Stroke Awareness: Don’t Stall – Make the 9-1-1 Call!

April 30, 2012

Stroke is the third leading cause of death, and the leading cause of disability nationwide. May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and San Mateo County is using this time to help residents learn about the risk factors and symptoms for stroke, and how immediately calling 9-1-1 in the event of a stroke can make the difference between life and death, and long-term disability.

On May 1, San Mateo County stroke hospitals, Peninsula Stroke Association, American Medical Response, local fire service agencies and elected officials, will kick off Stroke Awareness Month by handing out stroke information to the morning CalTrain commuters at five train stations. Stroke information will also be handed out at many city and park sites at Streets Alive/Parks Alive events throughout San Mateo County on May 6.

Most people don’t recognize the warning signs of a stroke or realize how critical it is to seek immediate medical help. Far too many stroke victims do not arrive at a stroke center in time to receive treatment that could dramatically reduce their risk of death or long-term disability. Stroke should always be treated as a medical emergency, which is why it’s critical to not stall, and make the 911 call.

San Mateo County is fortunate to have an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) stroke system in place. This system begins when 911 is called, and paramedics transport patients with stroke symptoms to one of five stroke hospitals serving San Mateo County, including Seton Medical Center, Peninsula Hospital, Kaiser South San Francisco, Kaiser Redwood City, and Sequoia Hospital

“Since the formation of the San Mateo County Stroke System in 2007, the County has been educating residents on the signs and symptoms of stroke, and to call 911 when they suspect a stroke,” said Greg Gilbert, MD, San Mateo County EMS Medical Director. “Calling 911 immediately is critical because EMS responders are trained to take people with stroke symptoms directly to the right hospital, where they can receive time-sensitive treatment.”

911 should be called as soon as someone has any of the following symptoms:
 Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
 Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision
 Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
 Sudden severe headache with no known cause
 Sudden difficulty talking or understanding words
 Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body

There are many risk factors for stroke that can be avoided, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Everyone can take steps to lower their risk for stroke by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Learn The Truth About Strokes at the San Mateo County Health System website.

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month

April 24, 2012

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, with the goal to raise awareness of alcohol abuse, prevent underage drinking, and encourage all people to make healthy, safe choices.

The San Mateo County Health System encourages you to take this time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may have a problem with alcohol:

•Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?
•Does your drinking ever make you late for work?
•Does your drinking worry your family?
•Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won’t?
•Do you ever forget what you did while drinking?
•Do you get headaches or have a hangover after drinking?

Visit to learn more.

Join a Guided Wildflower Walk at Edgewood Park

April 17, 2012

You are invited to take a free guided walk to view wildflowers in Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve every Saturday and Sunday through June 3, 2012.

Walks begin at 10 a.m. and end at approximately 1 p.m. Meet at the Education Center near main parking lot off of Edgewood Road near Redwood City.

The serpentine grasslands of Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve are renowned throughout California for their lush wildflower carpets and rich biodiversity. You might see dozens of species of flowers on a single walk! Our walks vary according to what’s in bloom–covering about 3 miles, at a moderate pace, with frequent stops.

Bring water, a hat and sunscreen, and a snack if you wish. Restrooms and water are available only at the main entrance. No reservations are needed.

To find out when your favorite docents are leading walks, or to request a hike for your group, visit, where you can download a schedule.

Walks start from the Education Center every weekend throughout the season. In addition, on April 21 and April 28 walks will also start from the Clarkia Trailhead for easier access to the grassland flowers. Learn more about Edgewood Park and view a map on the Parks website.

Public invited to “Behind the Smiles” Filipino community health forum

April 12, 2012

The Filipino Mental Health Initiative, in collaboration with the Autism Hearts Foundation, is hosting a community forum that will focus on Filipino health issues. The health forum entitled Behind the Smiles will highlight mental health and substance use issues in the Filipino community that tend to be hidden, ignored, or misunderstood.

Members of the Filipino community in San Mateo County are invited and encouraged to attend this event to learn more about these health issues. Various health organizations and agencies will also be in attendance to share resources and information. This is a free event for all, and food will be provided. The Filipino Mental Health Initiative is sponsored by San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services’ Office of Diversity and Equity.

WHEN: Thursday, April 26, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Registration will begin at 5:30 pm. Dinner will begin promptly at 6 p.m.
Presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Café Doelger (Westlake Park), 101 Lake Merced Blvd. Daly City, 94015

WHO:  Speakers: Dr. Chris Esguerra, Deputy Medical Director, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services; Dr. Jei Africa, Health Equity Initiatives Manager, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services; Various community members

WHY: The mission of the Filipino Mental Health Initiative is to reduce the stigma around mental health and substance use in the Filipino community that is often a barrier to seeking treatment. This event will educate the Filipino community about the true nature of mental health issues among Filipinos and provide resources for those who need assistance. Currently, more than 70,000 Filipinos live in San Mateo County. This is about 10% of the total County population, yet only 4% of the clients who received treatment from Behavioral Health and Recovery Services between 2000 and 2010 were Filipino.

RSVP: Contact Joyce Diloy:, or (650) 201-0949; RSVPs encouraged, but not required

MEDIA CONTACT: Robyn Thaw: or (650) 573-3935

Controller Wins Award for Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

April 12, 2012

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – San Mateo County Controller Bob Adler reports the Controller’s Office has again been awarded a “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting” by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The award is for County of San Mateo’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011.

This is the 12th consecutive year that the County has received this prestigious award. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program. Controller Adler stated, “We are pleased to receive this award on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, Department Executives and the fiscal staff of the County. It evidences their commitment to the highest standards of transparent and accurate financial reporting for the taxpayers of San Mateo County.”

The CAFR contains the County’s audited financial statements and other financial information. It also contains information about the local economy, the structure of the County government, the County’s future financial plans, the County’s financial policies, and significant County projects. The public can access the County’s financial information online at

Free Admission to County Fair before 11 a.m. on Disaster Preparedness Day

April 6, 2012

Please mark your calendars and save the date – Saturday, June 9, 2012 — for the 8th Annual San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day at the San Mateo County Event Center, 2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo.
Once again this year the event will be held on Opening Day of the San Mateo County Fair, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and free parking and free admission to the Fair will be offered to everyone who arrives before 11 a.m. that day. This is a fabulous opportunity to collect and hear about the latest emergency preparedness updates, take a short but important free CPR course and bring your friends and family to the San Mateo County Fair!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the office of Board President Adrienne J. Tissier at (650) 363-4572, or the Office of Emergency Services at (650) 363-4790.

View the event flier for more details: Disaster Preparedness Day June 9

Dads Count Breakfast and Awards Ceremony

April 3, 2012

Tickets are available for the April 20 Dads Count Breakfast and Awards Ceremony sponsored by the San Mateo County Fatherhood Collaborative.

The event celebrates the importance of fathers and presents Father Friendly Business Awards to organizations that support fathers with policies that support a family-friendly work environment.

Assemblymember Jerry Hill will introduce the keynote speaker, Judge Leonard Edwards, a retired Santa Clara County Supreme Court Judge and current Judge-in-Residence with the California Office of the Courts, who will discuss his relationship with his father during the civil rights movement and their time together in Mississippi in 1964.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for fathers and everyone who supports fathers to learn about the work of the Fatherhood Collaborative,” said Dave Pine, a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. “The organization hosts a variety of events throughout the year and helps increase awareness about the value of fathers spending time with their kids.”

The breakfast and awards ceremony will be from 7:30a.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday, April 20, at the Hotel Sofitel, 223 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City.

Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at

Tickets must be purchased by Tuesday, April 10. For more information, contact Yen Pang at 650-802-5090 or at

The event is co-sponsored by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the Judges of the San Mateo County Superior Court. The Fatherhood Collaborative advises the Board of Supervisors and consists of organizations and individuals dedicated to supporting fathers in taking an active role in the lives of children and families.



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