County Pulse: Job opportunities are strong in Modesto area for health practitioners, survey says

Posted by Ken Carlson on October 4, 2013 

    alternate textKen Carlson
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: County government, health and medicine, air quality, the environment and public pension systems
    Bio: Ken Carlson has worked 13 years for The Bee, covering local government agencies in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. His in-depth reporting has focused on access to health care and public employee pensions.
    Recent stories written by Ken

A consumer advocacy group found that job openings for health practitioners were strong compared with other occupations, and the Modesto area is among the top 10 cities in the nation for available health care jobs.

According to the NerdWallet survey, Modesto was eighth among the top U.S. cities for health care job demand. Fresno ranked fourth. Although the Modesto area is known for the wine industry and farming, nearly 15 percent of available local jobs last year were for health practitioners. With its three full-service hospitals, Modesto is a medical service hub for a six-county region.

NerdWallet singled out Memorial Medical Center as one of the area’s large employers. In the past year, the hospital issued pink slips because of reduced patient counts and changes in the health industry. Still, Memorial and other local Sutter Health affiliates posted more than 60 job openings in the past month, from nurses to lab scientists, physical therapists, health educators and patient service coordinators.

For other cities where medical service jobs are in high demand, go to

Scam alert

Making the rounds is a Medicare scam that targets seniors. A supposed telemarketer offers free equipment that calls for help if the senior falls at home and can’t get up. Free shipping is part of the bogus offer. The caller then asks for the senior’s checking account number for billing, so the scammer can rob the individual’s bank account.

Sandy Ranzo-Howell, a Medicare fraud liaison in Modesto, recently asked a group of 14 seniors at the Marple Manor apartment complex if they had received these calls. All of them raised their hands, she said.

Ranzo-Howell said she’s alerted state authorities about the scam, which likely is targeting seniors everywhere. She advises seniors to hang up if a telemarketer asks for their bank account numbers.

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