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As one of the largest, most expansive cities in the country, Los Angeles faces huge challenges in getting out health-related messages that resonate with the city's myriad cultures. Lack of health literacy, or having trouble understanding either the benefits or the details of modern, often Western medicine, has ripple effects, including patients being less likely to seek preventive care and more likely to use hospital emergency rooms for routine medical care. 

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On a Saturday morning, four people wait outside the front door of a converted mini-mall in Rosemead, CA. Ten minutes later -- the doors open exactly at 9 a.m. -- the two women and two men file into the lobby to sign in for their appointments at the Asian Pacific Family Center. The front desk is covered with pamphlets in the many languages of the significant Asian immigrant populations of the San Gabriel Valley. The clinic operates in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese. Cambodian Chiu Chow, Japanese and Korean, serving over 1,700 immigrant Asian Pacific outpatient families per year.

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California sends out about three billion dollars a year to the disabled and elderly so they can buy food and afford housing. But in the second part of our series, Senior Insecurity, Capital Public Radio found there's little oversight of this program.

Even though Supplemental Security Income - or SSI - is California's second most expensive health and human services program, the state doesn't track whether it's enough to live on or how people spend their money.

 

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Roger Doughty is executive director of Horizons Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through grant-making, strengthening of LGBT organizations and leadership, and increasing philanthropic giving. Doughty was most recently the executive director of Horizons Community Services in Chicago, the Midwest's largest LGBT social service and advocacy organization. During his tenure, Doughty led the organization's expansion into the Chicago LGBT Community Center.

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Moon S. Chen, Jr., Ph.D., M.P.H., is principal investigator of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness Research and Training, a joint project of the National Cancer Institute and UC Davis aimed at reducing the risk of cancer among Asians through research, community prevention efforts and training. Professor Chen also serves as associate director for disparities and research at UC Davis Cancer Center. Before joining the UC Davis faculty, he served as chair of the Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion at the School of Public Health at Ohio State University.

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Dr. Marjorie Kagawa-Singer is a professor at the UCLA School of Public Health and Department of Asian American Studies. Her clinical work and research have been in oncology, focusing upon the disparities in physical and mental health care outcomes of ethnic minority populations with cancer -- primarily with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.

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Ms. Kathryn McDonald is the executive director of CHP/PCOR and a senior scholar at the centers. She is also associate director of the Stanford-UCSF Evidence-based Practice Center, and leads CHP/PCOR's Quality and Patient Safety Indicators project. Her work focuses on evidence-based medicine, medical technology assessment, health care quality and patient safety.

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John P. Pierce is associate director of cancer prevention and control at the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center. An award-winning researcher, Pierce defined U.S. smoking trends in a 1989 series of papers in the Journal of the American Medical Association, forming the basis for the year 2000 goals for the nation for tobacco. He is recognized for evaluating the effectiveness of the California Tobacco Control Program, for linking tobacco advertising to adolescent smoking, and for using telephone counseling methodology to help smokers quit.

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Gloria Flores-Garcia is cofounder and director of Nuestro Canto de Salud, a program supporting and promoting health prevention and education in San Mateo County's Latino community. The program offers training, outreach, education and case management linked to health care for San Mateo County's underserved communities. The Nuestro Canto de Salud project is run by El Concilio of San Mateo County, a nonprofit coalition of organizations and individuals committed to improving the quality of life for Latinos and increasing access to quality and appropriate health care in San Mateo County.

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In 2006, while on a walk in the mountains - with Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber - Ed had an epiphany that forever changed his life. He realized that climate change is the ultimate threat to the public's health and wellbeing, worldwide, and Ed responded by refocusing his work entirely on climate change prevention and adaptation.

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This year saw a scorcher of a summer, the hottest on record. Worse, it could be the coldest summer we’ll see in our lifetimes. In this webinar, we’ll glean lessons and insights from a yearlong Los Angeles Times investigation into extreme heat. We’ll also identify gaps in state and federal tracking efforts, and outline policy changes that could help. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism's Impact Funds provide reporting support — funding and mentoring — to journalists who think big and want to make a difference. 

Apply today for our National Impact Fund for reporting on health equity and health systems across the country. 

Apply today for our California Impact Fund for reporting that brings untold stories to light in the Golden State. 

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