Safe Medicine Disposal

Sep 16, 2013

  Collecting and incinerating old or unwanted prescription medications is a public health benefit on several fronts. The makers of the meds are fighting one northern California County’s ordinance that requires them to help cover those disposal costs—but they’re losing.

For Sonoma County, the drive to collect and dispose of excess medications (see list of locations here)  has been propelled by water quality concerns, explains Susan Keach, an Environmental Compliance Inspector for the Sonoma County Water Agency.

Improving Birth in America

Aug 29, 2013

  For a second consecutive year, a Rally to Improve Birth is being held in Santa Rosa on Labor Day (details below). Two of the women behind the event, independent film-maker Diana Paul  and co-coordinator  Deb Putterbaugh spoke with KRCB about the reasons for the rally, and the changes they hope it will lead to.

HIV and Aging

Jul 30, 2013

People with HIV are now living much longer lives. But they are also aging faster than other people, which creates some unusual and acute health care needs.

Just as health care providers need to anticipate how to meet the needs of aging HIV patients, Rachel Gardner believes that social service agencies such as Food For Thought will have to make adjustments, too.

Combatting Obesity

Jul 28, 2013

Nearly one of every three young people in the United States is overweight or obese—a huge and costly health issue for that generation and the nation. But some focused counter-measures are showing small signs of progress in key areas of California.

The recent move to shape land use planning and other governmental policies to help combat obesity represents a change in strategy, acknowledges Hannaveva Islas-Hooker of the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program. The new key is making it easier to make healthy choices.

Native Medicinal Plants

Jun 25, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Native healers the world over have relied on the medicinal properties of the indigenous plants in their regions for millennia. Today, much of that knowledge is more widely available—and California’s lush north coast holds a wealth of beneficial botany. On today’s North Bay Report, we meet a practitioner and teacher of those herbal arts.

Air Quality and Asthma

May 21, 2013

Sonoma and Marin Counties are a clean air oasis in the Bay Area, but statewide, asthma and related health impacts associated with air pollutants remain a huge concern.

  One reason the air is so clear in the coastal North Bay Counties, explains the American Lung Association’s Jenny Bard, is because the prevailing winds carry our locally-generated pollution to other areas.


Transition Nursing Care

May 20, 2013
SSU School of Nursing

Getting released from a hospitalization is only the first step; then you have to stay out. Care Transitions is a pilot program to help make that happen.

So, what does participation in the Transition Care program involve? Sue Pearce, a Manager of Care Management for Memorial Hospital, outlines the steps.

Seniors Pass Up Free Health Subsidies

May 9, 2013
Flickr user Nicoli Barea

Millions of struggling seniors are paying more than they need to for their health care… effectively turning down free money. Local advocates say seniors are overwhelmed and missing out on many of the benefits they’re entitled to. 

Fighting Flame Retardants

May 6, 2013

You might expect firefighters would approve of adding flame-retardant chemicals to building materials. In reality, they see them as a threat. Now, state law makers are seeking to update old laws that effectively require the addition of flame retardants to many manufactured products.

Learn more about AB 127 through Assenblymember Skinner's website.

SAY Expanding Into Warrack Hospital

Apr 12, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Social Advocates for Youth currently operates an emergency shelter for young teens and a transitional home for youth who have aged out of foster care. Soon, they hope to expand their services to meet more of the needs of Sonoma County’s growing number of homeless young people. Bruce Robinson has details.

County Moves Forward on Fluoride Study

Mar 4, 2013
Flickr user OiMax

Last week the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the needed engineering and financial studies for adding fluoride to municipal water. The decision provoked an outcry from some area residents, deeply suspicious about fluoride's proposed benefits. However, public health advocates say fluoride is a safe, clearly effective way to promote healthy teeth.

Report: Childhood Obesity Rates Declining

Feb 6, 2013

  There's a glimmer of good news in the latest studies of child obesity rates, at least in two large US cities. Lori Abbot has details.

Brain Tumors Found in Sick Raccoons

Jan 17, 2013
UC Davis/Photo used with permission

Sick raccoons are nothing new in northern California, where distemper is fairly common among them. But some don’t fit that pattern for raccoon deaths, and new laboratory studies have found out why.


Sometimes, researchers have an idea of what they will find when they begin their investigations. This was not such a case, says Dr. Patricia Pesavento, a pathologist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. In fact, their findings surprised everyone involved.

Pauline Bartolone / Capital Public Radio Network

• Governor Brown says the state still faces uncertainty in costs from federal health care reform.

• Brown commits to Medi-Cal expansion, but questions remain about getting there.

• Public interest groups say many firms find a way to employ ex-lawmakers anyway.

• California Conditionally Approved to Run Its Own Health Insurance Market.

Antibiotic resistance

Nov 14, 2012

Penicillin and other antibiotic “wonder drugs” have saved countless lives over the past 70 years. But widespread use is threatening the future effectiveness of these important medications, and there is nothing yet known that could take their place.