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Interview with Dr. David Williams

July 28, 2014

By Daniel Weintraub

Dr. David Williams, an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health, currently teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health.

The Everyday Discrimination scale that he developed is currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies.

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A Nurse, a Friend and a Parenting Teacher: Home-Visit Program Helps Low-Income Mothers

July 25, 2014

A Nurse, a Friend and a Parenting Teacher: Home-Visit Program Helps Low-Income Mothers

By Lisa Renner

Oyuny Bahena was pregnant and living in a homeless shelter in Merced County when she first met with a home-visit nurse.

The nurse offered to help guide the 20-year-old through the challenges of parenthood over the next two years at no cost. Bahena remains grateful.

“I love her support (and) how she’s very attentive with me and my baby,” she said.

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Art With Elders: Stop Making Sense

July 20, 2014

Art With Elders:  Stop Making Sense

By Matt Perry

When expressionist painters like Pablo Picasso, Otto Dix and Barnett Newman waved their defiant brushes over blank canvases, they rebelled against the “logical minds” that had brought about one World War, then another. Art, they insisted, should free the mind from oppressive reality.

So it’s not surprising that in the shadow of the Beat Generation and Sixties counterculture, a Bay Area arts program has gained prominence in helping older adults circumvent constrictive thought to free the artist within.

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State Agency Running Medi-Cal Didn’t Know How Many Docs Took its Insurance

July 17, 2014

State Agency Running Medi-Cal Didn’t Know How Many Docs Took its Insurance

By Hannah Guzik

The California agency that oversees the state’s low-income health plan vastly overstated the number of doctors who accepted patients through the program last year, even as the number of people enrolled was set to skyrocket under the federal Affordable Care Act, the California Health Report has found.

The state’s Medi-Cal provider list had more physicians than were even licensed to practice in California last year.

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Denti-Cal Patients Feel the Pain as Rates Shrink

July 16, 2014

Denti-Cal Patients Feel the Pain as Rates Shrink

By Pamela K. Johnson

A few years ago, Kathleen Hamilton became a foster mom to 13 and 14 year old boys, who also happened to be her nephews. Both needed extensive dental work, and the services were to be covered by the state’s Medi-Cal program. But year after year, Hamilton ran into a snag.

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State restores some funding for kids with special needs

July 8, 2014

State restores some funding for kids with special needs

By Lisa Renner

Born five weeks premature, 2-year-old Corbin can’t speak as well as other children his age. But the Modesto toddler is improving all the time because of an infant development specialist provided by California’s Early Start program.

Now more infants and toddlers with developmental delays and those at risk of delays will receive those services because of the state Legislature’s recent move to restore funding of the program to 2009 levels.

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Dementia, The Greatest Generation, and a Ray of Sunshine

July 7, 2014

Dementia, The Greatest Generation, and a Ray of Sunshine

By Matt Perry

After restaurateur Sam Stelletello opened Sunshine Care to offer high-quality assisted living to World War II’s “Greatest Generation,” nearly all of his aging residents succumbed to dementia – most frequently Alzheimer’s disease.

As Sunshine’s original 10-bed 1990 facility expanded into today’s immaculate seven-building site in the hills of homespun Poway – San Diego County’s “City in the Country” – the residents’ natural cognitive decline spawned one of the state’s few facilities devoted to patients with dementia.

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A day in the life of a Kitchen Diva

July 6, 2014

By Pamela K. Johnson

In this story, you’ll meet Veronica Mayes-Jackson, a Kitchen Diva who’s educating members of her community in Los Angeles about how to change their lifestyle in order to improve their health. Learn more about the Kitchen Divas and their parent organization, Black Women for Wellness, in our profile of the organization.

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Insurance Could Help Former Inmates, But State and County Problems Have Slowed Enrollment

July 3, 2014

Insurance Could Help Former Inmates, But State and County Problems Have Slowed Enrollment

By Angela Woodall

California’s ambitious plan to enroll former prison and jail inmates in health insurance as part of an expansion funded by the Affordable Care Act has been foiled by an applications logjam, administrative errors and bureaucratic roadblocks.

Advocates across California who work with former inmates have been trying since January to get them signed up for Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health plan, in the hopes that having access to doctors, mental health services and addiction treatment might help keep them out of jail.

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Innovation Programs Aim to Improve Care for Seniors and the Poor, But Are the Results Reliable?

June 17, 2014

Innovation Programs Aim to Improve Care for Seniors and the Poor, But Are the Results Reliable?

By Genevieve Bookwalter

Donald Vidal has had both of his knees replaced, but the 85-year-old Novato resident experienced different levels of care with each procedure. Although the same surgeon performed both operations, during the second one Vidal was part of a federal pilot program that aims to improve care and save money.

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