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Orange County

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For the first time, this fellowship gives me the opportunity to do a health story right.

Health issues usually mean big trouble when it’s breaking news or an investigative story.

Agent Orange. Ebola virus. West Nile. H1N1. In their time, viruses, pesticides and other causes of sudden, mass illnesses have forced all of us who cover the news to drop what we’re doing and take a crash course in an unexpected health crisis.

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The Medical Board of California told Orange County Register health reporter Courtney Perkes that it was rare for a doctor to be disciplined, allowed to return to practice and then disciplined again. She wanted to see if that was actually true, and so she asked the board for every record of a doctor who had petitioned for a license reinstatement.

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Scott Broussard is a battalion chief with the Costa Mesa Fire Department. He’s used to knocking down doors when there is an emergency and trying to stay steady in the midst of chaos. Kathy Broussard is a pediatric intensive care nurse who has seen children die and children saved from the brink of death. She is now focused on raising her two children.

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Mark Katches is the deputy managing editor for projects at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He leads a team of reporters who have been watch-dogging the use of chemicals in food containers and other products for the past two years.

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The National Health Journalism Fellowships offer journalists from around the country an opportunity to explore the intersection between community health, health policy and the nation's.

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Suzie Xuyen Dong-Matsuda, M.S.W., is the Pacific Asian Unit service chief at the Orange County Health Care Agency. She is a licensed clinical social worker and also has a private psychotherapy practice. In 2004, she was selected as one of the \"Top 30 Vietnamese Americans to Watch\" by the Orange County Register. She has spoken on mental health issues on Vietnamese radio and TV and writes occasionally for Vietnamese newspapers and magazines.

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Mary Anne Foo is founder and executive director of the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, a nonprofit community-based organization helping the Asian and Pacific Islander communities with health, policy, youth, education and community and economic development needs. Foo has spent the past 20 years working with the Southern California Asian and Pacific Islander community. She serves on numerous boards and advisory committees and has been a national trainer for Asian Pacific Islander tobacco control, cancer prevention, cultural competency and women's health care issues.

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Dr. America Bracho is the founder, president and CEO of Latino Health Access, a center for health promotion and disease prevention in Santa Ana, Calif. This center was created under her leadership to assist with the multiple health needs of Latinos in Orange County. Latino Health Access encourages empowerment for the Latino community and uses participatory approaches to community health education. The programs train community health workers as leaders of wellness and change. Dr. Bracho worked as a physician in her native Venezuela for several years. She came to the U.S.

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COVID-19 has made every journalist a health reporter, whether their usual beat is crime, education or county government.  Our 2021 California Fellowship will make anyone who attends a better health reporter -- and give you a reporting grant of $2,000-$10,000 and five months of mentoring while you work on an ambitious project. Deadline to apply: March 1.

In our next webinar, we’ll analyze Biden’s COVID-19 strategy in the first 100 days — and the huge obstacles the new federal effort must confront. We’ll also look at how Biden plans to address the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic, with a focus on women and vulnerable families. Sign-up here!

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