health

Environment
12:25 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Infill Is Key To Fresno's New General Plan, But It's Also Controversial

Credit Heather Heinks / City of Fresno General Plan Update

The Fresno City Council is scheduled to hear public comments on the city’s new 2035 general plan in meeting at the Convention Center this evening. The move is the last step before a vote next week on the document that will chart the city’s growth for decades to come.

City planning director Jennifer Clark says the new General Plan attempts to answer a question that has perplexed city leaders for decades:

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Health
4:46 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Valley Children's Returning To Old Name, Creating Health Network

Children's Hospital Central California is switching its name back to Valley Children's Hospital, and creating a new network of pediatric care.
Credit Valley Children's Hospital

Children's Hospital Central California announced three big changes they say will improve quality of care for children in the Central Valley.

First, Children's Hospital Central California is returning to its old name Valley Children's Hospital, which it hasn't officially used since 2002.

Second, the hospital revealed its own new health network that will provide a full spectrum of pediatric services for kids in the region.

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Health
12:52 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Obamacare Discussion on Valley Edition: One Year After The Rollout

Credit http://www.coveredca.com/

January 1st will mark the first anniversary of the expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

At the heart of the landmark health law is the idea that by reducing the number of uninsured, Americans will get healthier thanks to regular checkups. Planners have hoped that would result in fewer chronic conditions that drive up health care costs for everyone. 

It may be a simple idea, but implementing the incredibly complex law was anything but easy, and so far it’s been filled with plenty of highs and lows.

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Health Care
7:45 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Health In An Age Of Change: State Health Czar Diana Dooley Reflects On The ACA's Impact

Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency
Credit CHHS Dept

Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, oversees 13 departments and supervises the state’s rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act, including Covered California, the state’s insurance marketplace, and the Medi-Cal program for the poor. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her in late 2010. A native of Hanford, she earlier served as president and CEO of the California Children’s Hospital Assn. She worked for Brown during his first administration.

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Health Care
7:33 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Health Reform In California: A State Of Accelerating Change

Gail Fulbeck unloads her van full of soda, water and snacks onto a dolly so she can re-stock some of the 23 vending machines she owns around downtown Sacramento. The 64-year-old saved a lot of money by switching to a Bronze health plan under Covered California.
Credit Lauren M. Whaley / CHCF Center for Health Reporting

Gail Fulbeck, 64, relies on her body for work. She hauls soda, energy drinks, snacks and water to the 23 vending machines she owns around downtown Sacramento.

The physical demands of her job, coupled with her husband’s history of migraines and bad knees, make health insurance essential.

Last year, Fulbeck and her husband paid a monthly insurance premium of $2,555.

Starting Jan. 1 of this year, the couple’s premium for a nearly identical plan totaled $165. It was, she said, almost unbelievable.

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Health Care
3:09 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Covered California Attempting To Calm Immigrants' Fears

Covered California is trying to reassure immigrant communities their information will not be turned over to immigration authorities if they sign up for health insurance.

Only documented immigrants are eligible for California’s health insurance exchange. But Executive Director Peter Lee says the fear of deportation still prevents some from using the service.   

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Health
5:31 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Fresno County Supervisors OK Juvenile Psychiatric Ward, Hold Firm On Pot

Credit Fresno County

It's still illegal to grow marijuana in Fresno County. The Board of Supervisors entertained the possibility of lifting the outright ban on cultivation during their meeting today but instead decided to retain the county's zero tolerance policy.

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Health
10:26 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Advocates Say More Immigrants Eligible For Medi-Cal

file photo
Credit Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

Immigrant advocates say more undocumented Californians could receive health care as a result of President Barack Obama’s recent executive action. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

California already allows some undocumented immigrants to enroll in Medi-Cal if they’ve qualified for deportation relief. Anthony Wright is Executive Director of the consumer advocacy group Health Access California. He says the president's executive action will expand the pool of Medi-Cal eligible immigrants.

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Health Care
11:39 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Covered California Gears Up For Open Enrollment

Covered California is trying to raise awareness about the start of open enrollment this Saturday, November 15th. As Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone tells us from Sacramento, the experience this year may be different for people buying their own insurance.

Covered California says its website this year will be able to accommodate more people who might be logging in at the same time. And Director Peter Lee says it will have 200 storefront locations and expanded service center hours.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Seven Months After Gas Leak Arvin Residents Still Can't Return Home

Yesenia Lara stands outside her home on Nelson Court, one of the eight homes evacuated back in March because of a gas leak.
Diana Aguilera Valley Public Radio

Earlier this year eight Kern County families were forced out of their homes because of a gas leak. Now, seven months later families are still asking questions about their health and when they can return to their neighborhood.

When Yesenia Lara bought her home three years ago she never imagined living there would eventually bring so much anger and sadness to her family.

"This is my house, esta es mi casa. Excuse the mess but I hardly come here."

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Election 2014
8:46 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Proposition 46 Has Physicians and Attorneys At Odds

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

As the November election approaches, one state proposition has drawn the most money from top contributors. Proposition 46 would raise the cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases. But as Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone tells us from Sacramento, the measure could change the way doctors practice.  

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Government & Politics
2:27 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

California Hospitals Preparing For Potential Ebola

A microscopic image of the Ebola virus.
Credit US Centers For Disease Control

There have not been any diagnosed cases of Ebola in California. But hospitals are preparing, just in case. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

Emergency rooms in California are now asking for travel histories from patients. The change follows the case of a man in Dallas who contracted the Ebola virus in Africa and then flew to the United States. 

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Election 2014
12:26 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Prop 45 Would Give Insurance Commissioner Final Say on Health Premiums

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A measure on the November ballot would give California’s elected insurance commissioner power to reject health insurance premium increases for people in individual and small group plans. But as Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento explains, that policy change would be more complicated than it seems.

When the Affordable Care Act set up a state-run health insurance marketplace, it created a framework through which more than a million people signed up for health care within months. But it also created a new state agency that insurance companies must answer to. 

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Health In the Central Valley
5:01 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Brown Signs Bill To Help Fresno County Continue Indigent Care

Credit Fresno County

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Sunday in an effort to help Fresno County continue to provide health care services for the indigent and undocumented population. The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Henry T. Perea, comes several weeks after the county voted to eliminate a health safety net for undocumented immigrants.

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Health
4:39 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

In East Porterville "They Were Drinking Water That Looked Yellow And Red"

Andrea Zousino has lived in East Porterville all her life. She says this is the first time that the private well that supplies water to her home went dry.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This story is part of a Valley Public Radio original series on how the health of rivers impact the health of communities produced as a project for The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship, a program of USC's Annenberg School of Journalism.

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Health
11:39 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Student At New Pharmacy School Plans To Give Back To The Central Valley

The Central Valley has struggled with a long list of health care issues for decades. Now with the opening of the Valley’s first and only pharmacy school in Clovis just weeks ago. Instructors and students hope to make a dent in the problem and attract more health care professionals to the region. FM 89’s Diana Aguilera explains how one young man plans to help by giving back to the community he calls home.

Meet 25-year-old Jose Vera. Ever since Vera was young there was one thing that always sparked his imagination.

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Health Care
10:31 am
Wed August 20, 2014

400,000 Medi-Cal Applicants Still Waiting for Coverage

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The state of California says about 400,000 applicants to the Medi-Cal program are still waiting for their coverage. Administrators say they’ve made a lot of progress on the backlog in recent weeks. But as Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone tells us from Sacramento, consumer advocates say the state could be doing more to get people coverage faster.  

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Environment
3:20 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Jumping In, River Camp Unites Firebaugh Kids With The Outdoors

On a 105 degree day, kids play in the San Joaquin River as part of River Camp.
Ezra David Romero Valley Public Radio

This story is part of a Valley Public Radio original series on how the health of rivers impact the health of communities produced as a project for The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship, a program of USC's Annenberg School of Journalism.

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Health Care
11:21 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Fresno Among Worst California Counties For Whooping Cough Rates

Credit Fresno County

Some California counties are showing substantially higher rates of whooping cough than the state average. And as Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento was told, the epidemic this year could be one of the worst in fifty years.

Marin, Humboldt, Sonoma and Fresno counties have some of the highest rates of pertussis. Whooping cough surges every three to five years, but Dr. Dean Blumberg of the UC Davis Health System says this year is terrible.

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Health
10:35 am
Fri July 11, 2014

11,000 Stuck In Fresno County's Medi-Cal Backlog

Irving Toscano became newly eligible for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act.

California’s poor continue to face month long waits in getting state health coverage. FM 89’s Diana Aguilera reports how a young couple in Fresno County is dealing with the backlog.

Paola Martinez and her husband Irving Toscano thought they had done everything right to get health care coverage.

They made sure they met the Medi-Cal eligibility requirements, they filled out the paperwork and signed up through the Covered California website at the end of March.

But ever since then, they’ve been waiting.

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