Opinion

Oct 18, 2019 Berkeley / CA / USA - 'Black lives matter' slogan posted on the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse billboard in downtown Berkeley

Letter From the Editor: How Racism Affects Californians

The pandemic and protests have laid bare the depths of our nation’s disparities. Your race should not determine whether you live or die. It should not influence whether your doctor listens to you, or whether you can breathe clean air.

But—too often—it does.

In my own family, I’ve seen the results of racism and redlining play out over generations in Los Angeles, limiting where some family members could purchase homes, raise their children and retire.

A crowd of people wearing face masks in Los Angeles during COVID-19 face masks in Los Angeles

Opinion: The Pandemic Is Exposing How Fragile My Patients’ Lives Are

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on millions of Californians. This is especially true among low-income families, including my patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Most of our families barely get by in the best of times. How will they fare during a viral-induced economic downturn? The pandemic is exposing how fragile their lives are.

Doctor’s Notes: COVID-19 May Create Another Public Health Crisis

For years, public health programs have worked hard to make immunization equitable, shielding all children from preventable illnesses. If children fall behind in their vaccination schedule, immunity will begin to wane, and the likelihood of vaccine-preventable outbreaks will increase in the coming months.

If you haven’t heard from your pediatrician yet, call your medical home to ask how and when they plan to resume well visits and vaccinations.

Opinion: Society Designed the Systems That Created COVID-19 Inequalities — We Can Redesign Them

Why is COVID-19 disproportionately taking the lives of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and low-income workers?

Community conditions too often undermine health and wellbeing for low-income people and people of color. To achieve a more equitable future, we need to change the policies that unevenly distribute health-promoting resources.

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.

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