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The Worlds of Health and Business

Columnist: Lawrence Amaturo
August, 2018 Issue

Lawrence Amaturo
All articles by columnist

Welcome to the August “Health & Medicine” issue, which merges the worlds of health and business. Maintaining good health doesn’t happen by accident—it requires an intentional effort to make good lifestyle choices. Whether you’re a large employer or a small business owner, chances are you know how important it is to support the health of your employees. In this issue, there’s something for everyone.

Our cover story this month is about inflammation. Both pesky and ubiquitous, inflammation acts like rust on an iron pipe, slowly but surely corrupting your body's ability to refresh itself and can lead to a myriad of problems and cause pain. What’s more, research now indicates that chronic inflammation may be a common underlying cause of disease such as cancer, coronary artery disease, and other degenerative diseases. Writer Stephanie Derammelaere talks with North Bay health care professionals who explain what inflammation is, how it works in your body and why you want to keep chronic inflammation away. These innovative healers also offer up practical ways to tamp down the inflammation within through diet and exercise.

There’s a difference between alternative medicine and integrative medicine, and writer Bonnie Durrance explains the difference in a story on the subject. North Bay hospitals are embracing an integrative approach, and this story may open your eyes to new ways of treating everything from migraine headaches to G.I. issues. Integrative medicine also includes complementary therapies to help patients while undergoing cancer treatments.

Finding treatments for rare diseases is a challenge for those in the biotech industry, and bringing a new drug to the marketplace is a long and challenging process. Judy Wilson sits down with Emil Kakkis, M.D., Ph.D., who founded Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals in Novato, a company that started with two people and two products and now has 20 products and 570 employees.

Is sitting the new cancer? Apple’s chief executive officer, Tim Cook, thinks so. In a recent article in Business Insider, Cook disclosed that all employees at Apple Park, the company’s new headquarters, will receive standing desks. Cook believes it’s better for employees to stand for a while, and then sit and so on. He has previously cited doctors who say, “Sitting is the new cancer.” A new writer to NorthBay biz, Jennie Orvino, reports on ergonomics and new trends in workplace design. Her article explores the business world's latest solutions in home and workplace equipment for your employees’ health and safety as well as to help increase productivity.

And special guest columnist, Dr. Matt Bernd, reminds us of the importance of good posture (it’s more involved than you might guess), and why it’s a bad idea to crouch down over your workstation, like me, while working at your computer or checking text messages.

When your base of operations, your home, and the homes of your key team members have all been consumed by fire, true leadership is either demonstrated or not. There's no “trying” or “kinda.” In our “Rebuilding” series this month, we take a look at crisis management and the tremendous leadership exhibited by Medtronic, Keysight Technologies and Summit State Bank and how these companies responded to the October firestorm and the lessons they learned along the way. Writer Jean Doppenberg sits down to talk with Deborah Yount and Erik Kunz of Medtronic; Jim Brush of Summit State Bank; and Hamish Gray of Keysight Technologies.

Finally, I offer my thanks to all those who responded to my column last month, “The Risky Biz of Cannabis,” and to Bill Meagher’s feature, “Growing Pains.” You’ll find a few letters from readers on our “Letters” page in this issue, and we’ll share more next month. Your comments are most appreciated and have sparked new editorial ideas for us to explore now that the state has legalized marijuana. If you missed last month’s “Agribusiness” issue, you can find it online at Further thoughts will be similarly welcome at



In this Issue

Are You Covered?

It’s one in the morning and you wake to see the red glow of fire through the window, or you’re driving in rainy conditions, and your car skids toward an oncoming car. Are you covered? Ca...

Family Roots

One of the oldest wineries along West Dry Creek Road in Sonoma County is A. Rafanelli Winery. Nestled on a knoll that offers a sweeping view of the valley, the rustic winery is still family-owned an...

Harvest Tunes

For those in the business of wine, music can be essential to the winemaking process. This year we asked a number of notable winemakers in Napa and Sonoma counties to share their music playlist prefe...

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