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Elena Esparza, D.C., is a chiropractor and activist. Born in the late '60's in East Los Angeles, Dr. Esparza was encouraged to play in the green sanctuary of her childhood, hill-top home and dig in her grandmother's garden, where she found a language in her green world. \"My first memory of healing and natural remedies was at six years of age, and I have continued living among the plants and natural world all of my life,\" she says. \"I have had the privilege of living, visiting and studying in may countries, therefore my influences are varied and many.

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Dr. Elaine E. Batchlor is chief medical officer of L.A. Care Health Plan, a nonprofit, community-accountable health maintenance organization (HMO) that serves more than 750,000 Los Angeles County residents who participate in the Medi-Cal and Healthy Families programs. L.A. Care also administers the Healthy Kids program, which is offered by L.A. Care Health Plan and is sponsored by First 5 L.A. and the Children's Health Initiative of Greater Los Angeles. L.A. Care is the nation's largest public health plan and also one of California's largest health plans. Before Batchlor came to the L.A.

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Doreena Wong is a senior attorney for the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), a national, nonprofit law firm working to increase and improve access to quality health care on behalf of limited-income individuals. It provides legal analysis and representation, information, education, and policy advocacy. Wong focuses on the needs of immigrants and limited English-proficient populations for culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services.

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Deane Calhoun is the founder and former executive director of Youth Alive, a nonprofit public health agency founded in 1991 and dedicated to preventing youth violence and generating youth leadership in California communities. Youth Alive has offices in Oakland and Los Angeles and runs two programs: Caught in the Crossfire, an intervention program for youth hospitalized as a result of violent injuries, and Teens on Target, a peer leadership and violence prevention program that trains young people from neighborhoods with high rates of violence to provide peer education to middle school students.

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Claudia J. Hernandez is pursuing a Ph.D. in Culture and Performance in the World Arts and Cultures Department at the University of California at Los Angeles. Her research interests are in Latina/o religion, spirituality and healing practices in Los Angeles. Mrs. Hernandez' work seeks to understand the ways Proyecto Jardín was conceived, how it physically manifests as a place of healing, and how place contributes to the development and enactment of individual and community identities among Latina/os.

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Castulo de la Rocha, J.D., is president and chief executive officer of AltaMed Health Services Corp. in Los Angeles. He has been a community health leader for more than two decades. He is a member of the executive committee of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California; the Latino Issues Forum; AIDS ACTION; the "I Have a Dream Foundation," and the National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.

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Carmen Burgos is program manager for the Kern Health Consumer Center (KHCC), a service agency that helps low-income residents of Kern County navigate the health care system. KHCC is a project of Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, a nonprofit organization offering free legal services in civil matters to low-income residents of Kern County. KHCC is a part of the Health Consumer Alliance, a united effort of nine legal services agencies to address the health access problems of California consumers, particuarly low-income consumers.

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Anthony Wright serves as executive director of Health Access, a statewide health care consumer advocacy organization based in Oakland that is comprised of a coalition of over 200 constituency groups working for quality, affordable health care for all. He currently works out of Sacramento on reforms to prevent severe health care budget cuts, to provide consumer protections for self-pay hospital patients, to address rising health care costs, and to advance comprehensive health care reform.

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The first step in asking a stranger to open up to you is to follow the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. Get more tips on interviewing patients from a veteran broadcast journalist.

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