Author: Kellie Schmitt

California’s Lowest-Income Seniors Desperate for Affordable Housing

The combination of soaring rents and aging baby boomers has created an insatiable demand for affordable housing in California. Thousands of people apply just to get on a wait list. As a result, some low-income seniors die still hoping for a place of their own. In the meantime, they cram into shared spaces, live with family, sleep on couches or even end up homeless.

The Vaccination Tipping Point

Doctors told Stockton mom Meghan Brenner that the benefits of vaccination far outweighed the risks of side effects. Still, she couldn’t shake the nagging fear that her child, now 2, could be sickened by the shots. The former teacher, now a stay-at-home mom, knew a study linking vaccines with autism had been debunked. And, in theory, she liked the idea of herd immunity and the protection it confers on everyone.

Reading Your Doctor’s Notes

Patients across California now have easier access to their medication lists, lab results, upcoming appointments and messaging through secure online systems. But one key aspect of the medical record is not typically available online: the candid notes a physician writes about you during and after an appointment.

Online Access to Doctors Encourages Patients to Seek Care

Bay Area resident Mark Bloomquist, 33, hadn’t had a relationship with a primary care physician in more than a decade. Waiting on hold to make appointments and juggling callbacks for physician advice or lab results seemed like too much hassle. When Bloomquist needed medical care – which he often did as an avid lacrosse player – he went to urgent care.

City planner makes listening his cornerstone

On a recent afternoon, Keith Woodcocks, Delano’s community development director, drove through the dusty Central Valley streets, passing Mexican restaurants and bungalows draped with pink roses. He pulled over to point out freshly-widened sidewalks and colorful new playgrounds. When he neared the empty field where a Wal-Mart will be built, he paused to explain local sentiments. Even though constructing the big box retailer was controversial, many residents wanted somewhere to buy plentiful, low-cost goods.

Kern County lays groundwork for coming healthcare reform

Kern County’s now offers insurance to some adults as part of the state’s “bridge to reform” health program. During the first phase, Kern and nine other California counties received federal funding to expand their health coverage for low-income, uninsured residents. That pilot program is now being expanding statewide in an effort to prepare California for the sweeping reforms set to begin in 2014 under federal healthcare reform.

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