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New program screens WIC mothers for postpartum depression

COOS BAY — Coos Health and Wellness recently started to offer free screenings for postpartum depression to women who are enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

The new test was the brainchild of Coos Health and Wellness Health Promotion Director Eric Gleason, who has been looking into ways that Coos Health and Wellness can integrate multiple levels of care into the programs they offer.

“Integrated care in health care is something that has become fairly important recently. In the health care community a lot of research shows that if you integrate the physical side of health care and the behavioral side of health care that individuals tend to be healthier,” Gleason said.

The new test is optional. It’s offered to new mothers who go to the WIC office to pick up supplies for their baby. This program has only been around for about a month into its three-month testing period.

“When a mother comes into our WIC clinic, she will take a screening tool that will help the case managers at WIC determine whether or not they are at risk for postpartum depression. If it shows that they’re at risk for postpartum depression than we’ll hand-off the client to our behavioral health teams. Then we can work with them to get resources on the outside if they don’t have it already, make sure that if they are seeing someone that they’re seeing someone for those reasons, or see someone with us depending on their insurance,” Gleason said.

Gleason noticed that the WIC program throughout the state of Oregon doesn’t really check for postpartum depression.

“They discuss it. They talk about it, and if it’s divulged by the mother themselves then they will see if they’re seeing anybody, or if they need to. It’s not something they have gone out and sought information,” Gleason said.

According to Gleason, 25 percent of new mothers deal with postpartum depression. He also said that mothers who have lower socioeconomic status are between 40 and 60 percent susceptible to developing postpartum depression.

“Women can come down with postpartum depression from the time that they give birth out to a year. The thought is that if we can integrate more of these screening tools into our health care systems maybe we’ll be able to catch more of these people who aren’t being diagnosed,” Gleason said.

Testing has undergone changes to be more accessible and streamline the process. When the screenings began questions were given on a piece of paper, now they are offered on an ipad which scores them automatically.

“A lot of mothers don’t feel comfortable talking to their provider. Some, especially in our area, don’t have a provider that is steady. It’s not their provider all the time. If they’re not with the same provider and they don’t feel comfortable with that provider, what makes you think they’re going to talk to that provider about feeling depressed,” Gleason said.

Mothers who come to WIC are often helped by the same people, as they come in often to get supplies for their baby. Gleason feels that in some cases mothers are more comfortable with the WIC staff than they are with health care provider.

“They come here more often and they’re often more comfortable with these people. So, we’re hoping that including this screening process into the WIC program we might be able to catch those moms that we wouldn’t have caught before. So that they don’t suffer longer than they need to,” Gleason said.

As expected most of the tests come back negative, but in the three weeks the program has been in place a few women have been diagnosed.

“The research numbers look to be pretty standard so far. It’s new, not everybody does it, and we’re still kind of working out all the kinks,” Gleason said.

Questions on the test are drawn from the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Most of the questions ask the mother about how she has felt in the past week, and how she’d felt about herself recently.

“There’s tons of research that shows that if a mom suffers from postpartum depression long enough, it can affect the connection they have with their child. So, we’re trying to mitigate those things," Gleason said.

Ed Glazar, The World 

Marshfield student and organizer Cameron Langley holds up a sign Saturday along U.S. Highway 101 in downtown Coos Bay as he and hundreds of others join the national March For Our Lives in Coos Bay.

Coos Bay March for Our lives draws hundreds

COOS BAY — Around 200 people joined more than 800 other U.S. cities in protest of gun violence Saturday by marching from the Coos Bay Boardwalk to City Hall.

Ed Glazar, The World 

Marshfield student and organizer Cameron Langley holds up a sign Saturday along U.S. Highway 101 in downtown Coos Bay as he and hundreds of others join the national March For Our Lives in Coos Bay.

The March for Our Lives was a national event where students, parents, and all others came together to call for any sort of action against school and public shootings that have become increasingly common throughout the U.S.

“It feels like people are not taking this as seriously as it is and it feels like they don’t really care about our lives. It’s upsetting for me as a student, and I’m hoping that when I turn 18, I’ll be able to vote and help make these changes that need to take place,” Marshfield High School senior Shawn Zousel said.

Our local march was organized by Marshfield High School students Cameron Langley and Gracie Schlager, with the help of Ronni Jennings. Jennings has played a large role in organizing the women’s marches on the Boardwalk the past two years.

“Students shouldn’t be afraid to go to school, that’s ridiculous. The constant worry and paranoia that a book slamming shut or a bell ringing could mean that there is an active shooter in our school is scary," Schlager said. "No student, including myself, should have to feel that. That’s why we’re doing this, because nothing is going to change if we don’t do anything."

Ed Glazar, The World 

Jordan Ferre, left, joins his neighbor Robert Jackson and more than a hundred other marchers along U.S. Highway 101 during the national March For Our Lives in Coos Bay.

Organizers were worried that the rain would cause a low turnout for the protest, but many braved the light showers to stand up for what they believe in.

“The kids have been inspirational. It’s just wonderful to see our community come together and banding together,” Jennings said

The student organizers became involved in this national movement after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Feb. 14, left 17 high school students and faculty dead, and many injured. According to Jennings, Cameron Langley had a box of signs which read, “March for Our Lives,” donated by an online organization involved in the movement.

“I’m part of a generation of students that grew up with mass shootings happening in the schools, and we’re scared for our lives," Langley said. "I’m passionate because I want not only stricter gun control laws, but I want school safety to be taken into account. Marshfield is not secure."

Ed Glazar, The World 

A marchers sign bleeds in the rain Saturday as hundreds of people participate in the national March For Our Lives along U.S. Highway 101 in Coos Bay.

Charleston resident Newt Nemeth stood along the route of the march offering donuts to the protesters as they walked by.

“I think this is a really good showing of support here, Losing our kids to gun violence is a very bad thing, and I don’t think that Congress has been proactive in funding mental health programs,” Nemeth said.

The protest was peaceful. There were no apparent counter protesters, and very few motorists who were unhappy with protesters.

Ed Glazar, The World 

Jordan Ferre, left, joins his neighbor Robert Jackson and more than a hundred other marchers along U.S. Highway 101 during the national March For Our Lives in Coos Bay.

US expels 60 Russian diplomats, shutters Seattle consulate

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats on Monday and ordered Russia's consulate in Seattle to close, as the United States and European nations sought to jointly punish Moscow for its alleged role in poisoning an ex-spy in Britain.

Senior Trump administration officials said all 60 Russians were spies working in the U.S. under diplomatic cover, including a dozen at Russia's mission to the United Nations. The officials said the administration was taking the action to send a message to Russia's leaders about the "unacceptably high" number of Russian intelligence operatives in the U.S

The expelled Russians will have seven days to leave the U.S, said the officials. They weren't authorized to be identified by name and requested anonymity. They added that the Seattle consulate is a counter-intelligence concern because of its proximity to a U.S. Navy base.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the actions would make the U.S. safer by "reducing Russia's ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations" that threaten U.S. national security.

"With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences," Sanders said.

The move was one of the most significant actions President Donald Trump's administration has taken to date to push back on Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Less than a week ago, Trump congratulated Putin by phone for his re-election but didn't raise the spy case, renewing questions about whether the U.S. president is too soft on the Kremlin.

The U.S. actions came as more than a dozen nations, including those in Russia's neighborhood, were expected to announce similar steps to reduce Russia's diplomatic presence in their countries or other actions to punish Moscow. Poland summoned Russia's ambassador for talks, and its foreign ministry was among several in Europe planning news conferences later Monday.

Britain has already expelled 23 Russian diplomats, accusing them of being undeclared intelligence agents, which led Russia to expel the same number of British diplomats. The European Union has already recalled its ambassador to Russia.

The steps on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean add to a serious escalation of tensions between Russia and the West that has been building since the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer convicted of spying for the U.K., and his daughter, Yulia. The two remain in critical condition and unconscious. A policeman who responded to their home was also injured.

Britain has accused Moscow of perpetrating the attack using a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok. The U.S., France and Germany have agreed it's highly likely Russia was responsible.

Russia's government has denied responsibility and has blasted Britain's investigation into the poisoning. There was no immediate reaction from Russia on Friday to the U.S. announcement.

Anguished students take aim at gun laws, next election

WASHINGTON — Charlie Goodman looked at the massive crowd around him, the largest youth-led protest in Washington since the Vietnam War era. He listened to people speak about toughening gun laws. They included some of his peers at the Florida high school who've sparked this movement, as well as the 9-year-old granddaughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King.

When she spoke, he was moved to tears.

"This is truly a revolution," said Goodman, a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were gunned down last month. "We can really change the world."

The marches unified hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country and have galvanized this movement, he and others say. Now they are vowing to get young voters registered and send a message in upcoming elections.

"We have a lot of people who are inspired," said Kobey Lofton, a student from Chicago's South Side who also traveled overnight to Washington on Friday with 12 busloads of fellow students and adults.

Before the march, Lofton and his fellow Peace Warriors at North Lawndale College Prep High School already had met with the Florida students — young people from different worlds, but both impacted by gun violence.

Now they and other students across the country are planning voter registration drives through the fall. Voter registration groups, including Rock the Vote, Voto Latino and HeadCount, a nonpartisan group that usually focuses on registering people at concerts and music festivals, also helped mobilize teams at Saturday's marches in 30 U.S. cities and have created a registration tool kit for high school students.

"I've never felt the energy that I felt," HeadCount spokesman Aaron Ghitelman said of the registration training that preceded the march in Washington. In a matter of hours, he said the groups registered nearly 5,000 people, many of them millennials.

"More young people are realizing that we can have a voice and we can have a seat at the table," he said. "But people realize that you have to fight for that seat at the table."

"We have to force them to do something," agreed Lofton, who was referring to elected officials, including President Donald Trump. The White House issued a statement about the student-led march and also pointed to the president's support for the Stop School Violence Act, which authorized grants to schools to bolster security and attempts to improve background checks.

But Cameron Kasky, a student leader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, says the current laws and legislation don't go far enough.

The students, he said, are demanding an assault weapons ban, prohibition of sales of high-capacity magazines and universal background checks. But Kasky said this won't happen if his peers across the nation don't get more involved.

"The youth of America needs to step up and start voting. (You) see the statistics. It's an embarrassing turnout," Kasky said Sunday on the CBS program "Face the Nation."

Voter turnout for millennials, those ages 18 to 35, increased to just below 50 percent in the last presidential election, according to the Pew Research Center and U.S. Census data. But that turnout still lags behind other generations.

Still, Dianne Daley, a 60-year-old corporate events planner from Long Beach, California, said the students have done a lot to inspire their older peers.

"Maybe that's what it's going to take — children leading us," Daley said. She comes from a family of educators and marched Saturday in her hometown with three generations of her family, including her 87-year-old father, an Air Force veteran.

Some students from "the silent minority" still said they felt excluded.

Kyle Kashuv, another student at the Florida school, also appeared on "Face the Nation" to voice his support for the 2nd Amendment and for enforcement of existing gun laws. He expressed his disappointment that he was not invited to speak at Saturday's march and placed blame for the deadly shooting at his school on local law enforcement and the FBI.

"This kid was flagged," Kashuv said of accused shooter Nikolas Cruz and reports to law enforcement before the shooting that he posed a threat.

Rick Santorum, a former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania and now a CNN commentator, suggested Sunday that students shouldn't look to others to solve their problem. "Do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that," Santorum said on CNN's "State of the Union."

However, Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who has previously voted against stricter laws on high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons, said the student rallies will likely make a difference as Congress takes on the issue again.

Some of the Florida students said they realize that compromise will be necessary. But, even as he rested back in Florida on Sunday, Goodman said the marches are only the beginning.

He and his peers will be regrouping this week on their spring break, he said.

"I considered myself more politically aware than politically active. I was very intrigued with the (last) election," he said.

But something has changed in him. "Now this is something that I must do," he said.