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Arnold Schwarzenegger

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When your child dies because of mistakes made by a doctor, you can sue. Scott and Kathy Broussard did that when Dr. Andrew Rutland twisted their daughter Jillian Broussard's neck so severely that he separated her head from her spine. Most patients either lose in court or settle their cases. If they settle, they go silent. How many times have you called a patient's family to be told, "We can't talk under the terms of the settlement."? The Broussards settled their case, but that didn't stop them from talking.

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Gabriela Martinez and Susana Cruz summed up the some of the reasons there is an obesity crisis among the Latino community in the San Joaquín Valley.

Martínez, an immigrant from Colima, México and the mother of three children, said she has made a serious effort to improve her family's healthy. She has stopped buying her children snacks at the liquor stores that populate her Fresno neighborhood, and she now places a greater emphasis on playing outside with her kids, though she wishes her neighborhood offered more safe areas to ride bikes and play outdoors.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Veteran journalist Dan Weintraub today launches a new website dedicated to helping Californians better understand and talk about public health and community health, broadly defined. Supported by The California Endowment, the state’s largest health philanthropy (which also supports ReportingonHealth), HealthyCal.org will also examine land use, transportation, poverty, food and criminal justice issues as they relate to health.

Picture of William Heisel

UPDATE: Rutland will be allowed to continue practicing but cannot perform surgeries or deliveries after a judge's Jan. 7 decision. Here's the Orange County Register story.

 

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I started listing my favorite stories of the past year, in no particular order, on Dec. 21. Here is the rest of the list.

At VA Hospital, A Rogue Cancer Unit,” Walt Bogdanich, The New York Times

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Follow the money. That simple phrase – though never uttered by Bob Woodward’s most famous source – has propelled countless reporters to dig deeply into all manner of news stories.

And nearly four decades after Woodward and Carl B

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Here's a quick roundup of recent articles localizing the potential impact of federal health reform and California's health budget cuts (see Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's additional $656 million in line-item vetoes here and the full California budget document here).

Picture of William Heisel

Often following a major journalistic investigation a governor or a senator or a president even will call for hearings or declare the creation of a blue ribbon panel to assess the situation and decide how to proceed.

Years can go by before a report, usually thick with euphemism and buck passing, lands on someone's desk, often a different governor or senator or president than the one who called for the assessment. Processes are "streamlined." Efficiencies are realized. Nothing really changes.

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