Month: October 2010

Fulfilling the Promise of the Medi-Cal Expansion

Federal health reform will add as many as two million more people to California’s seven million person Medi-Cal program. What will it take to guarantee this expansion exists not only on paper but results in meaningful access to quality healthcare for new enrollees? The first thing to understand is that this may require a substantial commitment of state resources.

Affordable housing and one community’s future

For more than a year, a debate has been brewing in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood around affordable housing. The debate centers on one intersection but represents a much larger issue: is there such a thing as too much affordable housing in one community?

Breast cancer screening program will reopen soon

Low-income women over age 40 will soon be able to receive mammograms again through the state-run Every Woman Counts cancer detection program. The Schwarzenegger Administration shut down enrollment in the program in January and limited screenings to those already enrolled to woman over age 50. But the Legislature, as part of the budget, restored funding for the program to return to its former status.

Wellness without Limits Is the Goal

“We’re walking to the Moon,” says Linda Reich, deputy director of community services for the City of Chino.
Reich is talking about the newest goal of the city’s Chino Walks program, the adult walking club that is the cornerstone of its Healthy Chino wellness initiative. Since its beginning in 2005, Reich has logged every step the club’s members have accrued in their quest for fitness. In Chino, where 68 percent of residents are obese and five of the city’s 10 leading causes of death are obesity-related, wellness is serious business. In public health surveys, Chino’s obesity rate is higher than both San Bernardino County at 65 percent and the State of California at 55 percent.

For doctors, sometimes less is more

Patients generally come to the doctor’s office expecting that their doctor will do stuff. And, doctors often feel a sense of satisfaction the more they can do for their patients. Psychologically, it makes sense: as doctors, we feel a sense of purpose by providing, measuring, injecting, prescribing, cutting, and ordering. We want to help set our patients down a healthier pathway, which often requires change in their current status; naturally, we respond to this call to duty to promote change by doing, doing, doing. But is all this doing really necessary?

Boyle Heights gets grant to explore ‘Children’s Zone’ program

The community of Boyle Heights has been selected for a federal grant that could lead to $1 million or more to improve education in the area by focusing intensely on children’s needs from the time they are born until they graduate from high school. The idea, tried most famously in New York City’s Harlem Children’s Zone, is to give kids all the support they need – inside and outside of school – to succeed academically.

A beach town moves to a wellness beat

Can a city redefine itself through health and wellness? Long Beach wants to try, and its residents are the reason. The city is the voice of the people, and the people want pedestrian-friendly streets, bicycle lanes, grocery stores and cooking seminars. Wellness doesn’t come cheap, but Long Beach is hoping its ambitious portfolio of grants and innovative programs will attract new funders eager to participate in this urban laboratory that recently hired its own Bike Ambassador, Olympic cyclist Tony Cruz.

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