Month: January 2012

The importance of seeds: nonprofit creates a public seed library

By Jenn Walker Ysidro Avila rummages through a tote bag and begins spreading packets of seeds out on the coffee table. “One of my favorites is Salvia hispanica or Salvia columbariae, which is the chia seed,” he says. “I have a winter spinach, which is an organic giant version of spinach.” The list of the bag’s contents continues. Blue hopi corn seeds, organic alfalfa seeds,

Helping Californians Access, Afford and Adhere to Quality Health Care will Have Dramatic Benefits

To help expand access to high-quality, cost-effective care for all California citizens, the California Academy of Physician Assistants (CAPA) has partnered with NeedyMeds, a national non-profit organization, to launch a prescription drug discount card that will help Californians lower the costs of their medications and other health care services. The discount card is free and can be used by all California families to save up to 80% off the cost of prescription medications.

California website offers help on long term care coverage

As California’s population continues to age, state officials are urging residents to do something human beings frequently find agonizing: Plan for that time in their twilight years when they may need assistance getting out of bed, visiting the bathroom and dressing themselves. That’s the impetus behind the five-month-old website www.RUReadyCA.org, which is managed by the California Partnership for Long-Term Care, a joint venture of the state Department of Health Care Services and a trio of insurance companies that sell long-term care policies in the state.

California counties improve stroke system

By Callie Shanafelt

Strokes are a leading cause of death – stroke victims need to be treated quickly to improve their chances of survival and decrease their chances of brain damage. California’s Department of Public Health is overseeing efforts to standardize stroke treatment across the state, but that can be a challenge, especially in rural areas.

A push for a single payer system, even as reforms take effect

Sen. Mark Leno is trying to get 20 of his fellow California state senators to vote in favor of his single-payer healthcare legislation this week. The proposed law, dubbed the “Medicare for All” bill, doesn’t look likely to pass. Yet the introduction of the bill raises an interesting question: why push for radical changes to insurance and healthcare so soon after President Obama signed historic reforms into law in March of 2010? Callie Shanafelt reports.

Court could block use of methyl iodide

An Alameda County judge is expected to rule soon on an environmental lawsuit challenging the state’s approval of a highly toxic and controversial soil fumigant that many farmers say is essential to their ability to grow strawberries and other crops. Robin Urevich has the story.

California probes skin-lighteners for mercury content

There could be a dark side to skin-lightening creams often found in stores that cater to ethnic communities. Starting next week, California health officials will collect and test a sampling of skin-lightening products in the Bay Area for possible mercury contamination. Health officials launched the investigation in response to a spate of mercury poisoning cases linked to the tainted face creams that are made outside the United States. See the story from Ngoc Nguyen of New America Media.

Mobile consulate helps Mexican nationals in rural Merced

By Minerva Perez

Getting to big cities is hard for Mexican nationals living and working the California’s Central Valley, but the documents that make everyday life possible are issued by Mexican consulates in Sacramento, Fresno and San Francisco. Enter the Consulado Móvil, which allows the Fresno office of the Mexican Consulate to meet people halfway.

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