A new pilot project in Los Angeles County aims to reduce the burden of childhood asthma in low-income communities and on the public health system by putting “smart” inhalers in the hands of kids.
Eleven-year-old Jaime was diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. He’s a U.S. citizen but his mother is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. “His mother told me that when they get home after his chemo, Jaime closes all of the curtains and locks the doors,” explained Jacqueline Casillas, my colleague and director of Pediatric Oncology at Miller’s Children’s Hospital in Long Beach. He’s afraid that his mother will be deported because she takes him to the doctor.
Children and new moms stand to gain improved access to mental health services under two bills recently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.
As California increasingly considers how past trauma impacts violence, a new community center in South Los Angeles is focused on healing. Rather than seeing violent crime as a problem exclusively for law enforcement, the Community Healing and Trauma Prevention Center seeks to understand and tackle the root causes of violence and its traumatic effects.
A first of its kind survey of California mothers about their birth concerns and outcomes offers two findings: Health providers often don’t listen to mothers about their birth preferences and African American women are the least likely to be listened to.
Disregarding input from pregnant women increases the risk of death and complications for the mothers and their babies.
A pilot program in Los Angeles County to boost the number of kids receiving vision care through the Medi-Cal program appears to have succeeded, even as utilization of such services has seen a sharp decline in recent years.
Environmental and community activists say the state is moving too slowly and not doing enough to protect children, pregnant women and farmworkers exposed to a pesticide called chlorpyrifos, a product commonly used on strawberries that is linked to developmental disabilities. They’re calling for an immediate, outright ban of the pesticide.
It is unfathomable that the Health Care department would single out this one group of economically challenged children to undergo this experimental program. Meanwhile, children who are financially better off do not have to go through this change. The result is that the transition is creating unequal access to health care for low-income, medically fragile children.
Statistics show kids and teens in Orange County use specialty mental health services at a lower rate than children in most other counties in the state. Fewer than 2 percent of Medi-Cal-enrolled youth under age 21 in Orange County consistently received a specialty mental health service in fiscal year 2015 to 2016.
At the other end of the spectrum are counties like San Francisco, where almost 5 percent of San Francisco’s Medi-Cal enrolled kids came into regular contact with the SMHS system in that time. While the percentage differences appear small, they represent potentially tens of thousands of kids in lower-performing counties who are missing out on mental health care.
Parents often don’t take talk of suicide by young children seriously because they think kids don’t understand the concept. But they do.