February 14, 2020 0

This Valentine’s Day – and every day – remember that love is respect. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.Did you know that 1 in 3 teens experiences dating abuse? Everyone deserves a safe and healthy relationship. You can do a quick check up on the health of your relationship here:…/relationship-spectrum/…

If you or someone you know has a question or concern about your relationship or a friend’s relationship, visit or text “loveis” to 22522. #loveisrespect #tdvam


February 12, 2020 0

Don’t forget: your friends and neighbors are selling their fresh local produce at the Fort Bragg Certified Farmers Market every Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00!

It doesn’t matter if it’s cold, or raining, or windy – the Market is indoors from November through April, so you can stay warm and cozy as you shop for locally grown fruit, vegetables, herbs, and more!

If you are a CalFresh recipient, you will be glad to know that the Market participates in Market Match, which doubles your CalFresh spending power at the Farmers’ Market.

So come on down to the Old Recreation Center at City Hall, at the corner of Laurel and Franklin Streets and enjoy the fun at the Farmers’ Market! #stayhealthywithus


February 7, 2020 0

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! It’s never too early to start good oral hygiene habits, and it only takes a few steps:

1. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
2. Floss daily
3. Limit sugar
4. See your dentist regularly

Give us a call at (707) 964-1251 to make an appointment with one of our skilled, gentle dentists for your child – or for yourself. Keep brushing and keep healthy! #behealthywithus


February 5, 2020 0

It’s a good thing you’re already sweet enough, since this month’s wellness challenge is to cut back on added sugar.

Men should consume no more than 150 discretionary calories of sugar per day. This is equivalent to 38 g or 9 teaspoons of sugar. Women and children should use no more than 100 discretionary calories on sugar per day. This is around 25 g or 6 teaspoons of sugar.

Our Registered Dietitian tells us that added sugars are sugars or caloric sweeteners that manufacturers put in foods or drinks. Added sugars can be natural or chemically manufactured.

Examples of natural sugars that manufacturers add to provide sweetness include honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.

Even fructose and lactose qualify as added sugars in many processed foods.

Examples of added sugars to look for on food labels include:

• refined white sugar
• brown sugar
• raw sugar
• invert sugar
• malt sugar
• coconut sugar
• molasses
• syrup
• maple syrup
• corn syrup
• high-fructose corn syrup
• corn sweetener
• honey
• fruit juice concentrates
• sugar molecules ending in “ose,” such as fructose, glucose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose

So skip the candy aisle and head to the produce aisle this month. You can do it! #behealthywithus


December 27, 2019 0

Most of us would feel so much better if we worked less, ate less, drank less, slept more, turned off our electronic devices once in a while, and spent more time with the people we love.

Simply put, sometimes it’s easier for us to engage in unhealthy behaviors than it is to start the hard work of improving our health. It can feel overwhelming to tackle our medical or emotional problems, and since none of us likes to feel as though our lives are not going well, we can opt for unhealthy coping mechanisms. The trouble with that is that rather than solving our problems, at times our coping mechanisms prolong them.

I know my saying this won’t necessarily make people pull out their phones and make an appointment with a behavioral health provider, but I just want to plant this seed: wouldn’t it be powerful if you could let go of the past emotional baggage we all carry and advance to a new understanding of yourself?

As a primary care provider who works in behavioral health, I have seen patients get to a place where they felt happier, more relaxed, and more comfortable in their own lives. Seeking behavioral therapy is a courageous choice. I tell my patients, “This could be a hard year. Transition is often hard. It takes focus to dig into the deep issues that affect our lives. But ultimately, I think you’ll have a deeper understanding of yourself.”

Even when people are willing to do the work, the barriers to seeking mental health treatment can loom large. The stigma around mental illness can be difficult to overcome, both the opinions of others and people’s own opinions of what it means to be in counseling or taking medication.

Sometimes seeing the benefits of change is not enough for us to overcome our reluctance to seek treatment, to address our emotional lives. The status quo can feel safe, even if it isn’t ideal. In my own life, I try to reduce stress and live a healthier, more authentic life and help my patients do the same.

What does it mean to try to live an authentic life? It can be the hardest thing we do. It means living a full life while being true to yourself. Each of us has to figure out what this means because it is different for each individual. Unfortunately, society doesn’t make this self-discovery process easy.

When I work with behavioral health patients, I listen to their issues, share my knowledge about medication and pathways to counseling. Patients must find answers for themselves. We can talk about the tools for self-discovery, and we can discuss how to find a more centered place, but patients need to recognize this is work for them to do. The goal is, perhaps for all of us, finding a more centered place.

Whether patients suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychological stress, it’s up to them to decide what to do and how to live. Sometimes people believe medication is the best way to help themselves, when what they may need is counseling. Although medication can be life-changing, the patient’s relationship with their provider is typically the true gateway to healing and understanding.

When it comes down to it, we are all responsible for our own health, but as a community, we have to come together to accomplish community health. That’s what we try to do every day at Mendocino Coast Clinics. As healthcare providers, we are here for support, but we can’t do the work for others. My goal as a provider is to help each of my patients feel as healthy as possible while trying to live an authentic life.

If you’d like to take a first step in this direction, consider scheduling an appointment at a community health center like Mendocino Coast Clinics. We do not turn anyone away on the basis of whether you can afford care. We accept patients whether you have insurance or not. If you think we can help you, give us a call. If you think your health is in jeopardy, give us a call. If you want to heal, let’s do this. We are here to connect with you.

James Thomas is a physician assistant at Mendocino Coast Clinics, a local, non-profit, federally qualified health center offering medical, dental and behavioral health care to people in the coastal communities of Mendocino County.



December 6, 2019 0

Tonight’s the night!

We’ll be at Interior this evening for our fun and fabulous Healthy for the Holidays event! Come by and get a free blood pressure check or a free vision test and spin the wheel for prizes. Nibble on some healthy snacks and get tips for staying healthy and happy over the holiday season! See you at Interior, 224 East Redwood, starting at 5:00!


October 3, 2019 0

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our friendly, dedicated medical providers and medical assistants are ready to schedule your mammogram! Just give us a call at (707) 964-1251 or ask us during your next visit about scheduling this important, life-saving screening.


September 27, 2019 0

According to The New York Times, new guidelines suggest that young children should mostly drink just dairy milk and water. Plant based milks are not recommended due to added sweeteners. The idea is to stop children from developing a taste for sweet drinks when they are young that could lead to health problems later in life.

Here are the new recommendations by age group:

Birth to six months: Infants should drink only breast milk or infant formula. They should not drink juice, milk, flavored milk, so-called transition or weaning formulas (also called toddler milks, growing-up milks or follow-up formula), low-calorie sweetened beverages (diet or “light” drinks, or those sweetened with Stevia or Sucralose). These children also should not receive plant-based and nondairy “milks,” caffeinated beverages (soda, coffee, tea, energy drinks) or sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, fruit drinks and fruit-flavored drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened water, and sweetened coffee or tea).

6 to 12 months: Babies should still rely on breast milk or infant formula. Once they have begun eating solid food, they can start sipping water. Parents should avoid juice, milk, flavored milk, transition formulas, low-calorie sweetened beverages, plant-based and nondairy milks, caffeinated beverages, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

12 to 24 months: Children should drink one to four cups of water daily, and they can start drinking plain pasteurized whole milk. They should have no more than four ounces of 100 percent fruit juice per day; the juice may be watered down. Parents should avoid other drinks (flavored milk, transition formulas, caffeinated drinks, plant-based and nondairy milks, sugar-sweetened beverages and low-calorie sweetened beverages).

2 to 3 years old: Toddlers should drink one to four cups of water daily and transition to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent fat) milk. They should drink no more than four ounces of 100 percent juice and should not be given other drinks.

4 to 5 years old: These toddlers should drink 1.5 to five cups of water a day, skim or low-fat milk, and no more than four to six ounces of 100 percent fruit juice. They should not be given other drinks.

You can read the whole article here.



September 4, 2019 0

Your Wellness Challenge for September is to have at least one serving of protein in each of your meals, 5 days per week. Wondering what a serving is? For lean protein, it’s 3 ounces, or about the size of your palm.

Wondering what protein does for your body? One or two things:

• It is a component of every cell in your body. In fact, hair and nails are mostly made of protein.
• Your body uses it to build and repair tissue.
• You need it to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
• It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Wondering how to get this important nutrient into your diet? Here are some ideas.


Have a happy and healthy September! #behealthywithus

Copyright by Mendocino Coast Clinics. All rights reserved. This Health Center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. This Health Center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 245b, and deemed a Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233 (g)-(n). Any claim filed against MCC must be done in federal court.