Sandy Kleffman

Health reporter

I have been a reporter at the Contra Costa Times for nine years. For the past several years, I have specialized in health care, covering topics ranging from California's $3 billion stem cell program to hospital charity care, the uninsured, hospital seismic issues and the mysteries surrounding autism. A graduate of San Jose State University, I worked at the San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune and other papers before joining the Times in 2000.


<p>Larry Adelman, executive producer of the "Unnatural Causes" documentary series, and Dr. Anthony Iton, senior vice president for healthy communities at the California Endowment, will be joining Bay Area News Group&nbsp;for a live online chat about health inequities.</p><p>The discussion will begin at noon&nbsp;today at <a href="">www.ContraCostaTimes.c…;. Please feel free to join us.</p><p>This is part of a four-part series on health inequities that we began publishing Sunday.</p>

<p>The "Shortened Lives: Where You Live Matters" project, produced by staff writers Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman, ran in 2009 as a four-part series in the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune, now-defunct daily newspapers in Northern California .

<p>Bay Area News Group will begin a four part series on health inequities Sunday that will feature ZIP code maps revealing wide disparities in life expectancy, asthma hospitalizations, heart diease and cancer rates.</p><p>The project, by reporters Sandy Kleffman and Suzanne Bohan, found striking health differences among ZIP codes just a few miles apart.</p><p>Even middle-class neighborhoods are affected, the analysis reveals. Middle-class areas have longer life expectancies than the poorest neighborhoods, but fall years short of life expectancies in the wealthiest areas.</p>