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San Diego,California,United States

Picture of Alicia DeLeon-Torres

At 18 years old, my mother took me to play bingo at a local American Indian reservation. It was a bare hall, lined with long rows of tables and filled with mostly middle aged women. My mother bought eight cards - 4 for her and 4 for me. The woman next to me had 32 cards enclosed in a perimeter of lucky trinkets. I remember thinking, "she's got a problem". The woman listened intently, then marked her cards quickly and with conviction. At several points, I lagged behind in marking my cards. My mom was no better. We were novices. The woman next to us looked annoyed.

Picture of Caitlan Carroll

Medical training covers very little on how to confront dying and death with their patients and their families. Marketplace's Caitlan Carroll visits the San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine, where they are training physicians on how to tailor care around patients' last wishes.

Picture of William Heisel

My friend Christopher Farnsworth recently published a book called Blood Oath. It’s about a vampire who works for the president. After a reading he gave last week, I asked him, “Knowing that you are only one book into a three-book deal, why did you decide to put Frankenstein, werewolves, a vampire and zombies all in the first book?” He said, “It’s the Jack Kirby school of writing. If you have it, put it all in.”

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

During its six-month pilot project, the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Reporting on Health at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism quietly produced in-depth journalism with California newspapers. Now, the Center has gone public with a new website and high-profile hires, including editor-in-chief David Westphal.

Picture of William Heisel

Maryn McKenna has lived inside the "hot zone" for much of her reporting career. She honed her craft at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she was much admired for her coverage of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It takes skill to persuade any large government agency to give up some of its secrets, but McKenna did just that and turned them into fascinating stories. She has since taken the enviable career path of writing books.

Picture of Caitlan Carroll

People go to the doctor to get better, but sometimes patients get new infections when they step inside a hospital. One hospital is trying to improve health by design.

Picture of William Heisel

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.

Picture of William Heisel

One of my first investigative stories as a reporter started with a call from a doctor who was worried about the sterilization practices at his hospital.

I started calling people at the hospital to try to answer some basic questions about what they were doing to make sure that surgical equipment was clean between procedures. “Why don’t I just come down and take a look at your process?” I suggested.

And that’s how I saw the sterilization logs.

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