North Bay Reports that deal with health and wellness in Sonoma County.
(June 8, 2010)
Medical marijuana can help treat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, but research to find out how and why is being blocked by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Thousands of medical marijuana patients believe that it helps treat a number of conditions and symptoms, including PTSD, but there few scientific studies that can verify or quantify those benefits. MAPS is attempting to conduct just such a study in the United States, but Executive Director Rick Doblin says it's a rigorous process that faces a major roadblock at the end.
That additional review by the National Institute on Drub Abuse is a redundant step that Doblin contends is in place precisely to defeat any attempts to conduct meaningful research into the possible benefits of medical cannabis.
In contrast to the expensive and labor intensive MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment model discussed in the previous report, Rick Doblin says that medical marijuana is far more affordable now, and could become far cheaper if and when cannabis is legalized in California.
(September 14, 2009)
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.
(September 21, 2009)
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.
(May 13, 2009)
Using a new technique, this year's census of the homeless in Sonoma County found far more of them than prior surveys. But improved methodology is being cited as the reason for the higher count, rather than a surge in the homeless population.
In the 2007 Homeless Census, explains Jenny Helbraun Abramson, the process depended on inviting homeless people into community centers to be counted. This time, the outreach was more direct and more comprehensive.