Sonoma Raceway Kicks Off 17th Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive

Sonoma Raceway kicks off its season of giving with the 17th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which runs through Nov. 19.

Race fans and community members can donate at several North Bay locations, and all food collected through the drive will be distributed to two Sonoma County food banks: Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa

Sonoma Raceway’s annual food drive has generated nearly 34 tons of food over the past 16 years, including more than 1,600 pounds in 2016.

New for this year, non-perishable food items can be brought to the Sonoma Valley Fire Department, as well as the Schell-Vista Fire Department. In addition, Sonoma Raceway will collect both food and new, unwrapped toys at Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority’s Open House and pancake breakfast at the Albert C. Mazza Fire Station on Sunday, Nov. 12, between 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Non-perishable food items for the Sonoma Raceway Thanksgiving Food Drive can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Sonoma Raceway (at Gate 1 or the main office), 29355 Arnold Dr., 800-870-RACE (7223), www.SonomaRaceway.com.
  • Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority, 630 2nd Street West, Sonoma. (707) 996-2102, www.svfra.org.
  • Schell-Vista Fire Station,  22950 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 938-2633, www.schellvistafire.com
  • Sonoma Market, 500 West Napa Street, Sonoma, 707-996-3411, www.sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
  • Glen Ellen Village Market, 13751 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen, 707-996-6728, www.sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
  • RKA, 7694 Bell Road, Windsor, (707) 836-7659, www.rka-luggage.com.
  • Food items or donations can also be mailed to the raceway: Jen Imbimbo, 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA, 95476.

RKA Motorcycle Luggage will continue its annual tradition of hosting a motorcycle group ride on Saturday, Nov. 11, which will include a pit stop at Sonoma Raceway to drop off collected food items and take a few laps around the Sonoma Raceway road course. For more information and to sign up for the ride, visit www.rka-luggage.com and click on the event schedule tab.

In addition to its regularly scheduled food distribution, REFB is distributing thousands of pounds of food to evacuation centers, shelters and other community resources helping fire victims.  The food bank has also implemented Station 3990, a drive-through, free grocery distribution at its warehouse and select other locations to help those impacted by the fires.

In the first 12 days after the fires began, REFB distributed 950,000 pounds of food: 114,000 pounds went to partner organizations, 281,000 pounds was distributed through REFB programs and a staggering 533,000 pounds (57%) was moved through Station 3990, car load by car load. The donations poured in during the first two weeks after the fires but are now beginning to dwindle. However, the number of people turning to them for help continues to increase. The capacity to continue to provide emergency food to the fire victims depends on donations to food and funds drives.

FISH (www.friendsinsonomahelping.org) has been helping Sonoma Valley residents in times of need since 1970 and provides not only food, but clothing, transportation and emergency rental assistance to Sonoma Valley residents in need. FISH has been a beneficiary of the raceway’s food drive since its inception in 2001.

For more information on the food drive, visit www.SonomaRaceway.com or contact Jen Imbimbo at Jennifer@SonomaRaceway.com or 707-933-3981.

Sonoma State University’s New Public-Private Partnership Bolsters Classroom-to-Career Pipeline

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a strategic partnership and career services pilot program with Star Staffing, a leading regional employment agency with nearly 20 years of experience in employer relations and job search training. Beginning this month, the strategic public-private partnership will provide enhanced career support to business and economics students, alumni, and employers, including the development of existing programs, such as annual career fairs, alumni mixers, and the professional mentor program.

“This pilot program is intended to build on our progress and engage even more companies and create more opportunities for our students nationally and globally,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics and Wine Business Institute said. “It allows us to continue creating extraordinary learning experiences for our students, while further developing a portfolio of career services in support of regional economic development and recovery. Our goal and expectation is that these enhancements will help ensure the educational, career, and life success of our students and alumni.”

“We’re excited about the opportunity to help students gain career-readiness skills and employment,” Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing Vice President said. “Employers across all industries are having difficulty finding enough qualified employees. By turning a spotlight on these talented students, we’ll help local employers see the value of hiring from this source and alleviate the hiring headache.”

Star Staffing will oversee the SBE Career Center’s services to students and employers, while working closely with Dr. Kyuho Lee, Professor of Marketing and current Internship Director; Dr. Karen Thompson, SBE Managing Director; and Joe Standridge, Professional Faculty in Accounting and advisor to the Accounting Forum, the largest academic student club at SSU. Currently, the SBE Career Center connects students to approximately 300 internships and nearly 100 professional mentorships each year, and the Accounting Forum helps place more than 100 students in accounting positions annually.

For more information regarding SBE Career Center services, please contact 707-791-5565 or sbe.careers@sonoma.edu. For information regarding the new public-private partnership with Star Staffing, or for information about SBE programs and degrees, please call 707-664-2377 or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.

BioMarin Highlights Breadth of Innovative Development Pipeline at R&D Day on October 18th in New York

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) updated the investment community on the Company’s development portfolio, which is focused on innovative therapies to treat rare and ultra-rare diseases.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical logo (PRNewsfoto/BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.)

“We are pleased to share the progress of our development programs in therapies to treat rare genetic diseases; hemophilia A, PKU, achondroplasia and our next IND into Friedreich’s Ataxia,” said Hank Fuchs, M.D., President Worldwide Research and Development of BioMarin.  “In the near term, we are expecting an FDA decision on pegvaliase to treat adults with uncontrolled PKU in the first half of next year, and we continue to be rapidly and decisively developing the potential first gene therapy for severe hemophilia A.”

BioMarin Selects BMN 290 for Friedreich’s Ataxia

BioMarin announced today that it has selected BMN 290, a selective chromatin modulation therapy, for the treatment of Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA).  FA is a rare autosomal recessive disorder with worldwide prevalence of approximately 15,000, which results in disabling neurologic and cardiac progressive decline.  Currently there are no approved disease modifying therapies for FA.  In preclinical models, BMN 290 increases frataxin expression in affected tissues more than two-fold.  BMN 290 is a second generation compound derived from a compound acquired from Repligen that had human clinical data demonstrating increases in frataxin in FA patients.  BMN 290 was selected for its favorable penetration into the central nervous system and cardiac target tissues, and its preservation of the selectivity of the original Repligen compound.  The company expects to submit the IND in 2H 2018.

BMN 270 Gene Therapy for Severe Hemophilia A

BioMarin announced today that the FDA has completed their review of the IND application for BMN 270, an investigational gene therapy treatment for severe hemophilia A, and concluded that it can proceed.  The IND application included 52-week data at the 6e13 vg/kg dose and the protocol for the Phase 3 study using the 6e13 vg/kg dose.  The protocol for the second Phase 3 study using the 4e13 vg/kg dose has also been submitted to the FDA.

BioMarin also announced today that the Phase 3 Clinical Trial Application was approved by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The company expects to initiate the global Phase 3 program in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Data Update on Phase 1/2 Study of 4e13 vg/kg Dose

In addition, the company provided an update on the ongoing open-label Phase 1/2 study of the 4e13 vg/kg dose at up to 36 weeks of observation at the September 14, 2017 data cut.  Since the last data update provided during the Q2 earnings call on August 2, 2017, five of the six patients at the 4e13 vg/kg dose tracked to the low range of normal, and the sixth is in the mild range for Factor VIII levels.  Median annualized bleed and factor VIII use rates for 4e13 and 6e13 vg/kg were zero after Week 4.

Factor VIII Levels (%) of 4e13 vg/kg Dose Patients* by Visit (N=6)

Week**

4

8

12

16

20

24

28

32

36

4e13 vg/kg
Dose

n

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

3

3

Median
Factor VIII
Level*** (%)

4

15

21

29

34

28

31

51

45

Mean
Factor VIII
Level*** (%)

5

13

19

26

31

29

30

51

47

Range
(low, high)

(2,10)

(3,21)

(6,32)

(5,38)

(7,45)

(7,43)

(4,44)

(48,54)

(41,55)

*All patients had severe hemophilia A, defined as less than or equal to 1% of Factor VIII activity levels, expressed as a percentage of normal factor activity in blood.

**Weeks were windowed by +/- 2 weeks

*** Bolded numbers are in the mild to normal range of Factor VIII activity as defined by the World Federation of Hemophilia, http://www.wfh.org/en/page.aspx?pid=643 (link current as of Oct. 17, 2017). Factor VIII levels are determined by one-stage assay.

 

BMN 270 Reduces Bleeds and Factor VIII Use:  Summary of Mean Annualized Bleeding Rate (ABR) and FVIII Use Rate of 4e13 vg/kg Dose for Patients Previously on Prophylaxis (N=6) at September 14, 2017 data cut

Before BMN 270 Infusion

After BMN 270 Infusion

Median (mean, SD)

Median (mean, SD)

Annualized Bleeding Rate*
(bleeding episodes per
year per subject)

8.0 (12.2, 15.4)

0.0 (0.8, 1.9)

Annualized FVIII Use Rate*
(infusions per year per subject)

155.5 (146.5, 41.6)

0.0 (2.7, 6.7)

*Post-infusion data were based on data after Week 4

BMN 270 Generic Name is Valoctocogene Roxaparvovec

BioMarin was issued the International Nonproprietary Name (INN) valoctocogene roxaparvovec for BMN 270.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the INN “valoctocogene roxaparvovec” for the Company’s gene therapy to treat hemophilia A.  International Nonproprietary Names (INN) identify pharmaceutical substances or active pharmaceutical ingredients. Each INN is a unique name that is globally recognized and is public property. A nonproprietary name is also known as a generic name.

Gene Therapy Manufacturing

BioMarin has constructed one of the largest gene therapy manufacturing facilities in the world, which is located in Novato, California.  Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) production of BMN 270 has commenced and will support clinical development activities and anticipated commercial demand. This facility is capable of supporting approximately 2,000 patients per year, and the production process was developed in accordance with International Conference on Harmonisation guidance for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use facilitating worldwide registration with health authorities.

Vosoritide Data Update

BioMarin provided an update on its open-label Phase 2 study of vosoritide, an analog of C-type Natriuretic Peptide (CNP), in children with achondroplasia, the most common form of disproportionate short stature in humans.

Vosoritide for achondroplasia demonstrates sustained increase in average growth velocity over 30 months of treatment in 10 children, who completed 30 months of daily dosing at 15 µg/kg/day.  Over this period of time, patients have experienced mean absolute growth increase of approximately 4 cm over what their baseline growth velocity would have predicted.

The sustained increase in annualized growth velocity was accompanied by sustained improvements over time in height compared to age- and gender-matched unaffected children as measure by z-scores.  In addition, treatment with vosoritide shows continued improvement over time in proportionality as measured by a ratio of the upper and lower body measurements or U/L ratio.

Pegvaliase Program Update

The Pegvaliase Biologics License Application (BLA) remains on Track for FDA Action during the first half of 2018.  The company plans to submit a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Q1 2018.

2017 Full-year Total Revenue and Non-GAAP Guidance reaffirmed

Today, the Company commented on their Total Product Revenue and Non-GAAP trends for the third quarter and full-year 2017.  In terms of the overall commercial business, BioMarin stated that sales of products in markets throughout most of the world are performing at or above internal expectations.  However, the Company said the one exception is Brazil, where a slowdown in Federal purchasing orders has extended into the third quarter of this year.  As a result, third quarter revenues are expected to be negatively impacted.  For the fourth quarter, if orders are placed in Brazil as expected, Total Product Revenue for full-year 2017 is anticipated to be in the mid-point of guidance.  However, if sales to Brazil continue to be slow in the fourth quarter, full-year 2017 Total Product Revenue may be at the low end of guidance.  Regardless of Brazilian ordering patterns for the remainder of the year, and based on careful expense control, the Company still expects to be in the mid to high-end of Non-GAAP profitability guidance for full-year 2017.

About BioMarin and Disease Information

BioMarin is a global biotechnology company that develops and commercializes innovative therapies for patients with serious and life-threatening rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases. The company’s portfolio consists of six commercialized products and multiple clinical and pre-clinical product candidates. For additional information, please visit www.biomarin.com. Information on BioMarin’s website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.

About Friedreich’s Ataxia

Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a progressive, neurological disorder that affects approximately 15,000 people in the United States and Europe, typically resulting in wheelchair dependence in young adulthood and early death due to cardiac failure. It is caused by mutations in the FXN gene, and is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. FXN mutations result in reduced expression of frataxin protein, manifesting in progressive neurological and cardiac damage. Major neurological symptoms include muscle weakness and ataxia, a loss of balance and coordination. These symptoms typically appear between 10 and 15 years of age, but FA has been diagnosed in people from ages 2 to 50 with earlier onset associated with a more severe course.

BMN 270 Safety

Overall, BMN 270 has been well-tolerated by patients across all doses, including the two patients that received the lowest doses of 6e12 and 2e13 vg/kg, respectively.  No patients developed inhibitors to Factor VIII and no patients withdrew from the study.  The most common adverse events (AEs) across all dose cohorts were alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation (11 patients, 73%); arthralgia, aspartate aminotransferase elevation, and headache (7 patients each, 47%); back pain and fatigue (5 patients each, 33%).  Two patients reported Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) during the study.  One patient was hospitalized for observation after developing Grade 2 pyrexia with myalgia and headache within 24 hours of receiving BMN 270.  The event resolved within 48 hours following treatment with paracetamol, an over-the-counter treatment for pain and fever.  The event was assessed as related to BMN 270.  The other SAE was assessed as not related to BMN 270, attributed to a planned knee surgery to treat hemophilic arthropathy, and Grade 1 in severity.  No complications were reported.

About Hemophilia A

Hemophilia A, also called Factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency or classic hemophilia, is a genetic disorder caused by missing or defective Factor VIII, a clotting protein. Although it is passed down from parents to children, about 1/3 of cases are caused by a spontaneous mutation, a new mutation that was not inherited. As an X-linked disorder, hemophilia A mostly affects males, occurring in approximately 1 in 5,000 male births. People living with the disease are not able to form blood clots efficiently and are at risk for excessive bleeding from modest injuries, potentially endangering their life. People with severe hemophilia often bleed spontaneously into their muscles or joints. The standard of care for the 43% of hemophilia A patients who are severely affected, is a prophylactic regimen of Factor VIII infusions three times per week. Even with prophylactic regimens, many patients still experience microbleeds and spontaneous bleeding events that result in progressive joint damage.

Vosoritide Safety

Vosoritide was generally well tolerated at all doses. The majority of adverse events (AEs) were mild and no serious AEs were reported as study drug-related. Across all doses, injection site reactions and hypotension were the most common drug-related AEs.  All injection site reaction events were transient. AEs of hypotension were mild, transient and resolved without medical intervention, and the majority were asymptomatic and reported in context of routine blood pressure measurements. No new safety findings were observed at the 30 µg/kg/day dose.

About Achondroplasia 

Achondroplasia, the most common form of disproportionate short stature in humans, is characterized by failure of normal conversion of cartilage into bone, which results in disproportionate short stature. This condition is caused by a mutation in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 gene (FGFR3), a negative regulator of bone growth. Beyond disproportionate short stature, people with achondroplasia can experience serious health complications, including foramen magnum compression, sleep apnea, bowed legs, mid-face hypoplasia, permanent sway of the lower back, spinal stenosis and recurrent ear infections. Some of these complications can result in invasive surgeries such as spinal cord decompression and straightening of bowed legs. In addition, studies show increased mortality at every age.

More than 80% of children with achondroplasia have parents of average stature and have the condition as the result of a spontaneous gene mutation.  The worldwide incidence rate of achondroplasia is about one in 25,000 live births.  Vosoritide is being tested in children whose growth plates are still “open,” typically those under 18 years of age.  This is approximately 25 percent of people with achondroplasia.  In the United StatesEuropeLatin Americaand the Middle East, there is currently no licensed medicines for achondroplasia.

Pegvaliase Safety

The safety data set for all pegvaliase trials includes exposure up to seven years and approximately 680 patient years of treatment, 300 of which are from the Phase 3 program.  Most Adverse Events (AEs) were mild or moderate in severity.  8.5% of patients reported AEs leading to study withdrawal.  The most common Adverse Events (AEs) were arthralgia (69.5%), injection site reaction (65.1%), headache (51.9%), nasopharyngitis (41.1%), and rash (40.2%).

Pegvaliase treated patients had acute systemic hypersensitivity adverse events (4.6%) as defined by the broad National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (NIAID/FAAN) (Sampson’s) criteria for anaphylaxis by expert external adjudication.  Hypersensitivity adverse events and acute systemic hypersensitivity events mainly occurred in the first year of treatment.  With prolonged exposure, AE rates declined for almost all categories.  Using high-sensitivity assays, anti-drug IgE was undetected in the observed acute systemic hypersensitivity events.  Eight of the 13 patients with acute systemic hypersensitivity events were re-dosed and six of the eight re-dosed patients continued therapy.

About Phenylketonuria

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disorder affecting approximately 50,000 diagnosed patients in the developed world and is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme PAH.  This enzyme is required for the metabolism of Phe, an essential amino acid found in most protein-containing foods. If the active enzyme is not present in sufficient quantities, Phe accumulates to abnormally high levels in the blood and becomes toxic to the brain, resulting in a variety of complications including severe intellectual disability, seizures, tremors, behavioral problems and psychiatric symptoms. As a result of newborn screening efforts implemented in the 1960s and early 1970s, virtually all individuals with PKU or PAH deficiency under the age of 40 in developed countries are diagnosed at birth and treatment is implemented soon after. PAH deficiency can be managed with a Phe-restricted diet, which is supplemented by low-protein modified foods and Phe-free medical foods; however, the strict diet is difficult for most adult patients to adhere to the extent needed for achieving adequate control of blood Phe levels.  To learn more about PKU and PAH deficiency, please visit www.PKU.com. Information on this website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements about the business prospects of BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., including, without limitation, statements about its development programs and regulatory actions related to these programs, including the expected timing of the filing of the MAA for pegvaliase and an FDA decision on pegvaliase, the timing of its anticipated submission of an IND for BMN 290, BioMarin’s BMN 270 program generally, the timing of the initiation of the global Phase 3 program, the expected design and size of the Phase 3 studies and a Phase 1/2 study in subjects with pre-existing antibodies against AAV5, expected regulatory actions related to BMN 270, the expectations of total BioMarin revenues for the third quarter and full year 2017 and the financial performance of BioMarin as a whole, and statements about the anticipated capacity of the Company’s gene therapy manufacturing facility.  These forward-looking statements are predictions and involve risks and uncertainties such that actual results may differ materially from these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: results and timing of current and planned preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates, the continued clinical experiences of the patients in the current clinical studies; the content and timing of decisions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Commission and other regulatory authorities; the content and timing of decisions by local and central ethics committees regarding the clinical trials; our ability to successfully manufacture our product candidates for the preclinical and clinical trials; the ordering patterns for our commercial products, particularly orders from Brazilian governmental entities; and those other risks detailed from time to time under the caption “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in BioMarin’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including BioMarin’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, and future filings and reports by BioMarin. BioMarin undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or changes in its expectations.

Sonoma County manufacturers reach out to students on industry’s career appeal

Local manufacturing facilities recently opened their doors to 40 students from Cloverdale, Windsor, Santa Rosa and Rancho Cotate high schools as part of an effort to showcase the range of local career opportunities available in manufacturing.

On Oct. 6, students toured facilities at Viavi Solutions and Amy’s Kitchen, explored the makerspace and machining shop at Santa Rosa Junior College, engaged with industry professionals in career pathway discussions, and took part in hands-on learning activities at 180 Studios, the new community makerspace in Santa Rosa.

Manufacturing Day brought together education and industry leaders to inspire the next generation of Sonoma County manufacturers and to raise public awareness of the diversity and economic importance of local manufacturers.

“The manufacturers of Sonoma County provide a wide range of employment and career opportunities to its residents,” said Bill Oakes, chair of the North Bay Society of Manufacturing Engineers, one of the event’s leading partners. “A vibrant and growing manufacturing sector within the North Bay provides a healthier standard of living for people of all educational backgrounds.”

Other partners included Medtronic, CamelBak, Six Sigma, Straus Family Creamery, Keysight Technologies, Small Precision Tools, P & L Specialties, EMG Pickups, Max Machinery, and the North Bay Leadership Council.

Manufacturing Day is an annual national event executed at the local level and supported by thousands of manufacturers as they host students, teachers, parents, job seekers and other local community members at open houses, plant tours and presentations designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers.

2017 MFG Day Sonoma County was launched by the Sonoma County Office of Education, Career Technical Education Foundation, and Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

Comcast Gives a $500,000 Cash Donation to North Bay Fire Relief Fund

Comcast NBCUniversal today announced it will donate $500,000 in cash to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, and almost $1 million worth of in-kind support for the affected communities.

Comcast will produce advertising spots and donate advertising time on its cable systems to build awareness and solicit donations to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund.  The Fund has been established to provide much needed assistance to residents affected by the North Bay Fires in Northern California.

“These fires are the most deadly and devastating in California’s history and our hearts go out to all of who have been impacted,” said Dave Watson, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation and President and CEO of Comcast Cable. “With this contribution to the fire relief efforts, Comcast is supporting the communities we serve and providing aid in the rapid recovery and restoration of the affected areas.”

In addition to opening up its Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the Northern California region, Comcast is also providing a range of Internet, Wi-Fi, Wireless, Phone and Video services to evacuation/community support centers throughout the area, installing TVs with video services at evacuation centers and donating technology services to numerous Emergency Response and Fire Command centers.

Throughout the areas impacted by the fires, Comcast is working in partnership with local authorities, as well as utility and other infrastructure and service providers to ensure that service restoration efforts can take place quickly, while working within safety guidelines and other incident response protocols.

For more information about our overall response and support during the Northern California wildfires, visit http://california.comcast.com/.

Sonoma State University Starts #Nomacares Intiative

hen the recent fires struck Sonoma County, thousands of students, faculty and staff were personally affected. Many were forced out of their homes, including students on campus who were temporarily relocated from the residence halls. Others lost loved ones, were injured or had their houses burned. Nearly all of us know someone who was struck by this tragedy.

Now we’re asking Noma Nation to help.

Get involved by donating to a special fund that will provide direct assistance to the many victims at Sonoma State University. You can also find ways to help through the Noma Needs Facebook group, by providing things like rides, temporary housing, or other assistance.

The fires knocked us down. But we’re back up, and we’re working hard to help those who need it.

#NomaCares

See below for a list of FAQs, latest updates, resources and other ways to get involved.

Arrow Benefits Group Offering Two Important Benefits to Victims of the North Bay Wildfires

For those of us in the North Bay community, it has been a devastating week with the local fires. Team members, clients, and business partners have lost their homes. Events like this elicit a dramatic call to action, and it has been wonderful to see the overwhelming response from the community. The North Bay is a remarkable place and we are grateful for it. We are also thankful for those that have volunteered countless hours, opened their homes to those in need, and to those in uniform who have worked tirelessly each day to contain the fires and keep our communities safe.

As a benefits brokerage, we wanted to make you aware of two benefit resources available for both members and non-members of the following programs. We encourage you to share this information with affected employees:

First, Magellan Health, Inc. announced that it has opened a free 24-hour crisis line for all individuals affected by the recent wildfires in California.

The toll-free number to access free, confidential counseling services is 1-800-327-7451.

Magellan will provide free, confidential counseling services and other resources, such as referrals to local non-profit organizations, shelters and additional community-based support to assist individuals in California as they work to cope with the feelings of fear, sadness, anger and hopelessness related to these kinds of natural disasters.

In addition, tip sheets with resources specific to wildfire preparedness, evacuation procedures and steps towards recovery can be found on Magellan Health’s website.
Coping with wildfires
Being prepared for a wildfire evacuation
Supporting employees impacted by wildfires

Magellan Health provides specialized healthcare services, including behavioral health counseling and support, to millions of individuals across the country. Magellan opens its crisis lines during events such as this to help support the local community as it responds, reacts and rebuilds.

Second, VSP Vision Care is working directly with its network doctors, business partners, and relief agencies, including the American Red Cross, to best support and fulfill the eye care needs of those directly affected.

For VSP Members:

Any VSP member who has lost or broken their eyewear or is in need of eye care services due to recent natural disasters can call its VSP Member Services Support Line at 1-800-877-7195 to have their VSP benefits reinstated-regardless of eligibility.

For non-VSP members:

VSP is providing access to free eye care and glasses. If you, your friends or family are in need of eye care due to recent disasters who are not VSP members, contact the local American Red Cross or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to request a VSP Global Eyes of Hope® gift certificate to use for no-cost eye care and glasses at a local VSP network doctor’s office. For regular updates about relief efforts, VSP’s gift certificate program, or how you can help, visit VSP’s website at vspglobal.com/disasteroutreach.

We hope you and your employees are safe, and please let us know if you have any questions about these two programs.

 

Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital and Outpatient Clinics in Fire Zone Reopened!

Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital reopened today. Full inpatient and emergency care services resumed at 7 a.m.—eight days after the hospital safely evacuated nearly 80 patients because of the destructive Tubbs fires. Elective procedures will resume at a later date.

Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation Clinic Status
Also today, we opened four additional outpatient clinics for the community. Since the fires erupted, we have reopened 10 of 13 medical clinics in the fire zone

See our website for complete list of open and closed locations. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS/PROCEDURES
In coordination with doctors, appointments and elective procedures were rescheduled due to the fires. If you had a scheduled surgical procedure or appointment, you should have received a personal phone call to reschedule. If you had an appointment and did not receive a call to reschedule, please contact us at 866-477-2258.

VIDEO VISITS
To help support our patients in wildfire areas, we will continue to offer same-day video visits to Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation patients older than 18 months for the following conditions:

• Abdominal pain
• Acne
• Allergies
• Asthma
• Back Pain
• Constipation
• Cough
• Diarrhea
• Ear Problems
• Fever
• Flu
• Insect Bites
• Nausea
• Pink Eye
• Rashes
• Respiratory Problems
• Sinusitis
• Sore Throat
• Urinary Problems
• Vomiting

Visit sutterhealth.org/video-visits/ to log in to My Health Online and schedule your appointment. To access the service, you must be registered on My Health Online.

Once logged into My Health Online, click on primary care and the video visit feature to schedule a same-day appointment with an available clinician.

You can access My Health Online on the web or through the free mobile app available in iTunes or Google Play.

Your health and safety remains our highest priority. We will continue to update our website with the most current information about care in your area. Stay safe. #SantaRosaStrong.

Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital to Re-Open Tuesday

Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital announced today that it will reopen with full services at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17— just eight days after the hospital was evacuated during the devastating Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County.

“We’re eager to welcome patients, staff and doctors tomorrow morning,” said Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital CEO Mike Purvis. “Getting back to providing health care for our community, especially during this unprecedented disaster, will be healing for all of us.”

Beginning Tuesday morning, Sutter Santa Rosa will again offer full inpatient and emergency care services. Elective procedures will resume at a later date.

To reopen, the hospital had to undergo a thorough cleaning and pass inspections by both the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and the California Department of Public Health.

“To prepare the hospital for re-opening wasn’t an easy task,” said Jeff Gerard, president of Sutter Health Bay Area. “So many of our team members were affected by the fire—at least 60 lost their homes—yet we are committed to reopen the hospital on Tuesday. Reopening the hospital only eight days after having to evacuate demonstrates the strength of our integrated network. Working together, we were able to marshal and quickly provide the necessary support and resources to reopen the hospital and empower the staff of Sutter Santa Rosa to do what they do best—take care of the community.”

The Evacuation

The hospital, at 30 Mark West Springs Rd., was evacuated in the early morning hours on Monday, October 9. Hospital staff safely transferred 77 patients and evacuated nearly 100 community members who had come to the hospital seeking refuge from the fast-moving inferno.

“All the hospitals in our North Bay region and beyond were very quick to respond to take patients and provide resources [for the evacuation],” Purvis said. “Our staff drills for all types of unplanned and catastrophic events on a regular basis—and that definitely contributed to the success of the evacuation,” he added.

Hospital’s Well Water System Saves Hospital, Continues to Aid Firefighters

Firefighters were able to access the hospital’s six vast underground water tanks. Sutter Santa Rosa was built with its own well water system, separate from the city’s water system, to protect the hospital against disasters and support sustainability. To date, firefighters have used more than 500,000 gallons from the hospital’s supply to battle the wildfires.

Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation Clinic Status

In addition to the hospital, numerous clinics were forced to close by the inferno, including 13 medical clinics operated by Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation. Ten of these thirteen, along with Sutter Walk-In Care in Petaluma, have since reopened. For a complete list of open and closed clinics and surgery centers, see https://www.sutterhealth.org/for-patients/community-alert.

Other Information

• Sutter Health has established a hotline for patients and staff seeking more information at 1-866-961-2889.
• Sutter Health donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross Wildfire Fund on behalf of its employees, doctors and volunteers to help support community members and employees affected by the devastating wildfires.
• Sutter Health is actively supporting its communities, patients, employees and physicians by:
o Donating supplies, such as gauze and saline solution, to evacuation centers in Santa Rosa and Petaluma.
o Providing support to Sutter Health staff and physicians who need it, including financial aid, disaster recovery pay, prescription assistance, and other employee assistance support ranging from insurance claims help to mental health resources.
o Creating a new Sutter Health Philanthropic Disaster Relief Fund, a special fund to support employees, physicians and other medical staff who care for Sutter patients and were affected by this disaster. Anyone can contribute to this fund. Online donation forms are available here.

Nelson Ranked 89 on the Largest Staffing List for 2017

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions, has released its 2017 report on the Largest Staffing Firms in the United States. Ranked by revenue, the report covers firms that generated at least $100 million in US staffing revenue in 2016. This is SIA’s 22nd annual report on the largest US staffing firms.

Nelson is proud to announce ranking 89 on this list, as the company continues to experience growth and national recognition. Last year, Inc. magazine included Nelson on its 35th annual prestigious ranking of the nation’s fasting-growing private companies and Nelson has only continued to grow since.

“This report showcases those companies who have grown their business to the top of the industry in terms of revenue and growth,” said Barry Asin, President of SIA. “The 144 companies comprising the list generated a combined revenue of $80.0 billion in 2016 and their success illustrates the continued growth and adoption of staffing in the US.”

As Nelson continues to grow, the company remains focused on working with organizations of all types and sizes across all industries. “How we do business will always be guided by our principles and values,” said Craig Nelson, Chairman of the Board at Nelson. The staffing company is known for strengthening the next generation of quality talent but also strengthening the communities around them.

Read more about the Staffing Industry Analysts annual ranking of the largest US staffing firms of 2017 here: http://www2.staffingindustry.com/About/Media-Center/Press-Releases/SIA-s-22nd-Annual-Ranking-of-Largest-US-Staffing-Firms