI CHI! "Open Tai Chi Night" – Mon Oct 28 at 6PM in Pine Grove (20200 Hwy 88, Pine Grove. A night where anyone who is curious about Tai Chi is welcome to come check it out free of charge and everyone is welcome to bring friends and family.
This one night will be open to anyone who wants to do Tai Chi. Even if you aren't sure what Tai Chi is and you just want to give it a try, this night is for you.
Starting at 6:00pm our open Tai Chi night is just that, open, to everyone, free of charge. If you want to try Tai Chi if you have friends that want to try Tai Chi, if you want to start your family on an exercise program you can all work on together (that will help manage your stress, bring balance to mind and body, and bring your family closer together) come by, bring your friends, and enjoy an evening of low-impact, meditative, exercise.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HHS boosts stockpile of products to treat acute radiation syndrome



Contracts allow repurposing of a commercial cancer therapy for use in emergencies


Orders placed today under Project BioShield contracts will increase the national stockpile of leukocyte growth factors, a treatment for acute radiation syndrome. The products ordered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response could save lives of survivors exposed to high doses of radiation following a radiological or nuclear emergency.
Managed by ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Project BioShield is the chief mechanism through which the U.S. government supports the advanced development and procurement of new medical countermeasures – drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical supplies – to protect health against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. 

This is the first time under Project BioShield that commercially available products are being purchased to establish a sustainable emergency response capability.

 “Today’s agreements are a prime example how Project BioShield can be leveraged to bring our nation the medical countermeasures we need to face threats from chemical, biological or radiological emergencies,” explained BARDA Director Robin Robinson, Ph.D.

Leukocyte growth factors, sometimes referred to as cytokines or colony-stimulating factors, stimulate bone marrow to produce infection-fighting white blood cells known as neutrophils. Leukocyte growth factors are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and used for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to speed white blood cell recovery and reduce the risk of infection.

Acute radiation syndrome is a serious illness that occurs in people exposed to high doses of radiation. The condition involves injuries to the body’s organs, including the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs, and can cause neutropenia, an abnormally low level of neutrophils.

No drugs or products are approved by FDA to treat the effects of Acute Radiation Syndrome, but leukocyte growth factors potentially could be used after a radiological or nuclear attack with emergency use authorization from FDA.

HHS awarded a $36.5 million contract to sanofi-aventis of Bridgewater, N.J., for late stage development and procurement of a leukocyte growth factor called Leukine, and a 157.5 million contract to Amgen USA Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., to purchase the leukocyte growth factor called Neupogen. 
The leukocyte growth factors acquired under this contract will remain in the possession of the manufacturers in vendor-managed inventory until they are needed. The companies will rotate this inventory to meet commercial demand so that the inventory does not expire. 

Under the Project BioShield Act of 2004, BARDA has supported the development and procurement of 12 medical countermeasures, including those needed to treat some of the health impacts of ionizing radiation, as well as drugs or products to treat illness from anthrax, smallpox, and botulism.
This work is part of BARDA’s comprehensive, integrated portfolio approach to the advanced research and development, innovation, acquisition, and manufacturing of vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products for public health emergency threats. In addition to radiological and nuclear agents, these threats include chemical and biological terrorism threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases.

HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. ASPR leads HHS in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security.
To learn more about ASPR and preparedness, response and recovery from the health impacts of disasters, visit the HHS public health and medical emergency website, www.phe.gov. For information about medical countermeasures, go to www.medicalcountermeasures.gov. Contract opportunities and awards are announced at www.fbo.gov.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

HHS pursues nerve agent anti-seizure drug for children and adults


New treatment for nerve agent seizures could be first approved in easy-to-use pediatric autoinjector.

An effective, faster acting and longer lasting medication to treat seizures caused by nerve agents will be studied and purchased under a Project BioShield contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). There are no currently approved medications to treat seizures caused by nerve agents.

Under today’s five-year, $60 million contract, Meridian Medical Technologies Inc. of Columbia, Md., a Pfizer company, will conduct studies of midazolam to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the drug’s use in treating seizures caused by nerve agents. Meridian also will seek FDA approval of a midazolam autoinjector for children and adults, and seek approval of midazolam for use in treating common prolonged seizures.

Midazolam is approved as a fast-acting, highly effective pre-operative sedative for adults and children. Although not approved for treatment of seizures, the drug also may stop prolonged seizures including those caused by nerve agents. Nerve agents attack the nervous system by blocking an enzyme required for the proper control of nerve impulses, leading to the continual transmission of those impulses. In the brain, the result of this process is convulsions or seizures.

To prevent convulsions or seizures, anticonvulsant medications make brain cells resistant to this overstimulation and limit the spread of electrical activity through the brain. In a chemical attack, anticonvulsant medications must be administered as quickly as possible to prevent neurological injury and death. An auto-injector allows for quick administration during emergencies.

An autoinjector, a hypodermic syringe used to inject a patient with a premeasured single dose of medication, is used commonly to administer insulin for diabetes and lifesaving medication for allergic reactions such as bee stings. The nerve agent anticonvulsant currently in the Strategic National Stockpile for emergency use can only be administered to children using multi-dose vials, which is more time-consuming than using autoinjectors.

The work supported by this contract builds on Meridian’s participation in a large study in which midazolam was used to treat prolonged seizures. The study indicated that as an anticonvulsant for common prolonged seizures midazolam works faster, is easier to inject, and hurts less at the injection site than the anticonvulsant currently in the stockpile to treat seizures caused by nerve agents.

Data from this and other studies could support FDA in authorizing emergency use of midazolam in a chemical weapons attack prior to the drug’s approval. The contract includes purchase of midazolam in autoinjectors for adults and multi-dose vials for adults and children for emergency use while the company conducts the additional studies.

“Midazolam is the eleventh product to be developed or purchased through Project BioShield in less than 10 years, so we’re making unprecedented progress in becoming a more prepared nation, which is critical, especially in light of current chemical threats,” said Robin Robinson, Ph.D., director of ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which oversees the program. “The repurposing of existing drugs like midazolam shows the flexibility of Project BioShield and the strength of the federal government’s enterprise approach to developing products that protect health from chemical and bioterrorism weapons.”

Project BioShield is the chief mechanism through which the U.S. government supports the advanced development and procurement of new medical countermeasures – drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical supplies – to protect health against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. 

Under the Project BioShield Act of 2004, BARDA has supported the development and procurement of two anthrax antitoxins to treat people with anthrax disease and an anthrax vaccine, as well as drugs or medical products to protect health against smallpox, botulism, and radiation injury.

BARDA, within the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, provides a comprehensive integrated portfolio approach to the advanced research and development, innovation, acquisition, and manufacturing infrastructure for vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products for public health emergency threats. These threats include chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases.

HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is an HHS leader in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security.

For more information on national public health and medical preparedness, visit www.phe.gov and to learn more about medical countermeasures go to www.medicalcountermeasures.gov

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mondays In Plymouth: Mental Health First Aid - Mon Sept 30


The Arc of Amador & Calaveras and Hospice of Amador & Calaveras Partner to Present: Supporting Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Through Life-Ending Illness, Grief and Loss


Each year the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) presents a nationally recognized distance learning program to more than 125,000 people in 2,000 communities. For more than a decade, HFA’s educational events have been instrumental in educating healthcare professionals and families on issues affecting end-of-life care. This program provides an opportunity for a wide variety of professionals to share and exchange ideas and obtain continuing education credits.  This program is practical for all levels of professions – entry level, intermediate or advanced.  The information provided by the expert panel will be useful to parents, nurses, social workers, counselors, nursing home administrators, case managers, funeral directors, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, caregivers, and those working in palliative and hospice care, long-term care, or home care. 

This year’s New Perspectives Program focuses on “Supporting Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Through Life-Ending Illness, Grief and Loss.” The ethical, medical management and psychosocial issues for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who face death, grief and loss can be complex. This two-hour educational program focuses on the critical challenges of providing and accessing optimal end-of-life care and bereavement support for this population.

Moderated by Frank Sesno, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University, the program will be shown at Hospice of Amador & Calaveras, Amador Office from 11:30 am to 2:00pm. Please download the required registration form at www.arcofamador.org.  The program is free but we ask for a recommended donation of $10.00 to support both The Arc of Amador & Calaveras and Hospice of Amador and Calaveras.

Hospice of Amador & Calaveras Executive Director, Dan Riordan; and The Arc of Amador & Calaveras Executive Director, Shawnna Molina are working together to broaden their reach and deepen their impact to service in Amador and Calaveras Counties.

“Venturing out and developing this new relationship and partnership with Hospice of Amador and Calaveras is only enhancing what The Arc of Amador and Calaveras has to offer to our community – being community partners just makes sense.” Molina said. “This partnership is affording us the opportunity to open trainings up to the community, while supporting our staff and our mission. We are very grateful to Hospice of Amador & Calaveras for recognizing the benefits and importance of collaborating and offering this training to Amador and Calaveras counties, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

“ I agree with Shawnna”, says Riordan. “A partnership like this is a natural extension of the fine work being done in the community by both agencies. We were delighted to be invited to participate and look forward to a good turn out!”

Each year this award-winning program is produced by Hospice Foundation of America, a not-for-profit organization, which acts as an advocate for the hospice concept of care through ongoing programs of professional education, public information and research on issues relating to illness, loss, grief and bereavement.






U.S. Department of Health & Human Services replenishes nation’s supply of anthrax antitoxin

News Release

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
News Division
Contact: HHS Press Office
202-690-6343
media@hhs.gov 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThursday, September 19, 2013
HHS replenishes nation’s supply of anthrax antitoxin
Contracts provide new surge capacity, maintain stockpile for public health emergencies

The nation’s supply of anthrax antitoxin will be maintained until 2018 under Project BioShield contracts issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Orders placed today will replenish the stockpile of anthrax antitoxin as doses currently in the Strategic National Stockpile expire. The contracts also establish, for the first time, a surge capacity to produce antitoxin if an anthrax attack occurs.

Project BioShield is the chief mechanism through which the U.S. government supports the advanced development and procurement of new medical countermeasures – drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical supplies – to protect health against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. 

Through the Project BioShield Act of 2004, ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has supported the development and procurement of two anthrax antitoxins to treat people with anthrax disease and an anthrax vaccine, as well as drugs or medical products to protect health against smallpox, botulism, and radiation injury.

“Project BioShield’s long-term funding and planning encourage companies to partner with the federal government on products like anthrax antitoxin that they otherwise would not pursue, but that our nation would need in a crisis,” said BARDA Director Robin Robinson, Ph.D. “The acquisition of additional anthrax antitoxin to replenish expiring stocks will provide for greater national health security against this threat through 2018 and beyond.”

Anthrax antitoxins, vaccine and antibacterial drugs will be needed to protect health in an anthrax attack. In 2001, when anthrax-laden letters were sent through the mail, antibacterial drugs were the only products available to treat people who had been exposed to anthrax but were not yet showing signs of illness.

HHS awarded the Project BioShield contracts, valued a minimum of $100,000, to Cangene Corporation of Winnipeg, Canada; Elusys Therapeutics Inc. of Pine Brook, N.J.; Emergent Product Development of Gaithersburg, Md.; GlaxoSmithKline in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and PharmAthene of Annapolis, Md.

Under these contracts, HHS will order approximately $196 million in antitoxin from GlaxoSmithKline. In addition, HHS will purchase materials to manufacture antitoxin. The materials include blood plasma from Cangene for approximately $63 million and a total of $1.6 million in cells from GlaxoSmithKline, PharmAthene, and Emergent. PharmAthene and Emergent have antitoxin at earlier stages of development than the GlaxoSmithKline and Cangene products.

Today’s actions build on efforts by all five companies and the federal government to develop anthrax antitoxins.   Human Genome Sciences (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline) and Cangene began delivering antitoxin to the stockpile in 2009 and 2007, respectively. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Raxibacumab, in December 2012 to treat inhalational anthrax in combination with other antibiotics in people exposed to anthrax spores. The drug also is approved to prevent inhalational anthrax infection when alternative therapies are not available or cannot be used. Cangene’s Anthrax Immune Globulin Intravenous (AIGIV) could be used with emergency use authorization from the FDA. The development of both products was supported by Project BioShield funds.

To create surge capacity, the contracts allow HHS to place future delivery orders if an anthrax attack occurs, in addition to replenishing the current stockpile as needed over the next five years. The cost of future orders would be determined on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of $350 million per order. To receive a future order, the company must have antitoxin that is eligible for emergency use authorization or is FDA-approved at the time of the order.

The replenishment and surge capacity are part of a governmentwide effort to prepare the nation to respond to security threats from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. Federal agencies, including HHS agencies and the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and Veterans Affairs coordinate closely to ensure programs and requirements are aligned. 

BARDA provides a comprehensive integrated portfolio approach to the advanced research and development, innovation, acquisition, and manufacturing infrastructure for vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products for public health emergency threats. In addition to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons, and these threats include pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases.

HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. ASPR is an HHS leader in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security.

For more information on national public health and medical preparedness, visit www.phe.gov

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