Month: March 2016

Healthy Sundays in Orange County

On the second Sunday of each month, the Orange County Great Park in Irvine looks like a county fair. Balloons and banners; families with kids in strollers; mobile trucks holding eye catching displays with greeters inviting families in.

The Death Cafe: Step Right In

By Matt Perry Step inside. Grab something warm to drink. Have some cake. Today, we talk about death. There is perhaps no topic in American culture more taboo. We avoid it. We fear it. And it may even underlie one of our last remaining prejudices: ageism. The international Death Cafe movement parallels similar cultural shifts to explore a topic many consider integral to life itself:

Housing a Crucial, Missing Link for Women Escaping Domestic Violence

When Los Angeles County resident Cynthia Smith mustered the courage to leave her abusive husband, she had nowhere to go but her car. She lived out of her vehicle until she began to accrue parking tickets she couldn’t pay for—and then her car was towed. Suddenly, the former middle-class housewife found herself alone on the streets. Her only option was a homeless drop-in center on Skid Row.

Checking In, Not Checking Out

by Matt Perry It was a chance encounter in my Santa Cruz neighborhood. Just down the street, I’d walked by her home many times, noticing her typing away furiously near her front window. When I later saw her laptop, unattended, just inside the glass, I was concerned that a thief might make it disappear. The next time I saw her, I knocked on the door

Program Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Duals Demonstration Project

by Matt Perry The enrollment process was disastrous. Yet once in, patient satisfaction levels hit 80%. That’s a quick summary of a new review of California’s efforts to steer its most expensive patients into managed care. At the behest of the federal government, in 2014 California launched a money-saving initiative to move its so-called “dual eligibles” – typically poor, older and chronically sick patients who

Healthy Home Cooking: Makeovers and a Cookbook for Ethnic Recipes

As always, Nadia Atef, an immigrant from Morocco now living in San Diego with her husband and two young daughters, made special foods for the holidays this year. But while she usually prepares holiday dishes from her country, this year she added a new one, spinach soup, an Egyptian delicacy. What’s more, the version Atef brought to the holiday table had been specially revamped by a group of home cooks Atef is a part of, to make the dish healthier than traditional recipes.

Crowding on Skid Row Creates a Breeding Ground for Illnesses

By Robin Urevich

The squalor of LA’s skid row and the dangers it poses to human health took center stage briefly last fall when the director of one of the city’s largest homeless shelters contracted a flesh eating infection caused by e coli staph and strep that now threaten the amputation of his leg below the knee.

As More California Counties Implement Laura’s Law, Advocates Push Back

By Linda Childers Fifteen years ago, Laura Wilcox, a 19-year-old college student, was killed by a man with a history of mental illness while she was working at a mental health clinic in Nevada County. After her death, Wilcox’s parents pushed for legislation they believed would prevent similar tragedies and in 2002, the California State Legislature passed that legislation, known as Laura’s Law, giving county

From Feminism to Ageism: Ashton Applewhite Takes on The Last Prejudice

  By Matt Perry When Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in 1963, the words “sexism” and “feminism” were nary a blip on the cultural radar. The book launched a modern revolution that is still in progress. Today, in her blistering attack on ageism intended to foment a similar uprising, Ashton Applewhite paints an American culture awash in plastic surgery, fear and denial about the

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