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For medical student, a road home

September 16, 2010

Sabrina Silva-McKenzie, a fourth-year medical student at UC Davis, grew up in Stockton. She will be applying to family medicine residency programs this fall to complete her training and become a practicing physician, and she wants to stay in Northern California, possibly returning home. At an early age, her parents ingrained into her the stewardship of community engagement and service. They operated a pharmacy, and she accompanied them on home deliveries. Customers became friends and the family business became a public trust. When she begins to practice medicine, Sabrina wants to carry on that tradition.

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Three SD communities square off over Mid-City redevelopment

September 13, 2010

For nearly seven decades, the Pearson Ford car lot at Fairmount and El Cajon Boulevards in central San Diego was a piece of San Diegans’ collective conscious. Its familiar jingle echoed unchanged on radios throughout the county until the cars cleared out in 2008. Now, with the empty land awaiting redevelopment, the site evokes tension more than it does regional nostalgia. That’s because it sits at the crossroads of three communities that each represent a distinct socioeconomic stratum in San Diego and, thus, harbor different hopes for what might fill it in. Wealthier residents in Kensington and Talmadge want a departure from the social services that have dominated redevelopment in the area since 1994, while those in City Heights fear such a departure might fuel gentrification and an exodus of low-income residents.

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A neighborhood questions the need for one more McDonalds

September 13, 2010

Residents of a community already filled with fast-food outlets fret at the prospect of another. Paul Towers blogs about it from Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood.

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Eating across a social divide

September 10, 2010

Driving across the commuter bridge that connects Marin County to the city of Richmond is not just a trip across the bay. It’s also a trip across a social divide. On one side of the bridge, Marin’s rolling green hills and roadside bird sanctuaries are laced with trails and encourage biking, walking and running. Fresh produce abounds in Marin. Drive over the Richmond Bridge, and you’ll find a very different environment. In poorer neighborhoods in Richmond, people are often afraid to walk outside or take their children to the park. Healthy food is harder to find. And these differences are reflected in the health of the residents on each side of the bridge. Heather Tirado Gilligan has the story.

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City tries to clean up, green up, alleys in Southeast LA

September 2, 2010

The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles is beginning a new kind of community health project—cleaning up the dirty and dangerous alleys that surround the apartment complexes throughout South East LA and turn them into safe, useable spaces for residents to exercise and grow gardens. The project is just one of many that is funded by a $16 million grant the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health won from the federal economic stimulus package to increase the quality of life and access to healthy food and exercise for Los Angeles County residents. Megan Baier has the story.

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Carson, Tongan Center, expand anti-tobacco programs

September 1, 2010

The Tongan Community Service Center in Los Angeles is working with the city of Carson to develop anti-tobacco policies with federal stimulus money in an effort to reduce the incidence of asthma and other diseases related to smoking and poor air quality. Megan Baier has the story.

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Asian ethnic network helps fight youth violence

August 16, 2010

The violence between rival Sacramento gangs with Southeast Asian lineage veils a complex set of internal conflicts that circle a core problem: how to successfully integrate into American life. A network of ethnic organizations is working to improve understanding among Hmong, Mien and Laotian immigrants and their children. Matt Perry has the story.

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Teens work toward peace in Pasadena’s ‘Culture Shock’ program

August 11, 2010

Dismayed by a teen culture based on intolerance and stereotypes, directors of local nonprofit youth programs in Pasadena designed Culture Shock, a week-long summer workshop that teaches conflict resolution and leadership skills to teens ages 13-17 from the city’s public and private high schools. To hear the teens tell it, the results have been impressive. Margaret Simpson has the story.

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Defusing the obesity timebomb

August 5, 2010

“Obesity is a very complex problem. And it starts obviously with the genetics. Putting an individual that is genetically predisposed to be obese in what we call a toxic environment, then we have a time bomb. This is what has happened with certain ethnicities, when you put them in a toxic environment that provides all the fast food, all the sugar drinks, all the fatty stuff, together with lack of exercise, and difficulty accessing a good healthy lifestyle, we created a time bomb and here we have the epidemic of obesity….

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Knitting health reform into the community

August 4, 2010

A doctor contemplates his role in helping to implement health reform and decides that his connection to the community will be as important as his knowledge of medicine. See Dr. Ronald Fong’s latest blog post.

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