• Memorial brings new heart procedure to Bakersfield

    You’ve heard it before: If you want cutting-edge medical treatment, you’ll have to go out of town — probably to Los Angeles. That’s becoming less and less so, and did again this past week when Bakersfield Memorial Hospital announced it’s about to offer a new heart procedure. It’s called

  • Emily Bazar

    ASK EMILY: Advance planning for your end-of-life care

    Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers’ questions about California’s changing medical landscape. Millions of Californians are newly eligible for a health care benefit that could determine the treatment they receive in their final days — and most don’t know it. Medi-Cal, which

  • Americans may need to rely on injected influenza vaccine this coming flu season because nasal flu vaccines may not be effective.

    CDC panel recommends against nasal flu vaccines

    The age of the painless flu vaccine could soon be over — at least until doctors find a viable alternative. Health officials with the Centers for Disease Control said last week that the nasal influenza vaccine FluMist will not be effective in fending off the virus during the upcoming flu season.

  • Kern Medical Center

    KMC better catering to growing elderly population

    Travis Eckard readily admits he had little understanding of how older adults were cared for at his very own medical center. “You know the biggest surprise?” asks Eckard, a physical therapist. “The lack of attention they got. Our capacity to serve this population was very small.” That was five

  • Houchin's Bolthouse center adjusting hours

    Houchin Community Blood Bank is adjusting hours at its donor center at 11515 Bolthouse Drive in the hopes that it will make it more convenient for donors to give the life-saving gift of blood. The new hours start on April 4 and will match the current hours at Houchin’s main blood donation site at

  • Sassan Keshavarzi, MD speaks to a full crowd at San Joaquin Community Hospital about back pain and different surgical procedures and outcomes.

    Your back pain is this doctor's passion

    For many people, living with back pain is a persistent struggle, but the message Wednesday at San Joaquin Community Hospital is that improved treatments for ailing backs offer hope. Dr. Sassan Keshavarzi, one of the newest members of Bakersfield’s medical community, presented an hour-long lecture

  • Bacteria in the mouth feeds on sugar, which produces acids that weaken tooth enamel and in the long run, create a hole in the tooth, resulting in a cavity.

    B Well: What Happens When ... You Consume Too Much Sugar

    For years we have heard the medical talk on the effects consuming too much sugar can have on the body. Immediately, we think of obesity. But it doesn’t stop there. Recently, the World Health Organization published new sugar intake guidelines for adults and children. WHO recommends adults and

  • Some colorectal cancers found before screening starts at age 50

    One in seven colon and rectal cancers in the U.S. are now diagnosed in patients younger than age 50, which is when people are advised to begin routine screenings for these tumors, a new study finds. By 2030, nearly one in four rectal tumors and more than one in 10 colon cancers will be diagnosed

  • Employees of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools walk along Truxtun Avenue with others at the Links for Life "Lacen' it Up Walk," which kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month, in this Oct. 1, 2014 photo.

    Opportunities to fight and prevent breast cancer in October

    One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Association, which notes that Breast Cancer Awareness Month — october — offers a long list of ways to do something about it. San Joaquin Community Hospital is holding two events.

  • Wendy Bailey, a member of the Kern Valley Search and Rescue, is all smiles as she hikes down a peak. She does this despite the fact that she's afraid of heights.

    Kern Valley Search and Rescue volunteer find happiness in heroic deeds

    A decade ago, Wendy Bailey, 55, could never have predicted she’d be saving lives as a member of Kern Valley Search and Rescue (KVSAR). Back then she was living in Valencia, a stay-at-home mom with three kids. Her resume included jobs as a letter carrier and elementary school yard supervisor. But

  • Surprising ways smoking affects your appearance

    Smoking is a habit that causes changes in your skin, teeth and hair. The more cigarettes you smoke, the faster the changes you’ll start to see in your body. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42.1 million people 18 years or older in the United

  • InSpire Salon & Spa owner and Evolve Volumizer specialist Leah Lay resets Jeri James' hair with the Evolve Volumizer hair integration system, which is made with 100 percent human hair.

    Evolve Volumizer restoring self-confidence

    After 10 years dreading pool time with her grandchildren, Jeri James spent nearly the entire summer this year splashing around, having fun and most importantly, making memories. James, 61, has a mild autoimmune imbalance that has caused noticeable hair loss on the crown of her head. “For once,

  • Aspiranet employees learn about the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders in youth.

    Nationwide initiative focuses on youth mental health in schools

    Mental illness has been a taboo subject in the room for many years, but now it’s time to break the ice and get the discussion started. That’s where the Youth Mental Health First Aid in Kern County comes in. “The goal is to saturate Kern County with training,” said Tatia Hunter-Jennings, prevention

  • Key life ingredients to healthy mental health

    When it comes to personal health, you might think of things like your weight, cholesterol levels, sun exposure, maybe even your last dental checkup. All of those are very important to manage, but when asked about general health, rarely do most of us think of our mental health first. Experts tell

  • Emily Bazar is a senior writer for the CHCF Center for Health Reporting, which covers health issues in California. Located at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the center is funded by the nonpartisan California HealthCare Foundation.

    ASK EMILY: How to price shop for medical treatment

    Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers’ questions about California’s new medical world. Whether you get your health insurance from your employer, Covered California or the open market, more of you are picking — or being forced into — high-deductible plans. Although these plans

  • A patient rests during a PET scan at Central Cardiology in Bakersfield. The equipment was recently installed at Central Cardiology, and provides physicians a clearer image of heart-related issues.

    New cardiac imaging machine brings revolutionary technology to Kern County

    Precise, reliable information is something every doctor seeks when treating patients, but it’s not always been easy to get in Bakersfield. That is beginning to change. The latest example is Central Cardiology’s newly unveiled Positron Emission Tomography, or PET, imaging machine, which provides