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Central Valley

Picture of Elizabeth Zach
In California’s Central Valley and rural north, more than a dozen hospitals have closed since the early 2000s. The closures often limit care options and inflict economic misery — some communities never recover.
Picture of Elizabeth Zach
The very economic decline that contributed to rural hospitals' closure is likely to be worsened by their disappearance.
Picture of Ryan White

California has the worst air in the nation. Yet in the Los Angeles region, home to some of the country’s foulest air, kids are now breathing considerably easier. Wait — how does that work?

Picture of Jeffrey Hess

California’s Central Valley has a reputation for violent communities. The region also has a reputation for higher rates of police shootings. Is inadequate access to health care and mental health services leading to more violent encounters?

Picture of Tena Rubio

California's landscape is dotted with huge cattle, dairy and poultry farms from the northern part of the Central Valley all the way to the border areas of San Diego County. Less obvious are the health impacts of such large-scale farms on low-income and communities of color.

Picture of Diana Aguilera

Fresno County, home to nearly a million people, has some of the highest STD rates in California. The problem is urgent, but it's not an easy story to report. KVPR's Diana Aguilera tells how she was able to gain access to the communities most impacted by STD outbreaks.

Picture of Andrea Castillo

As wells ran dry in the drought-stricken Central Valley this summer, a public health crisis went less noticed. The Fresno Bee's Andrea Castillo decided to focus her reporting on East Porterville, where nearly half the town's 7,500 people have dry wells.

Picture of Diana Aguilera

California health officials are noticing a big jump in babies born with congenital syphilis and the Central Valley is at the top of the list. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, state and county health leaders met in Fresno Wednesday to discuss the alarming trend.

Picture of Diana Aguilera

In recent years, Fresno County has seen an alarming number of new HIV and AIDS cases. Among the concerns: More young people are becoming infected, programs that had been helping patients for decades have had their budgets slashed, and many people aren't receiving treatment.

Picture of Ezra David  Romero

The hardest part of reporting on the health implications of Central Valley rivers was not the research or content, but finding the right characters for the stories. In the end, a radio reporter discovered the best way to find the characters that brought his stories to life was on the river itself.

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