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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Take precautions with smoke from Etiwanda Fire

SBCDPH-logoPeople who live or work near the areas affected by the Etiwanda fire near Rancho Cucamonga in western San Bernardino are urged to stay alert to changing smoke levels. Smoke production from the fire has been high at times with winds of 70 mph to 80 mph reported. Cities that may experience Unhealthy air quality include: Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Ontario, Chino and Chino Hills.

Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer with the County of San Bernardino, Department of Public Health today advised sensitive groups including young children, the elderly, and those with lung or heart ailments, to avoid prolonged or heavy activity.  The general public should also limit activities that require prolonged exposure and strenuous exercise or sports participation. Residents should seek medical attention if they have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness or shortness of breath. This is important for not only those with chronic lung or heart disease, but also for people who have not been previously diagnosed with such illnesses.  Smoke can “unmask” or produce symptoms of such diseases.

Even healthy people can have some of these symptoms in smoky conditions, as well as scratchy throat, headaches, stinging eyes, and runny nose.  There are some ways you can protect your health. If you are advised to stay indoors, keep indoor air as clean as possible.  Keep windows and doors closed unless it is hot outside.  Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor air from getting inside.  If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter in a cool place like a mall or senior center.

For more information about wildfire health and safety, go to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at:  To get local public health guidance, go to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website at

Activities planned throughout May for Mental Health Month

behavioral healthThe Department of Behavioral Health is proud to continue its tradition of celebrating May Mental Health Month which began in 1949. This year’s national theme is “Mind Your Health,” which is directly linked to the Countywide Vision element of Wellness.

The Department of Behavioral Health has adopted this year’s theme and encourages county residents through service, education and partnership to fully embrace the concept that health and wellness not only improve health in the mind, body and spirit, but also maximizes one’s potential to lead a full and productive life.

Activities planned this year can be found at the following link: Mental Health Month Events.

More information about each of these activities will be posted at CountyWire throughout the month of May.

ARMC free screening and stroke assessment event on May 3

ARMC JPG logoArrowhead Regional Medical Center will be hosting a free Screening and Stroke Assessment Event on Saturday, May 3, in ARMC’s Outpatient Care Center lobby.
Participants will be given an assessment by a health care professional of their risk for stroke using screening results.
The event begins at 10 a.m.
Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. Learn what you can do to lower your risk of stroke and how to recognize the warning signs. Screenings will include height, weight, blood pressure, body mass index, blood sugar and cholesterol; nutrition counseling and diabetes education will also be provided. (Due to time constraints, only the first 200 attendees will be screened.)
No babysitting services will be provided.
ARMC is located at 400 North Pepper Avenue, just north of Interstate 10 inColton. For more information, call 909-580-6185.

Click here for more information about the event: ARMC Heath Screening

Public Defender warns residents of scam

PD logo finalThe San Bernardino County Public Defender’s office is issuing a warning about a sophisticated phone scam that may be targeting residents in the community.

Scammers, impersonating loved ones, are calling residents informing them that they, a loved one, have found themselves in trouble and incarcerated in a San Bernardino County jail for driving under the influence and hit and run. The impersonator advises family members that a public defender has worked out a great deal whereby a case is dismissed or the charges dropped if a relative pays for the damages to the vehicle. A second person, impersonating a public defender, follows up with a call to the family member, advising him/her that he/she is the assigned public defender and has negotiated a deal that allows for the case to be dismissed and the loved one to be released from custody. The impersonator directs the relative to send $5,000 (or a variation thereof) for restitution, giving instructions on how and where to send the money.

Residents should be aware that no public defender will contact a member of the public by telephone to demand money via wire transfer or any other form of payment. Anyone receiving such a phone call should refuse the demand and contact his/her local law enforcement agency.

Veteran healthcare executive named new ARMC director

billfoleyWilliam T. Foley, a veteran healthcare executive who led the recent $50 million turnaround of Riverside County Regional Medical Center is the new director at San Bernardino County’s Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

Today, the Board of Supervisors approved an employment contract with Mr. Foley who has more than 40 years of experience in healthcare, holding positions such as managing director, president, and chief executive officer of several large health care systems across the United States.

In addition to serving as managing director of Huron Healthcare working on the Riverside County project, Mr. Foley recently served as chief executive officer for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago.

“Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is one of the region’s largest hospitals. More than 258,000 outpatients relied on ARMC for service last year. Our county will clearly benefit from Mr. Foley’s leadership and experience,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford, who served on the interview panel that unanimously selected Foley following an extensive nationwide search and selection process.

“We also believe Mr. Foley’s experience and relationships in Riverside County will create opportunities for collaboration between the Inland Empire’s two counties,” Chair Rutherford said.

The interview panel that selected Foley was comprised of Chair Rutherford, Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales, County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux, and ARMC Medical Staff President Dr. Martha Melendez, all of whom are members of the ARMC Joint Conference Committee, and Dr. Brad Gilbert, executive director of Inland Empire Health Plan.

The director at ARMC is responsible for directing, planning, and administering all medical programs and services, ensuring that inpatient and outpatient medical care services are provided to the residents of San Bernardino County.

The director is responsible for developing and implementing policies, procedures, systems, and programs that are compliant with regulatory, licensing, and accrediting agencies, including all federal and state laws, statutes, and County ordinances while also directing the review of contracts for services provided by the medical center, and directing and implementation of the medical center budget.

Mr. Foley has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from St. Louis University, where he minored in Urban Planning and a master’s degree in Hospital and Health Administration from Xavier University. He is a current board member with the Illinois Hospital Association, American Heart Association (Metropolitan Chicago), and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council. He has also been a board member with the California Association of Public Hospitals, Central Coast Alliance for Health and several other associations over his extensive career.

At ARMC, Mr. Foley will oversee a state-of-the-art acute care hospital that serves as the County’s only public “safety net” facility. Major services and facilities include Level II trauma, emergency care, and primary care. ARMC boasts 3,608 employees and an annual budget of approximately $440.6 million.

The County’s contract with Mr. Foley calls for him to earn a salary of $301,173. He would succeed Patrick Petre, who left ARMC in November for another position in healthcare.


State association praises West Nile Virus Aerial Surveillance Program

mosquitoThe California Association of Counties is promoting the County’s West Nile Virus Aerial Surveillance Program as one of the most innovative in the state.

CSAC writes: “Through a collaboration between the Sheriff’s Aviation Division and Mosquito Vector Control Program, San Bernardino County has implemented a state-of-the-art program using aerial surveillance to minimize mosquito breeding sources and reduce public health risks.”

West Nile Virus Aerial Surveillance Collaboration is a joint venture between Environmental Health’s Mosquito Vector Control Program and the Aviation Division of the Sheriff’s Department. The program utilizes aerial surveillance to identify and reduce mosquito breeding by targeting unmaintained swimming pools in residential neighborhoods. Addresses of green pools identified during surveillance were given to mosquito vector control to track down the owner responsible for maintaining the pools to reduce mosquito breeding. It is estimated that the Mosquito Vector Control Program potentially prevented the production of 990 million mosquitoes per week, greatly reducing the potential prevalence of West Nile Virus.

The annual CSAC awards are considered a highly competitive recognition program that honors the best and most innovative among California’s 58 counties. The County received five CSAC Challenge Awards in November 2013, including the award for the West Nile Aerial Surveillance Program.

To watch a video of the program, click here.

To read a blog about the program, click here.

Tapirs: Curious Cousins of the Horse lecture on April 27

worldtapirdayApril 27, 2014 is World Tapir Day, an international event to raise awareness about the four species of living tapir currently inhabiting Central and South America and Southeast Asia. To celebrate World Tapir Day, San Bernardino County Museum Curator of Paleontology Eric Scott will present an illustrated lecture, “Tapirs: Curious Cousins of the Horse” at the county museum on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. The presentation is included with paid museum admission.

Although World Tapir Day celebrates living tapirs, these animals also have a fossil record—including discoveries in southern California and the southwest. Other extinct animals, like sabre-toothed cats and ground sloths, that lived in southern California during the Pleistocene Epoch—the “Ice Ages”—are famous. Tapirs are less well-known. “Tapirs are hoofed mammals related to horses,” said Scott, “but they’re much more primitive in many of their features. Think of a pig-sized critter with a snout like a short trunk and three toes on each foot–that’s a tapir!”

Today, tapirs live only in Central and South America and southeastern Asia. “During the Ice Ages, we had at least two species of these unusual animals right here in southern California, as well as in much of the rest of the US and Mexico,” Scott said.

Recent discoveries of tapir fossils by museum paleontologists and other researchers in inland southern California and northwestern Sonora, Mexico, are rewriting what we know about these reclusive creatures. “Comparing fossils we find here in California, right under our feet, with fossils from Mexico paints a very different picture from what we thought we knew,” said Scott. “We’re rethinking how many kinds of tapir lived here in the southwest during the Ice Ages.” Join us for an afternoon as Scott shares a picturesque travelogue of his experiences south of the border, reviewing what we know and what we’ve recently learned about ancient Ice Age tapirs.

Be Part of the Art at the County Museum ArtJam

artjamThe final event in the San Bernardino County Museum’s ArtMuse project, ArtJam, is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Museum visitors are invited to “be a part of the art” by making their own art during the program, which is included with paid museum admission.

Event activities begin at 11  a.m. with family-friendly art making and an overview of recent program initiatives. Families with children, young adults, and seniors are especially suited to ArtJam creative experiences. From noon to 1:30, groups of artists and community members will facilitate art making that reflects their special place in their communities. Visitors are encouraged to join in, creating visual, literary and photographic art that reveals their experiences with place. Several art activities will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for everyone to enjoy. Live music will round out the day, with performers to be announced the day of the event.

The two-year ArtMUSE program, supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, has offered a wide variety of workshops to encourage community involvement in the arts. This year, ArtMUSE community programs incorporated the CSUSB community and Manuel A. Salinas Elementary School to develop family activities in visual arts, film art, and literary art. The April 26 event at the museum is a collaboration between the County Museum, CSUSB, San Bernardino Generation Now, and San Bernardino Valley College.

“Everyone who has participated in our ArtMuse art-making events over the last two years can bring their own artwork. This is a great way to share your experience and inspirations from our program,” said Jolene Redvale, curator of education. “There will be opportunities for museum visitors to hear poetry, create their own art, and meet community leaders. Join the fun!”

ArtJam will also feature an opportunity drawing for participants in the Art Hunt, a “scavenger hunt” for murals, sculpture, and public art in San Bernardino County. “It’s not too late to be a part of the Art Hunt and share your own favorite public art, like murals or sculptures from your own neighborhood,” said Redvale. “Just visit ArtMUSE on Facebook and get all the details.”

Get your grub on at May 4 Cucamonga-Guasti Food Truck Festival

foodtruckscincoSan Bernardino County Regional Parks Department is excited to host their first ever Food Truck Festival on Sunday, May 4th in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

The event will be held at Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park in Ontario, from 11 a.m.  to 4 p.m.

Get your grub on with an array of trucks including Tornado Potato, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Devilicious Food Truck, Me So Hungry, and the Rolling Sushi Van. The Bakery Truck of Orange County will be there with some sweet treats and Mustache Mike’s will have their famous Italian ice to cool you off.

For more information, click here: Food Truck Festival.

Enjoy the Inland Empire 66ers ballgame and Give BIG!

givebigbannerinlandempire66ersThe San Bernardino County Museum Association is joining other non-profits in San Bernardino County in the Give Big campaign, scheduled for May 8, 2014. The Museum Association is also participating in the Give Big launch event at the San Manuel Stadium on May 4, when the Inland Empire 66ers will meet the Lake Elsinore Storm.

“The Museum Association founded the San Bernardino County Museum and it continues as its membership and financial support organization to this day,” said Debi Okogba, the association’s executive director. “Give Big is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together on one special day on-line and show their support for non-profit organizations that give back to the community, like the Museum Association.”

Okogba also announced that the Museum Association has tickets available for the event launch and ballgame on May 4. A portion of these ticket sales will be contributed to the Association. Game tickets are available by calling the Museum Association at (909) 798-8625.

“The Museum Association will have a table at the event launch,” said Okogba, “and I hope everyone attending the game will stop by and chat about the exciting programs and exhibits at the San Bernardino County Museum for which we provide financial support.”

Give Big San Bernardino County is supported by the San Bernardino County Supervisors and organized through The Community Foundation. For more information about the San Bernardino County Museum Association and Give Big, contact Deborah Okogba at (909) 798-8624 or visit

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