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Former PVHS City seeks

student athlete proposal for

Palo Verde Valley Times
signs with Univ. of street project
Quartzsite Times Mary/A4 /B2

Palo Verde
92nd YEAR
60th EDITION Today’s high: 81° Details on B7

Valley Times

Flu makes deadly impact in Calif.

State recording largest number of influenza deaths in decades
BY CATHYLEEN RICE does not record flu As reported by the having another wave of
TIMES REPORTER deaths among people CDC, the virus has hit H3N2 this year.”
Across the state of over the age of 65, so every state in the United The Palo Verde Hospi-
far the death toll of has States, except Hawaii. tal (PVH) has also expe-
California, this year’s
spiked to 97, includ- Jernigan noted the rienced an influx of flu
flu season has been one ing at least 37 children. rate of hospitaliza- patients since the begin-
of the deadliest in de- And, according to Dr. tions due to the flu in ning of the year.
cades, according to the Dan Jernigan, the di- California has been Megan Allen, Infec-
Centers for Disease Con- rector of the influenza around four times high- tion Preventionist
trol and Prevention. division of the CDC’s er than it was during and Employee Health
Beginning since the National Center for Im- 2014-15. Nurse at PVH, said the
New Year, a large num- munization and Respi- He shared, “Vaccines hospital has had, “71
ber of people have been ratory Diseases, “Flu just don’t do that well confirmed Influenza A PHOTOSPIN.COM
showing up in hospitals activity is likely to con- against H3N2, so the im- cases & 20 confirmed CALIFORNIA HAS SEEN A RISE  in flu related deaths this
since the outbreak of tinue for several more munity that was gath- Influenza B cases; this season. Although the state does  not record flu deaths among
H3N2. weeks, [with even] more ered last year may not number includes outpa- people over the age of 65, so far the death toll of has spiked to
Although the state deaths likely to occur.” be enough to prevent SEE FLU/A7 97, including at least 37 children.

Wellness express
to celebrate six
months of service
Six months ago, July
1, 2017, in the heat
of summer, the Palo
Verde Valley Transit
Agency began a pilot
project — The Blythe
Wellness Express
(BWE) — designed to older residents and
meet needs of Blythe those with disabilities
residents for transpor- or medical conditions,”
tation to doctors and says Palo Verde Valley
medical services in the Transit Agency Gener-
Coachella Valley.  al Manager George Col-
So far, 119 people angeli. “We know that
have registered for the we are making a differ-
Blythe Wellness Ex- ence in people’s lives.”
press. Some have only Many of BWE’s rid-
needed to make a single ers agree. When in-
trip to the Coachella terviewed about their
Valley, while others are experience using the
traveling regularly for service, they use terms
doctor visits, medical like “life saver,” “ab-

Strolling burros
tests and other services. solutely wonderful,”
The BWE is funded by and they note that their
the Federal Transit Ad- health is improving be-
ministration (FTA) in cause they are able to
order to improve health make regular doctor
outcomes for Blythe visits.
residents. Project con- To use the BWE, rid-
sultant Valerie Mackin- ers must register and
tosh is responsible for make a reservation by
tracking the project’s calling 760.922.1140. To
results and reporting to make it easy for new
ABOVE: Meet the FTA. She says that riders to try the service,
Ginger, the riders are using the BWE offers new regis-
princess burro BWE to access a diver- trants their first-round
of California’s sity of medical services trip for free. After the
deserts. including dialysis, den- first trip, the fare is
RIGHT: Out tists, specialists (such only $15 for a roundtrip
for a beautiful as cardiologists, gastro- or $10 for a one-way trip.
Sunday stroll enterologists, pulmon- Mr. Colangeli notes
on the back ologists and many oth- that this is less the cost
roads of ers) and services such of gas for the 265-mile
California, a as MRIs and mammo- roundtrip.
group of wild, grams. The BWE currently
yet friendly According to an anal- operates Mondays,
ysis of registrations, Wednesdays and Fri-
burros greeted
Mackintosh says that days by reservation.
the Executive
most of the BWE users The vehicle leaves
Director Blythe at 6:30 a.m. and
are older adults. Two-
of the PVC returns by 4 p.m. Pas-
thirds of registrants are
Foundation, over 50 years old, while sengers can travel to
Gene Hill on 22 percent are over 70. virtually any medical
his way to view When surveyed about office or facility within
the Parker how they would have the Coachella Valley
Dam. gotten to their medical including JFK Medical
appointment without Center in Indio, Eisen-
PHOTOS the BWE, 57 percent of hower Medical Center
COURTESY OF all riders said they in Rancho Mirage, Des-
GENE HILL wouldn’t have made the ert Regional Medical
trip or didn’t know how Center in Palm Springs
they would have made and the VA Clinic in
it. Palm Desert. BWE also
“This service is truly connects with SunLine
a lifeline for Blythe’s SEE EXPRESS/A7