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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.

Barriers to Care Persist Despite Expansion of Medi-Cal

Barriers to Care Persist Despite Expansion of Medi-Cal

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

By Robin Urevich

The Affordable Care Act, with its promise of health care for most Americans, represents a welcome step forward for physicians who have cared for the uninsured.

Michael Core, a primary care doctor at The USC Eisner Clinic, treats some of the city’s poorest people in a spare no-frills office just south of downtown Los Angeles.

Navigating Barriers to Care a Challenge for Newly Insured Patients

Navigating Barriers to Care a Challenge for Newly Insured Patients

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

By Robin Urevich

More than a year after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, nearly three million Californians are newly insured by Medi-Cal, California’s health insurance program for the very poor, but many of them are still struggling to get the care they need.

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Some California Cities See End in Sight for Veteran Homelessness

Some California Cities See End in Sight for Veteran Homelessness

Marine veteran Mitchell Horton had been chronically homeless since 1988 until last year when he was granted an efficiency apartment in downtown Santa Cruz. He now works as a security guard. Photo by Lynn Graebner

By Lynn Graebner

Cities across California have committed themselves to what sounds like an impossible goal: ending homelessness among military veterans by the end of this year.

Empathy: The Future of Dementia Care

Empathy: The Future of Dementia Care

By Matt Perry

Imagine you’re losing your mind. Imagine most of the life you’ve led is now slipping away from dementia.

And it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to you.

While it’s hard for most people to imagine dementia in a positive light, aging experts say the benefits can offer precisely those aspects of humanity many have sought their entire lives: living in the present moment, breaking social conventions, and softening expectations about who we should be.

Parenting Programs Turn to Fathers

Parenting Programs Turn to Fathers By Callie Shanafelt Chris Gibson spends his days visiting new fathers and their tiny babies. He’s a fathering coach and offers help that’s increasing in demand — teaching dads in low income neighborhoods about the ins and outs of infants.

A Better Delivery for Pregnant Women in Jail

A Better Delivery for Pregnant Women in Jail

Photo: File/Thinkstock

By Linda Childers

As the young female inmate from the San Francisco County Jail prepared to give birth to her first child at San Francisco General Hospital, she found comfort in the fact that she wasn’t alone. Sitting by her bedside was a doula, a trained nonclinical birth companion whom she had been working with for several months through the Bay Area’s Birth Justice Project.


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California Focus: Daniel Weintraub

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.

Health before — and after — health care

Even as lawmakers in Washington D.C. drove themselves into a bitter partisan divide over federal health reform in 2010, an unusual experiment across the country in Oregon was amassing evidence that the rancorous debate in Congress was focused on many of the wrong things. And if what Oregon’s experience is telling us now is accurate, the Affordable Care Act will be neither the boon to America’s health that its supporters claim nor the threat that its detractors fear it will be. Why? Because expanding access to health insurance and even health care — the primary goal of the ACA — might not make us healthier, at least not in the the short term and not in the ways most people seem to believe.
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.

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