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Contra Costa County

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“We started looking at the data and found the most vulnerable people in the county, and we put this team together to go find and work with them,” said Anna Roth, director of Contra Costa Health Services.
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Navigating the health-care system is difficult for many patients, but perhaps the most challenging for those who are undocumented and only speak Spanish.

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Interviews with and writings by nearly 100 students at the Castlemont Campus of Small Schools reveal three major stressors jeopardize their health: academic anxiety, lack of healthy food and an environment that limits their freedom and imprisons them indoors. Even more alarming, factors such as a poor diet and lack of nutrition can lead to health problems that can be passed on to future generations, researchers say.

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With escalating obesity rates and growing interest in “buying local,” it’s a prime moment for health reporters to shine a light on how local government leaders can build momentum for a strategy many communities have long ignored.

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I recently wrote about the new National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network launched by the Centers for Disease Control. A fascinating resource for reporters, but molasses-slow at its debut.

I'm happy to report that after playing with the network again, the online database has recovered from its torpor, which might be explained by an estimated 10,000 hits upon its launch.

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This isn't yet posted on the California Department of Public Health website, but officials just alerted reporters that a Contra Costa County child has died from swine flu. Here's information from the release. ReportingonHealth also has a helpful guide to covering the current swine flu outbreak.

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Lillian Galedo is executive director of Filipinos for Affirmative Action, an organization working to advance social and economic justice and realize democratic and human rights for Filipinos in the East Bay. FAA serves the more than 120,000 Filipinos in the East Bay, focusing on Union City in southern Alameda County, Oakland and Alameda in northern Alameda County, and San Pablo, Hercules and Pinole in west Contra Costa County. FAA focuses its work on the most vulnerable populations, including low- to moderate-income immigrants, newcomers and youth.

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Catherine J. Ertz-Berger is executive director of the Contra Costa Child Care Council, a nonprofit organization offering a variety of child care programs and services to residents of Contra Costa County. Through area offices in Richmond, Concord and Antioch, and a satellite office in Brentwood, the council helps parents find the best child care placement for their child and family. To make referrals, the Child Care Council maintains information on more than 1,800 licensed caregivers.

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Avi Rose is executive director of Jewish Family and Children's Services of the East Bay, a nonprofit, non-sectarian agency supporting the social and emotional well-being of Alameda and Contra Costa County residents. JFCS/East Bay serves over 10,000 people with a staff of 60 in four offices and a volunteer program of over 200 volunteers visiting the elderly, welcoming new refugees, tutoring in English and mentoring refugee youth from Bosnia, Afghanistan and Cambodia.

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