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Healthy Sundays in Orange County

March 28, 2016
Healthy Sundays in Orange County

Photo by Jeff Antenore

By Fran Kritz

On the second Sunday of each month, the Orange County Great Park in Irvine looks like a county fair. Balloons and banners; families with kids in strollers; mobile trucks holding eye catching displays with greeters inviting families in.

But instead of deep fried cookies and moon bounce rides, families can dip into healthy snacks, discuss parenting concerns with doctors and nurses, get a flu shot, sign up for health insurance and other benefits, have their teeth checked and take home free fruits and vegetables.

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The Death Cafe: Step Right In

March 28, 2016
The Death Cafe: Step Right In

By Matt Perry

Step inside. Grab something warm to drink. Have some cake.

Today, we talk about death.

There is perhaps no topic in American culture more taboo. We avoid it. We fear it. And it may even underlie one of our last remaining prejudices: ageism.

The international Death Cafe movement parallels similar cultural shifts to explore a topic many consider integral to life itself: without embracing death, they say, how can we truly live?

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Housing a Crucial, Missing Link for Women Escaping Domestic Violence

March 28, 2016
Housing a Crucial, Missing Link for Women Escaping Domestic Violence By Lily Dayton When Los Angeles County resident Cynthia Smith mustered the courage to leave her abusive husband, she had nowhere to go but her car. She lived out of her vehicle until she began to accrue parking tickets she couldn’t pay for—and then her car was towed. Suddenly, the former middle-class housewife found herself alone on the streets. Her only option was a homeless drop-in center on Skid Row.

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Building A Healthy Future for California’s Children of Color

March 27, 2016

By Mayra E. Alvarez

As the nation observes National Minority Health Month, April will be a good time to reflect on the progress we have made addressing disparities in health. It’s also time to recommit to furthering our efforts to achieve health equity, especially for our children.

In California, almost 3 in 4 children are from communities of color.

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Checking In, Not Checking Out

March 25, 2016

by Matt Perry

It was a chance encounter in my Santa Cruz neighborhood. Just down the street, I’d walked by her home many times, noticing her typing away furiously near her front window. When I later saw her laptop, unattended, just inside the glass, I was concerned that a thief might make it disappear.

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Program Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Duals Demonstration Project

March 24, 2016

by Matt Perry

The enrollment process was disastrous. Yet once in, patient satisfaction levels hit 80%.

That’s a quick summary of a new review of California’s efforts to steer its most expensive patients into managed care.

At the behest of the federal government, in 2014 California launched a money-saving initiative to move its so-called “dual eligibles” – typically poor, older and chronically sick patients who qualify for services under both Medi-Cal and Medicare – into managed health programs in an effort to coordinate wildly fragmented services.

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Healthy Home Cooking: Makeovers and a Cookbook for Ethnic Recipes

March 22, 2016
Healthy Home Cooking: Makeovers and a Cookbook for Ethnic Recipes

By Fran Kritz

As always, Nadia Atef, an immigrant from Morocco now living in San Diego with her husband and two young daughters, made special foods for the holidays this year. But while she usually prepares holiday dishes from her country, this year she added a new one, spinach soup, an Egyptian delicacy.

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Crowding on Skid Row Creates a Breeding Ground for Illnesses

March 21, 2016
Crowding on Skid Row Creates a Breeding Ground for Illnesses By Robin Urevich The squalor of LA’s skid row and the dangers it poses to human health took center stage briefly last fall when the director of one of the city’s largest homeless shelters contracted a flesh eating infection caused by e coli staph and strep that now threaten the amputation of his leg below the knee.

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As More California Counties Implement Laura’s Law, Advocates Push Back

March 15, 2016
As More California Counties Implement Laura’s Law, Advocates Push Back

Today, Alameda, El Dorado, Kern, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Nevada, Orange, Placer, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo and Yolo have Laura’s Law programs in place. Photo: File/Thinkstock

By Linda Childers

Fifteen years ago, Laura Wilcox, a 19-year-old college student, was killed by a man with a history of mental illness while she was working at a mental health clinic in Nevada County.

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From Feminism to Ageism: Ashton Applewhite Takes on The Last Prejudice

March 14, 2016
From Feminism to Ageism: Ashton Applewhite Takes on The Last Prejudice

 

By Matt Perry

When Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in 1963, the words “sexism” and “feminism” were nary a blip on the cultural radar. The book launched a modern revolution that is still in progress.

Today, in her blistering attack on ageism intended to foment a similar uprising, Ashton Applewhite paints an American culture awash in plastic surgery, fear and denial about the aging process.

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