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Health care reform helps L.A. clinic meet rising demand

October 11, 2012
Health care reform helps L.A. clinic meet rising demand By Robert Fulton South Los Angeles, maybe best remembered as ground zero for the 1992 Rodney King riots, now boasts an unexpected draw. Patients are traveling from other parts of Los Angeles to seek care at the South Central Family Health Center, a clinic that provides health care to the uninsured – and is using grants from the Recovery Act and the Affordable Care Act to innovate and grow.

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Massive Free Clinic Attracts 1,500 Patients

October 10, 2012
Massive Free Clinic Attracts 1,500 Patients By Suzanne Potter On a recent Saturday hundreds of families waited patiently in punishing 108 degree heat - for the chance to get an eye exam and a pair of glasses - in Thermal, California.

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Santa Ana residents find no discount in discount drug program

October 9, 2012
Santa Ana residents find no discount in discount drug program By Helen Afrasiabi A discount drug card offered by the city of Santa Ana to help shoulder the exorbitant costs of prescription drugs has left some users asking “where is the discount?”

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Low-income kids start school with new supplies

October 8, 2012
By Melissa Flores As school students settle into the start of a new year, some low-income kids in districts around the state are getting free supplies to set them up for success. In September, members of the Oakland-based nonprofit K to College partnered with student volunteers from the University of California, Los Angeles to give out $45,000 in school supplies and dental kits.

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Program preps parents for college

October 4, 2012
By Clare Noonan Parent Empowerment Program workshops demystify all aspects of getting into and attending college: what courses and exams high-school students have to take in order to be admitted, how to fill out financial forms, what college courses to sign up for. “It educates parents about college life for their children. It takes away the fear of what college life will be like.”

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State schools ahead of curve with federal lunch changes

October 2, 2012
State schools ahead of curve with federal lunch changes By Melissa Flores School lunches are a lot more colorful this year as cafeterias across the state have started the first of several nationwide changes to the federal lunch and breakfast programs that provide free and reduced-lunches to low-income children.

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California gets a handle on pertussis

October 1, 2012
By Suzanne Potter Pertussis, the highly contagious disease better known as whooping cough, killed ten infants in the state in 2010 and infected 9,000 people: the most in 60 years. But California hasn’t seen a single death from the disease in 2011 or in the first half of 2012.

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Controversial tool highlights polluted, disadvantaged communities

October 1, 2012
Controversial tool highlights polluted, disadvantaged communities By Chris Richard For decades, San Bernardino County has been a state leader in the statistics of despair: low educational attainment, high unemployment, low household income, low birth-weight babies, high pollution levels, inadequate health care. The baleful statistics mounted up, but policy makers had no uniform way to bring them into a framework and chart their interactions. Now, a state agency is preparing a tool that will coalesce such indices in a color-coded map, one that highlights the communities that are most vulnerable to environmental health risks.

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Program has impact on Late Life Depression

September 28, 2012
The brash exuberance of fly boys in the 1986 hit movie “Top Gun” became a cultural phenomenon, a testament to youthful bravado, the ideal representation of a society enchanted with adrenaline and speed. So when Tony Scott, the film’s 68-year-old director, committed suicide last month it illuminated an otherwise shadowy world of despair: elder depression. The scourge of late life depression is wide-spread in the United States and California. As many as 10% of older adults who visit their primary care physician suffer from severe depression, while nearly 15% have been prescribed an anti-depressant. As the state’s rapidly aging population of four million citizens 65 and up is expected to top eight million by 2030, several California health systems have adopted a popular treatment model for late life depression that – in some cases – has doubled the effectiveness of traditional care.

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911 Good Samaritan Law Passes

September 26, 2012
911 Good Samaritan Law Passes By Suzanne Potter Last week Governor Brown signed the 911 Good Samaritan law, which is intended to prevent deaths from drug overdose. The law gives limited immunity to people who call 911 to get help for a friend who has overdosed – neither they nor the victim will be prosecuted for possession of a small amount of drugs. The law is aimed at reducing the accidental poisonings - mostly drug overdoses - that kill 87 people each day in the U.S.

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