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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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2019-05-05May 5, 2019

My community work this past year is dedicated to two career firefighters: Charlie Rice, RIP March 29, 2018 and his widow, Shellie Rice, of Napa.  I was asked to help stop the invasion of 60+ Verizon 5G cell towers in the city of Napa, with one tower to be installed in front of the Rice’s home on Franklin Street. I soon discovered that the 5G roll over was also happening in the cities of Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol & Petaluma. More recently, the telecom industry has headed for Marin County. They have already been installed in Sacramento.  

2019-03-05Mar 5, 2019

The Sonoma County Health Officer declared a local health emergency Tuesday due to the scale of household hazardous waste (HHW) scattered along the waterways, roadsides, and on public and private properties after flooding in the County from last week’s rain storms.

2019-03-04Mar 4, 2019

Why should we change the way we treat aging, dying, and death? Because the traditional ways do not fit who we are now. Just as many of us have worked to become more conscious about such things as food, health care, community connections, and spiritual development, so now we are raising consciousness around the way we leave this precious life.

2019-03-01Mar 1, 2019

Despite the wetness of our days, we can look at the sky and earth and see the beginnings of Spring. Go outside and look around you. Clean out that garage, that kitchen drawer, and, AND, your emotional clutter. Be honest, be active. New beginnings abound

2019-02-28Feb 28, 2019

Pain and Suffering: Do opioids have a place in treatment? Severe pain can be terrible and very debilitating. Extracts from the poppy plant have been used to relieve the distress from pain for millenia. One of the downsides of the efforts to rein in the heavy use of opioids has been the difficulty in obtaining the medications by people who really need them. Clearly the pendulum had swung too far towards liberal prescribing patterns. Opioid overdose deaths are at stunningly high rates in this country, and although Americans make up only 20% of the world's population, we consume 80% of the opioids.

2019-02-27Feb 27, 2019

Patients for Affordable Drugs Now, which collects stories about patients having trouble paying for their medicines and is building a patient advocacy community to make their voices heard. His group has collected some 15,000 patient stories, more than 100,000 emails, and has trained patients to be advocates to testify in state legislatures and lobby Congress.

2019-02-21Feb 21, 2019

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma announced today the availability of $27.3 million in mental health wellness grants for children and youth. This competitive grant program funds facility acquisition, construction and/or renovation, equipment acquisition, and applicable program startup or expansion costs for crisis residential treatment facilities, crisis stabilization facilities, mobile crisis support teams, and family respite care.

2019-02-18Feb 18, 2019
2019-02-12Feb 12, 2019

You may be skilled at loving your pets, your family, your friends, and nature. But are you skilled at loving yourself?  What is self-love? It’s the same thing as self-esteem. It’s the ability to accept all of who you are, even the scary parts, so you become truly authentic and no longer hide your fears and vulnerability behind a mask of strength and feigned confidence. It means understanding and forgiving yourself. It means being willing to learn from mistakes rather than trashing yourself, so you own your power.

2019-02-12Feb 12, 2019

In keeping with this time of expressing and providing care for those near and dear to us, young and old, our family, friends and neighbors Sonoma Specialty Hospital is very proud to announce the grand opening of Progressive Urgent Care now open 7 days a week, 9AM to 9PM.  

2019-02-05Feb 5, 2019

For those of us intending on advancing into our golden years, or those of us already there, we will/do face health issues worsened by a sedentary lifestyle -- and/or space travel. Remembering to stand up and move several times an hour can have marvelous health benefits.

2019-05-03May 3, 2019

This month we continue our exploration of Nature’s great wonder, the eye. As we move past the anterior chamber and beyond the deep surface of the lens, we leave all familiar structures behind. Welcome to the Posterior Chamber!

This is a strange and dark place. Gone is the sparkling clear aqueous humor that inflates and nourishes the front of the eye. Instead, the posterior chamber is filled with a gelatinous tissue, the vitreous humor, which fills the space behind the lens and in front of the retina. This material not only helps to maintain the spherical shape of the eye, but also serves to maintain the location and flatness of the retina by gently compressing the retina against the fibrous globe. The posterior chamber is dark - exactly like the back of a camera. 

2019-02-02Feb 2, 2019

By no stretch of the imagination could Lynda Hopkins be called a “pot politician,” but she’s the supervisor of the Fifth District, where more marijuana is cultivated than in any other district in Sonoma County. Geography, agriculture and politics have pushed her front and center where cannabis is concerned, not just locally but nationally.

2019-02-01Feb 1, 2019

On March 5, voters in the Palm Drive Health Care District will go to the polls to decide if Sebastopol’s struggling public hospital will be leased, then sold, to a private, for profit company, American Advanced Management Group of Modesto. The District is putting the former Palm Drive Hospital on the market because it has consistently lost money. Despite 20 years of good faith efforts and multiple managers, the District is $28 million in debt and in its second bankruptcy. Former employees and vendors are still owed more than $8 million.

2019-01-27Jan 27, 2019

We have been hearing it since we were kids, but does this dietary advice still hold up? With so much conflicting information about what is good for us to eat, it might be helpful to look at some of the basics. Increased fruit and vegetable intake is associated with decreased risk for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

 

 

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.

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.”

 

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. 

2018-12-26Dec 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.

2019-04-30Apr 30, 2019

West County Health Centers is hosting a one-day workshop in late May to develop collective understanding and narratives around the topic of community opioid addiction. The process will be engaging and highly interactive with a goal of creating a shared understanding of the underlying forces, and specific areas of potential impact.

2019-04-29Apr 29, 2019

The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District expects to see a rise in the adult mosquito population as temperatures increase this spring. The series of atmospheric rivers that drenched Marin and Sonoma counties this past winter and early spring left behind large areas of stagnant water. Vector control technicians are out in force responding to service requests from residents and checking areas with standing water in an effort to keep the adult mosquito population at bay.

2019-04-17Apr 17, 2019

2-1-1 is a free telephone and web-based information and referral service. The service connects Sonoma County residents with health and human services and resources when assistance is needed, including during times of disaster. The transfer of 2-1-1 Sonoma County management from the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County (VCSC) to United Way of the Wine Country (UWWC) allows each organization to strategically focus on their core service and expand the value each organization contributes to the community.

2019-04-04Apr 4, 2019

A local scout master tells how a local Girl Scouts Troop, The Unicorns, successfully broke into the number one boys club in the country, The Boy Scouts of America.

2019-03-27Mar 27, 2019

Senator Mike McGuire joined Senator Jerry Hill and 16 other California State Legislators to introduce legislation that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco in the Golden State. “Lured by fruit, candy and other kid-friendly flavors, high school and middle school students throughout the U.S. are vaping in record numbers,” said Senator Hill. “We must stop the appalling epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth.”

2019-03-24Mar 24, 2019

With the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), patients were able to tolerate the treatment better and seemed to get good results, so doctors began prescribing them liberally. Over time, the conditions for which they were used expanded to include panic, anxiety, eating disorders, mood changes related to menses, and many others. The numbers of people taking these medications continues to rise. From 1999 to 2012 the percentage of Americans on antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13%. Now nearly 25 million American adults are taking these meds for at least 2 years. Research shows variable results for these medications. They do perform somewhat better than placebo, especially in cases where the depression is more severe, but “their overall effect is mild to moderate” improvement. Therapy is about as good as medication, with both together performing slightly better than either by themself.

2019-03-06Mar 6, 2019

It seems every day brings a new spate of federal, state, hospital and clinic restrictions on the opioids needed by millions of chronic pain patients to be functional human beings. Some are seeing their doses cut back. Others are cut off completely.

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