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Special Features

Come Together: Bay Area Organizations Help Survivors of Human Trafficking

By Linda Childers As the volunteer director for the Bay Area Youth Dance Team, Vanessa Scott was shocked when one of her 15-year-old students became ensnared in the web of human trafficking and was forced into prostitution. Like many Bay Area residents, Scott was unaware that the San Francisco area ranks as one of the nation’s main hubs for human trafficking, a crime that includes sex trafficking, child labor, forced labor and domestic servitude.
His Aim is True

His Aim is True

By Leah Bartos
An ER Doc Tackles America’s Gun Problem
The Vaccination Tipping Point

The Vaccination Tipping Point

By Kellie Schmitt Doctors told Stockton mom Meghan Brenner that the benefits of vaccination far outweighed the risks of side effects. Still, she couldn’t shake the nagging fear that her child, now 2, could be sickened by the shots. The former teacher, now a stay-at-home mom, knew a study linking vaccines with autism had been debunked. And, in theory, she liked the idea of herd immunity and the protection it confers on everyone.
LA Clinics No Longer a Last Resort

LA Clinics No Longer a Last Resort

First in a series of stories about how health care reform is affecting newly insured Medi-Cal patients.

By Robin Urevich

Before health reform, Los Angeles County clinics served people who had no other options—sick patients with no health insurance.

But as 2014 approached, county officials realized that many of their clients would become insured and choose other health care.

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“I Bow To You”: Human Touch and Aging

“I Bow To You”: Human Touch and Aging

By Matt Perry

Five older adult women sit in recliners covered with blankets. They wear soft booties on their feet while harp music plays quietly. A TV monitor gently rotates photos of flowers, while the walls feature beach décor graphics – deck chairs, fishing gear, plants and beach grass. The room’s artificial lights are off.

The Truth About HIV Prevention Drug Truvada

The Truth About HIV Prevention Drug Truvada By Linda Childers In the 1980s, a diagnosis of HIV used to mean AIDS or even early death. Today, thanks to advances in medicine, Truvada could potentially eliminate the 50,000 new cases of HIV infections diagnosed each year, yet the medication continues to be dogged by controversy.

Assisted Dying: California’s Tipping Point Arrives

Assisted Dying: California’s Tipping Point Arrives

By Matt Perry

“Science progresses one funeral at a time.” – German physicist Max Planck

No other death has so profoundly changed the way we perceive the dying process as that of Brittany Maynard, the young California woman who insisted on the right to die on her own terms by moving to Oregon, where she could legally end her suffering from terminal brain cancer.

Medi-Cal Docs Who Fail Site Reviews More Likely to Face Board Discipline

Medi-Cal Docs Who Fail Site Reviews More Likely to Face Board Discipline By Robin Urevich Many Los Angeles County doctors who treat the poor in California’s Medi-Cal managed care program have earned poor grades on safety, cleanliness and other measures the state uses to monitor health care delivery for some of the state’s most vulnerable patients.

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California Focus: Daniel Weintraub

Pressure builds to boost reimbursements to dentists in Medi-Cal

By Daniel Weintraub


Jim Wood tells a story about teeth that makes him smile.

Wood — a dentist and a state assemblyman from Sonoma County — remembers the time a patient of his who was an elementary school teacher told him about a student suffering from serious dental problems. The little girl’s family was poor and they lived in a rural area.

Why reducing poverty — and stress — might be the key to better health

By Daniel Weintraub

Look at the health data for just about any collection of neighborhoods in California and one thing will soon become clear: Poor people are sicker and, on average, die younger than people with higher incomes.

The medical profession, social workers and health researchers have known this for a long time.

Diabetics account for nearly 1/3 of hospital stays

We've long known that diabetes and its related illnesses cause havoc in people's lives and drive up health care costs, but a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has quantified the damage done with a sobering new statistic: nearly one-third of hospital stays by Californians age 35 and older involve a person who has been diagnosed with diabetes.

The ACA and women’s health

The ACA and women’s health

The Affordable Care Act has several provisions aimed at improving women’s health. In this infographic, the Journal of the American Medical Association lays out some of the issues women face and how the ACA might help. Click on the thumbnail to see the full graphic.

How wealth drives health — and what we can do about it

By Daniel Weintraub

California is a land of health extremes, and to see what that means, you need only travel a few miles from the state Capitol.

Placer and Yuba counties border each other about a half hour’s drive north of downtown Sacramento. Both places are largely rural. But the similarities end there.

California Voices

What is it about giving thanks that makes us healthy?

By Eric Nelson
In remarks made to a conference convened this summer by Cal Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), renowned gratitude expert Dr. Robert Emmons explained why giving thanks is so appealing to so many. “Gratitude has the power to heal, to energize and to change lives,” he said. More specifically, gratitude increases our emotional well-being, improves our capacity to get along with others, decreases depression and increases our resilience after suffering emotional or physical harm.