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Picture of Annette Fuentes

Here we were, a couple dozen reporters from some of the best, sharpest news outlets around the state, veteran journalists with a nose for news and a passion for learning how we could improve, sharpen and expand our skills and knowledge of health care reporting. We convened at the Millenium Biltmore hotel in downtown Los Angeles for an extraordinary three-and-a-half day fellowship experience to talk shop, listen to some of the country's experts in public health and health journalism and form our own network of sorts as professionals on a common mission.

Picture of Dan Lee

Kazue Shibata has been in the community health care field for two decades. She is one of the founders and the first chief executive officer of Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, Inc., a federally fundedcommunity health center in east Hollywood that provides primary health care and health education services to Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Japanese, Pillion, Chinese, Indonesian, Bangladeshi, andSpanish-speaking immigrants. Born and reared in Japan, Ms.

Picture of Angilee Shah

Dr. Michael C. Lu's paradigm shift in medicine is called a "life course perspective": the idea that health is not isolated to stages of life, but that those stages are interconnected. It is the philosophical underpinning behind his devotion to prenatal care. Indeed, there are some surprising connections between mothers' lifestyles and nutrition during pregnancy and lifelong health effects on their children.

Picture of Angilee Shah

It's the kind of thing that makes traditionalists in journalism cringe, and convinces them that technology will ruin the integrity of news. SEO is the tech acronym for "search engine optimization," ways to design websites and content that will rank highly in search results. What many journalists might not realize is that the techniques of SEO are actually not that far off from the fundamentals of hard news.

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 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 Angilee Shah

This year's California Health Journalism Fellows are pursuing stories important to communities. They're investigating air quality, the on-the-ground effects of health care reform and children's health, and asking important questions about how neighborhoods can be healthier. Here's a quick rundown of some of their projects, with links to their own blog posts so you can learn more, comment and offer ideas.

Picture of Hillary Meeks

When my 2-year-old son has to see a doctor for his eyes or ears, I plan to take at least a half a day off work, if not a full day. Between the hours-long wait in the overcrowded specialists’ offices and the time it takes to travel to another county, our time is eaten away because these doctors are so few and far between in the San Joaquin Valley. That’s the mantra of Tulare County and health care. There aren’t enough doctors to go around, specialist or otherwise.

Picture of Tena Rubio

If you live in California, you see it all of the time. Big rig trucks driving alongside you on freeways and roads. Freight trains carrying goods up and down the coast. Ships docked at container shipping ports both in southern and northern California.

Picture of Ryan ZumMallen

Sadly, in the city of Long Beach and the surrounding South Bay region, the topic of air pollution is nothing new.

Asthma and lung disease rates are among the highest in the nation. It is simply an unavoidable consequence of living nearby the massive twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

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Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 

 

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