Saturday, March 3, 2007

"Board of Stupidvisors" (BOS)?

If one Googles "Board of Stupidvisors" one will come up with over 600 mass media references for a number of counties.

Why do residents of so many counties appear to be "lees-than-tickled" with our elected "servants"--members of the respective counties Board Of Supervisors (BOS)?

Maybe, it's because mine (BOS representative), for example, is more interested in watching himself on TV surrounded by men/women in uniform and flashing lights, than protecting the health of county residents.

Even though in Los Angeles County the final responsibility for health care services, public health, and emergency preparedness rests with the Committee of the Whole (meaning all persons elected to the BOS), there are definite "champions":

Gloria Molina, the first latina elected to BOS in 2/1991 distinguished herself in the health arena by protecting county library services whenever there was a fiscal problem with health services. A former smoker, she voted to re-appropriate (take away) $60 million in Tobacco Securitization towards County USC Replacement Project to be opened 11/2007. A "4 vote" item stuck in a budget request eliminating possible objections and/or discussions. Maybe she should use her quilting skills to patch up county's health system that's falling apart.

Zev Yaroslavsky, my BOS representative and a budget "expert", has been re-directing Master Tobacco Settlement Funds to non-tobacco related activities since 1998. Being in charge of the County Fire and County Sheriff departments allows Mr. Yaroslavsky ample media exposure. I wish he was as interested in provision of emergency health service in medically under served Malibu. Yes, MELibu, that does not have a single medical facility open after hours. Similarly, he does not seem to be interested in emergency preparedness, and did not support Malibu Medical Reserve Corps (MMRC).

Yvonne Braithwaite Burke--Member of the BOS since 1992-- continues to preside over the slow and painful demise of the King Drew Medical Center. Under her l"eadership" the BOS and its appointees failed to hire required number of outside doctors and nurses to roam the hallways to protect patients from medical mishaps. Burke proclaimed she: "... would not allow hospital to shut down, no matter how bad its problems and over my dead body..." She, and her colleagues, hired Navigant, an outside firm to turn around King Drew Hospital, spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, but did not accomplish what they said they would.

Smartvisor Don Knabe is responsible for the Department of Consumer Affairs and leads the health carING by example--he is the Vice Chairman, Health Sub-Committee, National Association of Counties.

Smartvisor Michael D. Antonovich (also responsible for the office of the Coroner and Mental Health Services) reacts quickly and appropriately to the recent case of Hepatitis A in a cook with a major catering company. He states, that the case: "... demonstrates the major impact that this food-borne disease can have on restaurants, catering companies and consumers..."

Despite the fact that LA County Public Health Department took appropriate action to inform those who were at risk, and to offer prophylaxis for those for whom it was still potentially effective, it is still a prevalent serious disease.

His motion, scheduled to be heard on Tuesday March 6, 2007, which if passed, will instruct the Director of Public Health to review the relevant public health literature, and report back to the Board in 30 days with an analysis, including cost-benefit calculations concerning the question of whether Hepatitis A vaccinations should be required for food service workers in restaurants, catering companies, and in wholesale markets.

In the presence of abundantly clear and convincing evidence of the Hepatitis A vaccine safety & efficacy, it's really a matter of dollars and sense. Sense of doing the right thing to protect residents of and visitors to our great County of LA.

The non compliant restaurants, catering outfits, wholesalers and retailers must be fined severely to generate additional revenue for Hepatitis A vaccination oBoldf their employees.

Mandatory multilingual education, when monitored and enforced, can be as effective as vaccinations in preventing the spread and outbreaks of this serious disease.

Talking about proper hand washing techniques, recent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of 6-step technique, as part of the safe hand washing is extremely effective in preventing the spread of the Avian Flu.

In our humble opinion, an ounce of prevention is better (faster and cheaper) than a pound of cure. Which box are you in LA County BOS Members.

We gripe, you decide!

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