CDPH in the News, December 2015

CDPH in the News

Fresno heart surgeon files claim against state agency that he says falsely accused him
from Fresno Bee

A high-profile Fresno cardiac surgeon who is accused of leaving an open-heart surgery before his patient’s chest was closed has filed a multimillion-dollar claim against the state agency that investigated the alleged incident at Community Regional Medical Center. Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry says the report by the California Department of Public Health falsely accused him of leaving the operating room during the surgery in April 2012 and falsely reported that he admitted the wrongdoing to a state interviewer. Chaudhry says staff at the California Department of Public Health did an inadequate and sloppy investigation and published a "substantially inaccurate and damaging" report that has damaged his reputation, caused him economic harm and emotional distress.

Q&A with Tony Yang of George Mason University
from AJPH Talks

In their new research article, "Sociodemographic Predictors of Vaccination Exemptions on the Basis of Personal Belief in California", authors Tony Yang, Paul Delamater, Timothy Leslie, and Michelle Mello examine the sociodemographic profile of communities in which a high proportion of parents opt out of mandatory school-entry immunizations citing “personal beliefs”. The authors find that personal belief exemptions are more common in areas with a whiter, higher-income population. In this Q&A, this interdisciplinary research team offers further insight into this research.

Homeless camp takes root in Roseland
from Press Democrat

Wearing a bright yellow raincoat and looking a little like a Bodega Bay fisherman, John Ruano used a shovel to clear gravel from several narrow trenches that were keeping Camp Michela from flooding. As residents of the southwest Santa Rosa homeless camp hunkered down for a cold and wet day, Santa’s stand-ins dropped by Monday morning four days before Christmas bearing some much-needed gifts. The camp’s latest site falls within the long-awaited Roseland Village neighborhood development and is only temporary, according to homeless advocates and county officials. The encampment was named in honor of Michela Wooldridge, a homeless single mother who was murdered just days before she was to receive a space at the Sam Jones Hall shelter in 2012. Epple, a co-organizer of the camp, cites statistics from the California Department of Public Health which say that an average of about 30 homeless people die in Sonoma County each year.

Polio-like syndrome has no known cause
from San Diego Union Tribune

Nearly 60 cases of a rare polio-like syndrome have been identified in California since 2012, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported Tuesday. And despite intensive investigation, the cause remains unknown. Called acute flaccid myelitis, the syndrome is characterized by a quick onset of muscle weakness in one or more limbs, along with evidence of spinal cord motor neuron damage. Children are most affected. Out of the 59 cases, the median age was 9, with 50 cases in people younger than 21. The illnesses occurred between June 2012 and July 2015. In most cases, the weakness lasted for at least several months. For the 45 patients with follow-up data, 38 had persistent weakness at the followup. The followup occurred at a median time of 9 months, spread over a range of 3 to 12 months. Two patients, both immune-compromised, died within 60 days of diagnosis. Researchers examined records collected at the request of the California Department of Public Health, which acted after learning of three such cases in the fall of 2012. This was unusual, the study stated, because no such cases had been identified in the previous 14 years.

Gambia: Bringing Home a New Health Concept
from all Africa

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is rolling out a health concept called HiAPs – Health in All Policies. Recently the ministry, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), organised a two-day training session and forum on the implementation of HiAPs. HiAPs, though it has been applied by nations like the US and other countries around the world some years ago, is somehow a new concept in The Gambia; hence it deserves more promotion or explanation for it to be better understood in our society. HiAP was created by the Public Health Institute, the California Department of Public Health, and the American Public Health Association in response to growing interest in using collaborative approaches to improve population health by embedding health considerations into decision-making processes across a broad array of sectors.