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Richard Thomason is the program officer for health care and coverage at the Blue Shield of California Foundation. He was principal consultant for Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer. Frommer led the fight to improve access to health care and higher education in California. He introduced key legislation addressing California's ailing health care system, including bills to expand health care coverage to working Californians, rein in runaway health care costs and increase Californians' access to affordable, lifesaving prescription drugs.

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St. Joseph Health System (SJHS) is an integrated health care delivery system providing a broad range of medical services. The system is organized into three regions -- Northern Californa, Southern California, and West Texas/Eastern New Mexico -- and consists of 14 acute care hospitals, as well as home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services, skilled nursing facilities, community clinics and physician organizations. SJHS has established a "continuum of care" -- that is, a system that links and coordinates an entire spectrum of health services.

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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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