Christopher Connelly

West County voters to decide on parcel tax to save Doctors Medical Center

Residents of West Contra Costa County will vote this fall on a special parcel tax to support the ailing Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo. The five-member West Contra Costa County Healthcare District board, the elected body that oversees the public hospital’s operations, voted unanimously last week to approve a ballot measure that would raise over $5 million per year to pay for the hospital’s continued operations.

Scores of volunteers and county agencies deploy for disaster response drill

Contra Costa College’s San Pablo campus was turned into a relief shelter for families displaced by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit the Bay Area at 1:30 Tuesday morning. Didn’t feel the shock? That’s because the earthquake was made up as an exercise that gave volunteers a chance to practice giving aid to displaced families. And the pace? Perhaps a tad more casual than if it were a real disaster response—but only by a little.

Point Isabel: A day at the dog park

“Dog park” sort of misses the mark when describing the Point Isabel Regional Shoreline. This is no fenced off stretch of dirt. Point Isabel is the largest public off-leash dog park in the country with roughly half a million dog visits each year.

Richmond puts best foot forward to wow lab

It’s rare that a project can seemingly unite every sector across a city, but Richmond’s bid for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory expansion brought out 700 people from all corners of the city to show support Thursday for the campus, as the city put its best foot forward to showcase what it has to offer the lab.

Doctor’s Medical Center faces grim prognosis

What would happen if West Contra Costa County’s largest hospital was forced to shut its doors or seriously downgrade its emergency room operations? It would be very bad, according to a study released last week by the county health department’s Emergency Medical Services agency. Yet hospital officials say a permanent closure of Doctor’s Medical Center San Pablo, whose largely low-income and elderly patient population makes it difficult to run profitably, is looming unless they are able to secure state or other funding soon.

Richmond church members get A Taste of Health

A group of women from local churches got together Saturday to cook a meal and mark the end of 12 weeks of classes called A Taste of Health that focused on exercise and nutrition. The group met every Saturday for the last few months—skipping a few here and there for holidays—to exercise, cook and learn together.

Thirty years after first AIDS diagnosis, screening for HIV is easier than ever

This summer marks thirty years since the first AIDS diagnosis. Since then, advancements in anti-retroviral drugs used to treat the disease and better disease management practices have rolled out every few years. But until 2004, the way that health providers tested for HIV, the infection that causes AIDS, remained the same. Now, clinics can deliver results instantly, and that has big implications.

Richmond’s new budget reflects lean times

Richmond has a new budget, and the outlook is mixed. The budget, approved by the city council Tuesday night, is close to balanced and leaves the city’s $10 million general fund reserve intact, but make cuts to already stretched city services and uses one-time measures that put off larger, structural issues until next year.