Explore some of my work below

California Pushes to Expand the Universe of Abortion Care Providers

California’s efforts to expand access to abortion care are enabling more types of medical practitioners to perform certain abortion procedures — potentially a boon for patients in rural areas especially, but a source of concern for doctors’ groups that have long fought efforts to expand the role of non-physicians.

The latest move is a law that enables trained physician assistants, also known as physician associates, to perform first-trimester abortions without a supervising physician present. T

How Allen Ginsberg’s Poems About Madness Helped Change Psychiatry: An Interview with Biographer Dr. Stevan Weine

The celebrated Beat poet and counterculture icon Allen Ginsberg was hurled into the spotlight in 1956 with his epic poem “Howl.” It was written for his friend Carl Solomon, whom he met in 1949 at age 23 in the waiting room of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. The poem famously begins, “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed/by madness, starving hysterical naked” – a reference reflected in the title of Stevan Weine’s new book about Ginsberg, entitled Best Minds: How Allen Ginsber

Breaking Away From Hate

Trauma, abuse, and mental health problems can make people more vulnerable to violent extremism. Here’s how a movement founded in part by former white supremacists is helping extricate Americans from violent hate groups.

Update: Added the news about the May 4th conviction of members of the Proud Boys for seditious conspiracy.

On August 5, 2012, Pardeep Kaleka was just down the street from the Sikh Temple his family belonged to in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, when he heard sirens and rushed to find a p

‘Corporal Punishment is Violence’: Black Communities Vow to Ban School Paddling

Corporal punishment is disproportionately inflicted on Black children and is higher in areas with histories of lynching

On a Tuesday morning three years ago, Julia Ringo discovered her daughter was in terrible pain. Examining her, Ringo looked in shock at a mass of bruises and swelling on her daughter Kiorey’s buttocks, a day after the 8-year-old Black girl had been paddled with a wooden board at an elementary school in Grenada, Mississippi.

Ringo rushed her daughter to the emergency room and

California and New York Aim to Curb Diet Pill Sales to Minors

California and New York are on the cusp of going further than the FDA in restricting the sale of non-prescription diet pills to minors as pediatricians and public health advocates try to protect kids from extreme weight-loss gimmicks online.

A bill before Gov. Gavin Newsom would bar anyone under 18 in California from buying over-the-counter weight loss supplements — whether online or in shops — without a prescription. A similar bill passed by New York lawmakers is on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk. N

Combating veteran suicides with peers, therapy, housing – and a little horse sense

In June 2021, a veteran named Chuck finally emerged from a five-and-a-half-month hospitalization for a work injury and subsequent infection that almost cost him his life. He could have ended up back on the streets, but instead he sought temporary housing from Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco nonprofit for homeless veterans. While hospitalized, Chuck had lost 50 pounds and had to relearn how to walk, but his battle to stay alive gave him a fresh perspective. “I didn’t want to die anymore,” h

Librarians' Mental Health Threatened By Book Bans, Abuse And Harassment

Martha Hickson, a librarian at North Hunterdon High School in Annandale, New Jersey, has long enjoyed “kibbitzing” with the teens in her school and overseeing its bustling library. Even before classes start, students meet there, look for books that pique their interest, work on crafts, play board games “or just chill,” says Hickson, who has worked there for 17 years. She traded in a corporate job for this one because, she says, she wanted to make a difference. But last year, in late September, H

Nursing Home Investigation Finds Errors by Druggists

A woman with a medical history of seizures was prescribed the antipsychotic drug Seroquel, despite research showing that elderly people who take antipsychotic drugs are more likely to experience seizures. She was also given the antidepressant Trazodone, which has been linked to an increase in seizures among older patients. And then, according to a recent investigation by the California Department of Public Health, the woman was given a second antipsychotic drug, Risperdal. The combination of the

MODERNITY / A Matter of Respect / Training Hmong shaman in the ways of Western medicine is saving lives in Merced

A small man with gray hair and gentle dark eyes, Xeng Koua Moua is among the shaman healers practicing religious healing ceremonies in Merced who are recognized as such by the local hospital. He became a shaman at 19, when he was living in a Hmong village in the Phuyai Mountains of Laos and fell ill with fever, tremors and tingling. That's when his grandmother's spirit came to him and told him that he would be a txiv neeb, Hmong for shaman healer. A txiv neeb's job is to vanquish the illnesses t

No school nurses left behind

On June 2, 2005, 15-year-old Clare McKenna was gripped by an asthma attack in the middle of her class at City Honors High School in Buffalo, N.Y. Within seconds McKenna -- an avid volleyball and softball player -- was gasping for breath. The teen collapsed as two friends helped her to the nurse's office, where her asthma medication was stored. Terrified, the students struggled to carry her the rest of the way. When they finally reached the office, however, the door was locked and nobody was insi