Who We Are

The California Health Report partners with communities across the state to create solutions journalism that strives for social justice. 

Our mission is to report from communities that are disproportionately affected by inequality. We partner with communities of color, immigrants, low-income Californians, domestic violence survivors, people with disabilities and many others to listen to their lived experiences and help them share ideas for making our world more equitable.

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.

Our reporters have firsthand experience with the issues they report on and greatly value allowing their sources to share their stories. We believe in collaborating with our sources in a respectful and trauma-informed way.

We report on health equity 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.

The California Health Report was founded in 2009 and has been on the forefront of covering health and inequality ever since. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement brought attention to the fact that some people face much greater health inequalities than others, we have been shining a light on these issues.

We’re non-partisan, grant-funded and editorially independent.

We’ve received numerous awards, including a nationwide award 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’ve also been honored for our reporting on alternatives to police for domestic violence survivors, racial equity and children with disabilities.

Our stories are cross-published, translated into Spanish, published by ethnic media and picked up by public radio, reaching a state- and nationwide audience. Our newsletters and stories are read by policymakers in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, as well as community members and advocates who are working to create change on the ground. We have collaborated with ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity and High Country News on investigative projects. We’re a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and LION Publishers. Our fiscal sponsor is the Tides Center.

We’re excited to be here, exploring solutions and sharing stories together. 


  • We’re non-partisan, grant-funded and editorially independent. 
  • We’re a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and LION Publishers.
  • We adhere to stringent journalism ethics and believe in collaborating with our sources in a respectful and trauma-informed way.

Our Team

Hannah Hough, Editor and Executive Director

Hannah focuses on social justice and solutions journalism. A native Californian, she is particularly interested in stories that help make the state more equitable for all who call California home – including children and people of color.

Her lived experience led her to write an investigative story that 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 a cover story about how fracking disproportionately impacts low-income Californians of color. Fellowships through the Maynard Institute and USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism 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. 

Under her leadership, the California Health Report has won a number of awards, including First Place for General Excellence from the California News Publishers Association.

Claudia Boyd-Barrett, Senior Reporter

Claudia is a long-time journalist based in Southern California. Her investigative stories on domestic violence and access to mental health care have resulted in legislative and policy changes, on both the state and county level. Her stories have won dozens of awards and appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. She is a two-time USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism fellow and a former Inter American Press Association fellow. She is fluent in Spanish. 

As a single parent who has experienced financial insecurity, Claudia understands the challenges facing low-income families in California and the role of public health care and other safety-net programs. She is passionate about using journalism to elevate the voices and perspectives of people and communities disproportionately impacted by inequality.

Martin do Nascimento, Contributing Photographer

Martin is a Brazilian-American documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Oakland. His work has taken him around the world and been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, ProPublica, Forbes, Frontline, AJ+, Cosmopolitan Magazine, News Photographer Magazine, National Public Radio, Seeker, NBC News, Telemundo, Univisión, The Dallas Morning News, The Texas Tribune and elsewhere.

A trilingual Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Martin holds master’s degrees in Journalism and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Latin American Studies from American University.

Renée Fabian, Contributing Writer

Renée has covered health and mental health topics for publications such as Washington Post, The Mighty, Talkspace, The Fix and GRAMMY.com. She earned a 2020 USC Center for Health Journalism California fellowship to investigate how mental health parity leaves psychotherapists behind. Renée holds a master’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. 

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 Editor and 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.

Jennifer McLelland, Columnist

Jennifer McLelland writes regular columns for the California Health Report about issues affecting children with special health care needs. She has a bachelor’s degree in public policy and management from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in criminology from California State University, Fresno. She worked for the Fresno Police Department in patrol for eight years. She is currently a stay-at-home mother and paid caregiver for her medically fragile son through California’s In Home Supportive Services program.  She is active in advocating for disability rights and home- and community-based services.

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 writes 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’s written about how redlining and other forms of racism have impacted his family. His columns won a First Place Award from the California Association of News Publishers in 2021.

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 resides in Oakland.

Advisory Board

Sherri Brady is the Southern California Family Empowerment Representative for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation, and a parent volunteer for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Rett Syndrome Clinic. She has a 24-year-old daughter, Lauren, who is diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder. Brady is passionate about raising awareness and funds to support families of children with Rett syndrome and other developmental disabilities. She has served on several boards and committees including the Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center Board and Family Advisory Committee and Area Board X on Developmental Disabilities.  She and her daughter have made several trips to Sacramento to meet with legislators and advocate for children with disabilities. They live in Whittier.

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.

Our donors

Current and former donors include the Blue Shield of California FoundationLucile Packard Foundation for Children’s HealthThe California EndowmentThe California Wellness FoundationCalifornia Senior Medicare Patrol, Sierra Health Foundation and The SCAN Foundation. California Health Report is sponsored by Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your gift may be tax deductible pursuant to §170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please visit www.tides.org/state-nonprofit-disclosures/ for additional information.

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