reports on health care, public health and community health issues. We cover public policy and community conditions and developments that affect the health of Californians. is an independent, nonpartisan non-profit web site created with initial funding from the California Endowment.

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Group Classes Teach Parents to Help Kids with Autism Improve their Language Skills

Oct 30, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A study by Stanford researchers finds that group classes for parents that teach a specific therapy can help to improve the children’s’ language skills.  The  study looked at 12 week classes that taught “pivotal response training” in which parents identify something a child wants—such as a ball–and offer rewards in exchange for...

Changing the message of aging…subliminally

Oct 27, 2014

By Matt Perry

As a reporter who covers Aging issues, discussing the topic in public typically evokes this response through clenched teeth:   “Getting old sucks.”

There are variations on this reply – some involve profanity – but today’s accepted cultural message is that aging is terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad.

UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations finds innovative ways to treat most common health problems

Oct 27, 2014

By Todd Dayton

In this story we visit a San Francisco research center working to better the lives of those most at risk for poor health. UC San Francisco’s Center for Vulnerable Populations puts many of the most common health conditions in the crosshairs, and uses research and outreach to improve the health of society’s...

New Study looks at Health and Well-Being of Latino Children in California

Oct 22, 2014

By Fran Kritz

A new study shows significant differences between the health and wellbeing of the 4.7 million Latino children in California and white children in the state. The study, conducted at the request of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health,* also shows Latino children now make up almost half the children in the...

Native American Tribes Have the Right, but Not the Resources, to Prosecute Abusers

Oct 21, 2014

By Leah Bartos

Native American woman face a 2 in 5 chance of experiencing some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. In most of these cases – 86 percent – the perpetrator of the violence will be non-Native.

These statistics, based on federal data, reflect a rate of violence against Native American women...

State Refuses to Identify Hospitals it Says Have Harmed Patients

Oct 15, 2014

By Chris Richard

California has been withholding money from 66 hospitals it holds culpable for medical errors, but state officials refuse to describe the mistakes or publicly identify the hospitals, all of which have allegedly harmed patients.

California Department of Health Care Services spokesman Norman Williams said the agency is withholding disciplinary records to protect patients’...

Santa Cruz pilot project equips foster youth with education champions

Oct 15, 2014

By Lynn Graebner An Oakland-based nonprofit group is building a national model to help foster youth overcome one of their biggest challenges: staying in school. Moving among multiple homes, often dealing with the trauma of neglect or abuse on top of be...

Spike in ER usage from newly insured declines over time, study says

Oct 15, 2014

Pent-up demand for health care leads to a spike in emergency room visits and hospitalizations among the newly insured, but those numbers quickly decline as people’s needs are met and their health becomes more stable, according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The study could mean that fears...

Tulare County Fights Domestic Violence on a New Front

Oct 15, 2014

By Leah Bartos

Nestled in central California and flanked by the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Tulare County is sometimes called the Appalachia of the West. It is home to the giant Sequoia trees; Mount Whitney towers over the county’s eastern edge. It’s also one of the most poverty-stricken regions of the state.

The post Tulare...

Most Parents Install Car Seats for Newborns Incorrectly

Oct 14, 2014

By Fran Kritz A new study finds that nearly all parents install car seats for newborns incorrectly. Parents who are low income or speak poor English are the most likely to make installation and positioning mistakes. Researchers from the Oregon Health a...

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