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Dr. Adam Dougherty receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Sutter Medical Center.

Opinion: Vaccines Are Coming. What Can We Do Until Then?

I felt relief as I received my shot. After months of relentless pandemic care on the front line, we have finally received a vital tool in the fight against COVID-19 that will help California return to some normalcy over the coming months.

I trust these vaccines and urge the community to listen to the advice of health experts. When we receive the vaccine, we don’t just do it for ourselves, we do it to protect our loved ones and others who are at higher risk. Getting vaccinated is an act of compassion that will help us to save lives and stop the spread.

Closeup of a young man holding the hand of an old woman with affection.

How California Can Fix Its Hospice System and Reduce Care Inequities

When done right, hospice care can provide immense comfort to terminally ill patients and their families. But fraud, malpractice, unchecked growth, and lack of effective oversight from the state and federal authorities threaten the wellbeing of California’s hospice patients.

Seniors from all walks of life fall victim to these fraudulent practices, but those with limited English proficiency are especially vulnerable.

Here are a few solutions.

As California Stays Home Again, Volunteers Reach Out to Isolated Seniors

The holiday season is further adding to social isolation and feelings of loneliness many seniors have experienced during COVID-19. Many won’t be able to celebrate the holidays with loved ones and some have lost spouses or other family members to the virus.

The Social Bridging Project and other organizations that serve the elderly are ramping up efforts to reach vulnerable seniors living alone. Solutions include meal deliveries, phone check-ins and crisis hotlines.

Opinion: Communities of Color Are Supposed to Be Getting State Money to Reduce Pollution. Where Is It?

In recent years, CalEPA has more explicitly acknowledged how environmental pollution disproportionately impacts Californians of color. But we are still waiting for decisive action to fix it.

When California passed Senate bill 535 in 2012, it mandated that 25 percent of the proceeds generated from the resulting cap-and-trade program go to projects that benefit communities most impacted by pollution.

Bill Would Reverse ‘Discriminatory’ Policy That Mostly Impacts Women of Color

California is close to revising a rule that excludes family caregivers from unemployment.

If signed into law, the bill is expected to extend unemployment eligibility to more than 119,000 family caregivers, who are primarily low-income women of color, according to a home care workers union. Supporters say that’s only fair, given that people employed as in-home caregivers who are not family members do receive unemployment benefits.

Disasters Are Driving a Mental Health Crisis

From climate-fueled wildfires to COVID-19, mounting catastrophes are sowing stress and trauma. The country’s one program to help reaches only a fraction of survivors.

California counties are required by state law to provide mental health services in the wake of a wildfire or other emergency event, but only to the extent their resources allow. Many poorer, rural counties – which are often those most impacted by wildfires – just don’t have the money or resources.

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