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Dr. Robert Derlet is a professor emeritus of emergency medicine at UC Davis. He conducts water-quality field studies in the upper reaches of the High Sierra mountain range in California. Each summer, Derlet collects water at 100 sampling sites in alpine locations, then tests the water for Giardia lamblia, E. coli, Cryptosporidium and other microbes commonly associated with gastrointestinal discomfort and illness. Derlet's research is part of a 20-year water-quality baseline study funded by grants from the U.S. Wilderness Medical Society.

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Dr. R. Jan Gates is a medical anthropologist and faculty member of UCSF's Institute for Health and Aging. She has worked with research teams studying health and illness cross-culturally and through the various stages of life. Dr. Gates is currently co-investigator of a National Institute of Aging/National Institutes of Health study of chronic illness among uninsured people of color. She is principal investigator of a study of cultural issues surrounding health literacy throughout African Americans' lives.

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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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Melissa DelaCalzada is the communications and public relations manager for San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care, a nonprofit, independent health care organization providing expert pain management and compassionate care to adults, children and infants living with serious or life-limiting illness. DelaCalzada has been with the organization for more than 13 years, serving as a media liaison and providing medical experts, resources and interview subjects for local and national stories.

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Dr. Bonnie Bade is a medical anthropologist whose work focuses on farm worker health, health care, California agriculture and farm labor, transnational migration, and ethnomedicine and ethnobotany among peoples of both indigenous Oaxaca and indigenous Southern California. Dr. Bade has worked with Mixtec communities in California, the San Diego/Tijuana border region, the San Joaquin Valley, and Oaxaca for over 15 years. Dr. Bade earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California, Riverside in 1994.

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Ms. Burgel's teaching focuses on the development of professional advanced practice roles. She also supervises clinical practice for students in occupational health nursing and adult primary care nursing. She also teaches an interdisciplinary course leadership on clinical decision-making in occupational injury and illness.

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Native Americans experience higher disease rates than other Americans for problems ranging from diabetes and heart ailments to mental illness and suicides, which contribute to their lower life expectancy. Get tips from a veteran journalist for covering these health issues.

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