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Valley Events Set For Week’s Focus On the Uninsured

Valley Events Set For Week’s Focus On the Uninsured By SLAV KANDYBA Staff Reporter Several Valley events are scheduled to take place this week to mark a national campaign to promote the cause of Americans who do not have health insurance. On May 12 at 11:30 a.m. Cal State Northridge Health Sciences Department will hold an outreach program for students, while the following day, May 13, a press conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at an emergency room at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank which treats a high percentage of uninsured, according to www.covertheuninsuredweek.org, a Web site that has a complete list of scheduled events. A health and enrollment fair is slated to begin at 10 a.m. at Park Parthenia Apartments in Northridge on May 15 with booths featuring information on various health insurance programs available as well as free dental and blood pressure screenings and raffle prizes. More than 800 organizations nationally from medical to religious are taking part in observing the week which begins May 10. Woodland Hills-based health insurer Blue Cross of California will be represented at a seminar at noon May 12 at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Bank of America room designed for small businesses to learn about health coverage for their employees, according to a spokesperson. Blue Cross is sending about six employees to the seminar, who will staff it and provide information. Although the company is not donating money per se, the cost comes in the form of man hours and is to the tune of several thousand dollars, said spokesperson Michael Chee. “(The week) is really a vehicle for us to reach out to the uninsured and let them know they have options,” Chee said. In addition to the seminar, there will be a dramatic performance May 10 at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood starring local actors and actual patients from the North Hollywood-based Valley Community Clinic. “Actual stories of our patients are going to be highlighted in the performance,” said Judi Rose, director of public affairs at the clinic, which provides low cost or free medical care to the uninsured in the region. The clinic is also hosting a fundraising event proceeds from which will go toward the construction of a pediatric center, Rose said. Most of the events during the week are funded by The California Endowment and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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