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Picture of William Heisel

As a health writer for a newspaper, I used to tease reporters who would say, “I have calls in” when they were asked about something happening on their beat.

“You have calls in? Why are you waiting for someone to call you back? Call their boss and their boss’s boss until you get your questions answered.”

Yet in Monday’s post about the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation, I basically told readers, “I have calls in.”

And my editor called me on it.

Picture of Daniel Weintraub

(Cross-posted from HealthyCal.org)

As the governor’s revised budget makes all too clear, California is in a world of hurt. The deepest recession since the Great Depression has reduced personal incomes, retail sales, corporate profits and property values. Those are the things the state and local governments tax to provide the revenue to support the schools, universities, health and social services and law enforcement on which most of us depend in one way or another.

Picture of Christina Jewett

Nursing homes in California have reaped $880 million in new funding from a 2004 state law designed to help them hire more caregivers and boost wages. But many homes did just the opposite.

Picture of Christina Jewett

This weekend was the second session of the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship conferences in Los Angeles, and the event provided some fascinating and newsy morsels. Here's a round-up of what some of the speakers had to say (Check out more detailed blog items here as well.).

Picture of William Heisel

When your child dies because of mistakes made by a doctor, you can sue. Scott and Kathy Broussard did that when Dr. Andrew Rutland twisted their daughter Jillian Broussard's neck so severely that he separated her head from her spine. Most patients either lose in court or settle their cases. If they settle, they go silent. How many times have you called a patient's family to be told, "We can't talk under the terms of the settlement."? The Broussards settled their case, but that didn't stop them from talking.

Picture of Rebecca Plevin

Gabriela Martinez and Susana Cruz summed up the some of the reasons there is an obesity crisis among the Latino community in the San Joaquín Valley.

Martínez, an immigrant from Colima, México and the mother of three children, said she has made a serious effort to improve her family's healthy. She has stopped buying her children snacks at the liquor stores that populate her Fresno neighborhood, and she now places a greater emphasis on playing outside with her kids, though she wishes her neighborhood offered more safe areas to ride bikes and play outdoors.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Veteran journalist Dan Weintraub today launches a new website dedicated to helping Californians better understand and talk about public health and community health, broadly defined. Supported by The California Endowment, the state’s largest health philanthropy (which also supports ReportingonHealth), HealthyCal.org will also examine land use, transportation, poverty, food and criminal justice issues as they relate to health.

Picture of William Heisel

UPDATE: Rutland will be allowed to continue practicing but cannot perform surgeries or deliveries after a judge's Jan. 7 decision. Here's the Orange County Register story.

 

Picture of Kelley Weiss

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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