Millions of Californians depend on a polluted water supply, but in the vast majority of places, the contamination is removed, and clean fresh water flows into homes, schools and businesses. Not so for as many as 160,000 people who regularly get doses of arsenic, nitrates, industrial solvents or bacterial contamination as they drink, cook and bathe. In some parts of the state, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, water supplies are drying up altogether, because of the state’s drought.
Author: Robin Urevich
Drug treatment professionals have long preached abstinence from all drugs—including medication aimed at managing addiction. But those who oppose medication-assisted treatment must face an inconvenient truth, say addiction medicine specialists like Richard Rawson, a psychologist who recently retired as co-director of the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Program: Scientific studies show medication saves lives.
The burgeoning electronic cigarette industry is on the defensive in California this year as the debate over the devices moves to the November ballot. If approved by the voters, Prop 56 would levy hefty taxes on so-called vaping devices and add $2 per pack to the price of traditional tobacco burning cigarettes.
The biggest merger in the history of the health insurance industry is on shaky ground. In June, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to block the $54 billion Anthem-Cigna merger, as well as a similar bid by Aetna to acquire Humana.
Three-quarters of people with mental illnesses like major depression, anxiety or psychotic disorders experience their first symptoms before age 24. Half of them become mentally ill by age 14. But these diseases often go undiagnosed and untreated until later in life, sometimes after they have wreaked havoc on school, work or relationships. Noting these grim statistics, two years ago the Obama administration called on schools across the country to heighten their awareness of children’s mental health issues.
Climate change is global, but local governments are both the biggest source of the world’s carbon emissions and the first line of defense against its effects. The United Nations Environment Program reports that 75 percent of the world’s carbon emissions come from urban areas. Now, more and more cities and counties are looking for ways to shrink their carbon footprints.
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.
A group of middle and high school students in Compton have filed a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit saying violence at home and in their neighborhoods has impaired their ability to learn at school. The students, along with three teachers who are also plaintiffs, allege the Compton Unified School District has failed to recognize and address their trauma-induced disabilities, and therefore has denied their legal right to an equal education.
Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services is betting it can save money while radically improving the health of some of its sickest and most challenging patients. Last March, county health officials began targeting individuals in South and East Los Angeles who rely on emergency departments or hospitalizations for care and who struggle with more than one chronic disease.
Many Los Angeles County doctors who treat the poor in California’s Medi-Cal managed care program have earned poor grades on safety, cleanliness and other measures the state uses to monitor health care delivery for some of the state’s most vulnerable patients.