The California Health Report covers health throughout the state, with an emphasis on communities striving for social justice.
Our mission is to report from communities that are disproportionately affected by inequality.
Now, more than ever, we believe in the power of solutions journalism. Stories that explore, not just what’s wrong in the world — when so much, so clearly, is — but what can be done to fix it.
We report on social and environmental justice issues and how they impact the state’s most vulnerable people. Our work has spurred legislative action, and changed conversations — in Sacramento, at community meetings and around dinner tables.
We’re non-partisan, grant-funded and editorially independent. We were founded in 2009, just before the Affordable Care Act reforms began rolling out. We’ve been covering the effects of reform, as well as health in the state more generally, ever since.
In 2020, we received a nationwide award from LION Publishers for our investigative story about how California counties are leaving millions of federal dollars for mental health programs on the table, contributing to discrepancies in mental health funding across the state. We were a finalist for three other awards for our coverage of low-wage workers during the pandemic, housing solutions for domestic violence survivors, and Californians who are are immigrants, foster youth and children with disabilities.
We are a trusted source of information on health in California. Our reporting is frequently reprinted in national, statewide and local outlets. In 2020 we are collaborating with ProPublica and the Center for Public Integrity on investigative projects. We are a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and LION Publishers.
We’re excited to be here, exploring solutions and sharing stories together.
Hannah Guzik, Editor and Executive Director
Hannah is an experienced editor who focuses on social justice and solutions journalism. A native Californian, she is particularly interested in stories that give a voice to historically and currently disenfranchised residents.
An investigative story she wrote in 2014 revealed that doctor directories given to people in California’s low-income health program were highly inaccurate. It spurred a state audit and legislation. With an investigative reporting grant, she wrote an In These Times cover story about how fracking disproportionately impacts low-income Californians. Fellowships through the Maynard Institute and USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism have allowed her to write about health challenges faced by indigenous farmworkers. Via the Associated Press, her articles have been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee and other newspapers nationwide. She previously worked as a reporter at newspapers across the West Coast. In 2011, she won five Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association awards, including one she shared with a colleague for Best Enterprise Reporting for a series on a catastrophic wildfire.
Claudia Boyd-Barrett, Senior Reporter
Claudia is a long-time journalist based in southern California. She is fluent in Spanish and writes regularly for the California Health Report. Her investigative stories on access to mental health care have resulted in legislative and policy changes, on both the state and county level.
Claudia also writes for the USC Center for Health Reporting and BabyCenter on topics related to health care, social justice and maternal and child wellbeing. Her stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Diego Union Tribune and the Ventura County Star, among others. She is a two-time USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism fellow and a former Inter American Press Association fellow.
Arlene Martinez, Contributing Writer
Arlene is a Ventura writer whose award-winning work has appeared in USA Today, Ventura County Star, The (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call, Los Angeles Times and Hispanic Link News Service. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara, and is currently pursuing an executive Master’s in Business Administration at California Lutheran University. Se habla español.
Nadra Nittle, Contributing Writer
Nadra is a Los Angeles-based journalist and a regular contributor to the California Health Report. Her writing has been featured in NBC News, Vox, The Guardian, Business Insider, and other publications.
Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil, Contributing Writer
Caitlin is a freelance reporter based in Oakland and a regular contributor to the California Health Report. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, NBC News, the Orange County Register, U.S. News & World Report and other publications. She was a National Health Journalism Fellow for the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and has won awards from the Los Angeles Press Club and the Orange County Press Club. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Harvard University, and is a former U.S. Fulbright scholar to Sri Lanka.
Ilan Shapiro, Columnist
Dr. Ilan Shapiro writes the Doctor’s Notes column for the California Health Report. He is a pediatrician and the medical director of health education and wellness at AltaMed Health Services, the nation’s largest federally qualified community health center. A fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, he practices medicine in East Los Angeles.
Denzel Tongue, Columnist
Denzel Tongue writes a column for the California Health Report about the intersection of racial justice, public policy and health equity. He is a master of public policy candidate at The Goldman School of Public Policy and a California Initiative for Health Equity Fellow. An Oakland native, he was previously the health campaign coordinator for the California Immigrant Policy Center, a health equity fellow at Greenlining Institute and an urban leaders fellow with the offices of Mayor Libby Schaaf and Assemblyman Rob Bonta. He currently resides in Oakland, California.
Heather Tirado Gilligan is a Bay Area journalist covering health, American history, parenting and other subjects. Her bylines have appeared in CNN, The Washington Post, Slate, The Nation and elsewhere. Previously, Heather was editor and executive director of the California Health Report. She lives in Oakland with her wife and daughter.
Gaye Theresa Johnson is an associate professor of African American Studies at UCLA. She writes and teaches on race and racism, cultural history, spatial politics and political economy. Her first book, Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement in Los Angeles is a history of civil rights and spatial struggles among Black and Brown freedom seekers and cultural workers in L.A.
Her current work includes an edited volume on The Futures of Black Radicalism, co-edited with Alex Lubin, and a single-authored book currently titled These Walls Will Fall: Protest at the Intersection of Immigrant Detention and Mass Incarceration.
She has been a visiting researcher at Stanford University’s Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, as well as at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is active with the Los Angeles Community Action Network’s struggle for housing and civil rights on L.A.’s skid row and is the 2013 recipient of the Freedom Now! Award for her efforts. She is a member of the board of directors for the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) and an advisory board member for the Rosenberg Fund for Children.
Gretchen Macchiarella is an assistant professor of Digital Media and Emerging Journalistic Practices at California State University, Northridge, where she worked previously as the advisor for the student newspaper. Her research interests center on media innovation in business and multimedia storytelling.
Prior to joining CSUN, she spent a decade at the Ventura County Star, finishing as the managing editor for digital. Macchiarella also worked as a business reporter for several years around California. She earned a master’s degree in Digital Journalism and Design from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.
ChrisAnna Mink is a pediatrician and voluntary clinical professor of pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. In 2019, she became the health reporter for The Modesto Bee, as a corps member with Report for America. She covers children’s health in Stanislaus County and the Central Valley. She is the former Doctor’s Notes columnist for the California Health Report.
Germaine Omish-Lucero has worked as an advocate for Native victims of violence for more than 20 years. She is the original Executive Director of the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, founded in 2005, to assist tribes in creating tribal resolutions to identify, mediate and reduce crimes covered under the Violence Against Women Act. She serves as a board member for the Coalition, representing her reservation. She is the Special Projects Director for the Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence and has served on the National Task Force for Re-Authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. In 2014, she founded Kiicha House, the first Native women’s shelter in Southern California. She is a tribal citizen of the Rincon, Band of Luiseno Indians in San Diego County.
Cristina Rose Smith is a mother and professor of Women’s Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills. She is co-founder of Las Doctoras Podcast, which discusses reproductive justice, social justice, motherhood, sexuality, race and gender. She is the co-author of the forthcoming book “Semillas de las Abuelas” (“Seeds of our Grandmothers”).
As an artist, dancer and homesteader, she is rooted in Earth-based, indigenous ways of being. She embraces the term muxer, a shift from the patriarchal and binary definitions of mujer, which means woman in Spanish. She is the granddaughter of Priscilla of New Mexico and Concepcion of Cebu in the Philippines. She was born in Los Angeles and has a PhD in Women’s Philosophy from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
David Tuller is a senior fellow in public health and journalism at UC Berkeley’s Center for Global Public Health, which is part of the university’s School of Public Health. He received a masters degree in public health in 2006 and a doctor of public health degree in 2013, both from Berkeley. He was a reporter and editor for 10 years at The San Francisco Chronicle and served as health editor at Salon.com. He has written regularly about public health and medical issues for The New York Times, the policy journal Health Affairs, and many other publications.
Since 2015, he has been investigating scientific, methodological and ethical problems with research on the illness, or cluster of illnesses, variously known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, ME/CFS or CFS/ME. His ongoing series on this issue, Trial By Error, can be found on Virology Blog, the science site hosted by Vincent Racaniello, a microbiology professor at Columbia University.
Daniel Weintraub is chief of staff to California state Sen. Steve Glazer. Weintraub is the founder and former editor of the California Health Report and was the Public Affairs Columnist for the Sacramento Bee from 2000 through 2009. Before that he was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register.
Weintraub graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He is a native Californian who was born and raised in San Diego.
Statement of Editorial Independence
We are a grant funded organization, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. We retain full authority over our editorial content. We accept no advertising and our content is available to other news organizations free of charge.
Current and former donors include the Blue Shield of California Foundation, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, California Senior Medicare Patrol, Sierra Health Foundation and The SCAN Foundation. California Health Report is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News. We are a fiscally-sponsored project of Tides Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and the nation’s largest fiscal sponsor. See the most recent Tides Center form 990 here.