• Rona Renner,
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  • Managing the Anxiety of Parenting Teens
    Managing the Anxiety of Parenting Teens
  • How To Be A Good Parent On A Budget
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  • The View From The Bay - Discussing men's and women's communication
    The View From The Bay - Discussing men's and women's communication
  • AVG - The Digital Playground
    AVG - The Digital Playground
  • AVG Digital Diaries Episode 2: Digital Birth
    AVG Digital Diaries Episode 2: Digital Birth
  • AVG Digital Diaries Episode 3: Internet Safety for Six to Nine-Year-Olds
    AVG Digital Diaries Episode 3: Internet Safety for Six to Nine-Year-Olds
  • Shelly Rivoli with Rona Renner on The View from the Bay
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  • Blossoming Mom Series (PART ONE)
    Blossoming Mom Series (PART ONE)
  • Blossoming Mom Series (PART TWO)
    Blossoming Mom Series (PART TWO)
  • Blossoming Moms Series (PART THREE)
    Blossoming Moms Series (PART THREE)
  • Blossoming Moms Series (PART FOUR)
    Blossoming Moms Series (PART FOUR)


Stroke: Symptoms and Recovery

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Listen to About Health’s show from 11/20/17 

KPFA.org, 94.1FM 

A stroke happens every 40 seconds in the U.S. and is the fifth leading cause of death, killing about 140,000 Americans each year.

The average person loses 1.9 million brain cells every minute a stroke goes untreated. Recovery from a stroke is a life long process, and there are many people, like my guest, Dr. Diane Barnes, who have a story to tell that might help you or a loved one with recovery and hope.

Common Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg—especially on one side of the body.

  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following test:

F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.


Dr. Diane Barnes is a third generation physician. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale University School of Medicine, and is board certified in Diagnostic Radiology. She left the practice of medicine in 2010.  After surviving the catastrophe that inspired her one-women show, My Stroke of Luck, Diane Barnes discovered improvisation. Now a Meisner-trained actor, she also completed the American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress, and studied with Anna Deavere Smith, Ann Randolph, Keith Johnstone, and the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. You can find out more about her show, presented November 2-December 9, at www.themarsh.org,  or call The Marsh box office at 415-282-3055
Patricia Gill, MS, MFT, is the Executive Director at the Schurig Center. 
She started there in 2006 as a Teacher/Counselor and transitioned to Programs Director in 2007, and then Executive Director in 2009. Patricia earned a BA and MS in Clinical Psychology from San Francisco State University and has worked in research and clinical positions at UC Davis and UCSF. Other professional positions include management of an Alzheimer’s and Dementia residential program; administration of neuropsychological testing; teaching at the University of San Francisco; coordinating research projects at UCSF/USF; and providing psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, and groups. Patricia is passionate about providing services that enhance people’s lives and ability to meaningfully engage with the community.



Traumatic Brain Injuries: Recovery and Repair

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Listen now: 


Whether you’re a professional athlete, high school soccer player, in the military, a victim of a traffic accident, or an elder who has fallen, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) will change your brain and often your life.

At least  3.17 million Americans are living with long-term disabilities related to TBI. An integrative approach is essential to healing.

 Dr. Dan Engle was my guest on KPFA.org, 94.1FM, 

Oct.23 2017, to discuss causes and treatments of TBI’s.


Dr. Dan Engle is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, with a clinical practice that combines functional medicine, intergratie psychiatry, neuro-cognitive restoration and peak performance methods. He lectures and consults globally and is the medical advisor to Onnit Labs, the True Rest Float Centers and several international treatment centers using indigenous plant medicines for healing and recovery. His other programs include: Freedom From Meds and Full Spectrum Medicine. You can learn more about him at http://drdanengle.com/

You can order his book at:



Sleep Sweet Sleep

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Listen now to the show we did on About Health (10/2/17) on KPFA.org


We discussed the complexities of getting a good night sleep and talked about insomnia, jet lag, circadian rhythms, shift work, electronics, and other sleep concerns.





Healthy adults needed for shift work study!

Research being done at Palo Alto VA: Call 650-849-1971 or email yvonne.quevedo@va.gov
for more information, or check out the facebook page:



 Jamie Zeitzer, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine and a health science specialist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. He is a member of the Stanford Center on Longevity, Child Health Research Institute, and Stanford Neurosciences Institute. Dr. Zeitzer’s work has direct application in jet lag, shift work, and altered sleep timing in teens and older individuals.


The Many Uses Of Medicinal Cannabis

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Are you curious about the ways cannabis is being used for various diseases and pain relief?

Tune in now to the 8/28/17 show on KPFA.org   https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=267049 


“It’s surprising that cannabis ever left our medicine cabinets, since the plant has been used for millennia in cultures throughout the world as a curative for ailments of both mind and body.” —Andrew Weil, M.D.

 Resources from the show:





Harry McIlroy, MD, is an integrative
physician certified with the Institute for Functional Medicine. Before medical school and completion of residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, he had a background in nutrition and obtained a Master’s degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Dr. Harry McIlroy strives to provide patients with health tools that empower them to improve their well being.


Another Kind Of Madness: Humanizing Mental Illness

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If you missed todays show (8/21/17) Listen Now to About Health


What is it like to live with a parent with mental illness who keeps his illness a secret? And how do we as individuals and as a society reduce the stigma associated with illnesses such bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression?Silence and shame must be transformed into open dialogue.


Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, is a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and a professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco. He is the author of twelve books, and his book, Another Kind of Madness, A journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness, has just been released. His research efforts in clinical and developmental psychology have received numerous international awards.

 “Another Kind of Madness is one of the best books I’ve read about the cost of stigma and silence in a family touched by mental illness. I was profoundly moved by Hinshaw’s story written beautifully, from the inside out. It’s a masterpiece.”
—Glenn Close

Kidney Disease And The Choices People Make

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Listen now to KPFA.org, 94.1FM. This show was aired on July 17, 2017 


Dr. Vanessa Grubbs and Robert Phillips talked with us about kidney disease, dialysis, the long wait for transplants, and inequities in care. In Dr. Grubbs new book, “Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers,” she describes her journey to donate a kidney to the man she fell in love with and then married (Robert).





Dr. Vanessa Grubbs, MD, is an associate professor of medicine and nephrology at the University of California, San Francisco, and maintains a clinical practice and research program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She also teaches writing for patient advocacy to medical students and practicing physicians.
Robert Phillips is the President and CEO of Social Interest Solutions, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving access to quality health and social services through technology and policy solutions. Robert is an accomplished executive with nearly 25 years of experience working in political campaigns, health policy, health systems, technology, philanthropy, and strategic consulting. He and Vanessa are married.



The Brain, Memory, and Dementia

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Listen now to todays show on About Health (June 26th) on @KPFA for a conversation about Dementia and the Brain.


Dementia is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills, severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia. 

For local information on dementia care: http://daybreakcenters.org/


Josh Kornbluth, is currently engaged in a year-long residency as a scholar at the Global Brain Health Institute. He is spending his time with people who have dementia and their caregivers, as well as researchers, nurses, social workers, and others.  
Described as a cross between Woody Allen and Spalding Gray, Josh Kornbluth has been performing autobiographical one-man shows since 1987.  The San Francisco Chronicle declared, “Kornbluth takes a world we ignore, or barely observe, and brings it into brilliant comic relief.” He launched his career as a solo artist with Josh Kornbluth’s Daily World, in which he described his childhood as the son of communists in 1960s New York. He is currently working on a solo show based on his experiences as an artist-in-residence and volunteer at the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco. For two years he hosted an interview program, “The Josh Kornbluth Show,” on KQED TV. His latest feature film, Love & Taxes, is his second in collaboration with his brother Jacob; in a review, Variety called him “a nerd for our time.” His first feature film, Haiku Tunnel, is currently on HBO. Check out his web site at http://joshkornbluth.com/
Dr. Jennifer Yokoyama is an Assistant Professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where she is building an independent research program in neurogenetics of aging. More specifically, she is interested in how genomic variation influences brain anatomy, physiology, and cognitive behaviors in healthy older adults, and how genomic variation relates to vulnerability, as well as resilience, against neurodegenerative processes of aging. Dr. Yokoyama obtained her doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics in 2010 at UCSF and completed her postdoctoral training in neuroimaging at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.

The unhealthy cycle of high stress and the pressured pace of modern life

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Do you recognize how the pressures of life impacts your health and relationships? And do you have ways to decompress?

Many people go at a fast pace, eat on the run, work long hours, and are sleep deprived on a regular basis. Without taking time to tune in to what you’re feeling and what your body needs, you may not realize that you are regularly depleted.  Some people get sick, irritable, anxious, or become dependent on substances like caffeine, pain pills, and the internet.

On Monday, June 19th from 2-3PM, on KPFA.org, 94.1FM. My guest Peter Wright discussed the fast-paced lives most people live, and it’s effect on well-being and health.

Listen Now https://archives.kpfa.org/data/20170619-Mon1400.mp3


Peter Wright, MFT, is a Somatic Psychotherapist in private practice in Berkeley and San  Francisco. He is also Adjunct Faculty in the Somatics program at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS), Clinical Supervisor for the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy in San Francisco, and a consultant to clinicians and social service agencies throughout the Bay Area.  Many years of personal and professional studies with the founder of Formative Psychology®, Stanley Keleman, has deepened his understanding of Formative Principles, providing the primary frame for his work.  Peter has practiced the art of Aikido for over 20 years, a practice that informs his understanding of  transition, growth, and relationships.



Research Into Using Psychoactive Substances For Psychosocial Distress

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Is it possible to use psychoactive substances in a clinical setting for anxiety or depression related to a terminal illness, or to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

LISTEN NOW: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=260947 

Our show aired on 5/29/17 on KPFA.org.

Psilocybin (active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”)  is a powerful medicine that is being researched in therapeutic settings. Researches caution against recreational use of psilocybin because of potential adverse psychological reactions.  New research suggests it has great potential as a treatment for severe anxiety caused by a serious illness,  or terminal diagnosis. Other psychoactive substances are being researched for PTSD, depression, and drug abuse.


Adam Strauss is a writer and performer based in New York City. His show, The Mushroom Cure, is playing at the Marsh Theatre in San Francisco for its West Coast Premiere. His show is inspired by a scientific study showing that hallucinogenic mushrooms may cure obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Adam won the Leffe Craft Your Character Storytelling Competition and the New York Fringe Festival’s Overall Excellence Award for Solo Performance. He is also a stand-up comedian who performs throughout the US and the UK. Adam received his BA in psychology from Brown University. For more information about the show go to https://themarsh.org

Alicia Danforth, Ph.D. has worked in clinical research with psychedelic medicines since 2004 at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She has collaborated with Dr. Charles Grob on pilot studies of psilocybin-assisted therapy for existential anxiety reactive to late-stage cancer and MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults. She currently is a licensed psychologist in private practice in the Silicon Valley and is beginning new research on psilocybin-assisted therapy for long-term survivors of HIV in San Francisco. Alicia co-taught the first graduate course for clinicians and researchers in training, entitled, “Psychedelics: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications.”


Autism Through The Lifespan: Desire for a Brighter Future

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More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. In  2014, the Centers for Disease Control identified 1 in 68 children as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

“Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors.” —Autism Speaks

You can listen now to the show we did on 4/24/17 on About Health, KPFA.org 94.1FM


 “Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon Valley.”

—Temple Grandin


Jill Escher is president of the nonprofit, Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area, working to build a strong Bay Area autism community and focusing on the growing crisis in adult care, services and housing. Jill is an autism philanthropist, real estate investor, former lawyer, and mother of two children with nonverbal autism. Through the Escher Fund for Autism, Jill partners with major research organizations to spearhead pioneering autism causation research. She is also an active volunteer in the Bay Area’s autism community, including organizations such as Morgan Autism Center and Autism Fun Bay Area. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the UC Berkeley School of Law and can be reached at jill.escher@gmail.com.

Zack Oelerich is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has lived and practiced in the Bay Area for over 20 years. He specializes in the comprehensive treatment of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Zack’s philosophy builds on the unique strengths and sensitivities of his clients. In his psychotherapy practice, he helps teens and adults understand more about their Neurodiversity and how it impacts their lives. Zack also consults with technology professionals in the public and private sectors, assisting organizations in better understanding the nuances and complex group dynamics of their creative and sensitive coworkers.  You can reach Zack at Zackoelerich@gmail.com

Autoimmune Diseases: An integrative approach to treatment

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Approximately 50 million Americans are affected by autoimmune diseases, such as Graves disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and Rheumatoid arthritis. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases.

You can listen NOW to About Health


When the immune system functions normally, it protects us against harmful substances like cancerous cells, bacteria, and parasites. Autoimmune diseases occurs when a person’s immune system gets out of whack, and targets its own cells, tissues, or organs.

Most conventional doctors treat the symptoms of autoimmune diseases, but may not look to find the root cause. There are other practitioners who try to uncover the cause of inflammation, and suggest dietary and life style changes to help people heal.


Harry McIlroy, MD, is an integrative physician certified with the Institute for Functional Medicine. Before medical school and completion of residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Harry had a background in nutrition
and obtained a Master’s in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. He strives to provide patients with health tools that empower them to improve their well being.



Digital Technology and Health: Is there such a thing as balance?

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Listen to todays show, 3/27/17, on KPFA


Do you and family members have a healthy media diet? If so, how do you set limits?

My guests, Jason Brand and Caroline Knorr discussed how digital technology impacts our relationships with family members and friends.

Is it possible to find balance and health while being connected to our phones, computers, and electronic games?

And, you can hear Jason and Nurse Rona’s podcasts called Digital Diaries at http://www.nurserona.com/?s=digital+diaries. Keep in mind they were done in 2011, so there are many new things since then. 


Jason Brand, LCSW, is a family therapist in Berkeley.  He specializes in providing support to families in a rapidly changing world where digital technologies are transforming our lives. His work takes place in schools and with organizations where he leads workshops about the entanglements of families, culture and technology.  His book, “1 to 1 at Home: A Parent’s Guide to School-Issued Laptops and Tablets” is a practical guide to integrating new technologies into family life.  In his private practice, Jason counsels families with children and adolescents. https://www.jasonbrand.com/


Caroline Knorr is a senior parenting editor at Common Sense Media where she helps parents make sense of what’s going on in their kids’ media lives. From games to cell phones to movies and more, if you’re wondering “what’s the right age for…?” Caroline can help you make the decision that works best for your family. She has more than 20 years of editorial and creative marketing writing experience. She specializes in translating complex information into bite-sized chunks to help families make informed choices about what their kids watch, play, read, and do. And she’s the proud mom of a teenage son whose media passions include Star Wars, StarCraft, graphic novels, and the radio program This American Life.

Email Caroline at support@commonsensesupport.desk-mail.com.


Fund Drive: The Power of Vulnerability

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Listen now to About Health

February 27th on KPFA, 94.1FM


We listened to Dr. Brené Brown talking about cultivating shame resilience, empathy, and how we use perfectionism, numbing, and other tactics to avoid feeling vulnerable.

This CD set also covers the 10 guideposts of wholehearted living.

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.  She is the author of three #1 New York Times Bestsellers: Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.


With a pledge, the 6 CD can be yours, and you can help keep honest radio on the air.

Please think about making a tax-deductible donation to KPFA, so the staff can do what they’ve been doing for over 65 years, speaking truth to power, fostering real change, and making a transformative impact. Please donate at https://secure.kpfa.org/support/



Contraception and Reproductive Health

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On February 20th on @KPFA.org—94.1FM we discussed contraception and reproductive health.

If you missed the show, you can listen here—



“Approximately 50 percent of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and of these, 43 percent will end in abortion.” —Dr. Adrienne D. Bonham

How can women get the advice and care they need? What forms of contraception are available? And where do families go for help in planning when they will have children and how to stay healthy in the process.


—Dr. Lealah Pollock is a family physician at the University of California, San Francisco. As an assistant professor of Family and Community Medicine, Dr. Pollock works and teaches both at UCSF and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She specializes in comprehensive care for women living with HIV and their families and family planning for people of all genders. She directs the reproductive health core curriculum for family medicine residents at UCSF.
—Amanda Giordano is the Director of Quality Management and Nursing for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.  Amanda oversees the processes that ensure the patients are receiving the highest quality of care at all 34 health centers.  Additionally, she manages the Registered Nurses at the centers and works directly with patients, as an RN, at various locations.   She has a Masters in Health Policy with a Minor in Global Health from the UCSF School of Nursing. Throughout her career Amanda has worked with the underserved population specifically through her involvement with the Rotacare Free Clinic, the Junior League, and as a nurse for a summer camp for low-income kids. Her passion has always been to ensure all patients have access to the high quality health care.
—Guadalupe (Lupe) Rodríguez is the Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country. Lupe served on the board of directors of Essential Access Health and now chairs the board of ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, and is the treasurer of the board of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. She is serving her third term as the Chair of the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women.  She has a BA in neurobiology from Harvard University.



The Clutter in Your Life: Understanding Hoarding Behaviors

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You Can LISTEN NOW to the About Health show (January 30, 2017)


We discussed the factors of hoarding: excessive acquiring, difficulty discarding, living in cluttered spaces, and having distress or impairment. Compulsive hoarding is a common, serious, and treatable behavior, that can have significant negative effects on people who struggle with it and their families.


51ayyjRMmxL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed psychologist and board certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology. He is co-director of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and chapters on cognitive-behavior therapy and related topics, as well as seven books, including Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Cutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring (with Tamara L. Hartl). His most recent book on the topic of hoarding is Clinician’s Guide to Severe Hoarding: A Harm Reduction Approach. The Mental Health Association of San Francisco awarded him the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the understanding of hoarding and cluttering.
David Bain is a Peer Facilitator with the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Team at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco. He has a background in technology, education, and psychology. He leads groups teaching Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques to individuals dealing with hoarding behaviors as a part of a joint study with University of California San Francisco. He speaks at conferences, develops and presents courses, and presents information to community groups. He has a Masters degree in Education.



Your Thyroid Health

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Listen Now to About Health, KPFA 94.1 FM https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=251433

On 1/23/217 we discussed the complexities of

thyroid disease. The thyroid is one of imgresthe largest endocrine glands. It influences almost every cell in your body and helps to regulate your metabolism and weight. When your thyroid levels are out of balance, so are you. Join us to learn how your thyroid works, what can cause it to be unbalanced, treatments, and life style changes.

160608_Harry_McIlroy_0053_bw-768x1152Harry Mcilroy, MD, is an integrative
physician certified with the Institute for Functional Medicine. Before medical school and completion of residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Harry had a background in nutrition and obtained a Master’s in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
He strives to provide patients with health tools that empower them to improve their well being.



Roots of Health Disparities

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If you missed the January 16th show on KPFA  about The Roots of Health Disparities you can hear it now at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=251021


images“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice

in health care is the most shocking and


—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Decades of racially discriminatory policies have marginalized people of color in every way, including in areas of housing, transportation, education, employment, and health. In spite of civil rights laws passed 50 years ago—people of color still face barriers on nearly every quality-of-life measure.”

—”Health Equity As a Critical Civil Rights Issue,” PolicyLink, 2015


Dr. Muntu Davis is the Public Health Department Director and County Health Officer in Alameda County, California. He advises the County Board of Supervisors, local government agencies, and community members and organizations on medical and public health issues and on the development and implementation of public health policy and practices. He also provides oversight, strategic direction, and fiscal management of the department and all of its divisions. He joined the ACPHD in October 2005. Prior to working Alameda County, he worked in the Immunization Branch of the California Department of Health Services on pandemic planning and education on febrile rash evaluation. He also practiced medicine in urban and rural primary care and urgent care clinics in Northern and Southern California. He held multiple positions at the Continuity of Instruction to Reinforce Our Children’s Learning Environment (C.I.R.C.L.E.) program at the Tom Bradley Elementary School including co-director and member of the board of directors. Dr. Davis completed a residency in Family Medicine at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, California. He completed The California Endowment Scholars in Health Policy Fellowship and received his Master of Public Health degree from Harvard School of Public Health.

Dalila Butler, Associate Director, works with the PolicyLink Center for Health Equity and Place to promote social, economic and health equity through environmental and policy change, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color. Dalila serves as the California Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity Advisory Committee Chair. She also provides technical assistance to communities across the country and supports research and writing for health team projects. She supports the Boys and Men of Color team by working with networks in advancing policy and practice to advance equity in the areas of health, education, employment, and juvenile justice. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Dalila supported health equity projects at Prevention Institute. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Masters in Public Health from San Diego State University.


The Hidden Half of Nature: Microbial Roots of Life and Health

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Listen now to an interview with the authors of

The Hidden Half of Nature


(December 26th 2-3PM, 94.1FM, KPFA.org)

 The book, The hidden half of Nature,: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health, is a riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves. It reveals why good health—for people and plants—depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. The authors discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut.

Guests and co-authors:

David Montgomery, is a MacArthur Fellow and professor of geo-morphology at the University of Washington. He is an internationally recognized geologist and the author of three award-winning popular-science books. When not writing or doing geology, he plays guitar in the band Big Dirt.
Anne Biklé is a biologist with wide-ranging interests that have led her into watershed restoration, environmental planning, and public health. She has also worked extensively with community groups and non-profit organizations on environmental stewardship and urban livibility projects. Anne spends her free time out in the garden with her hands on plants and dirt. 
You can learn more about their work at http://www.dig2grow.com

Community Acupuncture

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December 19th on 94.1FM KPFA.org 

You can hear the show now at 




We discussed Acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. An acupuncturist encourages the body to promote natural healing by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at acupuncture points.

My guests focused on their work in community clinics, treating people who in the past could not afford acupuncture.

“Our goal is to build community by delivering compassionate care in a comfortable accessible place of rest and refuge. We help create social change by offering relief from pain, suffering, stress and isolation. We envision a world where acupuncture is part of everyday life for people of diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds.” —Sarana Community Acupuncture. 


Jeffrey Levin, LAc, received his California acupuncture license and M.S. in Asian Medicine from AIMC in 2008. After a year of successfully working in private practice, he decided to make a change. He started to work at the Oakland Acupuncture Project in early 2010, and since then has helped them open other locations. Aside from continuing to provide an average of 80 acupuncture treatments a week, Jeffery oversees (with co-owner Whitney) the operations of their three clinic locations. 

Tatyana Ryevzina, LAc has been practicing acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for 13 years. In 2008, she helped co-found Sarana Community Acupuncture, a non-profit clinic offering affordable accessible acupuncture in a peaceful and relaxing open space. Tatyana discovered her passion for helping bring acupuncture to underserved populations while working in a public health clinic in S.F. and volunteering at CharlotteMaxwell Complementary Clinic in Oakland. 



Fund Drive: The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting

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Tune in2265 on Dec. 12th to “About Health”

KPFA, 94.1FM, from 2-3PM.

You will hear Dr. Brené Brown talking about Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection

Drawing on her 12 years of research on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame, she presents guideposts to creating “whole-hebrene-brown-home-360x239arted” families. 

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.  She is the author of three #1 New York Times Bestsellers: Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.imagesTis the season of giving, so please think about making a tax-deductible donation to KPFA, so they can do what they’ve been doing for 67 years, speaking truth to power, fostering real change, and making a transformative impact. Please donate at https://secure.kpfa.org/support/ 


Alcohol Addiction: Rethinking Drinking

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Listen Live to the show I did with Lisa Frederiksen 

on 94.1 FM, KPFA.org, on 11/28/16 


We addressed alcohol addiction as a chronic and treatable brain disease that requires medical intervention, not moral judgment.




My guest:

lisa-42Lisa Frederiksen is the author of hundreds of articles and 11 books, including “If You Loved Me, You’d Stop!,” “Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn’t,” and “Secondhand Drinking: the Phenomenon That Affects Millions.” She is a national keynote speaker with over 25 years speaking experience, consultant, and founder of BreakingTheCycles.com. She has spent more than 13 years studying 21st century brain research in order to write, speak, and consult on substance use disorders prevention, intervention, and treatment; mental disorders; addiction as a brain disease; adolescent addiction treatment vs adult addiction treatment; effective treatment for co-occurring disorders (having both a substance use and mental disorder); and secondhand drinking (SHD) help for the family. In 2015, she founded SHD Prevention, providing training and consulting to companies, public agencies, unions, nonprofits, and other entities to address the workplace impacts of employee secondhand drinking and alcohol misuse.



Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer, One Precious Day at a Time.

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Listen now to About Health, KPFA.org, 94.1FM, Oct 31st from 2-3PM.


1 in 8 (about 12%) women in the U.S will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, and it’s estimated that 40,450 women will die this year from breast cancer.sunset

What is it like for someone who has a diagnosis of metastatic cancer, as they face the challenges of treatments, tests, side effects, and planning for their future? And how do they develop the ability and mindset to live each day fully with a full range of emotions and experiences?

 My Guests:
Dr. Janet Sollod has a unique perspective being both a physician and cancer patient for the last nine years.  Born and raised in San Francisco, Dr Janet went to MIT undergrad, USC medical school, and UCLA for pediatric residency.  She practiced for a year in Puerto Rico before joining her father in his pediatric practice in San Francisco in 2004.  They eventually became partners, then sold the practice last year.  Dr Janet has been living with metastatic breast cancer for over seven years.  She also snowboards, rock climbs, dances, hikes, backpacks, practices yoga, travels the world and says “Yes” to any adventure. To hear her speak listen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu31oIlHEP8&feature=youtu.be
Catherine Williams was one of the 6-10% of people diagnosed with “de novo,” or from the beginning, stage IV metastatic breast cancer, after her first mammogram at age 40. She is a patient advocate and volunteers for several organizations including METUP, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, METAvivor, Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS), and the California Dialogue on Cancer. Catherine is determined to help change the landscape of metastatic breast cancer. She loves books, traveling, cooking & eating, outdoor adventures, and the Oregon Ducks. After a couple of life-changing experiences that helped her deal with her diagnosis, she adopted a new motto: We Never Have Another Chance At Today!

Type II Diabetes: Health Obstacles, and Tools for Healing

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Tune in now if you missed the show on KPFA



Over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. In adults 20 and older, more than one in every 10 people suffers from diabetes, and in seniors that figure rises to more than one in four. Type 2 diabetes represents 90-95 percent of all diabetes cases.

People can reduce the complications of diabetes by getting support, good medical care, and learning how to make some lifestyle changes.


Harry McIlroy, MD is an integrative 40-kpfa-picturephysician certified with the Institute for Functional Medicine. Before medical school and completion of residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Harry had a background in nutrition and obtained a Master’s in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. He strives to provide patients with health tools that empower them to improve their well being.


Michael Beda9781505445886_p0_v1_s192x300r, MA, is Co-Director of the East Bay Healing Collective, and author of,  Sweet Healing, A Whole Health Journey.  He also helped found the project that became the documentary film”Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days.” As a storyteller, speaker, spiritual counselor, and author, his work has inspired people to be honest about their experience of being blocked in their health, and move into wellness practices.
You can find out more at www.readsweethealing.com.



Social Determinants of Health and Inequities

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You can listen to today’s show (Oct.2, 2016)

  “About Health” on KPFA radio


images-1Your health and the health of your community is affected by many factors.

We know that health care is essential for all, but it is only one health determinant.  There is a broad range of social, economic, racial, and environmental factors that can support or hinder healthy outcomes.

How do we get to greater health equity? Join us for this important conversation.

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.–“World Health Organization”

My Guests:

Dr. Dayna Long is the Medical Director at the Center for Community Health and Engagement at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, where she is also an Attending Physician. Her career has been dedicated to addressing health inequities that affect families and young children. In addition to her role as pediatrician, she also serves as a steering committee member of First Five-Alameda County/Help Me Grow, Medical Director at the Center for Community Health and Engagement, Co-founder and Medical Director of the Family Information and Navigation Desk, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Spokeswoman for the Too Small to Fail: Talk, Read, Sing Initiative….and much more. You can find out more about her at http://www.childrenshospitaloakland.org/main/find-a-doctor/long-dayna-a-md-473.aspx

Anna Gruver, LCSW, is the Maternal, Paternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MPCAH) Coordinator and Health Care Services Administrator at Alameda County’s Public Health Department. She is a bi-lingual, bi-cultural Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in the field of social work focusing on children and families for more than 20 years. As the MPCAH Coordinator and Alameda County Healthy Start Initiative Project Director she leads the integration of maternal child/early childhood family support services for pregnant women and families with young children; looking closely at social determinants of health and the strength of families. 

MPCAH enhances access to comprehensive, quality health care and focuses on early intervention and prevention services.  The goal is to reduce health disparities, protect and improve health outcomes among Alameda County families, including pregnant women, parenting women and men, and their children.



Fund drive: The Neurodharma Of Love

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Please call 1-800-4395732 to or go to www.kpfa.org to support KPFA. Your support is deeply appreciated to help keep KPF2434A on the air. 

Listen now to The NeuroDharma of Love 


Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.

He began meditating in 1974, trained in several traditions, and leads a weekly meditation gathering in San Rafael, California. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 115,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free.

For more information, please go to www.RickHanson.net. 



Raising Human Beings

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urlIn the new book,  Raising Human Beings, Creating A Collaborative Partnership with Your Child, the renowned child psychologist and New York Times bestselling author explains how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence.



It was a pleasure to interview Dr. Ross Greene. We discussed the important role parents play in raising a healthy child who has the potential to be a productive, self-aware, and empathic adult.


Ross Greeene, PhD, is the author of many books including Lost and Found, and The Explosive Child. His new book is, Raising Human Beings…Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child. Ross Greene was on faculty at Harvard Medical School for more than twenty years and is the founding director of the nonprofit—Lives in the Balance, through which he disseminates the model of care called Collaborative and Proactive Solutions.




Raising Kids Who Thrive

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imagesLISTEN NOW:  KPFA.org, 94.1FM

“About Health”


Raising children to be healthy and happy is not an easy task. Parents face challenges based on their own childhood, temperament, and life circumstances. There are some guidelines that can help all parents create strong family bonds and help kids grow up to be responsible and loving adults.

My Guest:


Erica Reischer, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and parent educator based in Oakland.  She sits on the advisory board for HappyHealthKids.com and leads popular parenting classes and workshops at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Habitot Children’s Museum, and the University of California. Her writing about children and families appears in Psychology TodayThe Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. Her book What Great Parents Do: 75 Simple Strategies for Raising Kids Who Thrive, will be available on Aug. 16th. Learn more about her at http://www.drericar.com/



I’m Depressed—Now what?

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Listen now to todays show (July 25, 2016) on KPFA.org 94.1FM, to discuss treatments for depression


imagesThere are many ways to understand depression. We discussed both traditional and more alternative ways of helping people understand their moods, and how lifestyle changes can be powerful medicine.

Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected (www.who.int). Depression is not the same as the moods and emotions people experience in response to challenges and grief in everyday life. Depression varies in intensity, and for some it becomes a serious health condition—leading to difficulty at work, school, and in relationship to friends and family. Depression can also lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in people ages 15-29.
There are effective treatments for depression, but many people don’t receive help because of lack of money or healthcare, and because there continues to be social stigma associated with any mental illness.
T22e-682x1024Dr. Teray Garchitorena Kunishi, ND, offers natural and integrative programs for treating anxiety, panic, depression, insomnia, chronic stress, autoimmune conditions, and chronic fatigue. She currently serves clients all over the world via phone and video consultations. Dr. Teray has spent most of her life exploring what it means to be truly happy and well. Her inquiry has led to naturopathic medical training, research and energy work with Tibetan nuns in India, working in sustainable agriculture in the Philippines, and becoming a lifelong student of Eastern and Western spirituality. She is also certified in hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which help create new pattens of thought and behavior. You can find out more about her at: http://www.deeplyhappy.com/
David J. Frankel, Ph.D, is a clinical psychologist in Berkeley and Corte Madera CA. He has been the program director of  Ross Hospital Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit, and has consulted to many schools. He has supervised psychology trainees at The Wright Institute, and led a child consultation group for A Home Within, an organization that provides free psychotherapy to children in foster care.  Dr. Frankel is on the Child Colloquium Committee of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. You can learn more about his work at http://www.davidfrankelphd.com

david and teray



Accident Prevention and First Aid

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LISTEN NOW To About Health: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=237695 on KPFA.org, 94.1FM. 

We discussed things you can do to prevent and treat health emergencies such as Heat Stroke, Cardiac Arrest, Injuries, and Drowning. With summer here, it’s a good idea to hone your first aid skills, and review some lifesaving measures.

 Emergency help
My guests were Jeff Johnson and Michael Huffman of Fast Response, School of Health Care Education

Jeff Johnson has been working as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for over three years and teaching for two. He has worked in both the 911 system as a First Responder, as well as Critical Care Transport. He is currently the Program Administrator for the EMT Program, and an American Heart Association Training Center Faculty at Fast Response School of Healthcare. And he works part-time for a private ambulance service.

Michael Huffman is a Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructor at Fast Response School of Healthcare, and is also their Basic Life Support (BLS) Administrator. He also works as an EMT at a private Ambulance service in San Leandro. He is almost finished with a Fire Technology program at Los Medanos College.

Jeff and Michael





Oral Health: A vital part of Good Health

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Oral diseases become more complex over time—affecting a person’s ability to eat, concentrate, and be productive in school or work. Early intervention makes a huge difference, but over 108 million children and adults lack dental insurance.

Oral health is a critical component of health for adults and children. Two leading dental diseases, caries and periodontal disease, are widespread, but there is much more to discuss when it comes to good oral health.

TUNE IN NOW. If you missed our show you can listen here.


“About Health” June 27th 
KPFA Radio 94.1FM or online at KPFA.org


Dr. Jared Fine served as the dental director for the Alameda County Public Health Department for more than 35 years. He has devoted his career to supporting the needs of special populations, including people with HIV/AIDS, those with low incomes, and those from minority groups. He has served as Chair of  the Scientific Advisory Committee for the California First 5 Oral Health Education and Training Project. As the local project coordinator of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Teeth Program, he promotes the oral health of infants and children in Alameda County, CA. Dr. Fine has been president of his local dental society, chair of the board of the Dental Health Foundation, and chair of the American Public Health Association’s Oral Health Section.
Dr. Ariane Terlet has a private practice in Berkeley, and is the Chief Dental Officer for La Clinica de La Raza in Oakland. Dr. Terlet served on the California Dental Board, and has served on the Government Affairs Council and Work Force Committees. She is very involved in Access to Care issues at both the State and National levels. She is currently serving on the Government Affairs Council for the American Dental Association.

Health, Healing, and Honoring Fathers

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Men’s Health Month helps to raise awareness, and encourage men to make healthy lifestyle choices, go for check-ups, get educated about things like diabetes and heart disease, and be attuned to emotional and mental health issues as well.  

Listen to the show I hosted on KPFA (June 13, 2016)

In Honor of Father’s Day and Men’s Health Month


My Guests were:

imgres1Dr. Will Courtenay, is an internationally recognized expert in men’s health and in helping men, boys, and fathers. The American Psychological Association calls him, “a leading psychologist in the field of masculinity.” He  provides psychotherapy and counseling to individuals in the S.F. Bay Area, and phone consultation to those outside of the area. You can reach him at 415-346-6719 or check out his website at http://www.themensdoc.com. He is also the author of Dying To Be Menhttp://www.amazon.com/Dying-Men-Environmental-Biobehavioral-Psychotherapy/dp/0415878764

7380de3cbf3ec5dd8056df56a47e2c4fRev. Dr. Niinana Kweku C.A.M.F, author of, In Search Of Manhood: Reclaiming Manhood, Brain Freeze, and Whiteout. All of his books deal with the plight of people of color and other marginalized groups in America. He has worked in the behavioral health field for 45 years, and is presently the Executive Director of Family Solutions inc., a non profit organization committed to serving and reeducating communities of America and globally.


ADHD: What Everyone Needs To Know

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May 16th: ADHD: What Everyone Needs To Know, By Stephen Hinshaw and Katherine Ellison.

There is much misinformation and skepticism about ADHD, especially since the rates of diagnosis are skyrocketing throughout the world. In the book, ADHD: What Everyone Needs To Know, the authors Stephen Hinshaw and Katherine Ellison examines both the reality of ADHD and the societal forces pushing rates of diagnosis to alarmingly high levels. 

If you missed the entire show you can LISTEN NOW at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=221836



Stephen Hinshaw, PhD, is an internationally recognized research investigator of child and adolescent disorder, an award-winning teacher and scholar. He teaches at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.  Stephen Hinshaw is the author of many books including; The Mark of Shame: Stigma of Mental illness and an Agenda for Change, The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls From Today’s Pressures, and The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance. 


Health Effects Of Imprisonment.

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LISTEN NOW to my guests, Darris Young and Taina Vargas-Edmond, on “About Health” KPFA.org, 94.1 FM



We discussed mass incarceration and how it poses a serious public health challenge. We addressed the health impact on prisoners and their families, and discussed mental health in the jail setting. 

Taina Vargas-Edmond


As State Advocate, Taina works to advance the goals of the Truth and Reinvestment Campaign, building the capacity of communities throughout the state of California to prevent and respond to state violence and mass criminalization through community organizing and coordinated rapid response.

Prior to joining the Ella Baker Center, Taina co-founded the Coalition for Jail Reform in Monterey County and worked for the California State Assembly, where she helped draft legislation aimed at helping state prisoners earn time off of their sentences while reducing their chances of returning to prison. Additionally, she has volunteered with several human rights advocacy groups, such as the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, Dignity and Power Now, and the Monterey Peace and Justice Center.

Darris Young
Local Organizer

In his role as Local Organizer, Darris leads Ella Baker Center’s effort to build a coalition of families negatively impacted by the criminal justice system in the Bay Area. Darris brings to his current work past success as a certified addictions, domestic violence, and violence prevention counselor, and victim advocate with local organizations, including City Team International and Allen Temple Baptist Church. In addition, his experience as both a formerly incarcerated person and a police academy graduate give him a deep understanding of how the current justice system operates and where change is needed.

In January of 2008, while at Solano State Prison in Vacaville, Darris co-organized a prison-wide work stoppage in response to the loss of recreation privileges for inmates. Although it is prohibited for an inmate to organize or participate in a work stoppage, Darris and his co-organizers shut down the prison for more than five days and got the word out to other prisons, resulting in solidarity actions. Ultimately, the work stoppage prompted the warden at Solano and several in his top command to negotiate with inmates, and lessened the severity of the recreation privilege reduction.

His life has been shaped toward service and activism, first as a police officer and later as a counselor and advocate. Working with Black and Latino youth caught up in the criminal justice system is a particular passion for Darris, and he believes there is a role for every community member to play in creating a just, healthy, and prosperous future for all.




Child Abuse and Neglect—Breaking The Cycle

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In the US approximately 5 children die every day as a result of child abuse.

Today on KPFA.org we discussed the complex subject of Child Abuse and Neglect.

You can listen now at 


Every child deserves to be safe and healthy. We all need to do our part!images



My Guest:

Abigail Stewart Kahn, LCSW,  is photothe Director of Community Education and Strategic Partnership at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center. She has worked on issues of child trauma and family violence in the clinical, program development, and advocacy context for more than 15 years.  A social worker and clinician by training, she joined the Prevention Center in August 2008 and is responsible for the organization’s education, partnership and collective impact strategy approaches. She is the author of “From Trauma to Healing—a social workers guide to working with survivors.”




Mastering Anxiety and Worry

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LISTEN now to the April 4th show on “About Health” on KPFA 94.1FM: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=227842

We discussed Anxiety in adults, teens, and children.

social anxiety* panic or agoraphobia* phobias of things such as spiders, needles, or vomiting* excessive worry* separation anxiety* other issues. images

Anxiety can stop you from feeling confident, independent, happy, and fulfilled. Your worry or anxiety can stop you from doing things like being with friends, going on a date, taking your dream job, finishing school, or spending time in nature. With the right kind of help and compassion you can reduce your suffering, enjoy life more, and have better health.


Jennifer Shannon has a Masters in Counseling and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has over 30 years of clinical experience.  She is the co-founder of the Santa Rosa Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  She works  with children, teens and adults.  She is a cognitive-behavioral therapist specializing in Anxiety Disorders, including Social Anxiety or extreme shyness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Separation Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Phobias, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and some types of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and insomnia.   She is the author of The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens and The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens. Both published by New Harbinger Press.She is a Certified Diplomat of The Academy of Cognitive Therapy,  and  a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists and the International OCD Foundation. 



Overcoming OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

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Listen Now to “About Health”  https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=226754 Aired 3/21/16 on 94.1 FM KPFA.org

overcoming OCDIn 2007, Janet Singer’s son Dan was diagnosed with OCD. “Hunched over with his head in his hands, he’d sit in his “safe” chair for hours, doing nothing but shaking, mumbling and moaning; he was in the throes of severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.”

Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery, is a mother’s account of the courage and perseverance of a young man who at times was hindered by the very people who were supposed to be helping him. It is a story of hope and the power of family, as well as a useful guide for all those whose lives have been touched by this often misunderstood and misrepresented disorder. Today, thanks to Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy, one of the available treatments for OCD, Dan is a college graduate working in his chosen field and living life to the fullest. He is living proof that even those with the most severe cases of OCD can not only recover, but triumph.”


Michael Tompkins,  is a licensed psychologist, co-director of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Tompkins specializes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and other obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders in adults, adolescents, and children. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and chapters on cognitive-behavior therapy and related topics, as well as seven books, including OCD: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed.  https://www.newharbinger.com/ocd 
Janet Singer, is an advocate for OCD awareness. One of her goals is to  spread the word that obsessive-compulsive disorder, no matter how severe, is treatable. She is the author of Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery which recounts her family’s story. She writes regularly for PsychCentral and has been published on many other websites including Beyond OCD, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and Mad in America. She has a blog, ocdtalk, which reaches readers all over the world. She uses a pseudo name to protect her son’s identity.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22524270-overcoming-ocd




A Quest To Understand Adoption, Attachment, and Suicide

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Listen now to  “About Health:  

The Girl Behind the Door, A Father’s Quest to Understand His Daughter’s Suicide, by John Brooks, provides a profound look into adoption, teenage suicide, and attachment issues. 

“When John and Erika’s daughter Casey jumped off of the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008, John began to unravel a heartbreaking truth—Casey had been in pain since birth, living in an Orphanage in Poland until she was adopted at 14 months.”

John spent many years after Casey’s suicide trying to understand what lead to her taking her life. He learned so much—the things he didn’t know, the mistakes he made, and the help he didn’t get from the professional community. He asks, “What did everyone miss? What could have been done differently?”

When you tune in to hear John’s story, you’ll understand more about the struggles children who are adopted face, and the heartache any parent feels when a child’s behavior is out of control, and challenging to understand. 

John Brooks, a former senior financial executive in the broadcast and media industry, has turned to writing, mental health activism, and volunteer work with teenagers in Marin County. He maintains a blog: parentingandattachment.com to share his experience and educate other adoptive families about parenting and therapy techniques unique to children with attachment disorders.
Nancy Newton Verrier, M.A., is a psychotherapist in private practice in Lafayette, CA, specializing in adoption issues. She is an internationally acclaimed lextureer on the effects of early childhood trauma and deprivation caused by the premature separation of mother and child. She is the author of, Coming Home to Self and The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child. http://nancyverrier.com/

Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Bone Marrow Donors

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imagesEvery year, there are approximately 50,000 new cases of leukemia in the U.S.  When someone has Leukemia or Lymphoma—or other diseases for which a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant from a donor may be their best hope of a cure—one question is “Will there be a match?”

It can be difficult finding donors, and within some ethnic groups, the search is even harder.

While Caucasians can expect a 93 percent chance of a match, the odds fall off steeply for others: 73 percent for Asian-Americans; 72 percent for Latinos and 66 percent for African-Americans, according to the national Be the Match registry. 

Listen To The 2/15/16 Show Now:

 Tune in to “About Health” on KPFA.org, 94.1 FM,  2-3 pm on Mondays.  Call us with your questions at: 510-848-4425 or toll free 1-800-958-9008.
 My guests were:
Carol Gillespie, has been the Executive Director of the Asian American Donor Program (AADP) http://www.aadp.org, since 2002.  She is one of the original members of the Board of Directors for the AADP when it was founded in 1989.  She volunteered for AADP for 3 years before accepting the position as Project Administrator in 1992.  In 2002, she was selected as AADP’s Executive Director.
Dr Willis Navarro is a Board-certified hematologist and oncologist specializing in adult bone marrow transplants and hematologic malignancies including the treatment of leukemias, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and myelodysplastic syndrome. He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UCSF. He has published numerous papers in the field of marrow transplant and hematologic malignancies. 
Dr. Navarro earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry at Brown University and earned a medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco. He completed an internal medicine residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital as well as a Hematology-Oncology fellowship at UCSF Medical Center.





Feeding Challenges and Eating Disorders In Children and Teens

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notwanting toeatListeNow! https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=223313 

Andrea Garber, PhD, RD was on “About Health,” with me on KPFA.org. We addressed many of the issues related to eating challenges and disorders in children and teens.

There are extreme attitudes in the US surrounding weight and eating issues. 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. Disorders — such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder –are serious emotional and physical problems, that can have life-threatening consequences.
Thank you for calling in with your questions. Let me know what topics you would like to hear about.

Eating disorders words - tag cloud illustration

Andrea Garber, PhD, RD is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Chief Nutritionist for the Adolescent and Young Adult Eating Disorders Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. 

She teaches and trains medical and graduate students, pediatric residents, and fellows in adolescent medicine and child psychiatry through her role in the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health program at UCSF and a Maternal Child Health-Nutrition training program in collaboration with the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. She also teaches in the classroom, as the Nutrition Theme Director for the UCSF School of Medicine.

Her research focuses on eating disorders. She is the Principal Investigator on two NIH-funded studies of refeeding in adolescents with anorexia nervosa. In the community, Dr. Garber has been a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Childhood Obesity Task Force, co-Chair of the Mayor’s Shape Up initiative, and an invited participant to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Obesity Summit.


Environmental Toxins and Your Health

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images-5Every day we’re exposed to toxic chemicals in the air, water, food, and in the products we use. The more we know, the better chance we have of making good choices for our health and the health of our children. 

If you missed the show on Environmental Toxins you can LISTEN NOW:https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=222304

imgresMy guests were: Caroline Cox, Research Director at Center for Environmental Health (CEH) where she leads research on toxic exposures, identifying, analyzing and substantiating the scientific bases for the work to eliminate threats to children and others exposed to dangerous chemicals in consumer products. Caroline has testified to Congress and to state and federal regulatory agencies on consumer products safety and health risks from pesticides. She has also co-authored several science articles on hidden ingredients in pesticides, air quality around fracking cites, and on the successes of CEH’s work in eliminating lead from jewelry. Previously, she worked as staff scientist at the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) in Oregon. She was also editor of NCAP’s Journal of Pesticide Reform and has co-authored numerous papers in scientific journals. Caroline is on the Steering Committee of Californians for Pesticide Reform. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Beyond Pesticides.


Dr. Ann López is the Executive Director of The Center for Farmworker Families, www.farmworkerfamily.org  She has taught courses in biology, environmental science, ecology, and botany in the biology department at San José City College.  She is an independent researcher whose research addresses the human side of the binational migration circuit from the small producer farms of west central Mexico to employment in California’s corporate agribusiness. She is the author of  The Farmworkers’ Journey, published in 2007. In 2008 she was chosen as one of Silicon Valley’s 100 most influential Latinos in the category of Technology, Health, and Science by the Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA). In 2012, Dr. Lopez and her organization won the Social Justice Award at the 32nd Annual Western Regional EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar. She was chosen as a Woman of the Year for 2013 and 2014 by the National Association of Professional Women, and has been chosen as the Sustainability Honoree by San Jose’s Human Agenda Organization this year.

Dr. Lopez’ research findings while interviewing central California farmworker families and their family members in Mexico were fundamentally disturbing and life transforming. As a result, she is actively attempting to create awareness about the Human Rights abuses that are endemic to every juncture of the migrant circuit. 



Addiction And The Family

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At this time of year many people who suffer from addictions find the holidays to be particularly stressful. Isolation, illness, poverty, neglect, and abuse, are some of the things that can influence a person to use drugs as an escape from what they are feeling and thinking.

If you missed the show you can listen here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=221049

My guests were Jennifer Golick, LMFT and Jorge Partida, PsyD.


94.1FM in the S.F. Bay Area or KPFA.org online


searchDr. Jorge Partida is a clinical and research psychologist, specializing in addiction and trauma. He is an author, consultant and national speaker integrating Native Ancestral Teachings with traditional Western psychotherapy. Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Dr. Partida immigrated to Chicago at nine years of age.

He has been a consultant on many national and international projects designing and implementing clinical programs to address addiction, education, health, community building, diversity and spirituality. He has worked with local and national governments to coordinate services for those most impacted by poverty, war and displacement. He has worked in Liberia, Africa in the repatriation of boy soldiers and has worked to form “intentional communities” in poverty-impacted countries of Latin America, including Colombia, Peru, and Mexico. Dr. Jorge is the author of “The Promise of The Fifth Sun” and “A Week of Awakening.” 



Jenniger GolickJennifer Golick, LMFT, is the Clinical Director at Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services, a gender-specific, residential treatment program designed specifically for boys age 12-17 suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring issues. For many years Jennifer worked as a therapist in a non-profit mental health agency, working with underinsured and uninsured children and families. Jennifer also created and implemented the first agency-based Animal Assisted Therapy program. Previously Jennifer was Clinical Director of a residential substance abuse treatment center in the Napa Valley. Her specialties include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing focusing on helping individuals and families identify problematic patterns of thinking in order to affect systemic change.


Healthy Planet, Healthy Bodies: The Food and Climate Connection

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If you missed the conversation about the food and climate connection on  “About Health” on KPFA.org 94.1FM, you can hear it now at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=219892diet_hot_planet

We were joined by ANNA LAPPÉ, author of Diet for a Hot Planet and NAVINA KHANNA, Field Director of Live Real. How does the way we eat, grow, and buy food impact our planet, and what can each of us do about it?

This is a ripe time to be talking about the climate crisis, food, and health.

“With seven principles for a climate-friendly diet and success stories from sustainable food advocates around the globe, Anna Lappé  offers a vision of a food system that can be part of healing the planet. An engaging call to action, Diet for a Hot Planet delivers a hopeful message during troubling times.”


Anna LappeAnna Lappé is a widely respected author and educator, known for her work as an expert on food systems and as a sustainable food advocate. Anna is a founding principal of the Small Planet Institute. She is currently the head of the Real Food Media Project, a new initiative to spread the story of the power of sustainable food using creative movies, an online action center, and grassroots events. – http://smallplanet.org/about/anna/bio#sthash.5TEVN3ma.dpuf

Navina Khanna is an organizer based in Oakland, CA and a Fellow 2136_navinakhannagenwebpic_thumbat Movement Strategy Center. She has dedicated over 15 years to creating a more just and sustainable world through transforming food systems. With a background in sustainable agriculture and food justice, she’s worked as an educator, community organizer, and policy advocate, and is currently building a national cross-sector food and farm justice coalition called HEAL Food Alliance (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor).  Navina serves on the Boards of Food Policy Action and Richmond’s Urban Tilth.  A first-generation South Asian American, Navina’s worldview is shaped by growing up – and growing food – in India and the U.S. Also check out http://www.plateoftheunion.com/



Childhood Disrupted

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I interviewed the author of, Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology. You can listen to the entire interview here on KPFA’s weekly show About Health: 


“This groundbreaking book connects the dots between early life trauma and the physical and mental suffering so many live with as adults. Nakazawa fully engages us with fascinating, clearly written science and moving stories from her own and others’ struggles with life-changing illness. Childhood Disrupted offers a blend of fresh insight into the impact of trauma and invaluable guidance in turning toward healing!” —Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge.

childhood-disruptedcovDonna Jackson Nakazawa has written a groundbreaking book showing the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and adult illnesses such as heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. In the interview we discuss how to cope with these emotional traumas and heal from them.  


Donna Jadonna-jackson-nakazawa-2015smckson Nakazawa is an award-winning science journalist interested in exploring the intersection between neuroscience, immunology, and the deepest inner workings of the human heart. Donna’s other works include, The Autoimmune Epidemic, which investigates the causes of a growing environmental health crisis, and The Last Best Cure, which chronicles a year-long journey to test a variety of mind-body therapies in order to unlock the restorative powers of the brain. She is also the author of Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Multicultural Children. 






Reducing Mental Health Disparities for Men and Boys and Strengthening Wellbeing.

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If you missed this weeks show on “About Health” you can listen to Dr. Will Courtenay and Niiobli Armah. They discussed the mental health disparities for men and boys, especially men of color, and current strategies that are being implemented to reduce suffering and strengthen wellbeing. 

So much to think about regarding this complex and important topic!

Tune in here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=218248



My Guests:


niiobliNiiobli Armah, Program Manager at Prevention Institute, works on the Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing team. He is the former Director of Health Programs for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) where he was responsible for managing the NAACP’s national policy and advocacy work, including HIV/AIDS, healthcare reform, and health equity portfolios. He also has worked at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, coordinating the daily operations of a childhood health collaborative focused on policy and environmental change. He is a graduate of the Southern University Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy.  http://www.preventioninstitute.org/about-us/our-staff.html

imgresDr. Will Courtenay, is an internationally recognized expert in men’s health and in helping men, boys, and fathers. The American Psychological Association calls him, “a leading psychologist in the field of masculinity.” He  provides psychotherapy and counseling to individuals in the S.F. Bay Area, and phone consultation to those outside of the area. You can reach him at 415-346-6719 or check out his website at http://www.themensdoc.com. He is also the author of Dying To Be Men: http://www.amazon.com/Dying-Men-Environmental-Biobehavioral-Psychotherapy/dp/0415878764


Realities of Life for Young Women with Breast Cancer

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Take a listen to the show I did on”About Health” with two wonderful women sharing their stories and wisdom:  https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=217404

October is Nation Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I was honored to have in studio two of the authors of Shivering in a paper gown_“Shivering in a Paper Gown, Breast Cancer and Its Aftermath: An Anthology,” Laurie Hessen Pomeranz and Meaghan Calcari Campbell. “Through its thirty contributing authors, this anthology reveals the realities of life, through and with cancer, as the authors learn how to survive and in the process, how to live.”

All book proceeds benefits Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS).  



Laurie-KPFALaurie Hessen Pomeranz is a San Francisco-based Marriage, Family and Child Therapist who works with teenaged boys and their parents. She has a teenaged boy of her own, with her wonderful husband of 17 years. Laurie was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41, and has found writing as a part of her healing process. Her work has been published on Salon.com, The Mother Company, and in 3 Anthologies: The Day My Nipple Fell Off, I am With You, and Shivering in a Paper Gown. Laurie is a singer in the local tot-rock band, Charity and the JAMband.


bio.meaghanMeaghan Calcari Campbell works in philanthropy and ocean conservation with local communities and non-profits. Diagnosed with breast cancer at thirty-two without a family history of the disease, her initial treatments lasted sixteen months and will continue for many years. She discovered blogging and its power in her healing from day one of her diagnosis. Meaghan’s work has been published in two Anthologies: The Day My Nipple Fell Off and Shivering in a Paper Gown. Meaghan finds great joy in serving as President of the Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS). To see more of Meaghan’s writing, visit http://keepingabreast.me/.


Teens, Sexuality, and Health: Effective Sex Education at Home and at School

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Children and teens often get confusing messages about healthy sexuality from their parents, friends, the media, and their school sex education program (if there is one). 

Sex Ed

If we want teens to grow up with a healthy attitude, and practice safe sex, then parents and teachers need to feel comfortable talking about this complex and emotionally charged topic.

If you missed this show on October 12th tune in right here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=216515

What does quality sexual health education in the schools look like? And what do parents need to give their kids accurate information to help them when they are young, and when they become sexually active?

The California Healthy Youth Act (AB 329), by Assembly member Shirley Weber, has passed! 


Anya Manes, a former high school science teacher for 11years. Her biology class also became a sex-ed class where she came to understand what kids knew and what they didn’t, and what kinds of social skills they lacked. Anya did her master’s coursework in education and completed the Interchange Counseling Institute’s training program. Anya has a coaching practice, teaching parents to talk to their kids about sex and relationships. You can find out more about her work at http://talkingaboutsex.com/
Phyllida Burlingame, the ACLU’s Reproductive Justice Policy Director. She sets the strategic direction for this work and engages in policy advocacy, research, and community organizing to secure passage of legislation and ensure its implementation.
A nationally recognized expert on sex education advocacy, she has led the ACLU-NC’s work on this issue since 2001. Her proudest moments at the ACLU include working with a broad coalition in 2013 to pass legislation expanding abortion access in California, galvanizing parents and students to win quality sex education from their local schools, and tackling the education barriers facing pregnant and parenting students in California’s Central Valley. She is also the steering committee chair of Bay Area Communities for Health Education and a member of California’s Adolescent Sexual Health Working Group and the Fresno Regional Foundation’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention committee. https://www.aclunc.org/staff/phyllida-burlingame

Sex ed cartoon



Presentations in October

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I always enjoy talking to parents and providers in the community. Here are two of the talks I’ll be doing this month:

October 7, 2015 

Is That Me Yelling?  Bring more harmony to your home! 

JCC East Bay presents a Parent Education Seminar from 6:30-8:30

Jewish Community Center of the East Bay at 14124 Walnut St. Berkeley Ca

For more information call 510-848-0237 x122

October 8, 2015

Understanding Your Child’s Behavior Through The Lens of Temperament

from 7-9PM

To register go to:


Parents Place in Marin, CA

Do you want to schedule a training for parents, teachers, childcare providers, or health professionals in your community? If so contact me at rona@nurserona.com




Taking The Power Struggle Out of Parenting

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On Monday September 21st, I participated in KPFA’s Fund Drive, on 94.1 FM or online at KPFA.org. 

On “About Health” I played excerpts from the Four CD set “Taking The Power Struggle Out of Parenting: The Art of Powerful, Non-Defensive Communication,” Written and narrated by Sharon Strand Ellison. 

If you want to listen to show just click here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=215070

I hope to continue to host “About Health” on a regular basis, so please let the station know that you appreciate this show. I am grateful for your support.


AA father and son
Nurse Rona


The Power of Yoga and Qigong for Self-Healing

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AmeliaDr. Amelia Barili joined me on KPFA 94.1FM on “About Health” to discuss Yoga and Qigong. These two time-tested techniques and practices foster self-healing, resilience, and creativity. The combination of Yoga and Qigong can help you focus your attention, deepen your intentions, overcome pain, and increase well being. You can listen to the entire show at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=214507

You can learn more about Amelia Braili’s classes at http://www.berkeleymonastery.org/home/qigong-and-classical-yoga



Picture compliments of MarshaRose.com

Dr. Amelia Barili graduated in 1972 from Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute in India, with a Diploma on Comparative Philosophy of Religions and Classical Yoga and has taught yoga philosophy for many years. She is a disciple of Grandmaster Yang Mei Jun, the 27th generation inheritor of the Taoist Medical Qigong system, and has also studied other forms of Qigong. Dr. Barili, a faculty member of UC Berkeley and the Dharma Realm Buddhist University, has brought these ancient contemplative practices into the academic environment and teaches meditative techniques as tools to overcome stress and foster deep learning. She has co-lead retreats with physicist Fritjof Capra on “The Emerging Consciousness” and with abbot Ajahn Amaro on “Entering the Now.”
 At UC Berkeley, in her course “Borges, Buddhism, and Cognitive Science,” she begins each class with brief meditations to foster the students’ ability to focus and observe their minds. She also teaches “Borges on Buddhism and Buddhism in Borges” and “Borges, Buddhism and Dreams” at OLLI (Osher Life-Long Learning Institute) for the Berkeley adult community. At the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery she teaces a semester-long session “Integrating Classical Yoga and Taoist Qigong” on Monday nights. For more information go to:  http://www.berkeleymonastery.org/home/qigong-and-classical-yoga


Adult ADHD: The Challenges and Gifts

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On August 31st on “About Health” on KPFA 94.1 FM I was joined by two terrific guests, Phil Boissiere and Katherine Ellison. We had a lively discussion about how the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is made and what treatments are available for adults. 

If you missed the show you can listen here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=213473

Is your distractibility, procrastination, perceptiveness, restlessness, high energy, creativity, honesty, or disorganization, a symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or is it something else? 

Do you see ADHD as a disorder? A difference? or just the way your unique mind works? ADHD abstract

Frequently, adults begin to uncover and untangle  their own neurodiversity when they are seeking treatment for their child who is having trouble at school, with friends, or at home. And sometimes job or relationship struggles and failures motivate people to seek out help. ADHD appears in childhood, and usually continues into adulthood for approximately 5% of the population. 


My guests:
Phil Boissiere, MFT is a Silicon Valley based Adult ADHD treatment specialist. He is the creator of the self-help video series titled Learn to Thrive with Adult ADHD available at beyondfocused.com. He is also the co-founder and clinical director of Elite Focus Clinic treating adult ADHD and cognitive performance. Phil also holds a private practice in San Francisco. His approach is goal oriented and he believes that dramatic change is possible in short periods of time. 
Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist and former foreign correspondent who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 48. She is the co-author, with Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, of “ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know,” forthcoming in November, and the co-author of seven other books, including the memoir, “Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention.” “Buzz” is an account of a year she spent trying to improve her relationship with her 12-year-old son after both she and he were diagnosed with ADHD. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buzz-A-Year-of-Paying-Attention/113732785325394?fref=ts




Mental Health: Preventing and Treating Emotional Challenges and Mental Illness

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A key goal for people who suffer from a mental illness, or who have emotional challenges, is to achieve and maintain psychological wellbeingMental health. There are many ways to reduce emotional suffering and treat the ills that millions of people face each year. 

On August 17th on “About Health” on KPFA.org I was joined by Dr Keith Sutton. If you missed the show you can listen here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=212273

Dr. Keith Sutton is a psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, where he provides therapy as well as trains therapists in effective approaches for working with individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Sutton is the past president of the Association of Family Therapists of Northern California, and is the co-founder of the Bay Area Therapists Specializing in Adolescents. He is one of the 14 certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy supervisors in the Bay Area. Learn more about him at his website: http://www.drkeithsutton.com



Integrative Medicine: The Best of Both Worlds

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What does the term Integrative Medicine really mean? And how is it similar to or different than the medical care you receive? On August 3rd on “About Health” on KPFA 94.1 FM, we discussed various healing modalities that are used on the path towards health and healing. 

If you missed the show you can hear it at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=211515

Our guests were:

83dddc58047d410801d1259e3a3662cfDavi Pakter MD. In his practice he focuses on removing the obstacles to health and activating the body’s innate ability to heal. Dr. Davi is board certified in Family Medicine and Holistic Integrative Medicine. At the core of his philosophy is the concept of Integrative Medicine, which unifies Traditional Allopathic Medicine (the medicine practiced by most MD’s and in Hospitals) with Complementary and Alternative therapies. He currently works at the West Berkeley Family Practice-Lifelong Medical Care Clinic, and works to increase access to integrative medicine for those that can’t afford it.
(Lifelongmedical.org, 510-981-4200)
Also joining us was Kate Lewis, L.Ac. At West Berkeley Family Practice, Kate balances the roles of Center Supervisor and acupuncturist. She was a core developer of the Integrative Medicine progam at West Berkeley which offers Naturopathic services. Kate has worked and volunteered in community medicine for 10 years. She is grateful to be able to offer services to both Spanish and Mandarin speaking community members following her travel and work in clinics in South and Central America as well as living in Shanghai, China.

Menopause: Information For Women And The Men Who Love Them

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There are many questions women have when they are in their 40’s and 50’s about when menopause (the last menstrual period) will occur and what treatments are available for the physical symptoms and mood changes that often occur.  

Dr. Amy Day and Nurse Barb Dehn were my guests on “About Health” on Monday July 13th. You can hear the entire show here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=210178

Barb Dehn is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, award winning author, and a nationally recognized health expert. An in demand and popular national speaker on all aspects of women’s health, she also lectures at Stanford and is a frequent health expert on television and radio
Learn more about Nurse Barb at  http://www.nursebarb.com/ Check out her book: The Hot Guide to a Cool Sexy Menopause. 






Amy Day is a naturopathic doctor. After eight years at San Francisco Natural Medicine, Dr. Amy opened her private practice in Berkeley specializing in helping busy professional women with stress, fatigue, and hormonal issues. She uses an integrated approach combining diet, exercise, lifestyle counseling, stress management, nutritional supplements, botanical medicines, and bioidentical hormones as she guides women on the journey to optimal wellness. Learn more at www.DrAmyDay.com where you can download a free copy of her newest e-book: The Busy Woman’s Guide to Adrenal Health.  www.DrAmyDay.com/adrenalguide




Accident Prevention and What To Do Before the Medics Arrive.

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Take a listen to the “About Health” show we did on Monday July 6th. You can download it at: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=209821


We discussed some simple things you can do to prevent and treat serious health emergencies such as Heat Stroke, Dehydration, and Drowning. And we’ll review ways to assess a situation, such as finding someone on the ground, not knowing what happened. With summer here, it’s a good idea to hone our first aid skills, and review some lifesaving measures.

01S595_120903Joining me was Ashanti Boykin, Emergency Medical TechnicianMA program Coordinator, BLS Coordinator, and EMT Skills Instructor, at Fast Response School of Health Care Education. in Berkeley.

Contact me at rona@nurserona.com if you have any questions or ideas for future shows.




Prepare for Health: Responding To Emergencies

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Have you talked with your family or neighbors about how you’ll help each other when the next earthquake or fire hits? It’s so easy to put off doing what we need to do to prepare, but there are little steps we can all take that will reinforce our resilience and keep us healthy and safe.

Join me and my guest Ana-Maria Jones for a lively discussion on how to prepare for emergencies from a non-fear based perspective.

KPFA Radio, 94.1 FM or online at KPFA.org

Monday June 22nd 2-3PM

Ana-Maria Jones is the Executive Director of CARD – Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters, a nonprofit located in Alameda County. Created by local community agencies after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, CARD offers an alternative approach to emergency preparedness, disaster response, and planning activities.

We look forward to your questions and concerns. You can call in at 510-848-4425 or toll free at  1-800-958-9008




Fathers, Kids, and Health

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June is Men’s Health Month with the purpose to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. On June 8th I was  joined in-studio at KPFA (94.1FM) by two wonderful men to discuss Fathers, Kids, and Health.

There are many ways fathers can be good role models for their children, especially when they spend time together. handwashing-family2 You can listen to the show at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=184112




Our guests were:

Dr. Will Courtenay, an internationally recognized expert in men’s health and in helping men, boys, and fathers. The American Psychological Association calls him, “a leading psychologist in the field of masculinity.” He  provides psychotherapy and counseling to individuals in the S.F. Bay Area, and phone consultation to those outside of the area. You can reach him at 415-346-6719 or check out his website at http://www.themensdoc.com. He is also the author of Dying To Be Men: http://www.amazon.com/Dying-Men-Environmental-Biobehavioral-Psychotherapy/dp/0415878764

Gary Thompson, the Fatherhood Coordinator for the Family Health Services Division of the Alameda County Public Health Department. He is also one of the co-founders of the Fathers Corps, a learning community of male service providers administered in collaboration with First Five, Alameda County.  http://www.first5alameda.org/alameda-county-fathers-corps. He has more than twenty-five years of experience administering education and family-centered programs and advocating for the Bay Area’s most vulnerable children and families. You can reach Gary at 510-667-4343.



Secondhand Drinking

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Lisa Fredericksen and Caroll Fowler, MFT were my guests on About Health,  on KPFA—94.1 FM, on May 25th to discuss what happens to the people who live or work with a person who misuses alcohol. If you missed the show, here is the link:  https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=183126

My guests:

Lisa Frederiksen ia national keynote speaker, consultant, and founder of BreakingTheCycles.com. She is the Author of nine books, including “If You Loved Me, You’d Stop!” and “Quick Guide to Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn’t,” and the Quick Guide to SecondHand Drinking: A Phenomenon that affects millions. You can contact Lisa at:


Caroll Fowler is a therapist who has been working in the field of addictions for 28 years. She has worked at a number of treatment programs and most recently was the Director of the Family Program at Sequoia Center in Redwood City. Additionally, in 2011, she was the Co-Founder of a nonprofit, drug and alcohol program in Kenya. She has a private practice in Castro Valley and facilitates a group for family members in Redwood City. You can reach her at 510-582-5225

Learn more about the health consequences of secondhand drinking at:


 My gratitude to the wonderful callers who shared their stories, comments, and questions. 

child afraid

“Secondhand drinking is a term to describe the impacts another person experiences as a result of trying to cope with a person’s drinking behaviors. These are the behaviors a person engages in as a result of drinking alcohol in quantities that exceed what the body and brain can handle. These behaviors include the insane, circular arguments; verbal/physical or emotional abuse; physical assault; unwanted sex; the behaviors that occur in a blackout; the accident caused when driving while impaired.”Lisa Fredericksen



Radio Interviews about Discipline on Pacifica-KPFT in Huston

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imagesOn Aug. 28th I  had the pleasure of talking with George Reiter on KPFT, the Pacifica station in Huston.  George covers progressive and environmental issues on his show, Thresholds, and is interested in talking about discipline and raising children with respect. You can hear my interview about yelling less below.

images-1Dr. Intisar Shareef also joined George Reiter on Sept. 11th to discuss discipline and the consequences of using harsh physical punishment with children.  It was a terrific conversation about her own experience raising foster children, and about the work she does teaching parents, children, and childcare providers.

You can here it below:



Radio Interview on Yelling Less

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Linda O’Connor and I discussed how easy it is to yell at kids and what we can do to reduce our reactivity and increase awareness and respectful responses.

Take a listen, and let me know how you reduce your stress and yell less. 

Check out Linda’s other interviews: Radio http://timelessweck.com/podcasts/parent-talk.


yelling cartoon


“Daddy, I can’t sleep!” A middle of the night trigger for yelling!

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In my book, “Is That Me Yelling?” I touch on the issue of sleep deprivation as a common trigger for parental yelling during the day, or at 3AM, when you’re not able to be rational or calm.

There are many consequences of too little sleep, such as lack of focus, irritability, poor emotional control, and an overall foggy feeling. Sleep deprivation can also set you up for a lower resistance to fighting off colds and other illnesses. Parents and children frequently feel stressed out, and a good nights sleep is an important element in stress reduction.


Many parents report that when their child gets into the habit of waking up in the middle of the night, they lose it, and start to yell. Yelling  rarely helps, and will often make matters worse since a child may get worried or upset, motivating her to want more comfort.

Most couples share the burden of getting up at night to comfort a crying baby or to walk a seven year old back to her bed after her loud howling woke you and perhaps the neighbors as well. And if you’re a single parent, your sanity depends on creative solutions to getting a good night sleep.

What has worked for you, to help your child learn how to put herself back to sleep? Here are some solutions that parents have used. What would you add?

  • Walk your child back to bed and help her learn ways to soothe herself back to sleep. Stay calm and in control of your emotions—and with a consistent message over time your child may learn that he can go back to sleep without a parent there.
  • Give-in to his desire, and let him sleep with you “just this one night.”
  • Put a sleeping bag or mat (not too comfy)  on the floor in your room and tell your child she can come and sleep there in the middle of the night, as long as she doesn’t wake you up.
  • Teach your child how to do slow easy breathing (maybe with a stuffed animal on her belly) or the body-scan, so she can soothe herself back to sleep. Try an eye pillow that has a soothing lavender scent.
  • Get a dog to sleep with your child.
  • Try a sound machine. For some kids it does the trick when they stir at night. You may find it useful for trips as well.
  • Revisit your child’s bedtime routine. Work  to teach your child how to fall asleep at bedtime,  on his own—without a parent sitting there until he is asleep.  If he gets use to falling asleep without you there, he will be more likely to fall back to sleep without you as well.
  • Make sure he has had a good dinner or a bed time healthy snack, so a hungry belly isn’t the cause of waking.
  • Talk to your child about her school day and listen to any fears or concerns she has about her school performance or friendships. Worries can keep a child from falling back to sleep. Reflect on the amount of one-on-one time you have with your child.
  • Engage your child in a conversation about what would help him get back to sleep without waking you. Experiment with the different ideas if they make sense to you. Let him know that you need your sleep and you don’t want to be woken up at night. Tell him that you will be a much nicer person during the day if you sleep well.
  • Do an inventory on the level of stress in the house in the evening. If things are tense between family members, it can impact healthy sleep.
  • Don’t have  TV or other electronics in your child’s room. Too much visual stimulation, or scary movies, can cause sleep waking. Also the bedroom should be on the cool side, and most people sleep much better in the dark, with the lights out and good curtains to keep the sun from shining into the room in the early morning. Some children do better with a night light, so you’ll need to figure out what’s best.
  • Talk to your health care provider to rule out any issues such as sleep apnea or snoring.

Children go through different stages of development. At some stages they become more aware of the world around them, and because of that, they may not feel safe or secure.  Many children become more aware and interested in death and dying between the  ages of  7-9, and they may temporarily need extra comfort and connection.  Behavior has meaning, and at the same time habits get formed easily, so think it though before you bring your child into your bed at night. It’s a personal decision, so decide if that’s what you (and your partner or spouse) want, and if that’s what your child needs. Each family is unique, and so what works for you may be very different than what works for your friend or sister.


Book Reading At Google Headquarters

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Thanks to my friend Janis Keyser, it was a lovely day meeting many parents at Google, and also getting to see one of the their terrific Childcare Centers.


The main thing I would add to this hour long video is a more developed response to a parents question about whining, I would add that we not only need techniques to help our children break the habit, but sometimes we really need to understand what they are asking for. Sometimes a child will whine when they don’t think they can get a parents attention any other way. And sometimes it’s their inner frustration and stress that comes out in the form of annoying behaviors. There are ways to respond instead of yelling as I mention in the video, and it’s always good to step back and think about your child’s experience.


Are You Or Your Child Anxious?

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Many parents and children experience anxiety. Sometimes it’s mild, but other times it can get in the way of fun or meaningful activities. Does your child avoid field trips because he is afraid he’ll throw up on the bus? Do you say no to an invitation to go to a party because you are worried  you won’t know anyone, or that you don’t have a new outfit for the event?  Research shows that as parents, we often pass on our anxieties to our kids, and in some families there is a genetic component as well.

Here is a good story from NPR about a family who reached out for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to reduce anxiety. Don’t be ashamed if you or your child needs help. Life is a lot easier when anxiety doesn’t rule.


There are also many books to help you understand more about reducing your child’s anxiety. Here a two good ones:unnamed






Boulder Bookstore Reading

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It was a wonderful night in Boulder, thanks to my daughter Mara and her friends and colleagues.  I met many people who do great work for children and families. I enjoyed the questions from parents who, like most parents, are trying to figure out how to communicate with their kids without letting their feelings of frustration and anger get the best of them.

I look forward to going back to Boulder—it’s a friendly and beautiful city. BoulderBookReading Boulder Bookreading2



Boulder Bookstore Event

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Do you live in Boulder Colorado? If so take a listen to KGNU Thursday at 7AM. I’ll be talking with Maeve Conran about my book “Is That Me Yelling?”

I hope to see you on May 22nd  at the Boulder Bookstore at 7:30PM for a book reading. Bring your friends and your questions. Come if you yell more than you would like to, or if you want to learn more about reducing your frustration with you child. We’ll discuss ways to yell less and and reduce your stress and your child’s.



Connecting with parents and friends

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It was terrific to do a book reading at Book Passage in Corte Madera. I had the chance to reunite with friends who helped make my radio show, Childhood Matters, successful….Peter B. Collins, Marisol Munoz-Kiehne, and Ether Seiderman. My gratitude to my daughter Carina for helping me and being a shining light, and many thanks to Kathryn and Melissa at Book Passage, and Rebecca Wood-Breen of Parents Place,  who co-sponsored the event.

I love talking to parents about raising children and becoming more aware of how to respond rather than react to their child’s behavior. It takes patience and practice to stay calm and decide what’s needed.

I look forward to doing a book reading in Boulder Colorado this week. Please let me know if you would like a presentation in your community.



Kids in The House

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Watch Rona Renner’s video’s on various subjects regarding childhood and raising children at Kids in The House. You’ll also find videos from over 400 national parenting and health professionals. 



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