Author: Heather Gilligan

PrEP Awareness Programs Aim to Reduce Disparities in New HIV Infections

By Linda Childers Although one of the most powerful biomedical drugs in the fight against HIV/AIDS has been available for the past four years, California health officials say the disease continues to disproportionately affect populations including Black and Latino gay and bisexual men, black women and transgender women. Truvada, a prescription drug used for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the practice of using antiviral medication to prevent

What’s in Your Shopping Cart?

Turning Around Orange County’s Persistent Disparities By Amy DePaul Having just bought a dozen or so quart-bottles of sports drinks – a riot of reds, yellows and blues wedged in the front of his shopping cart — Luis Gregorio Ruiz almost made it out of an Anaheim grocery store on a recent morning. But not quite. Maureen Villasenor, a physician in a white coat with

Higher Vitamin D Levels Linked to Better Breast Cancer Outcomes

By Hannah Guzik  Vitamin D may help women fight breast cancer, new research suggests. Women who had higher vitamin D levels when they were diagnosed with breast cancer fared significantly better than those with lower levels, according to the study, published online Nov. 10 in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Oncology. The researchers, from Kaiser Permanente and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, believe the vitamin may

More Than Half of Californians With Developmental Disabilities Are Excluded From State Services

By Hannah Guzik  More than half of Californians with developmental disabilities are excluded from state programs that provide extra services, such as mobility training, day care and vehicle modifications, a new report has found. There were about 703,800 residents with a developmental disability in 2015, but about 423,800 didn’t qualify for the state’s developmental disability programs, according to the November report, from the UCLA Center

Children of Color Face Educational Disparities in California, Report Shows

By Hannah Guzik Latino and African American children in California are about twice as a likely to be struggling with reading in third grade than their white counterparts. And by the time these children of color reach high school, they are less likely to graduate on time. These are just a few of the educational disparities pointed out in a report released Tuesday. The data,

Infections, Not Antibiotics, May Cause Childhood Obesity, Study Says

  By Hannah Guzik  Infections during infancy — not antibiotic use — may lead to childhood obesity, a new study reports. The study, published Nov. 1 in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, examined more than 260,000 infants over 16 years. Children diagnosed with an infection during their first year of life who did not take antibiotics were about a quarter more likely

Nearly 97% of California Children Have Insurance

By Hannah Guzik  The vast majority of children in California now have health insurance, a result of state reforms that have expanded coverage, according to a new report. Nearly 97 percent of children statewide were insured in 2015, the report from the Georgetown University Center Health Policy Institute found. That’s up 55 percent from the number who were insured in 2013, according to the report

Statistics Show Many Parents Experienced Childhood Trauma

By Hannah Guzik  One in five California adults with children living in their homes said they were physically abused as a child, and one in 10 were sexually abused, according to data released this week. The research, from Kidsdata through a partnership with the California Department of Public Health, shows that adults who are raising children commonly experienced childhood trauma when they were young. Previous research has

Fewer California Doctors Accept Medi-Cal, Despite Surge in Number of Patients

By Hannah Guzik  Although enrollment in California’s low-income health plan has surged in the last three years, fewer physicians are accepting these Medi-Cal patients, according to a new report. That means 40 percent of doctors provide 80 percent of Medi-Cal visits statewide. The report, released this month by the California Health Care Foundation, found that the percentage of California physicians with any Medi-Cal patients decreased

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Granting Paid Parental Leave to School Employees

  By Hannah Guzik Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill late last month that will give paid parental leave to all California school employees for up to 12 weeks, including those who work in classified departments and community colleges. The workers will have the option to use any accrued sick leave during that time, and then will receive at least half of their regular pay

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