My best friend of 52 years passed away in November of 2017 after a seven-month battle with cancer.

Losing her was grim, but the most gut-wrenching portion of this journey was dealing with Napa's dismal and dysfunctional medical community.

Do not suffer from a terminal disease and expect to die with dignity in Napa.

Do not grow old in Napa because an expectation of good health care will be a pipe dream.

Napa's medical landscape is dotted with incompetence from services, to medical providers, to medical buildings, which are old and frankly, often filthy. Not even pharmacies can get it right or be civil to their customers.

Family members are left to battle a Napa system that appears to be broken and who suffers-the person with the terminal diagnosis. The Napa fires seem to have gotten it wrong-the wrong stuff burned to the ground.

Napa's network of medical services needs a massive overhaul. Instead of focusing on building monster hotels, adding more vineyards and chopping down oak trees put time, energy and resources into quality health care that addresses the needs of people.

Humanity, decency, competency -- how refreshing.

Florence Demarest