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It’s happening several times a day now. “My friend may have a brain tumor.” “I have been short of breath.” “What do you think I should do?” I am not a doctor, but people are increasingly looking to me as if I were one. It’s a little daunting.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

In California’s largest cities, one senses that the number of homeless people continues to grow, whatever the interventions to prevent it. But some of the more commonly cited reasons for that growth don't explain the whole story.

Picture of Linnie Frank Bailey

I received my first cigarettes around the time I got my first iron, stove, and refrigerator. This was the sixties, and the appliances were toys. The cigarettes were candy.

Looking back, I don't know what bothers me the most these days. The fact that I was being prepared for housework at such a young age, or that I was being prepared to smoke

Picture of Carol Smith

Environmental justice is an old mandate getting a new life under Lisa Jackson, the first African-American head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Picture of Christina Elston

What is air pollution doing to our kids? The air we breathe gets plenty of media coverage, but we tend to consider it more of an inconvenience than an emergency. Yet at every stage of children’s lives – from their time in the womb until they’re ready to leave the nest – the pollution in the air affects their health.

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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.

Picture of William Heisel

Health journalists and patient advocates should be on high alert for the changes that are sure to come with the announcement last week that the FDA has approved the Lap-Band device for nearly every person with a few pounds to lose.

Picture of Christina Elston

What is air pollution doing to our kids? 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. Concerns about finding the right neighborhood, the right school, about keeping kids away from gangs and drugs or getting them to turn off the Xbox and do some homework tend to take center stage. The air we breathe gets plenty of media coverage, but we tend to consider it more of an inconvenience than an emergency.

Yet at every stage of children’s lives – from their time in the womb until they’re ready to leave the nest – the pollution in the air impacts their health. 2010 California Health Journalism Fellow Christina Elston reports.

Picture of Frank Sotomayor

During my reporting on organ donation for my fellowship project, one source’s quote stood out. “I’m a living example that organ donation works,” Vicky Mai Nguyen told me. She’s a 26-year-old woman who’s in good health and thriving. Had it not been for a liver transplant, she likely would never have made it to 2.

Picture of Pedro Frisneda

"It's the alcohol hangover," Gerardo Cuapio thought five years ago when he woke up thirsty and with blurred vision. National Health Journalism Fellow Pedro Frisneda tells the story of a man who was on the verge of death without knowing he had Type 2 diabetes. It's a cautionary tale for what happens to many Latin American immigrants who move to the United States, adopting a new lifestyle and diet that can contribute to developing the disease. "The Big Apple is confronting one of the worst diabetes epidemics in the nation and health authorities have declared it an emergency," with Hispanics suffering disproportionately.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Part 2: In the kingdom of fats and sugar

Part 3: In a sedentary country

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