Graciela Zuniga and her two toddler boys suffer from asthma and bronchitis – conditions that are aggravated by all the dust kicked up by cars on the dirt roads of the trailer park they call home. “I get sick a lot, so do they. Everyone gets colds, and fevers too,” said Graciela.The Zunigas can breathe easier now.
Author: Suzanne Potter
The sun-drenched Palm Springs area is a hotspot for the virus that causes AIDS. The prevalence of HIV in the Coachella Valley is twice the national average. Yet it is estimated that 50-70 percent of residents have never been tested for HIV and don’t know their status.
In this story we go to the rural farming communities about 60 miles east of wealthy Palm Springs, where tens of thousands of people live in what many have described as third world conditions. They crowd into dilapidated mobile home parks where clean drinking water is hard to come by and other public services can be sporadic. Get a glimpse of the efforts of Rodolfo Pinon with Pueblo Unido – a nonprofit that’s working to improve the quality of life for farmworkers’ and their families.
Obesity. Heart disease. Stroke. Lung Cancer. Almost two-thirds of the deaths in Riverside County are linked to poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and tobacco use. And the county ranks just about last (54th out of 56 California counties) on making the physical environment conducive to health.
An in-depth survey shows that health in the Palm Springs area has gotten significantly worse across a wide range of indicators in the past few years, despite the economic recovery.
Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea recently headlined the second annual Clinton Health Matters Conference in La Quinta, Calif. They announced $100 million in corporate pledges to improve health across the U.S., and $11 million of that money will go to the Coachella Valley.
The Inland Empire is on track to meet the state’s goal of enrolling 76,069 people from the region into plans from the Covered California insurance exchange, according to figures just released. Enrollment hit 39,474 during the first half of the sign-up period, which is 52% of the goal.
A new survey of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Coachella Valley generally shows good news: most participants are insured and say they’re in “good”, “very good” or “excellent” health. However, it also identified serious health gaps, showing that LGBT study participants have high rates of mental illness and domestic violence.
Teresa de los Santos put up with it for 14 years. The punching. The slapping. The constant surveillance. Now Teresa helps other victims as a counselor for Shelter From the Storm, which runs a network of domestic violence shelters in the Coachella Valley.
Managers who run mobile health clinics are hopeful that the new health care law will benefit them – not put them out of business.