Masthead for PlaneTalk Newsletter
PlaneTree's website
June 2012
Thanks, Cupertino Library Foundation
      Handsomely furnishing the PlaneTree Health Information Center are new, custom-made bookcases, patron table, reference desk, and chairs - courtesy of a generous grant from the Cupertino Library Foundation (CLF). Cupertino Library Foundation logoRapidly filling the shelves are hundreds of grant-purchased books. Two laptops, print periodicals, and public access to consumer health databases have also been acquired with CLF funds.
     PlaneTree has provided free, in-depth, individualized health and medical information services to the public for 23 years, and deepened its collaboration with Santa Clara County Library (SCCL) five years ago. As the partnership developed, both organizations saw advantages in having PlaneTree's services housed in Cupertino's busy library. Opened in October 2011, our new PlaneTree Health Information Center receives significant, in-kind support from SCCL and Cupertino Library.
     An independent, 501(c)3 non-profit organization since 2007, PlaneTree depends on tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations, and proceeds from the annual Showcase of Miniatures. Institutions formerly providing major support include San Jose Medical Center, which founded our library in 1987 as the second affiliate of the Planetree Alliance (see sidebar article below); The Health Trust; and Good Samaritan Hospital, which still provides rent-free space for our business office.
     A pleasant environment has always been a PlaneTree hallmark. We are grateful to the Cupertino Library Foundation for helping create a welcoming - and richly equipped - home for our health information service.
News You Can Use


Toddler at the top of slideA Sticky Situation
     Going down a playground slide in the lap of an adult is not only lots of fun for toddlers - it's also surprisingly risky.

Love Your Liver
     Use an online tool created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess your risk of having Hepatitis B or C, silent-but-insidious viral infections. The CDC now recommends all baby boomers be tested for the Hepatitis C virus.
Schematic image of Hepatitis virus     Learn about getting tested for "Hep C and, if necessary, treated." Hepatitis B information in English is provided here; for other languages, click the "Language Chapters" tab.

Just Do Anything!
     The benefits of even minimal activity, the harms of inactivity, and a few non-beneficial exercises were the focus of a recent interview with GretchenGreen couch Reynolds, the "Phys Ed" columnist for the New York Times. Her review of physiology research in 2011 was entertaining and illuminating.

Razor and shaving creamLess Hairy Surgery
     Before a scheduled operation, check that your surgeon utilizes this simple technique for reducing the risk of post-operative infection.


     Consumer Reports has great advice for Woman's pregnant abdomenpregnant women: 10 medical procedures to avoid if possible, and 10 beneficial steps to take. If you are not yet expecting but planning to conceive, CR has 5 tips for you too. The article concludes with excellent online resources.

Is it time to change?
     Two recent magazine articles discussed techniques for successfully changing undesirable habits. These in-depth articles offer hope and specific suggestions for understanding and ending unhealthy behavior patterns.
Woman holding a clock     A journalist wrote in The Atlantic that new technologies like social media and smart phone apps are making proven behavior modification strategies affordable, or even free.
     Tips for self-analysis of "cues" and "motivations" that reinforce habits you'd like to eliminate, plus advice on effecting changes, were included in a New York Times Magazine article about corporate attempts to manipulate our habits.
In This Issue
News You Can Use
Men's Health Fair
PlaneTree on NPR
A Quarterly Treat
Gaps in Your Medicare (Knowledge)?
Sample Medicare card
    If you have questions about benefits, rights, or health insurance options under Medicare, consulting with a Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) volunteer might be very helpful. HICAP, a program of the nonprofit Council on Aging, also has clearly written, unbiased, online information about the Medicare insurance plans available to Santa Clara County residents, and about combining Medicare and Medi-Cal.
    Explore other Medicare resources at
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Men's Health Fair
Classical statue of a man
Saturday, June 16
    Get screened for prostate cancer and cardiac disease, talk to physicians in 6 specialty areas, and have a barbeque lunch during this
free event at the Los Gatos location of El Camino Hospital.
Planetree on NPR
National Public Radio logo
    National Public Radio listeners were recently treated to a feature on Planetree, the international organization of which we are a member. The patient- and family-centered care provided by affiliates (most are hospitals or other health care facilities) has excellent clinical outcomes, while keeping costs down. In surveys of patients, families, and health care professionals, satisfaction scores are consistently high.
    Learn more by listening to the "All Things Considered" audio presentation, or reading a related article on the website. Please note one correction to the article: Planetree has over 600 affiliates in the U.S. and internationally.

 Alarm clock on an unmade bed   

A Quarterly Treat
Cover of the Spring 2012 MedlinePlus magazine     If you read PlaneTalk, we think you will also enjoy NIH MedlinePlus, the Magazine. We are consistently impressed by its coverage of health and medical topics. Produced by the National Institutes of Health, the 32-page, full-color publication is FREE and has no advertising.
     The typically varied Spring 2012 issue may be read online as a PDF (if you have a fast internet connection) or in HTML (if your connection is slow). Then if you like what you see, click here to subscribe to the print edition or request email alerts for the online version.