Upcoming Events: Health & Medicine

Mon 3/6

Image - Dr Jessica Zitter

A New Kind of Heroism: Extreme Measures at the End of Life

Date: Mon, March 06, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Partnerships instead of lone heroics

Jessica Zitter, MD, MPH, ICU and Palliative Care, Highland Hospital; Author, Extreme Measures; Contributor, The New York TimesThe Atlantic, Huffington Post, the Journal of the American Medical Association

Dr. Zitter entered the field of critical care medicine to be a hero. She wanted to rescue people from the brink of death like a fireman rescues fire victims—calmly, swiftly and without stopping to ask questions. But one day, as she was aggressively treating a dying patient in the ICU, a nurse challenged her on why she was putting the patient through the pointless ordeal. The remark smarted, and Dr. Zitter began asking herself the same question about many of her patients. She came to realize that while the standard no-holds-barred medical approach achieves some dramatic victories, it often causes more suffering than benefit for patients with life-limiting illness.

In this program, Dr. Zitter will describe a new kind of heroism. Her current practice is influenced by the Palliative Care movement, which has the potential to transform medicine in the ICU and beyond. This new model is patient-centered and participatory. Doctors pursue direct and honest communication, however difficult, over false hope and avoidance. And the central actor is no longer a lone warrior-doctor in the trenches of medical warfare, but rather a diverse team of health-care providers acting in partnership with patients and family members.

Thu 3/23

Image - Anthony Iton

Zip Code, not Genetic Code: The California Endowment's 10 year, $1 Billion Initiative

Date: Thu, March 23, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Neighborhoods and health

Anthony B. Iton, M.D., J.D., MPH, Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities, The California Endowment; Former Director and County Health Officer, Alameda County Public Health Department; Former Director, Health and Human Services, and School Medical Advisor, City of Stamford, Connecticut

Where you live shouldn’t predict how long you’ll live, but it does. In many California cities, there is a 15– 20 year life expectancy difference between neighborhoods and that gap is growing. Despite all of the charged political rhetoric about repealing “Obamacare,” this life expectancy difference cannot be explained by lack of access to health care; in fact, research shows that health care is responsible for only about 15 percent of health status. When it comes to your health, your zip code is more important than your genetic code. Why?

Using data to study this phenomenon, Dr. Iton has concluded that we cannot address this problem through the traditional medical model. He and his colleagues at The California Endowment have designed a $1 billion, 10-year, multi-site initiative called Building Healthy Communities (BHC) which is designed to break the deadly link between zip code and life expectancy. BHC is based on the recognition that low-income Californians are often shrouded in a thick fog of unremitting chronic stress. Because of a legacy of racial and economic segregation, anti-immigrant policies and a host of other historical “isms," there are many communities in California where residents are mired in environments that conspire to injure their health. These environments lack basic health protective amenities like parks, grocery stores, decent schools, functioning transportation systems, affordable and decent housing, living wage jobs, and even potable water in some instances. In these environments, community residents are forced to constantly navigate multiple risks without the benefit of significant resources. These neighborhood and community environments are not natural, they are manmade and can be unmade.

Building Healthy Communities is an effort that enlists the very residents who have been the targets of exclusion, stigma and discrimination in remaking their environments through holding local, regional and state systems accountable for creating healthy and equitable community environments. The BHC theory of change is about building community capacity (increasing social, political and economic power and changing the narrative about health) to change policy and systems, in order to create healthy environments that will (over time) improve health status.

Six years into BHC, the results have been dramatic. Learn how the Building Healthy Communities model can help improve the health of our own communities and families.

Thu 4/20

Image - Campbell

Our Toxic World: Is It Making Us Sick?

Date: Thu, April 20, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Toxins in our daily lives

Andrew Campbell, MD, Former Medical Director, Medical Center for Immune and Toxic Disorders; Former Medical Director, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Center; Editor-in-Chief, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, The International Journal of Complementary and Alternative MedicineNatural Solutions

Toxins are everywhere. They're in our personal care and cleaning products, sofas, carpets, and clothes. Before some women leave the house, they may put on over a hundred toxic products. Most of these toxins have not been studied for their safety and cause harm at doses lower than previously thought. They are synergistic, causing greater harm when combined. Dr. Campbell points out that certain countries will not import American meat or food due to the high level of harmful substances fed to our animals or used on our crops. Come to this forum and learn more about toxins.

Mon 4/24

Image - Steve Blake

Mastering Migraines: Neuroscience Nutrition and the Art of Avoiding Your Triggers

Date: Mon, April 24, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Natural ways to combat migraines

Steve Blake, ScD, Faculty Nutritional Biochemist, Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience; Research Scientist; Author, Mastering MigrainesParkinson’s Disease: Dietary Regulation of DopamineVitamins and Minerals DemystifiedA Nutritional Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease; Co-author, Mosby's Drug Guide for Nurses

True migraines involve not only pain, but also often nausea and light sensitivity. They may occur many times each month. To reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, one can identify the most common food and nonfood triggers, avoiding personal triggers. We will explore many scientific approaches that may help to reduce reliance on migraine drugs. For example, ginger root tea can not only help with nausea, but it was also found to lower migraine pain just as much as the powerful drug sumatriptan. You will learn many ways to lower excitability in the brain, potentially reducing migraine attacks. From ice packs on the back of the neck to coenzyme Q10, Blake will outline some of the many safer, natural remedies for migraine headaches with the goal of helping you to become free from migraine pain.

Blake recently finished a clinical study successfully using nutrients to combat neurodegeneration. He also authored Diet Doctor, software used to analyze dietary nutrients. For more information, visit: www.DrSteveBlake.com

Thu 5/18

Image - O'Bryan

Autoimmune Fix

Date: Thu, May 18, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM
Discovering underlying causes of autoimmune disease

Dr. Tom O'Bryan, Author, The Autoimmune Fix; Faculty Member, Institute for Functional Medicine

Autoimmune diseases are a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world. The number of people diagnosed with an autoimmune disease is increasing exponentially in our country. Without recognizing and addressing the underlying mechanisms triggering the presenting complaints, the practitioner may be proverbially "chasing the tail" of the pathology with temporary symptom relief. This presentation will outline the development of autoimmune disease and its musculoskeletal and neurological presentations, with a deep emphasis on testing and treatment protocols that have consistently demonstrated dramatic results.

O'Bryan is internationally recognized speaker and writer on chronic diseases and metabolic disorders. He is considered the world expert on the impact of wheat sensitivity on autoimmunity. In 2013, he organized "the gluten summit," the first Internet gathering of more than 25 experts in a particular health field. More information can be found at www.TheDr.com.

Image - Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea: Creating Seamless Accountability for the Patient

Date: Thu, May 18, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Ways to treat sleep apnea

Robert Koenigsberg, CEO, SleepQuest, Inc.
William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D, Chief Scientific Advisor, SleepQuest, Inc. 

The program will feature a presentation on how to diagnose and treat sleep apnea. Robert Koenigsberg, founder and CEO of SleepQuest, and William Dement, the world's leading authority on sleep, will give a number tips on how to get a good night's sleep and why this is important for overall health.

Dement is the world's leading authority on sleep, sleep deprivation and the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

Wed 8/30

Image - Silk

Fake Silk: The Hidden Story of a Workplace Tragedy

Date: Wed, August 30, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
The dark story of toxic silk

Dr. Paul D. Blanc, M.D., MSPH, Professor of Medicine and Endowed Chair in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the University of California, San Francisco; Author, How Everyday Products Make People SickFake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon; Blogger, Household Hazards (hosted by Psychology Today

In a comprehensive and disturbing history of viscose rayon, or “fake silk,” Paul Blanc sheds light on the environmental and public health hazards of producing this ubiquitous textile. In Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon, Blanc asks a fundamental question: When a new technology makes people ill, how high does the body count have to be before protective steps are taken? This is a dark story of hazardous manufacturing, poisonous materials, environmental abuses, political machinations and economics trumping safety concerns. Blanc explores the century-long history of fake silk, which is used to produce products such as rayon textiles and tires, cellophane, and everyday kitchen sponges. He uncovers the grim history of a product that crippled and even served a death sentence to many industry workers while at the same time environmentally releasing carbon disulfide, the critical toxic component of viscose.

Blanc received his bachelor's degree from Goddard College, where he first became interested in health and the environment. He later trained at the Harvard School of Public Health (in industrial hygiene), the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and Cook County Hospital. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco and a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He was a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy and at the American Academy in Rome. More recently, he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.