A huge sheet cake marked the 20th anniversary of the Glendale Healthier Community Coalition. But supporters were encouraged to load up on a healthy buffet of stuffed turkey rounds before digging into the cake. The celebration took place at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center on Thursday. Edna Karinski , chairperson of Glendale Healthier Community Coalition and News-Press columnist, welcomed some 200 supporters and introduced VIPs present including Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa and Glendale City Manager Scott Ochoa. Hospital representatives present were Glendale Adventist Senior Vice President Judy Blair, Glendale Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Jack Ivie and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Chief Executive Debbie Walsh. The coalition was formed in 1993 as a collaboration among the three Glendale hospitals.
The biggest health issue facing the Glendale community is obesity and several conditions related to it, according to a local report released this week. More than a third of Glendale’s residents were overweight in 2011 and 21% were found to be obese, according to the “Community Health Needs Assessment” report. The list of top health issues also included conditions for which obesity is a risk factor, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high cholesterol. Also at the top of the list were mental health issues, alcohol/substance abuse and poor oral health.
Glendale hospitals consider record sharing exchange
System would aid emergency treatment by exchanging records, officials say.
July 31, 2013 | By Daniel Siegal, email@example.com
Glendale’s three hospitals this week took the next step toward building a system to share important patient information, a step they say can be vital if a non-responsive patient arrives in the emergency room and no medical background on them is available.
The Glendale Healthier Community Coalition held its second meeting on Tuesday to gauge local interest in establishing a health-information exchange.
An exchange is a technical framework that would share patients’ electronic medical records among healthcare providers.
Bruce Nelson, director of community services at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, led an input-gathering meeting with about 15 healthcare representatives, including local physicians and staff members from Glendale Memorial and USC Verdugo Hills hospitals.
The group also heard a presentation from Chad Baugh, a representative from Allscripts, a company that provides electronic records solutions, about the successes of a health information exchange the company helped build in western Pennsylvania.
Harlan Gibbs, director of the emergency department at Glendale Adventist, said one problem facing Glendale hospitals is the size of the area from which they draw patients.
“L.A. has a lot of hospitals. I know you need to start somewhere, but we need L.A. City and County data as well,” Gibbs said. “Right now, there is no sharing at all, and that’s a tragedy.”
Nelson said 30% of readmitted patients at Glendale Adventist come from other hospitals, highlighting the importance of sharing information necessary for their care.
Another issue is that only 25% of Glendale’s doctors are using an electronic health-records system, compared to 50% nationwide, Nelson said.
The idea for an exchange was first presented at a meeting of the coalition — which includes hospitals and health-care providers throughout the city — in May, and was further defined at a meeting last month.
Nelson said after the meeting that the next step is deciding the specific health issues the system should share. That is expected to be discussed at a meeting in September after the coalition gathers information about available funding.
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Glendale is one of five California communities to be selected by a state agency to partner in efforts to reduce hospital readmissions. The communities also will study ways to improve patient transitions from hospitals or nursing facilities to home.
More Glendale shops are refusing to sell tobacco to youth, study finds.
By Max Zimbert, firstname.lastname@example.org
GLENDALE – Fewer tobacco retailers are selling to teenagers, according to the latest study released Tuesday – a reflection of tighter controls on vendors and public smoking, officials said. In the Youth Purchase Survey conducted by Glendale Adventist Medical Center, teenage volunteers were enlisted to try to purchase cigarettes from 100 Glendale stores in a sting-like operation. Of those merchants, 10% sold to minors, down from 24% during the last survey in 2006. “We found a very different tobacco retailer environment,” said Guadulesa Rivera, the tobacco control program coordinator at Glendale Adventist. “Youth… you can’t sell them cigarettes, and that’s the environment that’s changing.”
Hospital staff observed every attempted transaction, and Rivera said there were multiple instances of merchants lecturing the teenage customer on the dangers of smoking at a young age.
“We heard this many times, and this was so different from what we experienced four years ago,” she said.
In 2006, there was no Fresh Air ordinance, the anti-smoking ban that forbids smoking on city property, outdoor dining areas and most publicly accessible areas. And beginning in January 2008, retailers had to obtain a tobacco retail license from city regulators, which is another incentive to obey the law, Rivera said.
“People realize this is a new age and it’s not OK to smoke and especially not OK for youth to smoke,” she said.
That’s a message the nonprofit Glendale Healthy Kids tries to instill in its oral health and asthma discussions for parents, especially families with young children, executive director Camille Levee said.
“I think the community is beginning to become a little more aware,” she said. “Whether the parents smoke themselves, I can’t say, but I do know that parents are understanding that this is not good for the kids in any way, shape, or form.”
Despite the progress, a significant number of Glendale residents continue to smoke, according to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health report released last month.
More than 15% of residents smoke, despite being a city that has earned praise from the American Lung Assn. for being a leader in local tobacco control legislation, according to the county report.
The youth purchase survey was conducted through May and June, Rivera said. Participants entered retailers with an adult present and tried to buy cigarettes. In many cases, merchants denied them because they were without identification with a photograph and date of birth, she said.
The data will be shared with the county Department of Public Health, which maintains a tobacco control policy database, Rivera said.
“It helps them share information not only with all of us working in tobacco control, but also in the state and federal level,” she said. “Everyone looks at Southern California very carefully, and the city of Glendale has an excellent reputation.”