Tags >> Health
Oct 08
2009

The Immigrant Paradox

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , students , speaker , Santa Rosa , resources , poverty , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , medicine , jobs , immigration , housing , healthcare , Health , government , food , finances , families , events , employment , education , economy , community , children , California

Bruce Robinson

What segment of California’s population is healthiest?  It’s probably not what you would think.

As Alameda County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Anthony Iton (left) directed efforts to correlate data from death certificates, parole offices, income reports from the national census and other sources and see where they overlapped in his county. And he found a high correspondence to the areas where poverty is most prevalent.

Taking their cue from the social support systems that many immigrant families enjoy, Dr. Iton suggests that public health departments also instigate informal gatherings of residents in impoverished neighborhoods, as an additional tool for improving their collective well-being.

Dr.  Iton  also co-authored this report (pdf, 87 pages) detailing the relative medical and social factors that shape health outcomes among the population of Alameda County. Similar results apply in Sonoma County and much of California.

 

Sep 24
2009

Herb Exchange

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , Sebastopol , medicine , healthcare , Health , farms , events , business , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

In addition to growing grapes, Sonoma County’s microclimates are also well suited for cultivating some micro-crops:  medicinal herbs.

Cotati area herb grower Terri Toso says she and others are constantly trying to expand their repertoire of varieties that can be successfully cultivated locally.

Toso has also experimented with attempts to replicate the intermingled growing conditions in which the desired herbs are found in the wild, up to a point, that is.

One of the complexities involved in growing medicinal herbs, explains Leslie Gardner, is that some plants have more than one valuable part, so harvests may occur at differing times in the growing cycle.

Gardner is also the author of Life in the Medicine, a handbook for anyone interested in growing medicinal herbs.

The Sonoma County Herb Exchange will host their annual Harvest and Herb Festival on Saturday, Oct. 3rd, at Laguna Farm on the south side of Sebastopol. This link will take you to the Herb exchange website where their complete catalog is also posted.

 

 

Sep 20
2009

Health Benefits Suit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , seniors , protest , policy , news , jobs , healthcare , Health , government , finances , families , employment , business , budget , aging

Bruce Robinson

A group representing several thousand former Sonoma County employees is suing the county to roll back a reduction in health care benefit for the retirees.

Former Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Greg Jacobs, vice president of the Sonoma County Association of Retired Employees (SCARE), contends the county has ample fiscal resources to keep paying the retirees’ promised health care benefits.

Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown says that while the board made the cuts reluctantly, albeit on a 5-0 vote, other counties have had to take even harsher actions.

 

Sep 13
2009

Doctors for Healthcare Reform

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Santa Rosa , poverty , politics , medicine , legislation , healthcare , Health , government , events , economy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Another voice in support of public healthcare reform is coming from family practice residents in Santa Rosa.

America's current health care system is deeply flawed in its capacity to deliver care to the patients who need it, says Dr. Rachel Friedman (left), which is the fundamental reason she is advocating for systemic reforms.

Those inequities in care, which are driven by disparities in health insurance coverage, tend to give doctors a narrower range of patients to work with, observes Dr. Veronica Jordan (right), while her ideal would be to see a more fully representative  spectrum of people in her daily practrice.
The activism that Drs. Friedman and Jordan are engaged in is not unusual, Friedman adds. Most of their residency classmates have joined in, and they have many counterparts across the country.


 

 

Sep 09
2009

United Plant Savers

Posted by Bruce Robinson in resources , open space , nonprofit orgs , medicine , Health , environment , drugs , conservation , climate change , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

Preserving biological diversity isn’t the only reason for protecting endangered plant species—in some cases, its good for our health, too.

United Plant Savers emerged in the 1990s, primarily in response to the depletion of naturally occurring supplies of popular medicinal herbs, explains Executive Director Lynda LeMole. Until that time, most of them were harvested by hand, in a process known as “wild-crafting.”

While herbal medicine is most commonly associated with the orient, eastern practitioners have long had a keen appreciation for certain medicinal plants from North America, especially American Ginseng, seen being harvested at left.

 

Commercial cultivation of many medicinal herbs is complicated by the challenges in replicating their natural growing conditions, particularly for those, like American Ginseng, that are found on the forest floor. Even here in Sonoma County, where conditions favor a wide range of crops, many sensitive herbs will not thrive. That's another factor complicating the preservation of the "at risk" herbs on the list below.

United Plant Savers “At-Risk” List 

  • American Ginseng - Panax quinquefolius
  • Black Cohosh - Actaea  racemosa (Cimicifuga)
  • Bloodroot - Sanguinaria canadensis
  • Blue Cohosh - Caulophyllum thalictroides
  • Echinacea - Echinacea spp.
  • Eyebright - Euphrasia spp.
  • False Unicorn Root - Chamaelirium luteum
    Goldenseal - Hydrastis canadensis
  • Lady’s Slipper Orchid - Cypripedium spp.
  • Lomatium - Lomatium dissectum
  • Osha - Ligusticum porteri, L. spp.
  • Peyote - Lophophora williamsii
  • Slippery Elm - Ulmus rubra
  • Sundew - Drosera spp.
  • Trillium, Beth Root -Trillium spp.
  • True Unicorn - Aletris farinosa
  • Venus’ Fly Trap - Dionaea muscipula
  • Virginina Snakeroot - Aristolochia serpentaria
  • Wild Yam - Dioscorea villosa, D. spp.

 

There is a full list of botanical sanctuaries (including three  in northern California) among the  resources at the United Plant Savers website.


Lynda LeMole, Executive Director of United Plant Savers, will be the featured speaker tonight at the Science Buzz Café  in their new home at the Youth Annex adjacent to the Sebastopol Community Center, at 7 pm.

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