Riverside Bike-Sharing Program In The Works

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Alicia Robinson, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 16, 2014)

In Riverside’s continuing quest to expand public transit offerings and foster a “bicycle culture,” the city plans to launch what is likely the Inland area’s first public bike sharing program.  A city wide bike-share program would be a great opportunity for all Riversiders, providing one more reason why Riverside is a location of choice.  Not only would this provide Riversiders with more convenient public transportation options, it would be a fun opportunity for people to stay active and enjoy the great climate and environment that Riverside has to offer.  Our city is increasingly becoming the location of choice for people and organizations from all over the world.     

People check out bicycles from a Citi Bike station in New York City's Central Park. Riverside plans to test a bike share program, possibly starting in 2015.  Photo credit: Matthew Christensen

People check out bicycles from a Citi Bike station in New York City’s Central Park. Riverside plans to test a bike share program, possibly starting in 2015. Photo credit: Matthew Christensen

The bike share concept isn’t new. Community bikes were used in Amsterdam as early as the 1960s. The first organized programs in the U.S. date to the 1990s, said Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center.  Esri, a Redlands geographic information systems company, offers free shared bicycles as an employee perk.

Riverside’s pilot project, which could start in 2015, will likely include four bike kiosks – one near City Hall, one at the downtown Metrolink station and spots near the UC Riverside and Riverside City College campuses, said Brandi Becker, a senior administrative analyst in the city’s public works department.  For most systems, pricing is set to encourage trips of a half-hour or less. Denver’s B-cycle, for example, starts at $8 for a 24-hour pass or $80 for a year, with weekly and monthly passes also offered. With all passes, trips up to 30 minutes are free; extra hourly charges apply for those who keep bikes out longer.

Many bike shares are still ironing out financial and logistical issues, but Riverside should be able to learn from others’ early mistakes, said Charlie Gandy, a bike consultant and vice president of the California Bicycle Coalition.    Gandy expects a bike share to fuel even more interest in cycling, whether for work, fun or fitness.   “Cities that take on this type of project see a major shift in people’s attitudes towards bicycling,” he said.

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UCR Students Turn Diaper Into Medical Tool

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Janet Zimmerman, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 11, 2014. )

Five UC Riverside students and recent grads cleaned up in a national engineering contest by building a better diaper.  The group came up with an inexpensive liner that detects dehydration and bacterial infections in infants, an invention that could facilitate testing in poor countries and ease infants’ suffering. They call it the Diaper Detective.

Bioengineering students from UC Riverside developed a diaper insert for detecting bacterial infections and dehydration in infants. The team includes, from left, Stephanie Tehseldar, Veronica Boulos, Sara Said, Claire Tran and Melissa Cruz.  Photo credit: Harish Dixit

Bioengineering students from UC Riverside developed a diaper insert for detecting bacterial infections and dehydration in infants. The team includes, from left, Stephanie Tehseldar, Veronica Boulos, Sara Said, Claire Tran and Melissa Cruz. Photo credit: Harish Dixit

“We created this to fulfill a need for a versatile, inexpensive, non-invasive method of urine collection in developing countries and elsewhere,” co-inventor Veronica Boulos said. “The beauty of this is that it solves a huge problem with simplicity.”  The Diaper Detective was the result of a class that requires bioengineering students to design and develop a product. It took third place – and $10,000 – last month in the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams Challenge sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

The Diaper Detective, created by UC Riverside students, uses chemicals that react with a baby's urine to detect illness and dehydration.  Photo credit: UC Riverside

The Diaper Detective, created by UC Riverside students, uses chemicals that react with a baby’s urine to detect illness and dehydration. Photo credit: UC Riverside

The idea was enough to attract interest from Procter & Gamble’s research department, which called the invention “novel, broadly relevant and affordable.” The group is in talks with the company for further development, possibly for adult incontinence products.

They hope their product eventually will be distributed to needy areas via relief organizations. If it qualifies for insurance coverage, it could be an inexpensive option for low-income parents, the scientists said.

The Diaper Detective is an outstanding model of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  The students and staff at UC Riverside cultivate and support ideas, research, and products that accelerate the common good for all.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do in Riveside, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.  

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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Makes A Splash At City Hall

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Dana Straehley, published in the Press-Enterprise on August 21, 2014.)

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is flooding the nation, with everyone from former President George W. Bush to celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Justin Bieber getting soaked for charity.  The Riverside area is all wet as well.

Riverside Mayor William "Rusty" Bailey takes the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall.  Phot credit: Kurt Miller

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey takes the Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Friends challenge each other to donate $100 for ALS or take a soaking and post photos or video to social media. 

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey was among the latest Thursday to have ice water poured over his head in the fundraising stunt that has gone viral. Drenched while sitting in the fountain in front of City Hall, he challenged his City Council colleagues to do the same or donate $100.  According to The ALS Association, Ice Bucket Challenge donations have surpassed $79 million as of 8/25/14.  For more information about ALS research in Riverside County, click here to connect with The ALS Golden West Chapter Support Group located here in Riverside.    

ALS, or Lou Gehrigs Disease, is a progressive disease that causes motor nerves to degenerate in the brain and spinal cord so the nerves can’t control muscles, leading patients to lose their ability to walk and talk and leading to eventual paralysis and death, according to the ALS Association.

Riverside Mayor William "Rusty" Bailey gets a double-bucket dunking from his daughters Julia, 8, left, and Elizabeth, 11, on Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey gets a double-bucket dunking from his daughters Julia, 8, left, and Elizabeth, 11, on Thursday at the fountain in front of City Hall. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

The people of Riverside are brought together around common interest and concerns, to engage with one another and accelerate the common good for all.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is just one example of Riverside coming together as a unified city.  Research and awareness for ALS is an important cause whether you are a professional, college student, or the Mayor.  It is refreshing to see all types of individuals from different backgrounds in the community doing there part to try and make a real difference.

To read the full article, click here.

 

 

Researchers At UCR Find Key Component Of Autistic Behavior

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Mark Muckenfuss, published in the Press-Enterprise on July 26, 2014)

Through constant commitment and dedication, UC Riverside is consistently raising the bar with their research and technological advancements.  One recent advancement, in regards to autism research, is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

Iryna Ethell in her lab at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism.  Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Iryna Ethell in her lab at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

A UC Riverside-led team of researchers says it has found conclusive evidence that a naturally produced enzyme in the body is responsible for autism and other neurological disorders in people with Fragile X syndrome.

Fragile X is a mutation of the X chromosome associated with obsessive-compulsive and repetitive behaviors as well as learning deficits. People affected by Fragile X have been shown to have structural differences in brain cells, such as underdeveloped neural receptors.

In 2007, Iryna Ethell, a UCR biochemist, found that overactivity of an enzyme called MMP-9 was connected with Fragile X. Her team recently identified MMP-9 as a major culprit in symptoms associated with Fragile X in mice.

Iryna Ethell holds a chart of her work in her office at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

Iryna Ethell holds a chart of her work in her office at UCR on Thursday, July 24, 2014. UCR researcher Iryna Ethell of Biomedical Sciences heads team that finds what may be a key to effective therapy for autism. Photo credit: Kurt Miller

By eliminating a gene that activates MMP-9, the researchers found that even with the presence of Fragile X syndrome, the mice showed no symptoms of autistic behavior. They measured sociability, anxiety and other behaviors, as well as examining individual brain cells.

Often, such discoveries are the first step in a long process. Just understanding a mechanism for a particular disease or disorder doesn’t  necessarily mean a treatment is imminent. Effective therapies or drugs can be many years away.

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Riverside Ranks 28th On Annual Fit City Index

(This article contains excerpts from an article featured in theievoice.com, published on July 5, 2014)

Summer is finally here, and everyone’s attention shifting towards health and fitness.  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) with support from Anthem Blue Cross Foundation,unveiled it’s seventh annual American Fitness Index (AFI) data report during the organizations annual meeting.

Photo credit: americanfitnessindex.org/

Photo credit: americanfitnessindex.org/

The Riverside area ranked 28th in the 2014 report with a overall score of 47.5 (out of as possible 100 points).  The 2014 AFI data report, “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas,” reflects a composite of preventative health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, and community resources and policies that support physical activity.  “Health advocates and community leaders have come to expect the arrival of the American Fitness Index as an annual check-up regarding their community’s health and fitness levels,” said Walter Thompson, Ph,D., FACSM, chair of the AFI advisory board.

“The AFI data report is a snapshot of the state of health in the community and an evaluation of the infastructure, community assets and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles.  These measures directly affect quality of life in our country’s urban areas,” says Thompson.

Only through commitment and dedication was our beloved city of Riverside able to claim the 28th spot on the AFI report for 2014.  Riverside is a location of choice where health and fitness are priorities among its inhabitants.  An unmatched landscape, year-round outdoor activities, ample recreational options and attention to healthy living make Riverside one of the most inspiring, livable, healthy and adventurous cities to live in or visit. 

To read more, click here.

 

Local Foundation Invests $2.4 Million Into Riverside Community in 2013

(Excerpts from this post were taken from a Press Release posted by Riverside Community Health Foundation on January 27th, 2014)

Riverside Community Health Foundation (RCHF), a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the community, invested over $2.4 million into the Riverside Community through its programs and grants in 2013.  Seizing Our Destiny pillar, Location of Choice, specifically mentions healthy living as a characteristic of a good quality of life.

Jana Webb, DO, of Borrego Health provides care at the Eastside Health Center. . Photo Credit to Chase Photography

Jana Webb, DO, of Borrego Health provides
care at the Eastside Health Center.
Photo Credit to Chase Photography

The impact of RCHF’s 2013 grants, which totaled over $1.2 million, will be felt at some of largest medical centers that serve Riverside residents: Parkview Community Hospital received $173,500 to install a new nurse call system that will provide reliable communication for patients and nurses and an additional $100,000 for a new surgival microscope that will be used in delicate procedures; Riverside County Regional Medical Center (RCRMC) Foundation was awarded $169,312 to provide Infusion PC Devices and Pump Modules for intravenous therapy use for the Emergency Department and Same Day Surgery Department at RCRMC.

“As always, we like to ensure that our grant dollars will have an immediate impact on the healthcare residents of Riverside receive,” said Dr. Dan Anderson, President/CEO of RCHF.  “This year we were not only able to help two of the hospitals serving Riverside improve the care they are able to provide, we were also able to ensure that more people received access to quality care through our grants focused on funding healthcare coverage for the uninsured.”

Inland Empire Health Plan was awarded $300,000 to provide insurance for children under the age of 19 through their Healthy Kids Program.  Also amont RCHF’s 2013 grantees is Borrego Health, who received funding to increase outreach and enrollment for eligible individuals of Covered California and Medi-Cal.  Borrego currently has six outreach workers inthe Riverside area  that are located at the Arlanza Family Health Center and Eastside Health Center, clinics that RCHF owns and Borrego operates, but who travel extensively in the community to provide information about healthcare options to residents. The group has helped enroll nearly 300 residents so far.

RCHF Vice President Ninfa Delgado provides information to interested parties about RCHF’s grants program.

RCHF Vice President Ninfa Delgado provides information
to interested parties about RCHF’s grants program.

RCHF also invested another $1.2 million into the community through its health education and prevention programs, which provide nearly 100,000 interventions yearly.  “Our programs address many of the health concerns of our community,” said Anderson. “We are proud of our roots as a true community organization working with residents to make sure their needs are being met.  I believe this year’s program funding underscores our commitment to make healthcare and education accessible for everyone in Riverside.”

Click here to see the Press Release.