State revokes, suspends licenses, certifications, registrations of health care providers

OLYMPIA ¾ The Washington State Department of Health has revoked

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Senate Passes Extension of Cantwell-Championed Rural Schools, Roads Program

Secure Rural Schools program invested over $400,000 in Grays Harbor County in 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed an extension of a key program championed by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) that is critical for roads and schools in Washington state’s forest-dependent counties. The bill, as amended by the Senate and approved on Thursday by a 97-2 margin, would extend the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program.

 

Cantwell called for the program’s extension during a March committee hearing and has long been a leader on continuing SRS payments to rural counties across Washington state and the nation.

 

SRS helps compensate counties for revenue lost from declining U.S. Forest Service timber harvests on federal lands near forest communities. The Senate bill would extend SRS for one year and invest $263 million into the program. The legislation now heads to the House for a vote. Unless the House acts, counties will not receive any support from SRS this calendar year.

State disciplines health care providers

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health has taken disciplinary actions or withdrawn charges against health care providers in our state.

The department’s Health Systems Quality Assurance Division works with boards, commissions, and advisory committees to set licensing standards for more than 80 health care professions (e.g., medical doctors, nurses, counselors).

Information about health care providers is on the agency website. Click on “Look up a healthcare provider license” in the “How Do I?” section of the Department of Health website (doh.wa.gov). The site includes information about a health care provider’s license status, the expiration and renewal date of their credential, disciplinary actions and copies of legal documents issued after July 1998. This information is also available by calling 360-236-4700. Consumers who think a health care provider acted unprofessionally are encouraged to call and report their complaint.

Cantwell, Sec. Selecky Call on CDC Investigators to Help Stem WA Whooping Cough Epidemic

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Mary Selecky in urging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to send a team of disease investigators to help contain the state’s whooping cough epidemic. Cantwell and Selecky called for the CDC to send Epidemic Aid – or “Epi-Aid” – investigators and epidemiologists to help study and stem the disease’s spread. Cantwell and Selecky made the announcement while touring the laboratories and getting a briefing from the state’s top doctors and scientists who are leading the fight against the epidemic.

Cantwell sent a letter today to the CDC requesting that the Epi-Aid team of disease investigators be sent to help state health officials. An Epi-Aid team would collaborate with Washington state health officials to intensify the response to the disease. They would also work to identify why the outbreak of whooping cough has turned into an epidemic. With this information, DOH could focus vaccination programs, public education, and other resources more efficiently and effectively to fight back against the epidemic.

Anglers Enjoy Big Trout, Nice Weather on Opening Day of Lowland Lakes Season

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Good weather and big trout helped to boost catch rates on opening day of this year’s lowland lakes fishing season.

Based on creel checks conducted at 112 lakes around the state, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates that anglers caught an average of 3.99 trout on opening day Saturday, April 28.

The weather was good and so was the fishing, we saw a lot of limits taken at lakes around the state. - Chris Donley, WDFW’s Inland Fish manager

For most lakes, the daily limit is five fish. Donley said the 5,129 anglers contacted by WDFW on opening day retained an average of 2.6 trout - up from 2.3 fish in recent years. The rest were released.

One reason for the higher retention rate may be that three million of the "catchable-size" trout WDFW planted before the opener averaged 11-13 inches, about a third larger than before. Many lakes were also stocked with thousands of triploids, broodstock and other large trout weighing up to 11 pounds apiece.

Lots of folks noticed those larger fish, with bigger fish and cool but sunny weather, it was all in all a good opener. - Mark Downen, a WDFW fish biologist for Mason and Kitsap counties

Whooping Cough Reaching Epidemic Levels in Washington State

SHORELINE, Wash. - Today Secretary of Health Mary Selecky announced that whooping cough disease has reached epidemic levels in Washington. So far in 2012, 640 cases have been reported in 23 counties as of March 31. This compares to 94 cases during this same time period last year, putting Washington on-pace to have the highest number of reported cases in decades.

We’re very concerned about the continued rapid increase in reported cases, this disease can be very serious for young babies, who often get whooping cough from adults and other family members. We want all teens and adults who haven’t had Tdap to be vaccinated to help protect babies that are too young for the vaccine. - Secretary of Health Mary Selecky

Whooping cough vaccines are recommended for all children and adults. The shots children get wear off over time. Everyone age 11 and older should get a whooping cough booster, called Tdap. 

Cantwell Announces $37.7M for Washington State Homelessness Programs

SPOKANE, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that 68 Washington projects will receive a total of $37,700,917 in grants for the development of Continuum of Care programs from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Continuum of Care programs are coordinated community-based efforts to address homelessness by examining needs and building programs that address those needs. Grants under this program were competitively awarded to applicants across the nation. 

 

“I applaud the Department of Housing for these critical investments towards in addressing homelessness in Washington state,” Senator Cantwell said.  “During hard economic times, it is critical we insure that the neediest in our communities have somewhere to turn.”

 

Programs awarded today include the Supportive Housing Program (SHP) that provides housing in a supportive environment with a service component; the Shelter Plus Care (S+C) program that provides grants for rental assistance for homeless persons with disabilities; and the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) program that provides rental assistance on behalf of homeless individuals in connection with moderate rehabilitation of SRO buildings.

Governor Announces 2010 Commute Smart Awards

OLYMPIA— Did you know that there are 28,000 fewer vehicles on the road every weekday thanks to employers and communities across the state who support commute trip reduction programs? That’s enough vehicles to stretch single file from Olympia to Everett.

Approximately 530,000 people are employed at worksites that participate in commute trip reduction programs. This translates to 62 million fewer vehicle miles traveled annually and saves three million gallons of fuel and 27,490 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

Governor Chris Gregoire recognized the efforts of these employers and communities today by announcing the winners of the 2010 Governor’s Commute Smart Awards at a ceremony hosted at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia.

Shellfish update: fewer growing areas threatened with closure in 2010

OLYMPIA ¾ About 10 percent of Washington’s commercial shellfish growing areas are threatened with closure this year because of pollution, a dramatic drop from previous years. The Department of Health is closing part of one area.

“We’ve seen improvement in water quality in many shellfish growing areas over the past year,” said Bob Woolrich, growing area manager for the agency. “Nevertheless, in 10 shellfish growing areas, the livelihoods of shellfish farmers are threatened by pollution closures.”

Sixteen growing areas were listed as threatened areas in 2009. The 10 areas listed this year is among the lowest since the department began its annual listing in 1997. A portion of Burley Lagoon in Pierce County is being closed because of poor marine water quality.

Witnesses to Snohomish County Collisions Sought

The Washington State Patrol Major Accident Investigation Team is investigating two serious injury collisions involving Commercial Motor Vehicles that occurred in Snohomish County over the past few days. The first crash occurred at 9:55 p.m. last Thursday, February 4th in the northbound lanes of I-5 just north of the 88th St overpass. The collision involved two tractor/trailer rigs and two passenger vehicles. The driver of one of the semi trucks was seriously injured and airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.