Prospective patients can check out how local hospitals' infection rates compared to state and national averages last year with new data posted online.

The California Department of Public Health posted new reports on Nov. 25 detailing how hospitals measure up on infections including central-line associated bloodstream infections, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and surgical site infections.

The department also updated an interactive map that shows how hospitals across the state and in Kern County compared. Visit

Kaiser Permanente Kern County will open its first local optometry shop for members and non-Kaiser members next month in The Marketplace.

The location, Suite L-1B, 9000 Ming Ave., will offer comprehensive optometry services as well as contact lenses and brand name sunglasses for sale. The shop will open Jan. 27.

San Joaquin Community Hospital's president is featured in a civics video that will be distributed to schools in California's 23rd Congressional District.

The video, made by the nonprofit Committee for Citizen Awareness, features SJCH CEO and President Doug Duffield as well as Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, and news program host George Stephanopoulos. The health video entitled "Where We Stand" covers "America's leadership in the world in the areas of medical research and innovation," and details how the country has fallen in health and well-being rankings compared to other high-income countries, according to the group's website.

The video will be distributed to public and private high schools in the congressional district next week.