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How did William Hamman, the United Airlines pilot who faked being a cardiologist, get away with it? By speaking with authority and knowing that nobody was going to bother to fact-check his résumé, including the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board.

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Among the social determinants of stress for teens living in the inner city is the fear of random violence — gunshots that ring out and take a life unexpectedly and tragically. Marquis Woolfolk, 18, was on track to graduate in June after a spotty academic career with one bright light, a four-day internship on the Bay Bridge retrofit construction project in September 2009. That experience resulted in a page one story for the Oaktown Teen Times, a nonprofit, citywide newspaper by, for and about Oakland teens. Co-Managing Editor Beatrice Motamedi, who worked with Marquis on his story, remembers what it was like to see a teen imagine his future.

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Here’s what we’re checking out today:

Radiation Worries: As if you didn’t have enough to worry about with all the controversy over whole-body airport security scanners, the New York Times’ Walt Bogdanich and Jo Craven McGinty examine possible radiation risks for children and teens in the wake of lucrative dental diagnostic technologies both old and new.

Picture of Polly  Stryker

Health Dialogues examines the health of Native Americans in California. Have gambling revenues impacted the population's health status? We'll explore the current condition of Native American health, and hear from people doing something to help.

Picture of Shuka Kalantari

KQED's Health Dialogues looks at the low rates of prenatal care for Native American women in California, and why it is hard to change the numbers. Reporter: Shuka Kalantari

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 Shuka Kalantari

Disabled and elderly people originally admitted to the U.S. as refugees could lose federal cash assistance today. Under a new law, they have to be American citizens in order to receive some benefits.

For people like 86-year-old Philippe Kaninda, who doesn't speak English and suffers from dementia, passing the citizenship test seems impossible. If Kaninda loses is SSI, he may also lose his MediCal, California's health insurance program for low income individuals.

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Veteran food policy journalist Christopher Cook offers context on "food deserts" and how to identify and report on them in your community.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

Some West Virginia lawmakers want to ban K2 and other so-called synthetic marijuana products, which are growing in popularity.

Picture of Nalea J. Ko

The sun rose over the horizon a few hours before 62-year-old Sung Nguyen stood dockside with tears steadily flowing down his cheeks. The new day brought the same stress of being out of work with few prospects. The Vietnamese American fisherman watched his nearby docked boat, wrapped partially in "Dream Girls" movie posters, as it rocked gently in a Biloxi, Mississippi harbor.

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Announcements

This year saw a scorcher of a summer, the hottest on record. Worse, it could be the coldest summer we’ll see in our lifetimes. In this webinar, we’ll glean lessons and insights from a yearlong Los Angeles Times investigation into extreme heat. We’ll also identify gaps in state and federal tracking efforts, and outline policy changes that could help. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism's Impact Funds provide reporting support — funding and mentoring — to journalists who think big and want to make a difference. 

Apply today for our National Impact Fund for reporting on health equity and health systems across the country. 

Apply today for our California Impact Fund for reporting that brings untold stories to light in the Golden State. 

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