Health and Wellness

Download our Oct – Dec 2015 Calendar

Our Rehabilitation Department Services and Team

Healthy Recipes from Wellness Open House

9th Annual Health & Wellness Festival and Noyo River Run

Download the 2015 Wellness Festival Poster



As part of a comprehensive wellness program, MCDH offers an ongoing series of classes, lectures, and activities designed to improve your fitness and overall physical and mental wellness.

Class Fees:

Note: some classes are free. See fee schedule below for details. Try our affordable fitness classes:

Public: Drop-in: $12, or save with a fast pass:

  • $9 per class with 20 class purchase
  • $10 per class with 10 class purchase

MCDH Employees and Volunteers: Drop-in, $10, or save with a fast pass:

  • $7 per class with 20 class purchase
  • $8 per class with 10 class purchase

Breastfeeding Coalition:
1st Wednesday monthly 12:00–1:00pm, MCDH Neva Cannon Room.

Caregivers Healing Circle: A Caregiver Support Group. 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 11:00am–12:30pm at Spirit House Center for Attitudinal Healing, Fort Bragg. Call Ron at 961-0776. Partially funded by Friends of Hospice.

Create Your Health Support Group: Following attendance of the Create Your Health class. Call Linda Gracen at 964-4189.

Diabetic Support Group: Meets 4th Saturday of the month, 10:30am–12:00pm, MCDH Redwoods Room. Call Pam Miller, FNP, CDE at 961-4631 for more information.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: Call Arlene Case, RN, at 961-4617.

Grief Support Group: Thursdays, 3:00–5:00pm in St. Veronica’s Hall of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Fort Bragg. Call 961-4617. Sponsored by Hospice.

Parkinson’s Support Group: First Friday monthly, 2:00–3:30pm, MCDH Redwoods Room.

Tai Ji for Parkinson’s: First and 3rd Friday monthly at 3:30pm. $8 per class. Caregivers and partners may take class.

Smart Recovery: Tuesdays, 8:00–9:00pm, MCDH Neva Cannon Room. Phone 937-2643.

Most groups are free of charge and meet at the MCDH campus, 700 River Drive, Fort Bragg CA. For additional information please call the hospital at 961-4610.

Ongoing classes:

Pilates: Tuesdays, 5:15-6:00pm, MCDH Neva Cannon Room. Instructor: Sarah Wagner, PT, PI. Fee.
Start Where You are Yoga: Mondays, 5:30–6:45pm, MCDH Neva Cannon Room. Instructor: Helen Jacobs, CMT, RYT. Fee.

MCTelevision, our local public cable television station, regularly videotapes wellness lectures at the hospital. We also record videos and post them to YouTube. If you can’t attend a lecture, just tune in a few days later to see the whole thing right on your own computer.

Click on the links below to view the lectures live.

Lectures are held in the Redwoods Room on the Mendocino Coast Hospital Campus, 700 River Road, Fort Bragg.


Back Injuries

Bone Health

Case Management

Chronic Pain


Food Cravings

Foot Care

Lyme Disease

Mold Toxicity

Massage Therapy

Natural Family Medicine

Hearing, Balance, and Quality of Life

  • Dr. Peter Marincovich of Audiology Associates  presents insights and facts about hearing problems, its impact, and solutions for improving the quality of life, plus information on how hearing aids are “tuned” for each individual. Presented by the MCDH Wellness Program. See the video.

Heart Testing

Speech Disabilities

Sleep Disorders

Travel Health


Walking for Health

Wellness Coach Donna Schuler

Wellness Coach Donna Schuler, COTA

What is a Wellness Coach? A Wellness Coach is trained to provide a safe environment for you to discuss, identify and clarify and health concerns you may have. The coach assists is deciding how to make changes through goal setting and creating a step by step plan that you can follow to achieve your goals. A coach also helps you find resources, education or other tools to help your plan be a success. The focus of the coaching process is entirely on your needs and your agenda for change.

How does it work? You call the Wellness Center at Mendocino Coast Hospital (961-4670) and make a Well Check appointment. A Wellness Assessment will be sent to you to fill out and bring to your appointment. The Wellness Coach will talk with you about your responses on the Wellness Assessment and about any other health concerns you may have. Additional information will be gathered during your session. The coach works with you to find ways to achieve you goal and helps you set some time frames. The coach will also provide you with some general wellness education and referrals if you need them. Follow up phone calls are beneficial for most clients. The next step is yours. You may chose to follow-up with your physician or begin you plan.

About Donna For several years Donna has practiced in the field of Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapy appeals to Donna because of the creative problem solving involved. For her patients it often means adapting the environment to enable independence. It means being a compassionate ally during their rehabilitation. It means looking at what they can do rather than what they cannot do.

Donna feels a connection with each individual. She understands that they could be her mother, sister, husband or child. Wellness Coaching is a natural extension of her professional and personal interests.

She has been fortunate enough to link creative activity and occupation through out her life. Creative pursuits continue to delight Donna who was the founder Cape Mendocino designs, a successful womens clothing line for more than a decade. She holds a BA in Strategic Management from Dominican University. Donna will be providing Wellness Coaching at Mendocino Coast Hosptial beginning in May 2010.

To schedule a personal coaching session, or for more information call 961-4670

Program Enlists Staff, Patients & Local Schools To Create A “Culture of Health”

Nurses use healing touch to quiet restless babies

Nurses use healing touch to quiet restless babies

The hospital has initiated an innovative wellness program that aims to improve the health of our local community by creating a “Culture of Health” among hospital staff, patients, and even local school children. In this initiative, called the Healing Hospital program, each hospital department uses simple educational tools for patients and visitors that create health awareness and inspire healthy living. The program includes education at schools through books and programs that have an important impact on children and their parents, further helping to create a healthy community.


Embracing the Future of Healthcare

“The mission of a healing hospital is to improve health,” says Kelly Mather, founder of Harmony Healing House, which delivers the Healing Hospital program. “Mendocino Coast District Hospital is embracing the future of healthcare and taking the lead to create a healthy community. There are very few hospitals that have truly made it their mission to heal and not just treat the signs and symptoms of illness.”

Guided imagery helps patients prepare for surgery.

Guided imagery helps patients prepare for surgery.

“This program is an extension of our wellness strategy,” notes hospital Interim CEO Wayne Allen. “The Healing Hospital program gives us the ability to add meaningful depth to our existing program through its emphasis on a holistic approach to achieving and maintaining good health. It also enables us to extend our reach farther into the community.”

It Starts with Our Staff

One of the keys to the program’s success is that it uses the existing positive energy at the hospital to create a culture of health. The traditional hospital mission of service and compassionate care remains a priority, but this new mission offers a way for the healthcare provider and the patient to successfully treat illness together. Our providers agree to serve as role models for healthy behaviors, and educate patients on their capacity to heal themselves.

Educational Tools

In the Healing Hospital program, each department adds a simple educational tool for their patients and visitors that creates health awareness and inspires healthy living. These tools have been shown by scientific evidence to either improve health or reduce stress. Some are already in use at the hospital, while others are new. For example, the stress reduction reliever used in the Rehabilitation Department takes a patient from an unhealthy to healthy state in a matter of minutes simply by giving feedback about their breathing and stress level. Other products include educational books, health assessments, guided imagery CD’s and biofeedback systems.

2nd Graders with healing books, gifts from the hospital

2nd Graders with healing books, gifts from the hospital

Getting Schools, Kids and Parents Involved

As part of this program the hospital will offer education at local schools through books and programs that require very little time and effort, but have a major impact on the children and parents who make up a healthy community. MCDH plans to work with the two school districts in Fort Bragg and Mendocino, with the goal of introducing a “Healthy Kids Create Healthy Communities” program in the fall when school starts.

Green Light foods are heathly foods

Green Light foods are heathly foods

The program was initiated in March and, according to Kelly, it takes a minimum of six months to create a culture of health and shift to becoming a Healing Hospital. “Hospitals that truly lead in their communities are changing their focus from just ‘illness care and rescue care’, which tends to increase healthcare costs, to ‘holistic healthcare’,” says Kelly. “Healing Hospitals help patients, visitors and the community tap into their own capacity to heal and get to the origin of illness.”

The benefits of walking are many: it helps you lower your bad cholesterol (LDL), increase your good cholesterol (HDL), lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes, manage your weight and more. Research shows that regular, brisk walking can reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging. Walking is safe, simple and doesn’t require practice. Did we mention fun?


Who says you can’t take a romantic escape or family fun weekend, enjoy the food, AND stay fit and healthy all at the same time? Check out Wellness Coordinator Donna Schuler’s healthy adventure walks. Remember, she says, it doesn’t matter if you do a fast walk or a stroll. The goal is to walk 30 minutes each day. Even three, 10-minute walks count. Note:  times, distances and calories were calculated using the iPhone App, Runkeeper.

Distance: 0.8 miles
Time: It’s up to you. But 15 minutes would be easy.
Calories burned: 76

More than 100 years of history is packed into this walk which is just 0.8 miles over 6 blocks.

Union Lumber Company Store

Start: Union Lumber Company Store – northwest corner, Main and Redwood. Once the “shopping center” for this lumber mill town, the Union Lumber Company Store is now an emporium for restaurants, spas, a wine bar, bicycle shop and other small businesses.

Union Lumber Company Store, a place to shop, have a drink or coffee or take a “WIFI” break

Along the Way: a cup of coffee (or peppermint latte) and muffin at the Cookie Company or a Blueberry Hill or Island Paradise Island smoothie at the Living Light Culinary Institute (our world famous raw food cooking school) will power you up for this short walk. After leaving the Company Store, head north on Main.

Guest House Museum on Main Street, Downtown Fort Bragg

Point of Interest: The Guest House Museum will be on your left. If it’s open, you’ve got to drop in for trek through local history. Run by volunteers, the hours vary.

Continue on Main to Town Hall (northwest corner of Main and Laurel)

Cross Laurel to the Depot shopping mall (check out the shops), then turn west on Laurel and visit the Skunk

Old Train Car at Skunk Depot

Train gift shop. Train rides are available daily.
From the Skunk Train, continue north through the parking lot to Pine Street, make a left and then a right on W. Fir St.

Old Stewart House, home of the man who layed out or “platted” Fort Bragg

Point of Interest: On the left (northwest corner of Pine and Stewart) you’ll see the Old Stewart House, a former bed and breakfast that now is a private home. And just a little farther north (a quarter block) is the

The Weller House Inn, a popular bed and breakfast and site of tango festivals.

Weller House, a bed and breakfast with a beautiful ballroom used for increasingly popular tango festivals.

The Grey Whale Inn was Fort Bragg’s hospital until 1972.

Continue north on Stewart Street to W. Fir Street, make a right and walk one block to Main and W. Fir Street. On you left is the Grey Whale Inn, once the city’s hospital.
Cross main Main Street (also known as Highway 1 and the Shoreline Highway) and continue on E. Fir St. one block to Franklin Street. Make a right on Franklin and walk a block to the Mission Baptist Church (E. Pine and Franklin).

Mission Baptist Church, famous for its architecture.

Continue south on Franklin past the Advocate-Beacon Newspaper to the small white structure that once served as the commissary (430 N. Franklin) for the original fort built here in 1857.
A half block farther is City Hall, another historic building.
Continue down Franklin checking out the building on both sides of the street – mostly built in the late 1800’s or after the 1907 San Francisco Earthquake.
Finish: At Franklin and Redwood, turn right (west) and head back to where you started.

Distance: 1.34 miles
Time: 27 minutes
Calories Burned: 139

Entrance to Glass Beach.

Start: Glass Beach parking lot at the corner of Glass Beach Road and Elm Street. Walk down to the beach where you can explore for sea glass and then walk back to the parking lot (1/2 mile roundtrip), then take Glass Beach Road a half mile to Pudding Creek Bridge, then walk back to your car.

The city dump from 1949-1967, Glass Beach is now part of MacKerricher State Park. Broken glass dumped (bottles, car tail lights and much more) into the water have been tumbled smooth by the waves and frosted by the natural minerals in the sea water, forming beautiful sea glass.

Glass Beach at MacKerricher State Park looking north

The beach located above the “mean high tide line” is considered state park land, making the glass a “cultural resource” of the park. Cultural resources may not be taken from the beach. There are two other glass beaches south of the State Park. Glass is thick in both (one is only accessible by boat. We encourage you to look for special pieces – like ruby reds and sapphire sea glass– and leave all the rest.

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg

Please, no filling bags and taking them home for later.

Distance: 1.34 miles roundtrip
Time: 47 minutes
Calories Burned: 167

Entrance to the Botanical Gardens

Start: at the entrance off Highway 1 (Main Street), about 1 mile south of Highway 20. Meander through the 47 acres of gardens to the ocean (trail signs are well marked and a trail map is available for free at in the entrance gift shop).

Trail at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

The main trails are level and paved.

Besides the wonderful collection of Rhodedendrons, begonias, and heritage roses, there is a dazzling dahlia garden, Dawn Redwoods (grown in one remote area of China) and a cactus garden. And, much, much more.

Check the website for what is in season.

The 47-acre gardens walk ends at the ocean.

The main trail takes you right to the ocean’s edge. There you will find the cliff house, perfect to watch the ocean on a cool windy day. Or rest on one of the many benches with spectacular views of the California Coast National Monument (1,100 miles of rock formations)

Distance: 1.0 miles roundtrip (first half mile is downhill; the return uphill)
Time: 30 minutes
Calories Burned: 150

Lighthouse and blacksmith shop, which is now a marine wildlife exhibit.

Start: Park in the Visitor Center parking lot and head down the 1/2-mile paved road to the Light Station.

There are sweeping views of the 300-acre Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park and the restored light station, which includes three light keeper houses, a blacksmith shop, the lighthouse, and two out buildings. You can see whale here year-around.

First stop: 2nd Assistant Lightkeepers House (also know as the East House). Walk to the back of the house and enter the house (and the world of the light keeper) when the station first opened in 1909. The only comprise in restoration was keeping electric lighting which was installed in the 1930’s, rather than the original kerosene lanterns.

Second stop: the middle house is the Head Lightkeeper’s House and is now a weekend rental as are two cottages out back.

Third stop: Blacksmith Shop, which is now a marine wildlife exhibit with samples of local marine life in two large saltwater tanks. More than 1,000 school children visit Point Cabrillo for educational programs.

Fourth stop: The lighthouse. Here you will be plunged back into history as you view exhibits of the Frolic Shipwreck and life as a light keeper since going back to 1909 will the 3rd Order Fresnel Lens was lit for the first time. The original lens is still in use — owned and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard as a federal aid to navigation. There is also a gift shop, so bring your purse or wallet.

Finish: walk back up the hill to the Visitor Center parking lot.

Eleven Walks in the Local Forest

The folks by MendoWalks.Org love to walk and they love to share their adventures. With the 47,000 Jackson State Forest hugging our coast, there are lots of opportunities to get out of downtown and into the woods.Check out these hikes from easy to difficult. You’ll find something for every level of fitness.

Walk / Run / Bike with the Fog Dodgers

The Fog Dodgers invite all residents and visitors of the Mendocino Coast to join us on our weekly group runs and walks. We have runners and walkers of all abilities (and even some bikers) and we have only one “rule” – we start at exactly 8:00 a.m. on Sundays. Exercise at your own pace (1/2 hour out, 1/2 hour back) and experience the fresh Mendocino coastal air. Fog Dodgers provides a fun, safe way to explore some of our local trails and back roads and to meet new friends. You can find out where we’re going to be by reading the bottom of last week’s post, then clicking on the “Our Routes” tab above. We average 15-20 persons each Sunday and typically half will go to breakfast together afterwards at a nearby restaurant.