Alameda County is made up of residents with diverse backgrounds, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses and health concerns. Our mission, Caring, Healing, Teaching, Serving All, concisely speaks to the vital role we play, and the critical responsibility we accept in promoting wellness, eliminating disparities and optimizing the health of a diverse East Bay. Following are several of the top conditions disproportionately affecting our region, along with community resources to help you further enhance your health.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive loss of kidney function over time. The symptoms of declining kidney function may include feeling generally unwell and a reduction of appetite. The primary causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure. As kidney disease progresses, it can lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. (Source: Healthy Alameda County/CMS.)
The following community organizations seek to increase awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for Alameda County residents.
- National Kidney Foundation Serving Northern California: https://www.kidney.org/offices/nkf-serving-northern-california-pacific-northwest
- Bay Area Association of Kidney Patients: http://www.baakp.org/
Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. It can have a harmful effect on most of the organ systems in the human body. Diabetes disproportionately affects minority populations and the elderly, and its incidence is likely to increase as minority populations grow and the U.S. population becomes older. (Source: Healthy Alameda County/Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).)
The following community organizations provide classes and other support for Americans living with diabetes.
- Alameda County Public Health Department Diabetes Program: http://www.acphd.org/diabetes.aspx
- American Diabetes Association SF Bay Area Chapter: http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/local-offices/san-francisco-california/
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods or uncertain ability to acquire those foods in socially acceptable ways. Food insecurity is associated with chronic health problems in adults including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and mental health issues including major depression. (Source: Healthy Alameda County/Feeding America.)
If you or a loved one are having trouble obtaining healthy food for your family, the following community organizations may be able to help.
Babies born with low birthweight are more likely than babies of normal weight to have health problems and require specialized medical care in the neonatal intensive care unit. Low birthweight is typically caused by premature birth and fetal growth restriction, both of which are influenced by a mother’s health and genetics. The most important things an expectant mother can do to prevent low birthweight are to seek prenatal care, take prenatal vitamins, stop smoking, and stop drinking alcohol and using drugs. (Source: Healthy Alameda County/CA Department of Public Health.)
The following community organizations work to improve the health of mothers and babies through counseling, social support, parenting education and more.
- March of Dimes Bay Area Division: https://www.marchofdimes.org/facebook/california/bayarea.html
- Black Infant Health Program: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=16074
- First 5 Alameda County: http://www.first5alameda.org/
- Alameda Kids: http://alamedakids.org/
Mental disorders are common across the United States, but only a fraction of those affected receive treatment. Although occasional down days are normal, persistent mental and emotional health problems should be evaluated and treated by a qualified professional. Hospitalization rates for racial/ethnic minorities may be disproportionately high due to barriers in obtaining proper diagnosis, treatment and management of mental illness. (Source: Healthy Alameda County.)
The following community organizations seek to reduce stigmatization and increase access to mental health resources in our community.
Aside from colds and the flu, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are some of the most widespread infections both in the United States and the world. STIs affect both men and women, and almost half of all STIs occur in people younger than 25 years old. They are primarily spread through intimate heterosexual or homosexual contact, however, some STIs can be passed by nonsexual contact, such as by sharing needles, delivering a baby or breastfeeding. (Source: Healthy Alameda County/CA Department of Public Health.)
The following community organizations provide assessments, counseling and other services related to sexually transmitted infections.
- East Bay Community Recovery Project: http://www.ebcrp.org/
- AIDS Project East Bay: http://bayareacommunityresources.wikidot.com/org:aids-project-east-bay
- Berkeley Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution: http://www.berkeleyneed.org/
A stroke occurs when blood vessels carrying oxygen to the brain burst or become blocked, thereby cutting off the brain’s supply of oxygen and other nutrients. The most important modifiable risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure. Other risk factors include high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, physical inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol use and tobacco use. (Source: Healthy Alameda County/CA Department of Public Health.)
The following community organizations help alleviate stroke’s devastating aftermath through support programs for stroke survivors and family caregivers.
- Pacific Stroke Association: http://pacificstrokeassociation.org/
- American Heart Association Greater Bay Area Chapter: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/SanFrancisco/California/Home_UCM_WSA022_AffiliatePage.jsp