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Picture of Robert Joiner

Robert Joiner examines health-care disparities that persist in the St. Louis area, despite the fact that the region is blessed with some of the finest medical facilities in the world.

Picture of Beatrice Motamedi

I’ve spent years covering health and medicine, and because I teach kids, I’m especially aware of the public health gospel: Control your diet, exercise, and if you smoke, stop.  

But the person who’s really taught me about healthy living is my Aunt Nicole.

Picture of Ryan ZumMallen

The California Health Journalism Fellowship is officially underway after our first meeting tonight, here in downtown Los Angeles. Keynote speaker and social epidemiologist Carolyn Cannuscio presented her jaw-droppingly thorough report on health in needy Philadelphia communities, and I wanted to share a few thoughts before calling it a night.

Picture of Kelley Atherton

I attended a meeting Tuesday evening where I felt real inspiration.

Picture of Sarah Anthony

For the first time in U.S. history, the current generation of children have a lower life expectancy than their parents, due mostly to obesity and other diet-related diseases.

The strain on our health-care system caused by diabetes and obesity alone can be calculated in the billions. We are just beginning to see the extreme negative ramifications to our communal health brought about by the switch in the 50’s and 60’s from a local farming culture to a food culture based on super-markets and fast-food restaurants. 

Picture of Erika Cebreros

Really painful but doable. Not as bad as I expected. Those are my first answers when someone asks me about the birth of my son. I always tell people that the most difficult part for me was after the birth, especially when it came to breastfeeding.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

San Francisco and the Bay Area is, in many ways, a microcosm of much of America. As a metaphor for the extremes of environmental wealth and poverty in America today, you can walk 10 short San Francisco blocks from 6th and Market to 1001 Taylor Street. In that short distance, your walk spans the divide between an area where homeless men lie in igloos of wool blankets as urine trickles down a crack in the sidewalk, up to where Grace Cathedral's soaring Ghiberti Doors, known as the gates of paradise, open over Nob Hill.

Picture of Pauline Bartolone

A painful irony exists in California’s agricultural heart: farm workers, far too often, don’t have access to the fruits of their own labor.    

I thought about this irony, more than a year ago, when I first read about the massive drought relief food give-aways in the San Joaquin Valley. In recent years, demand at the food bank in Fresno County has increased four-fold. The State of California has spent millions on food aid to the region. And hunger is hitting a new set of people. 

Picture of Shelley Levitt

They are neighborhoods where a wilting head of lettuce costs two or three times as much as a dollar meal. Where fast-food spots litter the landscape but the nearest supermarket is miles away. "Shopping local" in these communities means buying food at a convenience store or a gas station where limited shelf life restricts choices to calorie-dense, highly processed foods with little nutritional value. Fried food abounds; fresh food is near impossible to find.

Picture of Christina Elston

If you live in L.A. County, and especially if you've driven back to the Los Angeles basin from somewhere else, you've seen it. A steely brown haze hangs over us for much of the year. We live in the smoggiest region in the United States (according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District), but for those raising children here it may not be top of mind. In some parts of the county, moms claw their way onto waiting lists for the "right" preschool while they are still pregnant.

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Our California Impact Fund offers mentorship and support to reporters who think big and want to make a difference in their communities through investigative or explanatory reporting on promising approaches to chronic ills. 

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