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California sends out about three billion dollars a year to the disabled and elderly so they can buy food and afford housing. But in the second part of our series, Senior Insecurity, Capital Public Radio found there's little oversight of this program.

Even though Supplemental Security Income - or SSI - is California's second most expensive health and human services program, the state doesn't track whether it's enough to live on or how people spend their money.

 

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See a slideshow our trip to a San Francisco Safeway, where janitors and members of SEIU rallied to demand safer cleaning supplies.

Photographs by me, Shuka Kalantari. Web producer Nick Vidinsky

 

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On the continuum between calm and panic, most Californians are somewhere in the middle when it comes to swine flu. But there's no question that the shortage of H1N1 vaccine is ratcheting up the anxiety level and fueling demand for inoculations. So far the state has received about two million doses of the vaccine, and they're slowly trickling down to counties. On Thursday, San Francisco held its first public vaccine clinics throughout the city. By the time doors opened at 4 pm, nearly 1,700 people were lined up. Reporter: Scott Shafer

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Each month, the San Francisco public radio station KQED airs an hour-long program called Health Dialogues that delves deeply into such topics as food safety, asthma, swine flu and environmental health.

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Career archivist Kim Klausner takes her roles as a historian and as a public health advocate equally seriously. As the Industry Documents Digital Libraries Manager for the University of California-San Francisco, she is in charge of the Drug Industry Documents Archive, a collection of thousands of records that shine a light on practices by Wyeth, Pfizer, Abbott and other Big Pharma companies.

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Here's a (belated) wrap-up of the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco earlier this month, and some fodder for future stories.

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Perplexed by the unusually high rates she was paying for her employer-provided health insurance, NPR member station reporter Sarah Varney set out to better understand the system. She discovered that small companies' rates are dictated by the demographics of their work force — and when the work force is small, it can spell complications, higher prices or both.

Click here to hear the full story on NPR's Morning Edition

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Not exactly about health issues but it is about the racial disparity in another field. It was shelved for about two months by the editor before it got published. So some information seems a bit outdated. But the basic idea is still there.

Picture of Jeff  Kelly Lowenstein

Reading some books is like feeling a cool breeze wash over you on a sun-dappled beach as waves gently lap nearby.

The whole effect is soothing, restorative, healing.

But then there are other books which grab you with an urgency the way your mother’s voice called you by your full name when you were in trouble.

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U.S. children and teens have struggled with increasing rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior for much of the past decade. Join us as we explore the systemic causes and policy failures that have accelerated the crisis and its inequitable impact, as well as promising community-driven approaches and evidence-based practices. The webinar will provide fresh ideas for reporting on the mental health of youth and investigating the systems and services. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors and a social media consultant to join its team. Learn more about the positions and apply.

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