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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.
Walmart recently opened a Care Clinic in Copperas Cove, Texas, near the Fort Hood military base. Veronica Zaragovia/KUT
Although the Affordable Care Act has led to thousands of people in Texas getting insurance for the first time, many consumers aren’t turning to care at a doctor’s office. Instead they’re turning to places that are convenient, like Walmart.
Erynn Smith of The Abundant Table in Santa Paula, Jeremy Schoengart, director of child nutrition services for Santa Paula Unified School District, Alondra Navarro, a senior at Santa Paula High School, and Mireille Vargas, a student at Santa Paula High School (both Navarro and Vargas are members of the group Students Encouraging Social Political and Environmental Action) talk about better nutrition and exercise to fight against childhood obesity. Photo by: Heber Palayo.
In small towns in California's Ventura County, the number of children who are overweight or obese has reached nearly 48 percent, among the highest figures in the state. With the help of two activist groups, one group of students has resolved to do something about the problem.
California's Medicaid expansion has extended coverage to many Chinese Americans in the state. But the imbalance between the numbers of newly insured and available providers means some doctors are swamped while patients often have difficulty accessing care. Low reimbursement rates aren't helping.
The barren river bed in the photo on the left is the channel off of the Tule River that in a wet year refuels the aquifer to homes in East Porterville. The photo on the right is of the Tule River just a mile north of where the wells have gone dry. (Ezra David Romero/KVPR)
Drought conditions have gotten so bad in California that in some places, turning on the tap and having nothing come out is common. The lack of running water has especially plagued the little farming town of East Porterville in the San Joaquin Valley, leaving scores of homes without working wells.
Photo: View of Cliffside Malibu, a private addiction center with a holistic approach.
Obamacare is changing addiction rehab, with health insurance companies and HMOs now required to cover treatment for addiction like any other disease. Private rehab centers like Betty Ford are looking to open mid-priced outpatient clinics, and high-priced private rehab centers could lose business.
Leaburn Alexander works two jobs and does not have health insurance. Here, he is on the start of his 3-hour commute home from the job he works as an overnight hotel janitor. (Lisa Morehouse/KQED)
Despite the Affordable Care Act, there are still millions of Californians without health insurance. Undocumented immigrants don’t qualify for Obamacare benefits, while many others find coverage still too expensive or face other obstacles in enrolling.
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
The wells have run dry in one Central Valley community, prompting some to consider packing up and leaving. Other residents like Donna Johnson have volunteered to go door to door, delivering water by hand to residents in need.
In Northern California's Shasta County, a growing number of young adults are consumed by heroin addiction. The problem has quickly grown in the past two years and, some say, is approaching methamphetamine’s popularity. The surge in drug use has fueled a rise in crime levels as well.
Adrian and Ana Tapia of Brawley with their son Joaquin. Adrian was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December of 2012 while Ana was seven months pregnant. The couple went to the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert in El Centro for help in navigating all the challenges associated with his diagnosis. Photo: Robert Fulton/CHR
At the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert in San Diego's Imperial Valley, navigators help people come to grips with the complex and life-altering realities of cancer. Patients receive guidance on everything from talking with insurance companies and managing finances to coping with treatment.
Clifford Schmidt, 71, talks with Monongahela Valley Hospital nurse Deborah Holman during a scheduled home visit in Mon Valley.
A pilot program in Pittsburgh, Penn. that uses nurses and pharmacists to follow-up with patients after they leave the hospital has significantly lowered readmission rates, improved the health of thousands, and saved $41 million at six hospitals in its first two years alone.

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New this year: a $1,000 reporting stipend! Apply now for the all-expenses-paid 2015 California Health Journalism Fellowship and spend five days in Los Angeles March 1-5, 2015 learning about how Obamacare is -- and isn't -- working for Californians and what other factors, besides health care access, contribute to good health.  

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