Santa Paula Hospital keeps OB unit open in spite of cuts

Santa Paula Hospital’s Obstetrical nursing unit will remain open, cancelling a proposal to close the department this month due to budget cuts and low usage.

A decline in the number of baby deliveries and increased competition were cited as reasons to close the unit, which is part of the county-owned hospital Clinicas del Camino Real, but an agreement made on Friday, June 21, between the hospital’s Director Roberto Juarez and Santa Clara Valley residents, Ventura County CEO Mike Powers, Ventura County Health Care Agency Director Bill Foley and Supervisor of the Third District, Kelly Long, resulted in cancellation of the planned closure, with deliveries resuming in August.

The hospital serves a primarily Hispanic, low-income community.

At a press conference held on Monday, June 24, Powers said that a Healthcare Advisory Committee will be formed to develop recommendations for the hospital to meet long-term needs.

“We clearly need to do a better job of listening to our stakeholders,” said Powers. “I believe that together we can make this happen.”

 Oxnard Boys & Girls Club launches drug prevention program

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme have been chosen as the next location for Brent’s Club, a drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention program created by Robert and Linell Shapiro.

The club, named after the Shapiro’s son Brent who died due to drug addiction at the age of 24, incentivizes middle- and high school-aged participants to stay drug-free by offering field trips to professional sporting events, museums and elsewhere. The Oxnard Boys & Girls Club began hosting the program in early June with an expected enrollment of 150 students spread across its 16 locations.

“I think that there are a lot of unique needs here in Oxnard regarding drug and alcohol problems, which is why I think that the [Brent Shapiro Foundation] recognized that and selected us,” said Erin Antrim, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme. “There’s an opioid epidemic, not just here but across the country, and I think that we’re a well-respected club and the foundation recognized that we could do this work and do it well.”

Participants are asked to take voluntary drug tests weekly and those who complete the program with a clean record throughout can qualify for a full-ride scholarship provided by the Shapiros. If participants fail the drug test, they will be referred to a counselor. Weekly incentives include outings such as the recent inaugural excursion to Zuma Beach.

The program runs weekly during regular Boys & Girls Club hours, beginning at 2 p.m., varying by location, at no cost to participants. For more information, including how to apply, visit www.BGCOP.org.

Nature photography contest kicks off in Ventura

Do you have an eye for the outdoors? The Ventura Land Trust is inviting both amateur and professional photographers to submit their best to the 2019 Ventura Land Trust Nature Photography Contest and Exhibit.

Each contestant may submit up to three photos by July 13. The best photographs will be selected by a panel of judges and will be displayed at Rincon Brewery in Ventura at a public show between Sept. 5 and Nov. 30.

“The photo contest is a wonderful way for photographers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to celebrate the natural beauty that surrounds us everyday” said Dan Holmes, Ventura photographer and lead judge of the contest. “All submissions will be judged on subject, composition, framing, lighting and overall ‘wow’ factor.”

Camp for children with disabilities in Thousand Oaks

Reid’s Gift Summer Program for children with disabilities is open now through Aug. 9 with weekday camps featuring “an inclusive space for participants to create bonds with each other while enjoying traditional activities and games, and to encourage personal progress through project-based learning.” For more information and to register, contact info@reidsgift.org or call 310-853-0794.