Growing population leads to hospital construction surge in Alaska; Catholic bishops urge fight against health reform;

> Following the shift toward enhanced primary care options, major health systems in California, including Sutter Health, are utilizing urgent care clinics to secure after-hours patients and redirect them from the emergency department, reported The Sacramento Bee. Article

> A growing population has led to a hospital construction surge in Alaska, reported the Associated Press. To keep up with anticipated patient demand, Providence Health and Services began a $150 million renovation and expansion project in Anchorage, the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center in Fairbanks started to build a replacement facility, and Petersburg Medical Center planned a $1.47 million clinic expansion. Article

> Green Bay Catholic Bishop urged Catholics in Northeast Wisconsin to oppose health reform regulations, according to WGBA-TV. Similarly, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz told Lincoln Catholics he refuses to comply with reform requirements that Catholic hospitals and schools include contraceptive services in employee health insurance plans, noted the Lincoln Journal Star.

> The CEO of Overland Park (Kan.) Regional Medical Center defends the hospital's planned expansion, assuring residents that it will not decrease property values, according to Fox 4 News. Article

> Patients' perception of an illness is directly related to several important health outcomes, such as healthcare utilization, adherence to treatment plans and even overall mortality, according to a study published in the February issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science. According to some research, illness perceptions may play a larger role in influencing health outcomes than the actual severity of the illness. Press release

And Finally... Non-stop hiccups signal heart attack. Article