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Sonoma County Gazette

Health and Well Being

Staying healthy is a high priority for many. Here in Sonoma County we have plenty of fresh air, opportunities to exercise, and health pracitioners in a broad range of modalities. If you have information you want to share with our readers, please send us your articles.

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2019-01-15Jan 15, 2019

Between January 15-20 the State will issue February CalFresh benefits earlier than usual to many Sonoma County residents to cover food during the coming month. The early allocation is due to concerns that the partial federal government shutdown will prevent issuance of the benefits in February. Payments will be made by the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), from reserves approved by Congress in 2018.

2018-11-19Nov 19, 2018

The open enrollment period to apply for or renew Covered California health insurance coverage ends on January 15, 2019.


2018-11-17Nov 17, 2018

As the fires and hurricanes keep coming, it becomes increasingly difficult to deny weather as a major concern when planning for human health. Fires, floods, extreme heat, poor air quality, and problems with water access all make us more vulnerable as “Global Warming” continues to unfold. Some individuals may do reasonably well in the coming era, if they are lucky or well-resourced (and able to buffer from the worst impacts). For the rest of us, though, and for the planet as a whole, some massive changes are in store.

2018-11-01Nov 1, 2018

For over 40 years, West County Health Centers (WCHC) has offered its broad range of medical and support services to an ever-growing patient population. From its modest beginnings in 1974, with one clinic in Guerneville, to seven patient sites treating a total of 12,838 patients in 2017, WCHC are known for their services to the medically underserved in our communities.

2018-10-29Oct 29, 2018

The peak flu activity in the US usually runs November to April. With the season right around the corner, discussions about prevention and risk arise again. Most persons who contract influenza will recover without any long-lasting problems. However, influenza can cause serious illness and death, particularly among older adults, young children, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions. Recent estimates claim that 80,000 Americans died during the 2017-2018 season from influenza. Medical organizations recommend routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons aged ≥6 months that do not have contraindications

2018-10-12Oct 12, 2018

In the cow-dotted fields of Sonoma County, dairy goat farmer Jennifer Bice has always forged her own path. As her goat dairy company Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery celebrates its 50th year, Bice looks to the future, adapting her farm to the immediate challenges of climate change, drought, and wildfires to protect the animals she loves and the land that sustains them. 

2018-10-06Oct 6, 2018

For one thing, Cliché’s have a certain “commonality” that can instantly unify us – or move us apart!  (Depending upon the cliché, of course!) Time flies – can’t believe the year is almost over!  Surely, we can hear each other chiming in on that one as summer ends, the leaves begin to turn and the tree nuts fall.  It’s easy to agree time moves fast – and relentlessly, cliché notwithstanding.

2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018

Board of Supervisors approved formation the Sonoma County Coast and Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Councils. On Sept. 25, the Board of Supervisors approved the formation of both the Sonoma County Coast and Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Councils. The application process for both are now open.

2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018

When I was young girl we had a pomegranate tree in my backyard. The neighborhood kids and I would pluck off the fruit from the tree and bust it open to find all the little seeded jewels inside. We would fill up our hands and pop the plump juiced filled seeds into our mouths and let the juice explode, satisfying our thirst and sweet tooth all in one fall swoop. It's an experience that I still get excited about as an adult. I get giddy at the first signs of pomegranates at the farmers' market. The pomegranate tree is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe.


2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018

It’s been a few years since I’ve monkeyed around with noise ordinances and the like, so perhaps now is a good time for a refresher.  It is a complicated issue—we must balance the inevitable noises in our surroundings with the interests to enact a law to define (and more importantly, enforce) acceptable noise standards. 

2018-10-01Oct 1, 2018

Do you like seeing trash and litter on our sidewalks, streets, yards, and waterways? We didn’t think so. Not only do our open spaces look better when they are clean and tidy, it contributes to a healthier environment.

2019-01-07Jan 7, 2019

A new report concludes that the information given to Medicare and Medicaid consumers in the provider directories is deeply flawed, often misleading, inaccurate, and “can create a barrier to care.”


2018-10-01Oct 1, 2018

Sonoma County DRAFT Fire Recovery and Resiliency Plan - PUBLIC COMMENT DEADLINE: October 26, 2018. As we continue to recover and rebuild a year after the North Bay fires of October 2017, the DRAFT Recovery and Resiliency Framework just released by the Sonoma County Office of Recovery and Resiliency offers a pathway for starting to look forward.

2018-09-27Sep 27, 2018

The Aztecs, the last of the great pre-Colombian native civilizations adored the avocado and made “bitter water” from ground coca beans and spices. They incorporated the areas older and newer cultures, along with their agricultural methods, in the mid-15th century.


2018-09-26Sep 26, 2018

In the not so distant past, the controversies around what risk different chemicals such as Glyphosates posed to human health pitted the Federal regulators against the Industry representatives. Now, in this new era, many of the leaders at the Environmental Protection Energy have actually come from the ranks of Chemical Industry lobbyists. Not surprisingly, despite increasing evidence of human toxicity, these regulators seem to be losing interest in limiting human exposure to these potentially dangerous substances.

2018-09-01Sep 1, 2018

At the farmers’ market you will find all sorts of grapes in season from Concord grapes to seedless grapes to green grapes. They are great for making jams and jellies, juice, grape seed oil, raisins, currants and sultanas, not to mention wine. Although my favorite way to eat them is by popping them off the vine and into my mouth. 


2018-08-31Aug 31, 2018

As our children return to school, beauty surrounds many Sonoma County campuses, with bucolic hillsides and sprawling farmland. Yet, unseen toxicity lies within and around these rural schools. For the first time, data about this toxicity is now available to inform parents and the community.


2018-08-28Aug 28, 2018

A new health insurance option awaits consumers this fall. Proponents say it will offer lower premiums and relief from increasingly expensive Obamacare policies sold in the so-called individual market.  That’s the place where people who don’t have employer or government-sponsored insurance turn when they need coverage.

2018-08-28Aug 28, 2018

What fairly new idiocy is raining down on unsuspecting souls who just want to watch a favorite TV show—not have an on-air doctor’s visit? Medical advice thru pharmaceutical advertising, that’s what!


2018-08-21Aug 21, 2018

Despite challenges common to small rural hospitals and to our community, we are happy to announce that for the foreseeable future, we have our community hospital management agreement.

2018-08-19Aug 19, 2018

Today’s high stress feline executive lives under a great deal of pressure. Making mission-critical decisions, such as deciding on the most advantageous window seat for napping, and management of distracted, unfocused humans takes a toll on even the most laid back kitty VIP.

2018-08-02Aug 2, 2018

What fairly new idiocy is raining down on unsuspecting souls who just want to watch a favorite TV show—not have an on-air doctor’s visit? Medical advice thru pharmaceutical advertising, that’s what!


2019-01-03Jan 3, 2019

Aurora Santa Rosa, a hospital with 95 mental health beds, has big plans for the coming year. The hospital is partnering with Stanford Medicine and Sonoma State University to host new events, and has plans to add 49 new beds by October. 

2018-08-02Aug 2, 2018

Melon season is really when I feel summer is in full swing. As I walk the aisles of the farmers’ market and the undeniable smell of melon is in the air I am in heaven. As I child I loved using a melon baller to eat the interior flesh of a cantaloupe. In all honesty this is still the way I prefer to eat the sweet flesh of any melon.

2018-08-01Aug 1, 2018

Today’s high stress feline executive lives under a great deal of pressure. Making mission-critical decisions, such as deciding on the most advantageous window seat for napping, and management of distracted, unfocused humans takes a toll on even the most laid back kitty VIP.

2018-07-31Jul 31, 2018

With the Trump administration attempting to roll back many progressive measures, and with the possibility of a Supreme Court that is unfavorable to abortion rights, it seems useful to look at the current state of abortion access in the US. While this data is a few years old, it is the most recent available and comes mainly from a very reliable source, theGuttmacher Institute (although definitely “pro-choice”).

2018-07-31Jul 31, 2018

Now that marijuana is legal, a slew of questions come up about the health risks of cannabis use. One such concern is the safety of marijuana consumption when breastfeeding

2018-07-23Jul 23, 2018

On August 4th & 5th, survivors, caregivers, friends and family will join together for the Relay For Life of Northern Sonoma County event at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa.Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser of the American Cancer Society. It is a team event where team members take turns walking around the track for 24 hours. Because cancer never sleeps, neither do our participants. This year’s event includes teams from Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Windsor and Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Sonoma. Opening Ceremony begins at 10 a.m. We will celebrate survivors with an honorary breakfast at 9.

2018-07-16Jul 16, 2018

Occupy Sonoma County is participating in Plastic Free July, and we urge everyone to join the challenge where participants are counted and receive information on how to reduce plastic consumption.

2018-12-26Dec 26, 2018

As Jerry Brown says, we are now in the period of “the new abnormal,” with a year-round wildfire season and recurring problems with cataclysmic fires and smoke.  Since our air in Northern California has historically been very clean, we now have to learn how to assess risk and protect ourselves from the health effects of smoke. Since most of the research on long-term exposures has been with urban air pollution, not with wildfire smoke, the effects of intermittent exposures like we are experiencing are not well understood.  This will hopefully change upon completion of some research that is currently underway. 


2018-12-25Dec 25, 2018
2018-12-20Dec 20, 2018

I’ve been preaching for some time, that if we don’t deal with climate change, do it right, and do it now—nothing else is really going to matter. When I went to the Climate March in 2014 in NYC, I  heard we had 20–40 years to make a difference; recent reports say the window is only 10–12 years. Now is the time.

2018-12-01Dec 1, 2018

As a 21-year-old Army wife, a local therapist attempted to kill herself. "Until that time, my husband hadn’t believed me when I said I was suicidal. Even the Army psychiatrists, whom I begged for help, rejected me," Gail Raborn writes, in her article about spotting the signs of a suicidal thoughts and prevention resources.

2018-12-01Dec 1, 2018

In the weeks after California's deadly, destructive wildfires, residents and firefighters alike should be mindful of the toxins carried in the smoke that blanketed the state. The secret to reversing possible diseases is to detox the poisons that do the damage to our body, and to rebuild new healthy cells.

2018-11-26Nov 26, 2018

It’s open enrollment time for medical insurance, and for people having to shop in the individual insurance market; the choices are as confusing as ever. When searching for a policy, it's important to consider cost, coverage and other factors. 

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