Isabelle Walker

health writer

I’m an independent journalist and health writer on California’s Central Coast. I’ve been the primary health writer at Santa Barbara’s weekly newspaper, The Santa Barbara Independent, for the better part of a decade. I also write for Western Art & Architecture, The American Journal of Nursing and this website, Reporting on Health. I love the health beat because it always comes back to people, their ability to get well, stay well and, hopefully, live life to the fullest. I’ve also done quite a bit of reporting on Santa Barbara’s homeless population, which is large for such a small city.


<p>For two years, Bill Shea lived on the property of Christ the King Episcopal Church. As homeless camps go, it was average. He slept in a field, in a decent bag, and with the blessing of the church's rector. He was surviving — if nothing&nbsp;else.</p>

<p>Curtis Jasper has come a long way since December, when he was living on the streets of Los Angeles, all but crippled by multiple ulcers on his legs. For eight years he tended his ulcers by himself on the streets, changing his dressings in bathrooms in public libraries and restaurants — any pl

<p>On a morning in late August, 57-year-old Mary Manning was resting on her sister Jackie's porch. Midway through a rugged course of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Manning looked at her younger sister and said, “I think this poison is killing me.”</p>

<p>Über prosperous Silicon Valley isn¹t a place one expects to find thousands of homeless people. But a 2006 count found over 7,600 men, women and children without a home in Santa Clara County.</p>

<p>Journalist-blogger Isabelle Walker provides an in-depth look at what happens to homeless people who get seriously ill. Where can they go to recover?</p>

<p>Homeless people who are discharged from acute care hospital to a step-down care center, or medical respite bed, are less likely to be readmitted in 90-days, according to an October, 2009 study in <em>The Journal of Prevention and Intervention in The Communit</em>y.</p>