Opinion

Opinion: Central Valley Residents, We Must Act Now to Save Lives

As chief medical officer of the largest public health plan in the Central Valley, serving 335,000 Medi-Cal patients, I am very worried about our vulnerable members.

We have to act now to flatten the infection curve and save lives, including those of our health care professionals. This is particularly crucial in this part of California. In the Central Valley, we have been battling a severe, long-time shortage of doctors and nurses.

Doctor’s Notes: How to Protect Children as the Coronavirus Spreads

As a pediatrician and a father, I can tell you that children are able to sense fear among caregivers. I encourage parents to have age-appropriate conversations with their children to understand what they’ve heard, answer their questions and provide comfort.

We’re all in this together and solidarity will get us through this pandemic.

Opinion: As Schools Close, California Must Protect Access to Mental Health Care

There are some steps counties and states can—and should—take now to mitigate the collateral damage of school closures. We must protect the social and emotional health of our children.

Counties run local safety nets, and if they do not act swiftly and agressively, children will suffer.

We predict that social isolation practices and fear will exacerbate mental health conditions and challenges.

Opinion: CalRx Is Not a Magic Bullet—and Must Include Communities of Color

Gov. Gavin Newsom has outlined innovative reforms to curb drug prices, including CalRx, a California-owned, generic drug label.

But CalRx is not a magic bullet. Magic bullets and general solutions often overlook the impacts on communities of color.

If CalRx does not intentionally build a path of access for low-income folks and communities of color, it will just be creating cheaper, but still unattainable, prescription drugs.

Opinion: Two Ways to Help Young Adults With Autism Succeed

Reaching adulthood can be like “falling off a cliff” of services for young adults with special needs.

As parents and advocates, we still have a long way to go to ensure these students graduate at the same rates as their peers and exit college with the same skill sets. How well a person makes a transition is usually dependent upon the degree of support that is available.

Opinion: We Need a New Conversation About Health

Governor Newsom’s budget proposals could make real progress in ending inequities and boosting health in California.

But national political leaders should also be asking: What forces shape health and well-being—today and in the future? What do Americans really need and want in terms of health? Can we design a healthier future for all of us, not just people with the most money and privilege?

Opinion: To Close California’s Achievement Gap, We Must Teach All Parents About Early Brain Development

When adults interact directly with babies—such as by talking, reading and singing to them—those children have larger vocabularies at age three, better learning levels as they enter kindergarten, and a much higher likelihood of being able to read well and do well as students in both grade school and high school regardless of income levels, cultural differences or race.

Children from every race, ethnicity, culture and economic level deserve to have the asset of early brain stimulation.

Opinion: As Doctors on the Front Lines, We See that Ending Homelessness Takes a Village

As our cities have grown, California has made little effort to provide for those who are at, near, or below the poverty level. Many of these residents are also service workers, the backbone of the state’s economy.

Although the lack of affordable housing is central to this increase in homelessness, we must recognize that the solution to ending homelessness is not in the provision of housing alone.

Opinion: New Mammogram Guidelines Are Racially Unjust

The ‘start at 50’ U.S. Task Force mammogram approach particularly cheats Asian, Hispanic and black women, whose diagnoses peak in the 40s, potentially creating the greatest suffering for people of color at a relatively younger age.

My journey highlights the need for racial justice in annual mammograms.

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