Advanced Home Health and Hospice Announces Excelin Home Health Partnership

By Advanced Home Health and Hospice  |  2018-07-05

Angela Sehr

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Advanced Home Health and Hospice (“Advanced”) is excited to announce that it is joining with Excelin Home Health (“Excelin”), and its family of affiliated Texas home health agencies. By joining forces with Excelin, Advanced is expanding its footprint from Sacramento, San Diego and North Bay California to Houston and South-Central Texas.

The company will continue its patient-centric, outcome-focused approach to providing quality home health care. The company will continue to provide skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical social work, home health aides, and hospice services in the comfort of patients’ homes. Building on its strong reputation in home infusion, wound care, cardiovascular care, and home rehabilitation programs, the company will continue to expand its clinical capabilities and strive to remain the home health and hospice provider of choice. As a best-in-class post-acute care provider, the company is focused on leveraging technology and innovative approaches in its relentless pursuit of delivering exceptional patient care and outcomes.

Angela Sehr, RN and founder of Advanced, will remain a key shareholder and will continue as a leader within the organization, providing inspiration, innovation, strategic leadership, and guidance for the agencies.

“I am very pleased to partner with Excelin, Corinthian Capital, and Palomar Capital Management. They share our values and vision.  They have shown a genuine focus on and appreciation for the importance of quality patient care. They have also demonstrated a deep understanding of the rewards and challenges of caring for patients in their homes. I believe they will be outstanding, value-added partners. I cannot be happier than to be partnering with them going forward,” said Angela Sehr.  The closing is subject to regulatory approval.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, in consultation with Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye, is advising residents to take precautions and minimize outdoor activities during the afternoon of Monday, July 2 and on Tuesday, July 3 due to smoke being transported into Sacramento County from the County Fire burning in Yolo County and Napa County.

If you smell or see smoke, take the following actions:

  • Everyone should minimize outdoor activities if you can see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy
  • Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should be particularly careful to avoid exposure
  • Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible
  • Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan
  • Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke
  • Those with heart disease should especially limit their smoke exposure since PM can cause heart attacks

"The smoke from wildfires can pose a health risk for anyone, but is especially harmful for older adults, young children, and those with existing health conditions,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye. “If you see or smell smoke limit outdoor activities,” she added.

Check current conditions for the Sacramento region at

To know what you’re breathing, download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app or sign up for Air Alert emails at

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Dave Dravecky Pays Visit to Raley Field

Story and photo by Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-06-29

A long line of fans waited to meet Dave Dravecky on a hot Friday night. Doyle and Rhonda Radford and their children Mason and Ellie were happy to get a few autographs from the former Giant.

Former Giant Throws Out First Pitch

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Former San Francisco Giant Dave Dravecky was honored by the Sacramento River Cats last Friday night. Dravecky held a meet and greet with fans prior to the game before throwing out the first pitch and then taking the time to sign autographs for a long line of fans during the early innings.

Dravecky played in parts of eight seasons with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants from 1982-1989. He made his Major League debut with the Padres on June 15, 1982 and was an all-star in 1983. The left-hander was acquired by San Francisco in 1987 and was 11-7 with a 3.22 ERA in 27 starts for the Giants.

A cancerous tumor was found in Dravecky’s throwing arm in 1988 and, after a brief comeback, unfortunately ended his career during the Giants 1989 World Series run.

After several surgeries, his left arm continued to deteriorate. On June 18, 1991, less than two years after his comeback with the Giants, Dravecky's left arm and shoulder were amputated. While his baseball career came to an end, Dravecky has since gone on to have a successful career as an author and motivational speaker.

“The challenges I’ve faced in the years following have taught me volumes and I now travel the country sharing the lessons I’ve learned—lessons on how to navigate loss and suffering, and how to experience encouragement and hope,” says Dravecky.

His story is an inspiration to Giants fans, baseball enthusiasts and beyond and that was clear to see through the admiration that he was shown at Raley Field. Visit for more of his story.

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Born in the USA

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-06-29

For two breeding seasons, bald eagle parents have raised families high above the American River.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Noted last year as the closest recorded bald eagle nest to Sacramento, the same eyrie was this summer blessed with more eaglet babies. These made debut flights earlier this month.

Orangevale kindergarten pupils named the 2017 hatchlings Poppy and Peekaboo.  Now 15 months old, these juveniles are established in new American River territory. The children retained naming rights and this year honored explorer Admiral Richard Byrd by choosing “Byrd” for the Alpha chick. They decided on “Rainbow” for the youngest.  The twins busted from baseball-size eggs a week before they were first photographed on March 23.

Nourished by non-stop room service, they achieved their parents’ great size in 12 weeks. At 13 weeks, they spread seven-foot wings and flew. Genders are yet uncertain; popular lore has the precocious Alpha as male; the timid Rainbow as female. Like Byrd’s heroic namesake, the Alpha explored air, land and water during his dramatic maiden flight.

Fledge days are stressful for parents and observers. Flapping boldly between trees on June 11, Byrd over-flew home base. His triumph rapidly turned to trial. The novice clipped a high fence to crash-land near a public trail. Without strength or experience for ground-level takeoff, his confusion was agonizing.  For 30 minutes, he beat a clumsy to-and-fro on the clay path. Observers formed a mobile shield against dogs and joggers until Byrd at last gathered speed and crested the fence to safety. Even after this trauma, the first-born refused to return to the nest. He ignored his sister’s anguished cries; he defied mama’s voluble instructions.  Explorer Byrd completed extraordinary traverses over the river at its widest. He drank from the waterside.

While on the lam, the eaglet was brought enough fish to prevent starvation but not so much as to reward rebellion. After three days, his parents coaxed him back to the family buffet.

Compared to Byrd’s surf-and-turf debut, his little sister managed a text book effort. Early on June 13, her papa delivered breakfast and evidently issued flying orders. Rainbow launched and, talons trailing untidily, flew 50-yards to an adjacent pine. Here she lurched before gaining confidence for the home flight. Papa soon encouraged an encore. This time, the debutant fell asleep on a foreign branch before heading home.

Having raised at least three previous broods, Mama Bald is a nursery pro. Her mate is younger – this is only his second adult season – but he is now a prolific hunter and confident dad. The parents’ combination of protection and tough-love comes with sacrifice. Exhausted four months of 24/7 hunting, mama and papa are now completing their parenting season. The nest is collapsing under the strain of many clumsy landings and sibling food-fights.

Repairs can wait. If this season follows the 2017 template – Byrd and Rainbow will be left in the care of sub-adult relatives while Mama and Papa wing off on distant vacation. By fall, they should return to rebuild and prep for a 2019 family. Hard lessons in self-sufficiency loom for the 2018 babies.

A testament to the regeneration of a species threated with extinction only 50 years ago, this American River family is well now established in Sacramento County suburbia. The raptors’ on-going residence is a joy to human neighborhoods in their flight-path.

Like the nation they represent, bald eagles are resilient. They’re also selfless providers, committed to family. They are single-minded in preparing children for independence.  They control vermin populations; they neither waste nor pollute. By instinct, they are fantastic stewards of the natural world.

Our national icon is well-chosen. From these fellow Americans, we might learn much.

Follow Susan Maxwell Skinner American River Nature Blog on Facebook.

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All Their Hard Work Goes Up in Smoke

Story and photos by David Dickstein  |  2018-06-29

Inside the Hengda Fireworks factory in China, workers add the final elements to Phantom Fireworks’ best-selling Brew Haha.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On a rare private tour inside one of the world’s biggest fireworks factories, deep in China’s mountainous Hunan Province where pyrotechnics were invented over a millennium ago, an American journalist surprises his hosts by veering off the footpath on the sprawling grounds. The large single-story building with busy workers inside looks too intriguing not to make a pop-in.

“Oh, excuse me … OK, OK, go ahead,” chirps Hengda Fireworks’ factory manager Wang Qunying in translated Mandarin, smiling and showing no signs of concern over what the writer for Messenger Publishing Group may see inside. The impromptu detour causes a bit of a stir for the 35 or so employees inside. All women and wearing company-issued blue coats to offset a springtime chill, their surprised reaction could be more about their boss’ presence and less a rare Caucasian visitor with a camera. Within a minute, however, the spacious assembly room is back in full production for a visual this assertive foreigner finds absolutely fascinating, not unlike how Charlie felt upon first sight of the diligent Oompa-Loompas.

What revelers throughout Sacramento County will light off and be dazzled with for maybe a minute or two requires an army of people and dozens of hours to manufacture. The process involves numerous stages, mostly by hand, and if the work isn’t tedious, it’s perilous.

The roomful of hard-working women is where the final stages are performed. Even though they’re working with explosives, the task of mixing chemicals and filling cardboard tubes with powder is done by individuals working solo in isolated bunker-like buildings elsewhere on the grounds. It’s a messy job mixing the 400 tons of black powder Hengda will need this year, but someone’s got to do it -- for the equivalent of $500 to $600 a month, a decent salary in the Hunan Province.

While some of the assembly department workers adhere fuses and tissue paper to the tubes, all manufactured on the premises, others at long tables a few feet away are giving the fireworks their final shape by fitting the pre-cut cardboard pieces together.

The stage before boxing, storing and shipping is labeling, done pretty much the same way for over 1,000 years here -- with bowls of liquid glue, brushes and a lot of stamina for assembly line-type repetition.

For two diligent assemblers in the corner, that and cardboard pieces to form a handle are the supplies needed to put the finishing touches on a beer stein-shaped fountain named Brew Haha, one of Phantom Fireworks’ top sellers in California. Since fountains, spinners, novelties and smoke items are the only types legally sold in the Golden State, there’s a decent chance these ladies’ handiwork will be delighting folks 6,500 miles away. For Sacramento County and parts of Placer County, the legal selling and lighting period is June 28 through July 4.

Brew Haha, designed and exported by Panda Fireworks for Phantom, is one of many U.S.-bound pyrotechnic passengers Hengda sends on slow boats from China, which makes 100 percent of what California will be celebrating with on America’s birthday. Located in Liling, which together with Liuyang 50 miles away are the collective heart of China’s $4 billion fireworks industry, Hengda is also home of Phantom’s popular Funky Monkey, Moondance Premiere and King of Bling, along with fountains bearing the TNT Fireworks brand.

As the factory tour moves away from operations and toward the entrance so we can safely light a sample of products, including Phantom’s Illuminati Triangle Fountain debuting in California this season, out of nowhere a throng of chatty blue-jacketed workers joins us on the walkway. It’s lunchtime for the factory’s 400 employees, and they’re scurrying off to the chow line. The faster they eat the more they earn because pay is based on output.

The herd of mostly female workers keeps its distance from the tour group except for one playfully curious woman in probably her late 50s. She yells something lighthearted in Mandarin to friendly colleagues as she catches up with the Caucasian reporter. Feeling puckish, the language-limited foreigner startles the worker when he stops in front of her and shouts, “Wo ai ni!” which means “I love you.” The woman is first taken aback, then breaks into laughter as she clutches her heart.

The affable employee might have thought the visitor was kidding around, but after gaining a better appreciation of the intricate, monotonous and hazardous labor it takes to make something so dazzling, yet fleeting, this newly schooled, fireworks-loving American meant each of those three little words.

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Stingrays Six Simple Sayings

By Jan Float  |  2018-06-28

GOLD RIVER, CA (MPG) - Presenting to you this year’s Gold River Swim Team … (Smiles Courtesy of Six Simple Sayings!) Elitist athletes, looking back at their wonder years, likewise break into massive grins, such is the inspiring warmth of the Six Sayings upon which Stingrays’ Spirit is built.

So what are these indelible words of wisdom? Pre-race parents: “Have fun. Swim fast. I love you.” Flip-turned post-race parents: “Did you have fun? You swam fast. I love you!” Who wouldn’t be motivated to give it 110% every time they dive in and jump out? These six sentences, repeated a million times, predicate a love of sports -- and, for that matter, any performance. A little praise goes a long way.

The Stingrays have had plenty to smile about this year. When you swim fast, you’ve done your best -- and Gold River’s personal-bests are off the chain. On June 1, an intrasquad meet and family BBQ, right in their own backyard, presented greater opportunity for parents, coaches and supporters to sing the six sayings. The results? You guessed it. Fast racing!

One of the Stingrays’ cheerleading families is the Joneses (dad Tom, mom Karen, Lauren and Morgan). You may recognize the name, (Photos by Tom Jones). As the team’s photographer, Tom’s pictures have graced these articles for seven months. Enthusiastic and ebullient, Tom and Karen “practice what they preach,” the Stingrays six sayings and their daughters are improving at a rapid race pace.

The Johnson Ranch Barracudas came calling on June 9. This dual meet was exceptional, in that the personal-best stats were astounding. Let’s face it, stats are snoozers, but hang in there for these. The Barracudas were 270+/- participants strong vs. the Stingrays 124. From Gold River’s small-but-mighty, 108 kicked personal-best times, 78 drowned more than full seconds and 71% churned out bests in every event. Powerhouse performances!

In the June 16 meet, over on the Elk Grove Piranhas’ home turf, they encountered a far deeper team, 350+/- vs. 90 Stingrays. What are you doing to do when the numbers are stacked against you? Have fun, do your best, and love it! And that they did; Stingrays’ cheerfulness and dropped times abounded.

From an overall roster of 250+/-, next up is the Rio Del Oro Rapids. Despite the Stingrays’ small headcount, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And the Six Sayings bolster it all. To round out the month, Gold River is hosting Del Norte’s Dolphins… fewer athletes, less formidable, and more to report on next month.

As for the Team Functions, talk about having fun and loving it! The River Cats and their annual nod to regional swim teams was a blast, as was the club’s invitational to the Dive-In Movie -- not to be confused with the upcoming Drive-In movie. Think water vs. dryland. One more dual meet with Glen Oaks and then straight into Championships at UOP. Time flies when you’re having fun in the sun, swimming faster and faster, and loving every minute of it!

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June 5 Election Recap: Sacramento County

SacCounty News Release  |  2018-06-28

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Final results from the June 5 Statewide Primary Election have been reported and Sacramento County’s first election under the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) is one for the books. We sat down with Alice Jarboe, Interim Registrar of Voters for Sacramento County, to catch up on how the election went and learn more about what we can expect for future elections.

How did it go?

With Sacramento County being the largest of the five counties to implement the VCA beginning with the June Primary Election, the pressure was on. The implementation took months and months of planning and coordination by all Sacramento County Department of Voter Registration and Elections (DVRE) staff and what resulted, was a very successful election where voter turnout reached 42 percent, significantly surpassing the 2014 Statewide Primary Election of 29.6 percent. 

Voters in Sacramento County were very receptive to the new voting model and took advantage of the Vote by Mail option, returning a record breaking amount, higher than the past three Primary Elections. In fact, based on the results from the Voter Experience Survey, 79 percent of respondents said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their overall voting experience.

What were the top three questions the department received?

What security measures​ were taken?

Every precaution was taken to safeguard the system and all data is housed on a secure closed network with no internet connection. Additionally, access to the system and ballots is limited to authorized employees under 24/7 surveillance and all staff, both permanent and temporary are sworn in as election officers and anytime there is a ballot in the room, there are always two or more people present. 

When will the ballots be processed and counted?

This year, the results released on election night were different than in years past. While they still included any Vote by Mail (VBM) ballots received by June 2, the difference was the low volume of in-person votes from Vote Centers.  In total, there were only 18,104 in-person votes and 106,505 VBM ballots to report election night. Since the majority of voters waited until June 5 to return their VBM ballot, those were not included in the initial results but counted in the days and weeks after the election.

It’s important to remember that getting timely received Vote by Mail ballots through the verification processes such as comparing signatures, separating ballots from envelopes, unfolding the ballots and finally, counting them, does take time. For those concerned with how long it took to release final results, this election was actually certified faster than the November 2014, June 2016 and November 2016 elections. 

What are the hours of operation and locations of ​Drop Boxes and Vote Centers? ​

Under the VCA, traditional polling places were replaced with 78 Vote Centers where voters could go to any open location to register, drop their ballot off or vote in person. Additionally, we more than tripled the number of secure Drop Box locations.

Although we do encourage residents to make a plan for how they want to return their ballot, there was some confusion over Drop Box locations hours of operation. Since these were inside the designated facilities, they were only accessible during the facilities business hours but moving forward, we will be working with facilities to have more uniform hours for all the locations. Additionally, we will be redesigning the maps and reference pages in the CVIG and VBM packet to more clearly provide that information to voters.​

What can we expect for future elections?

Higher voter turnout. This is an incredibly exciting time and we expect to see increased voter turnout in the November 2018 election. As more voters become familiar with the new voting model, we anticipate more VBM ballots being returned so we are working to prepare for that. 

Additional outreach. Based on my 20 years of experience at DVRE, I have found that it takes at least two to three elections for voters to really acclimate to voting changes. As this is the case, we will continue our efforts to educate all residents in Sacramento County about the changes to voting under the VCA and all of the opportunities available to them. 

With the November election around the corner, Sacramento County residents can expect to see additional outreach in the coming months. For more information about upcoming elections, registration information or the VCA, visit DVRE’s website

Source: SacCounty News

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