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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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2019-03-06Mar 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.

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.

2019-02-02Feb 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.

2019-03-05Mar 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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

2019-02-21Feb 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.  

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