An experiment in health care born out of the labor and social movements of the pre-World War II Pacific Northwest transitioned to a larger, better-resourced future Monday morning at the site on Capitol Hill of its first hospital. Bathed in the blue light of thousands of LED lights, the new signs and a new system of health care were introduced this morning at the 15th Ave campus where Group Health first put the old St. Luke’s Hospital to use before creating its own Capitol Hill facility.
“We are honored to care for even more Washingtonians and their families,” Susan Mullaney, president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington said. “Beginning today, Washingtonians can access Kaiser Permanente’s high-quality care and coverage across the state.” Continue reading
- Dr. AuBuchon
On June 12, 2016, a gunman attacked Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding at least 53. The LGBTQ community rallied to donate blood to the survivors, but blood centers turned away gay and bisexual men because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans some of them from donating. The FDA first enacted a lifetime ban in 1985 to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. The restrictions were recently changed so that men who haven’t had sexual contact with another man in the past 12 months can donate blood.
The nightclub attack and FDA’s rules on blood donations are at the center of a public conversation at Capitol Hill’s Gay City on Thursday.
Bad Blood? A Conversation about the FDA Ban on Gay Blood
Dr. James P. AuBuchon, president and CEO of Bloodworks Northwest, will participate in a panel discussion about blood donation by gay and bisexual men called “Bad Blood? A Conversation about the FDA Ban on Gay Blood Donation.” Continue reading
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine are moving forward with all eight of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force’s recommendations to battle the region’s deadly epidemic.
“Opioid addiction is killing people in our community, sparing no age, race, sexual identity, income level or neighborhood,” Constantine said last week. “The experts we brought together have provided us with the battle plan we need to defeat this epidemic — a plan to save lives, to make it easier for people to get the help they need, to prevent the devastating harm that addiction causes. Unless we are willing to let this suffering continue, we have an obligation to turn their plan into action.”
The nearly 40 experts from public health, criminal justice, hospitals, schools and treatment providers and researchers convened in March 2016 and released a report and recommendations in September. Continue reading
A mock safe consumption site came to Cal Anderson in 2016 (Image: CHS)
The locations are far from final and another round of official approval lies ahead but the creation of a safe consumption site pilot in King County — possibly the first such program in the nation — moved ahead Thursday as the Board of Health unanimously approved recommendations from a task force assembled to stem the tide of opioid addiction and deaths.
Thursday’s 12-0 vote paves the way for the creation of two safe injection sites somewhere in King County. Officials are quick to add that no candidate sites have yet been made public. That important and crucial detail will fall to the executive branch in King County and Seattle as Dow Constantine and Mayor Ed Murray are now on the clock to present plans to make the sites reality. Continue reading
With Donald Trump and the Republicans calling for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, some might be wondering if the time is now to sign up for health insurance. The simple answer is, yes, sign up tonight, according to Tracy Anderson, of WithinReach, a nonprofit that works to connect people and families to services and organizations to help them be healthy. It’s probably not the first avenue you might think of for getting started but Thursday night’s Capitol Hill Art Walk can help.
“We can’t predict what’s going to happen,” Anderson said about potential changes, but those enrolled for 2017 will be on a contract with their insurance providers for the year. Continue reading
Health officials have confirmed one mumps case at Nova High School in the Central District.
The Public Health Department of Seattle & King County announced last week that a student was diagnosed with the illness. No other cases have been confirmed in Seattle Public Schools.
According to a the joint announcement from Seattle Public Schools and King County Health, officials believe the case is linked to an ongoing mumps outbreak in the Auburn School District. Seattle Public Schools is monitoring the situation with health officials. Continue reading
- Founders and owners Ross and Patricia Kling (Images courtesy Rainbow Natural Remedies)
For those trying to cure a cold or reduce stress Rainbow Natural Remedies’ 20th-anniversary celebration might be their cup of tea. This weekend, owners Ross and Patricia Kling are giving Rainbow patrons free samples, demonstrations, readings and raffles.
While this might be the Rainbow Natural Remedies 20th birthday, its history stretches back even further to when the Klings first opened Rainbow Grocery in the 1980s, making it one of Seattle’s first natural food markets.
In 1996, the couple was presented with the opportunity to do more.
“At that time customers were coming in and asking our grocery stockers important health questions,” Ross Kling said. “And the stockers didn’t have the knowledge and the pace of the grocery store was such that it wasn’t conducive to having that kind of conversation.” Continue reading
“Ghost” behind QFC had just purchased and cooked up $10 worth of heroin (Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)
Momentum is building in Seattle to open a space where heroin addicts can use their own drugs under medical supervision at so-called safe consumption sites.
A task force of opiate addiction experts, public officials, law enforcement officials, and former addicts released a 99-page report Thursday outlining eight recommendations on what the city and region should do to tackle its heroin epidemic. Among those is opening two “community health engagement locations” — one in Seattle and one in greater King County.
“I believe we should have these sites,” said Mayor Ed Murray, who will be visiting safe consumption sites in Vancouver, BC this week. There is currently no operating safe consumption site in the U.S. and task force members acknowledged there would be legal challenges to overcome. Continue reading
- The 2015 Pride Lives walkers got drenched in 2015’s soggy November event. This year, the event is being held on what should be a much nicer September Saturday (Image: Pride Lives)
In 2002, Judd Shapiro attempted suicide. Now he looks at what he’s achieved since then including starting a nonprofit called Pride Lives to get resources to help those considering suicide.
“Life has changed for me so drastically in ways that I never thought were even possible,” Shapiro said. “If I had succeeded and ended my life then, I wouldn’t have experienced so many things.”
Shapiro moved to Seattle in 2014. When he got here, he heard about people in the LGBTQ community as well as in other cities who had recently committed suicide.
He noticed when that happened, the community would remember the person with a memorial or moment of silence at a bar, but then would go back to their lives. Continue reading