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Santa Cruz County

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A pandemic, a shift in homeless services and two new reports.
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Amid the pandemic, changes to the county’s needle exchange programs are on hold.
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In 2 years, only 200 people in Santa Cruz County have signed up for California's Preexisting Condition Insurance Program. For Eva Lopez, it was a lifesaver.

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At the first meeting in L.A. we could see that we were not the only ones feeling torn between the desire to do in-depth reporting and the time-consuming demands of marketing that work on social media. However, over time, we came to appreciate how critical it is to reach out to readers via social media, how quickly readers' habits are changing, and how the web is redefining the concept of community.

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It takes a certain kind of stubbornness and stick-to-it-ness to develop a successful online news site or a popular blog, especially if you are writing about the civic life of your community — not fashion tidbits or celebrity gossip. We are working with these news innovators to expand their health reporting.

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If you think you speak a language, and you weren't born speaking it, you *don't* really know it.

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After my story about the $2,391 per month health insurance premium, I got an email from a teacher in the Mountain School District. She writes, "Teachers in Santa Cruz County are facing similar increases.  At many districts in Santa Cruz County, including Mountain School, San Lorenzo Valley and Soquel, teachers have seen unimaginable and unsustainable increases to our premiums.  I am one of these teachers and no one seems to have solutions for us.

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On Tuesday, I posted the first half of my “Top 10 list” of noteworthy health journalism. Here’s the second half. It bears repeating: this definitely isn’t a best-of list, and admittedly, it’s print-centric. There’s lots of excellent work out there that I didn’t have a chance to read or view or listen to. But the five stories below are worth reading, and learning from.

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Poki Stewart Namkung is the health officer with the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency. Previously, she served as health officer at the city of Berkeley.

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Lance Linares is executive director of the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, a public, nonprofit organization created by area residents as a permanent resource for the entire county. Founded in 1982, the Community Foundation seeks to promote philanthropy to make Santa Cruz County a better place to live, now and in the future.

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