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Merced

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Childhood obesity is a particularly difficult public health problem because if left unchecked, it will lead to many significant medical issues later in life.
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As Merced County in California's Central Valley grapples with a rising tide of violence over the past few years, local behavioral health clinicians are paying closer attention to PTSD. The county has recorded homicides in record numbers over the past two years.

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In 2013, Desiree Parreira lived a parent’s worst nightmare when her 16-year-old daughter, Samantha, was shot and killed at a house party near Merced in California's Central Valley. The ensuing grief was unbearable. But in a county wracked by violence, she's not alone.

Picture of Ana Ibarra

Like in many low-income communities, violence is a major concern for residents of Merced County. Just last year, the county recorded its highest number of homicides at 32. For this project, I will explore the short and long-term effects that the increasing violence has on residents’ mental health.

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Advocates of valley fever research have complained that the disease does not affect enough people to garner attention and funding; local doctors often misdiagnosed it; most data about the disease dates back decades; and the public has little knowledge of the disease and its impact.

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There aren’t enough therapists in the world to help the hundreds of millions of people who suffer complex trauma. But one former pastor is tackling the topic in his own community.

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This week, KQED is seeking citizen journalists in various cities to report on the health issues that plague their communities. Also, note that applications for the Health Journalism Fellowships presented by the Association of Health Care Journalists & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are due in one week. As always, find the latest in health jobs, workshops and more.

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Journalist Yesenia Amaro examines how some small businesses will cope with health reform as their health costs for workers continue to soar.

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Janna Rodriguez, one of the owners of J&R Tacos in Merced, wants to learn more about the specific provisions in the federal health care law designed to help small businesses such as hers. Her restaurant, which opened almost five years ago, employs eight part-time employees — and none of them receive health care benefits.

Picture of Joe Goldeen

People living with diabetes in San Joaquin County may have cause for concern: The county ranks worst in the state for deaths caused by diabetes. Medical officials say the lack of education and resources are to blame.

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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