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As part of the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship, journalists work with a senior fellow to develop a special project. Recent projects have examined health disparities by ZIP code in the San Francisco Bay Area, anxiety disorders and depression in the Hispanic immigrant community in Washington state, and the importance of foreign-born doctors to health care in rural communities.
Desperate to stem the recent spate of youth suicides in their community, residents of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have turned to an unlikely ally — crowdfunding.
Water and sewer systems in communities across Alaska are threatened by flooding and erosion due to climate change. Shown here is the village of Kivalina located on a barrier island in Northwest Alaska that's facing inundation. Joaqlin Estus KNBA
In communities without running water and flush toilets, 11 times more children develop pneumonia than other Alaskans, and some develop complications that can lead to lifelong respiratory problems.
Village Safe Water facilities program manager Bill Griffith is one of the steering committee members for the Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge. He's shown here giving a presentation on the status of water and sewer systems in Alaska. Joaqlin Estus KNBA
What if you didn’t have piped water and sewer, and the government wasn’t picking up the tab to extend such resources to you in rural Alaska? How would you go about finding a low-cost system that you could keep running through the winter?
Kivalina City Manager Janet Mitchell says the city's long-time water plant operator is the only person who knows all the weak points, quirks, and band-aid fixes at the plant. "If he leaves," said Mitchell, "I quit. It'll be just hopeless."
Even rural Alaskan communities that have raised the money to build modern sanitation systems face the threat of their ultimate failure due to the lack of funding for operations and maintenance, wiping away whatever health gains were achieved.
In her Kick the Bucket series, Joaqlin Estus tells the stories of rural Alaskans who are just getting used to modern plumbing, as well as others who are still waiting for running water.
Adolf Lupie of Tuntutuliak laughed as he advised caution, “Make sure it’s not slippery around here or we’ll slip and the honey bucket will be over us.”
You don't have to go to a foreign country to find Third World conditions. You can find more than six percent of Alaskans living in those conditions — without modern running water or sewer systems.
Every day in special education classrooms across the state, teachers and aides oversee students whose emotional and behavioral disabilities can trigger violent confrontations. In some cases, teachers and aides wrestle these students to the floor, pin them against classroom walls, and escort or drag them into seclusion rooms.  Operating outside the restrictions of general education, special
Every day in special education classrooms, teachers and aides oversee students whose emotional and behavioral disabilities can trigger violent confrontations. In some cases, teachers and aides wrestle students to the floor, pin them against classroom walls, or drag them into seclusion rooms.
Michael Ashline, left, and his son Andrew, a special needs student in Orange, at their home in 2014.
During a class excursion in 2013, a nonverbal 5th-grader with autism, epilepsy and an IQ of 47 was repeatedly told to stop touching the wheel of his special stroller, but he didn’t. His teacher responded by holding him facedown on the floor for 12 minutes, according to a lawsuit.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott opposes any Medicaid expansion and plans to sue the federal government, claiming it is coercing Florida to expand the program. JOE RAEDLE GETTY IMAGES
Why won’t Florida adopt Medicaid expansion? The Florida Senate has proposed a plan, but House leaders and Gov. Rick Scott oppose any Medicaid expansion because they say they don’t trust the federal government to keep its promise to pay for covering more Floridians.
Dr. Annelys Hernandez, left, checks out Cynthia Louis in Florida International University’s Mobile Health Center. (Peter Andrew Bosch/Miami Herald staff)
Without Medicaid expansion, South Florida’s low-income residents have found out the hard way that the healthcare safety net designed to catch people before they hit bottom is no substitute for insurance.

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