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Growing Up is Hard, Especially for People with Disabilities

For young adults with serious disabilities, the transition to adulthood is filled with challenges. In interviews with the California Health Report, young people and their families described the difficulties and triumphs they’ve experienced during this phase of life.

Overall, young adults with disabilities, their parents and advocates said too many families don’t know what to expect, or how to get the services they need. Health officials, regional centers, and school districts need to foster more awareness about what it’s like for these youth to transition to adulthood, they said.

Volunteer Pilots Connect Remote Areas to Advanced Medical Treatment

An estimated 3.6 million Americans are unable to receive medical care each year due to transportation challenges. A nonprofit organization of volunteer pilots called Angel Flight West is working to connect California residents in remote areas with needed care.

Air Care Alliance estimates that 25,000 public benefit flights, such as those operated by Angel Flight West, take place every year in the United States.

A street in the Kern County community of El Adobe, California.

‘I’m Scared of Getting Sick From the Water’

Like more than 300 communities across California, the tiny town of El Adobe in Kern County lacks safe drinking water. Since 2008, the arsenic levels in one of its two wells have regularly exceeded the safety standards set by federal and state authorities, often by more than double.

A 2013 report recommended the community consolidate with the larger water system in nearby Lamont. Residents are still waiting for that to happen. Some are losing hope.

Safely mailing an application for ballot for 2020 election at a drive-up mailbox at the US Post Office

Having Trouble Voting in California? Let Us Know

At the California Health Report, we want to make sure any voting problems in our state are investigated and made public. To do that, we’re partnering with the nonprofit, investigative news service ProPublica and newsrooms across the country to collect tips from readers about challenges they’ve experienced during the voting process.

The project, Electionland, includes a tip line that eligible voters can use to report issues that come up when casting absentee ballots or voting at the polls.

Californians Want Better Mental Health Care. Can the State Deliver?

California’s top health priority should be making sure that people who need mental health treatment can get it, over 90 percent of respondents said in a recent poll.

People of color often feel the lack of access more acutely, researchers found, with 75 percent of black and 57 percent of Latino respondents noting that their communities don’t have enough mental health providers, compared to 49 percent of white participants.

California Agencies Failing to Regulate Mental Health Care Funding and Promptly Investigate Abuse in Nursing Homes, Auditor Finds

The California State Auditor condemned three government agencies in a recent report for failing to fix problems with health care programs that serve some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

The Department of Health Care Services has been slow to improve oversight of how counties manage and spend money for mental health care, the auditor said.

Power Blackouts Spark Medical, Financial Emergencies for California’s Most Vulnerable

A state auditor’s report released this week found that California is unprepared to protect its most vulnerable residents during natural disasters, including those who have disabilities or are medically fragile. That’s despite the fact that a quarter of the state’s population lives in an area at risk of wildfire, and 20 percent of Californians are either over the age of 65 or have a disability.

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