The life Dewey Welker, 27, describes so matter-of-factly might seem like a caricature of deprivation, violence and defeat, a horrific anomaly. A pair of studies shows that in semi-rural communities like his, that kind of horror is common.
Author: Chris Richard
The beds lie in neat rows in the dim light, elongated shallow bowls of heavy plastic, each cradling a waterproof mattress.
They’re built to contain the urine and vomit of drunkenness, then to be ready for service again after a quick wash and treatment with disinfectant.
Four years after California legislators vowed to eliminate racially and ethnically-linked disparities in spending on services to the developmentally disabled, funding gaps persist, records show. The state’s 21 “regional centers,” nonprofit organizations tasked with providing services for people with developmental disabilities, consistently spend less on Latinos than on whites, African-Americans or Asians.
Amid increased public scrutiny of law enforcement tactics, some Southern California agencies have started specialized training to help officers read the signs of autism and respond appropriately.
In a refrigerated crypt at the Los Angeles County Coroner-Medical Examiner’s headquarters, the bodies lie awaiting examination on the shelves of metal racks, similar to what you might find in a Home Depot.
California counties are building a patchwork of health plans to cover the last big group of uninsured residents: immigrants living here without legal documentation. With Californians enthusiastically taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured residents is plummeting.
California has been withholding money from 66 hospitals it holds culpable for medical errors, but state officials refuse to describe the mistakes or publicly identify the hospitals, all of which have allegedly harmed patients.
The inmate had stripped off his suicide-prevention gown. Such garments are of heavy fabric, like moving blankets, so that inmates in the Los Angeles County Jail’s “high observation” wing can’t tear them up to make ropes and hang themselves. This man had rolled his gown into a club. Standing naked, he bashed it again and again against the walls of his cell.
Paying extra for better access to a doctor, often called concierge medicine, is drawing new attention, at least in part in response to the Affordable Care Act. Although adherents are still few in number, concierge medicine is growing in popularity, particularly in California.
Last year, the Affordable Care Act-funded Partnership for Patients released a report showing that from 210,000 to 440,000 patients die annually from medical errors in hospitals. Kaiser Permanente and other hospitals are now taking small steps that may have a big effect on reducing preventable deaths.