Tags >> healthcare
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 28
2009

Catholic Charities

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , speaker , Santa Rosa , religion , poverty , nonprofit orgs , healthcare , government , families , employment , economy , children , activism

Bruce Robinson

Official statistics on poverty in America tell barely half the story, even before the current recession kicked in, says the leader of a national anti-poverty effort, while the recovery now being forecast will take months or more to trickle down to the nation’s neediest citizens.

Father Larry Snyder took over as the head of Catholic Charities USA in early 2005, and found himself, just six months later, presiding over his agency’s efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Looking back on that disaster now, he believes it has helped open Americans’ eyes to the prevalence of poverty in our midst.

 

 

The expansion of federal funding for faith-based organizations under the Bush administration actually amounted to less than it appeared, says Father Snyder. It merely extended a long-standing practice to include some additional service providers.

Catholic Charities  USA has announced a concerted campaign to cut poverty in America by half, and has developed an array of web-based resources and information as part of that effort. The data summarized below is taken from that website.

National Poverty Data

Updated September 2009

39.8 million people live below the official federal poverty level, which was $22,025 for a family of four in 2008. This number is up from 37.3 million in 20071.

The number of people in poverty has not exceeded the 2008 figure of 39.8 million people since 1960. It is expected to rise as the new census numbers account for 2008--which was just the beginning of the economic downturn.

The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008.

Almost half of all Americans will have experienced poverty for a year or more at some point in their lives by the time they reach age 60.

Income and Employment

The federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008; and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.   Real median household income declined by 3.6 percent in 2008. As of September , 2009 the national unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent. Learn more

Location

Poverty rates are highest in central cities and rural areas. Inside metropolitan areas the poverty rate and the number of people in poverty were 12.9 percent and 32.6 million, both up from 2007.  The poverty rate for those outside metropolitan areas is 15.1 percent.

The South has the highest rate of people in poverty,14.3 percent. Mississippi and Louisiana have the first and second highest rates. Find your state's rank.

Racial Inequality

The poverty rate for non-Hispanic whites is 8.6 percent, while the rate for Hispanics is 23.2 percent, the rate for Asians is 11.8 percent, and the rate for African Americans is 24.5 percent.  Learn more about Race and Poverty.

Age

The number of people 65 and older remained at 3.6 million in 2008. Children experience a higher rate of poverty, 19 percent, than the rest of the population. This number is higher than in 2007.  Children represent 35.3 percent of people in poverty but only 24.6 percent of the total population.1

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.

 

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