California Finally Pays for Summer Programs for Children with Disabilities, But Access Hurdles Remain  

The state cut funding for social and recreational services for children with disabilities 13 years ago, which meant regional centers could no longer pay for summer camps, swimming lessons and other recreational programs for children with disabilities.

Now the centers have to figure out how to reinstate them, which has led to glitches for families trying to access these services.

Opinion: How Texting Could Help Californians Access Health Care and Food Banks

The unequal impacts of COVID-19 and the ongoing crisis of police violence in communities of color have exacerbated mistrust and disconnection between these communities and the health care system. This makes achieving patient-centered care a challenge.

Studies show that brief messages and two-way communication via text builds people’s trust and engagement in health care and educational settings.

California Has a Unique Problem With Hospice Fraud. Can Legislation Stop it?

Hospice care provides physical, mental and spiritual care and comfort for a person with a life expectancy of six months or less.

But fraudulent enrollment in hospice can be life-threatening. Because hospice is for people expected to die, beneficiaries lose access to curative treatment, including medicines, medical equipment and their regular doctors.

Opinion: The Central Valley Lacks Public Parks, But We Can Do Better

Trust for Public Land annually ranks park systems across the 100 most populated cities in the United States. Those in California’s Central Valley often rank near the bottom: Fresno ranks 97th. Bakersfield is 85th. Stockton ranks 77th.

Stockton and other Central Valley cities can improve their ranking with the help of California’s budget surplus. When we build parks in neighborhoods that don’t have any, we change the lives and futures of generations to come.

Analysis: The Formula Shortage Is Also A Disability Rights Issue

The baby formula shortage wreaking havoc across the United States is terrifying for any parent who relies on infant formula to feed their child. It’s especially calamitous for babies and children with special health care needs who rely on special prescription formulas that have also been impacted by the supply shortage.

The shortage highlights an ongoing, systemic failure to ensure vulnerable children have secure access to medically necessary, life supporting products and equipment.

How to Have Trauma-Informed Conversations with Survivors of Domestic Violence

Being trauma-informed means understanding how trauma has impacted a person’s life, including their behavior and cognition.

Engaging in this type of dialogue can help survivors recognize when trauma is occurring and spare them from further harm. This involves providing a nonjudgmental, listening ear without jumping to problem-solving mode, and being careful not to insinuate that a survivor is to blame for the abuse.

Opinion: How to Ensure Medical Members Can Access Their Mental Health Benefits

Medi-Cal members might have mental health coverage in theory, but using it is a different story. People of color are less likely than white people to use mental health benefits, partially due to systemic inequities in the system. The same is true of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) youth.

Our communities care greatly about their mental health and the mental health of their loved ones, yet California’s promises to provide care fall short.

Trying to Help Survivors, a Domestic Violence Agency Turns the Focus

A program run by Monarch Services, a domestic violence intervention and prevention agency in Santa Cruz County, aims to help people responsible for domestic violence change their behavior patterns.

Called Positive Solutions, it encourages participants to tune into their emotions, practice nonviolent communication skills and identify negative childhood experiences that may have led them to express emotions in a violent way.

Opinion: An Urgent Call to Address the Housing Crisis in Black Communities

We are calling on the region’s leaders and residents to support a historic $500 million Bay Area Regional Black Housing Fund.

Black communities face multiple systemic barriers that lead to massive displacement in the Bay Area. Black people have been disadvantaged in the state’s housing market for decades because of discrimination, including redlining, unequal access to wealth and good jobs, and other systemic problems.

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