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University of California, Berkeley

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The site of the most significant childhood cancer cluster on national record can shed light on why epidemiology and other scientific inquiries into environmental health problems rarely secure regulatory change or care for those impacted.

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The long held belief that we should not be allowed to buy or sell pieces of our own bodies is changing. What does that mean for the future of organ donation?

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Though it is clear that South Los Angeles is park poor compared to rest of Los Angeles County, current fiscal problems lend people to dismiss the idea of spending more money creating parks, adding trees or fixing sidewalks. Turns out that maybe Los Angeles can’t afford not to invest in more nature.

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The health of South Los Angeles suffers in part because much of this area was designed for the poor. The infrastructure itself plays a role. How did western L.A. County end up having 59 acres of park space per 1,000 people and South L.A. end up with 1.2? Many of the problems we are facing today were built into the very structure of the Los Angeles area. Today's environmental injustice was no accident in the Los Angeles area.

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Tracy Wood reports on why parks are so scarce in one half of California's Orange County, but not the other half.

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A few months ago, I conducted a seminar on using library resources for public health reporting. It was presented to students in the UC Berkeley School of Journalism's Reporting on Public Health class.

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It's common knowledge that newspapers and other news outlets have hemorrhaged jobs. Since 2007, about 30,000 jobs have been lost in the newspaper industry alone. 

Certainly there are good examples of highly competitive journalism jobs that offer decent salaries for trained, and experienced journalists. Although I have not researched the number of such listings, an anecdotal survey of colleagues, and my own browsing of job sites suggest there are fewer listings of jobs, and freelance opportunities that offer livable wages or decent rates. 

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Susan Sperber is principal of the Education for Change World Academy, a charter school in Oakland, Calif. Previously, she was principal of Hawthorne Elementary School in Oakland. She came to teach at this inner city school quite reluctantly in 1983. At the time, she was looking for work with an emergency credential while studying to be a teacher at San Francisco State University.

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As director of administration and finance for On Lok, Inc., Ms. Sue Wong serves as the chief financial officer for the On Lok family of nonprofit corporations. On Lok SeniorHealth is a comprehensive health plan serving frail seniors who live in San Francisco and Fremont. This program provides an alternative when nursing home care and placement seem necessary. Ms. Wong is responsible for the overall management of personnel, administrative, and plant functions for all the On Lok corporations.

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Sandra Shewry is president and CEO of the Center for Connected Health Policy. She took a leave of absence from June to December 2010 to serve as a consultant to the state of California on implementing health care reform. Previously, she served as director of the California Department of Health Services, having been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in March 2004. Prior to its reorganization, the California Department of Health Services was one of the largest departments within state government with a budget of $36 billion and 6,000 employees.

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Do you have a great idea for a potentially impactful reporting project on a health challenge in California?  Our 2020 Impact Fund can provide financial support and six months of mentoring.

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