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Dr. Susan Fernyak is deputy health officer for San Francisco and director of the Department of Public Health's Communicable Disease Control and Prevention section. Her section is responsible for epidemiology, surveillance and disease control, immunization programs and bioterrorism preparedness and response. As director, she has managed San Francisco's smallpox vaccination program and the city and county's response to SARS.

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Susan D. Harrington is director of the Riverside County Department of Public Health, the agency responsible for protecting the health of county residents. The department's programs include bioterrorism preparedness, disease control, an HIV/AIDS program and a quality of life program.

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Diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and some cancers, but the exact effect of different components of food may depend on your individual genetic makeup. For example, a single letter change in DNA in people living in Scandinavia 10,000 years ago allows most Caucasian adults today to drink milk without getting sick due to lactose intolerance.

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Dr. Luciw studies transcriptional regulation of retroviruses, how viruses cause disease in animal models of AIDS, and genetic immunization for viral diseases.

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The UCSF Center for Health & Community seeks to facilitate multidisciplinary research to provide comprehensive understanding of problems of health, illness and health care. The center develops and tests new strategies for research and interventions to promote health, prevent disease and facilitate recovery. The center provides both pre- and postdoctoral students with professional tools to deal with social, psychological and cultural issues in the clinical setting and prepares students to work in a complex socio-political professional environment that crosses traditional boundaries.

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Lorena Garcia is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Her research focuses on health disparities and social determinants of health, in particular cardiovascular related health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes, and immigrant health.

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Dr. Laurene Mascola is chief of the Acute Communicable Disease Control (ACD) unit for the Los Angeles County Department of Health's Public Health Programs & Services, which performs disease surveillance and epidemic control activities for more than 60 diseases. Mascola oversees the County's programs for immunization, food and water safety epidemiology, vectorborne (insect) disease, hospital outbreaks and bloodborne diseases. Mascola has extensive experience in epidemiology and disease prevention, publishing more than 100 articles and abstracts in numerous medical and public health journals.

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Kathryn Flores is the director of the San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency. The agency protects and promotes the health, safety and environment of San Benito County residents by preventing and controlling disease, environmental hazards, injury and disability, and by educating and promoting healthy lifestyles. The staff is multicultural and many are bilingual.

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Julie Barnes is the director of health policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Previously, she served as deputy director of the health care policy program at the New America Foundation. In that role, she headed the program's Health Care Reform Communication Project, the purpose of which was to educate industry stakeholders and policymakers about the issues in the health care reform debate, facilitate discussions about those issues among the key players, and mediate those discussions to identify areas of agreement. Ms.

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Dr. Halpin's research focuses on health insurance policy, including health insurance benefit design, health care reform, access to care, consumer experiences in managed care, and disease prevention and health promotion. She has been quoted extensively by both print and broadcast media on issues related to national health care reform, particularly for Medicare and Medicaid. She has closely followed the proposals by the 2004 presidential candidates to increase Americans' access to health insurance.

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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