Health care reform advocate speaks in Hood River

February 1, 2006

Dr. Stephen Bezruchka speaks at two events this weekend in Hood River.

On Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., La Clinica del Cariño sponsors a presentation by Bezruchka (“bezz - ROOCH – kuh”).

The Seattle health care reform advocate visited Hood River last May for Providence’s “Covering the Uninsured” day.

Dr. Bezruchka’s topic will be “Damaged Care: What Do We Get with Our Health Care Spending?” His talk will be at Riverside Community Church, Fourth and State streets.

Bezruchka has also been interviewed on Oregon Public Radio’s “Alternative Radio” segment.

He is a physician and senior lecturer in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington. He received UW’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 2002.

On Sunday, Bezruchka will speak at the Gorge Ecumenical Ministries’ annual awards dinner, 5 p.m. at Soul Café.

La Clinica director Daniel Ward said Bezruchka is “a physician with a persuasive critique of the American system of health care. He’s an engaging, knowledgeable, and talented guy.

“His messages are timely, especially here in Oregon, where the innovative Oregon Health Plan has collapsed, and the coming gubernatorial race will likely turn on health care policy issues.”

On May 4, 2005, Bezruchka told his audience at Hood River’s Down Manor, “to have a healthy adult life, what happens in the earliest months is so important; we have to structure early life for better outcomes.”

Economic justice is the key to forging a holistic remedy to the health care needs of the United States, according to Bezruchka. He urged Americans to work toward “caring and sharing” public policies.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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