health connections


In this first of a two part series, KRCB examines what’s behind the long-term rise in cesarean sections and what can be done to reduce them.

In 2011 Marin General Hospital decided to overhaul their staffing practices. Privately insured pregnant mothers would now receive the same staffing care as publicly insured mothers: Around-the-clock nurse midwives and "laborists" -- obstetricians focused solely on delivering babies rather than maintaining a clinical practice. 

The Long, Slow Recovery From Concussion

Jul 22, 2015

  Concussions are serious and common injuries among school athletes. Today, we hear the story of volleyball player Sophia Reoutt, as she struggled to recover from one.

  Symptoms of Concussion

Teaching Financial Literacy

Jul 22, 2015

  No matter how much—or how little—money you earn, knowing how to manage it effectively will enable those dollars to reach further.

Why Palliative Care is Growing

Jul 21, 2015


  Hospice care, for people with terminal illnesses, is well established now. Palliative care is not as well known, but can actually do more.


In many ways, says Dr. Gary Johanson, Director of Memorial Hospice and Palliative Care Service for St. Joseph's Annadel Medical Group, the modern practice of palliative care is a return to the care-giving philosophy that prevailed before the era of modern medicine. To help visualize the relative roles of varying forms of medical care, he has prepared the Venn diagram below.

Learning Empathy in the Barnyard

Jul 19, 2015
Forget Me Not Farm

  Learning how to treat horses, chickens and sheep helps kids from troubled backgrounds develop compassion for more than animals.

  Rathman is fully convinced that the Forget-Me-Not experience is both instructive and healing. And even though it’s hard to quantify their results with hard data, the first-hand stories and other anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly affirmative.

Forget-Me-Not Farm was also profiled on KRCB-TV's Community Health Connections. You can view the segment below.

The newest addition to   KRCB television’s Health Connections series is a long-form documentary titled Place Matters. It’s an exploration of how myriad social inequalities affect community health—using Santa Rosa as a case in point. 


Visit the grocery store and you’ll find row after row of washes, toothpastes, cosmetics, and plastic toys labeled “anti-bacterial.” Researchers speaking at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco this week suggested the risks of using antibacterial products probably outweigh the benefits. 

Overcoming the Obstacles to a "Good Death"

Jul 15, 2014

 Despite their preferences, more Americans die in hospital beds than their own beds. To avoid that, says Marin health journalist Katy Butler, we need to face up to our own mortality, and then plan for it.

Flickr user Russ

Despite having one of the lowest rates of child abuse in the state, child abuse remains a huge problem in Sonoma County. According to the most recent numbers from the group Prevent Child Abuse-Sonoma County, last year there were more than 5000 reports of child abuse and nearly 200 kids were removed from unsafe homes. 

TV Documentary Counters Mental Health Stigmas

May 10, 2014

Fears and stigmas deter many people from seeking help with mental health problems. A public television documentary is working to help counter that. Bruce Robinson spoke with some of the people who made it.

Among the vignettes featured in A New State of Mind, says producer Stephanie Locher, are two contrasting stories of returning war veterans.

A New State of Mind, Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness will be shown on KRCB-TV  on Monday, May 12 at 9 pm. Watch the trailer for the program below.

What is Behind Sonoma County's low Vaccination Rates?

Apr 24, 2014
courtesy Lily Borgeson

About a decade ago health officials declared an end to measles in the United States. But the disease is making resurgence due, in part, to a decline in vaccination rates.

Whooping Cough on the Rise in Sonoma County

Apr 23, 2014
courtesy Sebastopol Union Elementary.

With outbreaks of whooping cough reported in 6 Sonoma County Schools, parents and public health officials are on edge. In the last 15 years vaccination rates have decreased sharply over concerns about possible side effect. On today's North Bay Report, we speak with public health and school officials about the resurgence of diseases that can be prevented with vaccines.  

Disagreement over detection, treatment of Lyme disease

Mar 3, 2014
Ervic Aquino

In California, Sonoma County is one of the hot spots for Lyme disease. But despite its prevalence, much confusion remains about how to detect and treat this debilitating condition. 

The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito Vector Control District conducts local tick surveillance. The Centers for Disease Control website maintains extensive information about Lyme disease.

Rajan Narayanan isn't your average yoga instructor. During his classes, he uses words like "neuroplasticity," avoids Sanskrit terms and sometimes shows up to teach in a suit and tie.

And often, as was the case on a recent Monday at a Maryland conference center, most of his students are doctors and nurses.

Stretched out on orange and green yoga mats for a weekend-long workshop, the 30 students learned breathing techniques, lifestyle tips and research findings that support the health benefits of yoga.

iWalk Sonoma County Offers New Challenges for 2014

Jan 14, 2014

To overcome the winter doldrums —and perhaps help with some faltering New Year’s Resolutions -- Sonoma County’s iWalk program is back in action, this time with some new challenges. What are they? Today’s Exchange has answers.

Sign-ups are open now; the 10 week Challenge period begins Jan. 27.

Teaching Financial Literacy

Dec 1, 2013

No matter how much—or how little—money you earn, knowing how to manage it effectively will enable those dollars to reach further.

Public awareness campaigns, research, improvements in treatment and early detection have all played a role in decreasing deaths from breast cancer. But some advocates worry that  the benefits of early screening and mammography are over sold.

Image courtesy Redwood Empire Food Bank

Nine years ago local public health officials faced sobering statistics: low-income children in Sonoma County suffered from much higher rates of anemia than children in the rest of the state. As KRCB reports, years of work by community and governmental organizations seem to be paying off as county numbers slowly improve.

  “First, do no harm” is a core tenet taught to aspiring medical professionals.

Dental Care Emergency

Jun 24, 2013

Fewer dentists and decreased funding for services have combined to create an acute shortage of dental care. A new report, released this morning, says California is among the ten states where the problem is worst. But, as Bruce Robinson reports, Sonoma County has a saving grace. 

Silencing Whooping Cough

Jun 4, 2013
Flicker user Lou Bueno

For adults, whooping cough--also known as pertussis-- is an annoying, but not dangerous, respiratory infection. For young infants, however, the cough can be dire, even fatal. KRCB examines local efforts to eradicate the disease.


Need a community immunization clinic? Here's where to go: 

Sonoma County
Marin County
Napa County

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.

Mixed Numbers in 2013 Homeless Count

May 7, 2013

The preliminary results of the 2013 count of homeless people in Sonoma County will be presented to the board of Supervisors this morning. And, as Bruce Robinson reports, the news is mostly grim. 

Peter Connery of Applied Survey Research, which conducts similar studies for other counties and cities in California and beyond, says that despite the worrisome figures in his 2013 for Sonoma County, the programs in place here have helped prevent matters from becoming even worse.