BOS Lang Presentation 2/22/17

On February 7th Frank Lang, MICN, FNP addressed the Sierra County Board of Supervisors regarding the Board supporting the efforts of Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc in re-establishing 24 hr EMS services for western Sierra County. Here is the text of his statement.

“Thank you Mr. Chairman and Board Members for the opportunity to request your support in the effort to rebuild the Emergency Medical Services Infrastructure in western Sierra County. I am here on behalf of Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc.

As you are aware, there was a 40-year history of integrated 24/7 EMS Services with the Western Sierra Medical Clinic during which the Clinic Medical Practitioner provided Advanced Life Support to Emergency Patients who were brought to the Clinic based on being authorized as an Alternate Emergency Care Base Station by Nor-Cal EMS and Enloe Medical Center in Chico. Care was also provided on the Ambulance as well and was an integral part of training both existing and new EMTs.

This changed in 2014 when WSMC decided it could no longer afford to provide those services due to cost and inability to recruit providers with the requisite skills to provide advanced life support (ALS) and emergency care. The Clinic also terminated the Alternate Base Station Agreement with Enloe and therefore the Ambulance can no longer take patients to the Clinic for stabilization because it is not an emergency care facility. However, the Ambulance can still pick up patients at the Clinic.

That left a major deficit in the availability of ALS Services to western Sierra County. The ambulance staffing has several advanced EMTs who can provide some ALS care including King Airway, Epi-Pens for allergic reactions, Glucagon injection for Insulin Shock as well as IV and injectable Narcan for opiate overdose. They are not able to provide Advanced Cardiac Life Support or Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

There was an offer from the Clinic that a Paramedic could be added to the Clinic staff at the time however that role was designed to deal with after hours Downieville Jail Inmate Medical Clearance needs at the time and that was beyond the scope of Paramedic Training and is not allowed by the State EMS System.

Consequently, Sierra Frontier was formed as a non-profit corporation, to address this need. Our purpose is to acquire and support the development of financial and other resources to assure the availability of medical and health resources, including emergency care to the residents and visitors of western Sierra County.

We are rebuilding the EMS Infrastructure of western Sierra County a brick at a time. We have already trained 17 Homemaker Health Aides, 13 Emergency Medical Responders and most recently 14 Emergency Medical Technicians who will provide emergency care to residents in Alleghany-Pike, Camptonville, Downieville, Sierra City, Calpine and Loyalton.

Our first priority is to focus on ALS Services, since those are the most vital in the EMS Chain of Survival. Our next objective is to sponsor a Western Sierra County Pilot Paramedic Project in which the Downieville Fire Protection District will hire a Full Time Paramedic from June 1, 2017 thru October 1, 2017. The cost of the project is $25,000. To date we have raised about $10,000.

We will use the Pilot Project to develop the structure and funding for a sustainable long term Paramedic Project that will focus on EMS Basic and ALS Services, Training of EMS Staff at Sierra City Fire Department, Downieville Fire Protection District and Alleghany Pike Community Services District.

We hope to develop funding with a new EMS Fee in those Districts as well as Ambulance Fees, Grants and local Organizational support including Western Sierra Medical Clinic.

We hope to garner support from Sierra County BOS based upon W&I Code 17000; in the form of the letter you have before you as well as limited Administrative assistance from County Counsel, County Auditor, Clerk Recorder, OES resources, consideration of the addition of Medical Director for EMS Services to the Sierra County Health Officer Role so that medications can be ordered and available to the Paramedic.

Today we are just asking for your support in a letter that we will send to residents, organizations, and businesses in Sierra County as well as visitors, requesting their financial support of this Pilot Project.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am happy to answer any questions you might have.

WSMC Resumes Hours 8/31/16

Western Sierra Medical Clinic was pleased to expand hours at the Downieville health center to meet the increased demand for health care during the much busier summer season. But with fewer tourists and outdoor activities – and less daylight hours — the Downieville health center at 209 Nevada Street will soon resume its regular schedule.

“We’re proud to have been able to expand the hours to better meet the needs of the community and those visiting the region during the summer,” said Larry Allen, Board Chairman of Western Sierra. “But with the change in the seasons, the return to our regular hours is necessary and often better fits the schedule of patients.”

Starting Sept. 5, the health center’s primary and urgent care hours will return to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The health center will be closed on Labor Day, Sept. 5. As always, an after-hours clinician is available in Downieville Monday through Thursday by calling 530-289-3298. And an on-call clinician is available Friday through Sunday at 530-274-9762.

Those dealing with an emergency should call 9-1-1. Dental service hours will remain the same – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays. The health center offers same-day urgent care services, from common illnesses to minor injuries, such as back pain, cuts and sprains. All patients are welcome at the Downieville health center, regardless of their income or insurance.

Rattlesnake Rd Maintenance 8/24/16

NEVADA CITY, Calif. – The Tahoe National Forest is currently conducting road maintenance and improvements to Rattlesnake Road beginning August 19, 2016.
Travel delays are to be expected while road crews blast and grade the ten mile section starting near old Highway 40. Travelers might also experience road dust impacting visibility and are encouraged to travel at a speed that is appropriate to road conditions. RattlesnakeRoad_PIO_8x11_P-1
“The safety of the public and the U.S. Forest Service employees working on the project are of the utmost concern, “said Yuba River District Ranger Karen Hayden. “Heavy equipment, blasting of bedrock and dust created from the operations pose a safety concern for everyone in the area.” Hayden added that it is recommended to observe a speed limit of 25 miles per hours, or slower, to ensure a safe environment for motorists and road crew workers.
Operations are expected to begin at 7 a.m. and finish daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
No operations are expected to be conducted Friday through Sunday, allowing weekend visitors to travel Rattlesnake Road without the impact of road construction.
Work on the road project is expected to last through the month of September.

Pike City VFD Taco Night 6/22/16

The Pike City Volunteer Fire Department is holding a Taco Night Fund Raiser to help raise money for important fire equipment-type stuff.   The dinner will be held at  6 p.m. on Saturday, July 2 at the Pike Fire Department, located at 100 Pike Road in – you guessed it – Pike. The cost for the full taco dinnner is a mere $10. Everyone is invited, encouraged, obligated, desired, and welcome to attend.
Please support all local Fire Department fundraisers. These events help the men and women that help us, our neighbors and our communities when there are emergency type situations, and non-emergencies too, like when Fluffy is stuck in a tree.
For more information please email PCVFD secretary Grace at

Parade Marshall Chosen 6/22/16

An Invitation to Veterans of Western Sierra County

On Monday, July 4th, 2016 Downieville Fire Department would like to honor the Veterans of Western Sierra County, by inviting you to join us in the July 4th parade, as the Parade Marshall’s. Downieville Fire believes this is a great opportunity to show our respect and admiration for those of you who have given your time to our Country.
The particulars:
Arrive at 11 am in front of the community hall. As a group, you will be riding in or walking along side the antique fire engine at the beginning of the parade. If possible go to the tennis courts for the ride back up the street. In case there isn’t enough room for everyone to ride, some who are able too, will be walking. For the walkers, you will wait in the shade by the entrance to the school and Main Street. When the engine gets to that point, you will join in and proceed to the center of town, where we will stop and a presentation will be made.
Service Flags (leant to us by Bernie Stringer) will be either carried by the walkers or placed in the fire engine.

Contact Kathy Whitlow for questions at 289-3126 or by email at

Thank you and I hope you will allow us to show you how much we respect and honor our Veterans.

Kathy Whitlow

Hewgag for Spring Doins 5/25/16

ForestStamp Mill 24DSC1E Clampus Vitus
Downie Chapter 1849 has sounded the hewgag for our Spring Doins in historic Forest City. This event will be held June 17-19, 2016 (Father’s Day weekend).
By decree from our Noble Grand Humbug – all Clampers and prospective Clampers are urged to attend and experience history in one of the true mining towns left, see the Dance Hall Museum and witness the Chapter’s Stamp Mill in action.
Along with the history you get Friday nite dinner, Saturday breakfast and a steak dinner and  Clamp Chef surprise on Sunday morning. The cost is $55 for Clampers and $65 for men who want to join the Clampers.
Credo Quia Absurdum
Brian Gardei GNRS
Downie Chapter 1849

A4AA Comes to Downieville 4/13/16

Agency on Aging Area 4 will be holding a community meeting for all interested seniors and residents of Sierra County on April 28th at 2 p.m. at the Downieville Community Hall. Mark this on your calendar and be sure to attend. This is our opportunity to let AAA4 know what would help Sierra County best.

Agency on Aging \ Area 4’s mission is creating and supporting opportunities that enhance the lives of older adults and their families to be safe, healthy and independent.

AAA4 distributes funding and awards Grants from state funding to assist community activities such as lunches, food, transportation, legal resources and health and medical resources.

Easter Food Baskets 3/6/19

images-5WESTERN SIERRA FOOD BANK  March 2, 2016

Dear Editor

Easter will soon be here and the volunteers at Western Sierra Food Bank are planning Easter Holiday food baskets for approximately 100 families in western Sierra County. We are needing non-perishable food and/or monies to supply the food bank shelves in time for sending our food baskets the week before Easter. Food Baskets are also available during the year if needed.

We appreciate any help the communities in western Sierra County and those outside of the area can supply. Pease contact Bette Jo or Frank Lang at (530) 289-3644 for any information. If anyone wants to donate non-perishable foods please call Bette Jo or Frank Lang to co-ordinate delivery. Money donations can be sent to Western Sierra Food Bank P.O. Box 302 Downieville, CA 95936.

We thank all who participate in this program.

Sincerely,  Bette Jo Lang

Oregon House Clinic 3/9/16

Sierra Family Medical Clinic expands to Oregon House
by Emily Lavin/ |

Dr. Peter Van Houten, Sierra Family Medical Clinic's founder and medical director, left, and Steve Weber, the clinic's chief executive officer, inside the Sierra Family Medical Clinic's new facility in Oregon House.

Dr. Peter Van Houten, Sierra Family Medical Clinic’s founder and medical director, left, and Steve Weber, the clinic’s chief executive officer, inside the Sierra Family Medical Clinic’s new facility in Oregon House.

Sierra Family Medical Clinic is now providing comprehensive local medical services to the rural community of Oregon House.

The clinic, which has operated on Tyler Foote Road on the San Juan Ridge for more than 30 years, opened a second clinic at 8676 Marysville Road in Oregon House, an unincorporated community in Yuba County, on Dec. 1. This Saturday, the clinic will host an open house at the facility from 10 a.m. to noon.

Though the Oregon House facility has only been operational for about three months, its services are already in demand.

“There’s been a lot of word of mouth,” said Dr. Peter Van Houten, the clinic’s founder and medical director. “I was actually surprised at how quickly the schedule’s been filling.”

For the community in Oregon House, the clinic’s opening has been a long time coming. Sierra Family Medical Clinic has long been a prominent fixture on the Ridge, offering integrated health care — medical care, behavioral health and dental services — all in one location. That clinic logs about 20,000 patient visits a year, and provides services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

The clinic’s board of directors began considering expanding to Oregon House in 2012, after the physician who previously occupied the Marysville Road building closed the practice and a group from the community approached Sierra Family Medical Clinic about opening a facility.

The board was in favor of the idea, and committed to the expansion, said Steve Weber, the clinic’s chief executive officer, who was serving as board treasurer at the time.

“People over here really deserve to have local medical care, and they didn’t have it,” Weber said of the board’s thinking.

But Sierra Family Medical Clinic experienced a financial setback over the next couple of years, Weber said. In order to comply with a government requirement, the clinic was required to switch over to an electronic health record system. In addition to the cost of the hardware and software to implement the change, the clinic couldn’t see as many patients throughout the day as the system was implemented and staff was trained to navigate it, decreasing the revenue the clinic was able to collect from patient services.

“We didn’t have the money to go ahead and get this thing going,” Weber said.

That changed last fall when Sierra Family Medical Clinic was recognized as a federally qualified health center by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, a distinction that awarded the clinic a nearly $1.2 million grant, reimbursement for services provided under Medicaid and opportunities to secure additional funding in the future.

The clinic included its proposed expansion to Oregon House in its application to the department of health and human services.

Once the clinic received FQHC status, it had about 90 days to open the Oregon House satellite facility. The Oregon House clinic is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and offers primary and behavioral health care. Weber said the facility hopes to offer dental care starting in the next month or so, when a trailer containing a fully outfitted dental suite is transported from the San Juan Ridge clinic, and  the Oregon House clinic hires a dentist and dental assistant.

The clinic will likely be open to patients for 30 hours a week sometime this year, Weber said, and then it will potentially expand hours beyond that next year.

Van Houten said the goal for the clinic is to eventually have 2,500 patients on the clinic’s patient list at any one time, though that will likely take a couple of years to achieve.

The clinic has hired an outreach and enrollment coordinator, who will help people navigate the process of signing up for Medi-Cal or affordable care, and help them understand the care options available to them.

Both Van Houten and Weber said the clinic’s staff is excited to serve Oregon House, noting the community has waited patiently for several years for the clinic’s doors to open.

“It feels really good,” Weber said. “It feels like we honored our commitment in return for the local people here honoring a commitment to us.”

To contact Union Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email or call 530-477-4230.

DUI Death in Yuba Co 2/17/16

courtesy of Grass Valley Union by Alan Riquelmy

A Pike, California, man will face a murder accusation after a passenger in his vehicle died in a Saturday wreck in Yuba County, the California Highway Patrol said.

Patrick D. Elliott, 28, is charged with felony DUI in connection with the wreck on Highway 49. Taken to the hospital after the crash, Elliott will face a second-degree murder charge once he’s booked into the Yuba County Jail, CHP said.

Nathan Boyd, 31, of Tahoe City, died in the crash, according to Sgt. Joe Pomeroy, of the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office.

According to CHP, Elliott was driving on a suspended license when the wreck happened at 7:05 p.m. on Highway 49, north of Moonshine Road. Elliott had two passengers in his Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck as he drove north on the highway.

Elliott, who was intoxicated, entered a curve on the road and then went off the highway. His vehicle traveled some 300 feet over a steep embankment before crashing, reports state.

Elliott and Owen Megargee, 23, also of Pike, had minor injuries. Boyd, in the rear seat, had severe, life-threatening injuries, CHP said.

Megargee got out of the pickup and got help from a passerby. He later refused transport to a hospital, reports state.

First-responders arrived and performed CPR on Boyd, though he died at the scene, authorities said.

CHP said Elliott previously refused a chemical test during a DUI investigation, leading to his suspended license.


Western Sierra County needs your help! Sierra Frontier Medical Resources (SFMR) and the Downieville Fire Protection District (DFPD) are sponsoring a community effort to increase participation in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Currently the Fire Departments in Sierra City, Downieville, Alleghany and Pike are down to just a few EMTs and an adequate response of emergency responders is dangerously low. We desperately need our younger as well as mature population to take up the mantle of emergency response. We are planning an EMT-1 Basic Class in April until June. The Course requires 144 hours of class participation to receive certification. Classes will be held in evenings and on a few Saturdays. We need 15 students to schedule the class. Tuition assistance is available. Please contact Frank Lang at 289-3644 if you would like to sign up or need additional information.

Sierra Family Opens New Clinic 1/13/16


OREGON HOUSE, Calif. January 7, 2016 Sierra Family Medical Clinic (SFMC) has opened a new clinic in Oregon House, and is now offering medical and behavioral healthcare there. SFMC operates two community medical clinics, with the other location on Tyler Foote Road on the San Juan Ridge of Nevada County. Located at 8676 Marysville Road in Yuba County

SFMC’s Oregon House Clinic is currently open Tuesdays and Thursdays with plans to expand hours as soon as possible. 

SFMC’s goal is to “treat you like family”. SFMC is known nationally for its model of integrated health care, where patients are referred to on-site medical, behavioral, and substance use healthcare professionals within the same day. Dental services will soon be available at the Oregon House location.

SFMC provides high-quality healthcare to all persons regardless of age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disabilities or ability to pay. SFMC services treat the whole person and the Oregon House Clinic will offer:

  • General medical care for adults and children
Well child exams and immunizations
Adult preventative care
  • Work-related injuries and health problems
Care for minor emergencies
  • Routine women’s care
Sports injury management
  • Solution focused cognitive-behavioral therapy
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues
  • Weight loss, smoking cessation, dental phobia
  • Pain management
  • Healthy lifestyle counseling

Sierra Family Medical Center
, 8676 Marysville Road Oregon House, CA 95962
 Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays (soon to expand)
 Private insurance, Medicare and Medi-Cal accepted. Sliding fee discount available for those who qualify.
 To make an appointment: call (530) 292-3478.

County Revisits Cultivation 11/4/15


November 16, 2015

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors Natural Resources, Planning & Building Inspection Standing Committee will meet in session on Monday, November 16, 2015 at 1:00 p.m., in the Board Chambers, Courthouse, Downieville, CA. All interested persons are invited to attend.

The following item will be discussed:

1. Review of existing County Ordinance No. 1055 regarding cultivation of medicinal marijuana and possible recommendation regarding revisions to said ordinance.

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