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Alameda County

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The Internet and social media have a way of upending professional conventions and giving rise to new models.  As traditional boundaries blur, some unique collaborations have emerged between cutting-edge journalists and public health practitioners. I’ve been fascinating by some of these projects, which have yielded new insights, ground-breaking stories and new ways of connecting with the public. 

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Alameda County's path-breaking new mental-health court seeks to help youth with psychiatric problems who have broken the law.

Picture of Suzanne Bohan

On Sunday, a four-part series a year in the making runs in the Bay Area News Group. As the science reporter for the chain, I teamed with health reporter Sandy Kleffman to report and write this series.

Picture of Sandy Kleffman

Bay Area News Group will begin a four part series on health inequities Sunday that will feature ZIP code maps revealing wide disparities in life expectancy, asthma hospitalizations, heart diease and cancer rates.

The project, by reporters Sandy Kleffman and Suzanne Bohan, found striking health differences among ZIP codes just a few miles apart.

Even middle-class neighborhoods are affected, the analysis reveals. Middle-class areas have longer life expectancies than the poorest neighborhoods, but fall years short of life expectancies in the wealthiest areas.

Picture of Angilee Shah

Over $1 billion in services are poured into the 13 poorest neighborhoods of Alameda County each year. It is what Anthony Iton calls "services overkill."

Picture of Shuka Kalantari

Original post on KQED's Bay Area Bites blog. Spinach, alfalfa sprouts, peanut butter, beef...almost weekly, FDA and USDA alerts fill my inbox with notices about food recalls due to Salmonella or E. Coli. How does our food supply get contaminated? And what safeguards exist to ensure that the foods we eat are produced in safe and sanitary conditions?

Picture of Sandy Kleffman

A Contra Costa Times investigation finds that East Bay hospitals benefited from at least $81 million in tax breaks in 2005, while providing less than $43 million in charity care.

Picture of Angilee Shah

Lack of primary care and attention to chronic disease are the real ills of the health care system, panelists said at a seminar on health care reform for California Broadcast Fellows.

Anthony Iton, public health officer for Alameda County, says that 3 out of every 4 health care dollars goes to the treatment of chronic disease. "It is the elephant in the room. If you're not talking about chronic disease, you're not talking about health," he says.

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The pandemic is far from over but crucial COVID-19 protections and benefits are gone. In our next webinar, we'll explore the end of renter protections, unemployment benefits and other emergency relief, and what it means for the nation’s pandemic recovery and the health and well-being of low-income people and their communities. Glean story ideas and crucial context. Sign-up here!

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States?  Apply now for one of our positions. 

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