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Daily Business Report-Dec. 18, 2013

Daily Business Report-Dec. 18, 2013

 The ViSi Mobile wireless device being used by Scripps Health in a pilot study is made by San Diego-based Sotera Wireless.

Scripps Health Uses Wireless Device to

Monitor Patients in New Pilot Study

Scripps Health has launched a pilot study using the ViSi Mobile wireless device to continuously track the vital signs of a group of patients at Scripps Green Hospital as part of a system-wide effort to evaluate and adopt the most promising new digital health technology.

The ViSi Mobile study is designed to determine whether nurses and patients are comfortable using the FDA-approved, non-invasive wrist monitor made by Sotera Wireless of San Diego.

“Wireless health technology has an important role to play in a patient-focused health care system that delivers the right care at the right place and at the right time,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “Through pilot studies such as this one, we are evaluating the latest mobile health devices at our hospitals to see where they can help improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency and lower costs.”

The ViSi Mobile measures electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygenation and skin temperature. The data are displayed on the device’s small screen and relayed wirelessly to a nursing station computer where they can be monitored in real time through an on-screen dashboard.

The Scripps study involves up to 30 patients who are being fitted with a ViSi Mobile during their stay in one of Scripps Green’s medical-surgical units. Patients in these units are recovering from surgery or are recuperating from pneumonia, liver disease and other illnesses. A second pilot study is planned for early 2014 to evaluate the ViSi Mobile on another group of patients at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.


Barrio Logan

The community plan update for Barrio Logan will go to the voters.

Voters to Decide Fate of Barrio Logan Community Plan

The San Diego City Council decided Tuesday to place the fate of new zoning regulations in Barrio Logan into the hands of voters, City News Service reports. The update of the Barrio Logan Community Plan was approved by the council on a pair of 5-4 party-line votes in September and October. However, the document was opposed by shipyards, which collected enough petition signatures to force the council to decide whether to repeal the plan or put it on a ballot. The council opted to put the issue on the ballot on June 3.

The Barrio Logan plan seeks to separate industrial and residential land uses, which are intermingled in the economically disadvantaged neighborhood south of downtown San Diego. Supporters call the zoning update a “compromise” that will reduce pollution for residents. But maritime industry executives fear a buffer zone created to enable the separation will eventually drive suppliers out of the area, raising costs.

Councilman David Alvarez, the mayoral candidate who guided the zoning update through the approval process, said he was “disappointed” and “disheartened” by claims made by opponents. His opponent in the Feb. 11 mayoral runoff election, Councilman Kevin Faulconer, said the two sides agree on 90 percent of the new zoning plan, and that the patchwork zoning in the area was in “desperate need of an overhaul” but not at the expense of an industry “that creates thousands of jobs and contributes billions of dollars to our local economy.”

Council Sets Feb. 11 as Date for Mayoral Runoff Election

The City Council on Tuesday set Feb. 11 as the date for a runoff election for San Diego mayor between Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer. The date was proposed by City Clerk Elizabeth Maland, who said she had to take into account numerous factors, including giving the county Registrar of Voters up to 28 days to certify results of the Nov. 19 special election, allowing the state-mandated 29 days of early voting, and avoiding holidays.

Legislature To Consider Abolishing Special Elections

The San Diego region saw its fair share of special elections for state Legislature seats this year. Now a retired California lawmaker, former state Sen. Gary Hart, is proposing an alternative. Empty seats would be filled by the governor, not voters. The Legislature could take up the issue next month, KPBS reports…

Sharp HealthCare Negotiates Lease Extension For Grossmont Hospital

The Grossmont Healthcare District, landlord of Grossmont Hospital, is continuing negotiations with Sharp HealthCare to add another 30 years to its existing lease agreement for the operation of the La Mesa hospital. The GHD board recently voted to finalize discussions with Sharp officials to extend the current 30-year lease, which was signed in 1991 and is scheduled to expire on May 30, 2021. The parties are discussing extending the lease to May 29, 2051.

The board voted 4-1, with board member Betty Stieringer in opposition, to direct staff to prepare a letter of intent that would include basic terms for a 30-year lease extension with the Grossmont Hospital Corp., the legal entity associated with Sharp HealthCare that manages and operates the 536-bed hospital. The letter of intent, representing one of several steps required for a lease extension, is expected to be considered by the GHD board in early 2014. If the GHD board approves the letter of intent, planning would be finalized for a future ballot measure on the lease extension.

Insulindependence Receives $50,000 Grant

The Diabetes business of Medtronic Inc. has awarded a two-year grant of $50,000 to Insulindependence, a Solana Beach nonprofit organization. it will use its health access grant to host educational events at local community centers, focusing on diabetes self-management through physical activity. Insulindependence will leverage clinical experts and mobile technologies to conduct a quantitative analysis of the positive influence of peer support as a complement to clinical care. Its vision is to reduce the burden of diabetes in the United States through physical activity and peer support.

The former Caltrans building

The former Caltrans building

Razing of Former Caltrans Building

Will Add to Old Town’s Historical Record

Some of the most important parts of Old Town’s history have been buried under a state office building since the mid-20th century, but a recent move by the California Legislature has finally cleared a path for officials to demolish the building and enact a new vision for the property, the Mission Valley News reports.

State lawmakers agreed in November to transfer the old Caltrans office building, at the corner of Taylor and Juan streets, to the state parks system. The transaction adds approximately 2.48 acres to the existing 12.96 acres of the Old Town State Historic Park.

“It’s certainly the most significant addition since Old Town was created,” said Clay Phillips, superintendent of the San Diego regional district of the California state parks system.

Parks officials plan to use the property to tell the story of Old Town’s relationship to the San Diego River, which flowed roughly where Taylor Street is today before the river was redirected into Mission Bay, Phillips said.

It will also be used help park visitors understand the history of Native Americans in the area, whose presence at the site stretches back to approximately 500 C.E., when ancestors of the Kumeyaay tribe established a village there on the banks of the river.

The transfer was originally proposed more than seven years ago.

Cabrillo Bridge to Close Jan. 2 for Retrofitting

Cabrillo Bridge

Cabrillo Bridge

Starting Jan. 2, the historic Cabrillo Bridge, also known as the Laurel Street Bridge, will be closed temporarily to vehicle traffic in order to complete much-needed retrofitting work in anticipation of Balboa Park’s 2015 Centennial Celebration. Pedestrians will still be permitted on the bridge and vehicles can access the Park via Park Boulevard and President’s Way. All park museums and performing arts venues, including those on the west end near the bridge, will continue to offer a full slate of exhibitions and performances during the months of the bridge’s closure.


Poinsettia Display

Poinsettia Display

Poinsettia Display

Hundreds of magnificent poinsettia plants turn Balboa Park’s historic wood lath Botanical Building into a glowing tribute to the holidays. You may support the display by making a donation of $25 or more. You may also designate your poinsettia donation in honor of or in memory of someone special. Donor and honoree names will be on display inside the Botanical Building through New Year’s.

New Public Relations Agency Formed

Reema Boccia

Reema Boccia

Two Rivers Strategies, a new public relations and marketing firm, has been established in San Diego by public relations professional Reema Makani Boccia. The firm will be serving  industries including health, public safety, construction, real estate and the green industry. Boccia has nearly a decade of experience in the business. She is the incoming president of the local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Boccia most recently spent seven years in the corporate PR department of Rural/Metro Ambulance. Before that, she was an account manager at The McRae Agency. She is a graduate of San Diego State University.

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Voice Your Opinion

We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: