Small rural hospitals can employ physicians under AB 2024

Sacramento – Today AB 2024 by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) was signed by the Governor.

Recruiting physicians to practice in rural communities is a significant challenge. Only 16 of California’s 58 counties have enough primary care physicians. As a result, only one-third of Californians live in a community where they have adequate access to health care. Adequately staffing these hospitals is absolutely necessary for the health of its residents and the viability of the community.

Cottage Cannabis Farmer Bill Signed by Governor

Sacramento – Today, Assemblymember Jim Wood’s “Cottage Cannabis Farmers Bill” achieved a significant milestone when the Governor signed it. AB 2516 creates a new medical cannabis cultivator license category for “micro farmers.”

Yurok Gaming Compact Signed by Governor

Sacramento – Today, Assemblymember Jim Wood’s AB 1977, which ratifies a recent agreement between the Governor and the Yurok Tribe, was signed by the Governor.

More people will be able to access mental health care with AB 1863

Sacramento – This weekend, Governor Brown signed AB 1863, a bill authored by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) that will enable rural health clinics (RHCs) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to hire qualified licensed marriage and family therapists (MFTs) and allow for them to become billable providers under Medi-Cal.

Asm. Wood’s Rural Healthcare Package Clears Major Hurdle

Today two bills aimed at bringing improving healthcare in rural California, were passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee and are now one step away from being approved by the legislature.

AB 2024 would provide a special exemption to north coast hospitals allowing them to recruit and directly hire physicians and specialists.  That practice is currently banned due to fears that hospital management will inappropriately influence medical decisions if doctors are employed directly by the hospital.  This means that doctors have to open and manage their own practice and contract independently to work at hospitals.  Unfortunately that model makes it nearly impossible to recruit doctors to rural communities and in part has led to the desperate shortage of doctors on the North Coast.  By allowing hospitals to directly recruit and hire doctors, the doctors can earn a guaranteed salary, and not have to worry about the extra burdens of operating an independent practice.

Broadband Map Act Moves to the Senate Floor

SACRAMENTO, – Today Assemblymember Jim Wood’s “Broadband Map Act” was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, marking a landmark victory.

Assemblyman Wood said, “This is a huge step in the right direction for the North Coast we are now two steps away from a paramount shift in broadband infrastructure.  Reliable connectivity is too important of an issue to settle for the status quo”

Small Farmers Bill Moves to the Senate Floor

AB 2516, the “cottage farmer bill” was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee today and is now one vote away from the Governor’s desk.  AB 2516 would create a new “cottage” cultivator license for anyone growing 2,500 ft. or less outdoors or 500 ft. or less indoors. 

Humboldt Area Foundation Named Non-Profit of the Year

Sacramento, Today the Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) was honored as a Nonprofit of the Year by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

“Nonprofit organizations are vitally important to the economy and well-being of California, but too often nonprofits are hidden in plain sight.” Assemblyman Wood said, “The Humboldt Area Foundation has been a tremendous force for good in Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte Counties for over 40 years, I am proud to call them one of ours.”