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.
"It's the alcohol hangover," Gerardo Cuapio thought five years ago when he woke up thirsty and with blurred vision. National Health Journalism Fellow Pedro Frisneda tells the story of a man who was on the verge of death without knowing he had Type 2 diabetes. It's a cautionary tale for what happens to many Latin American immigrants who move to the United States, adopting a new lifestyle and diet that can contribute to developing the disease. "The Big Apple is confronting one of the worst diabetes epidemics in the nation and health authorities have declared it an emergency," with Hispanics suffering disproportionately.
Among the social determinants of stress for teens living in the inner city is the fear of random violence — gunshots that ring out and take a life unexpectedly and tragically. Marquis Woolfolk, 18, was on track to graduate in June after a spotty academic career with one bright light, a four-day internship on the Bay Bridge retrofit construction project in September 2009. That experience resulted in a page one story for the Oaktown Teen Times, a nonprofit, citywide newspaper by, for and about Oakland teens. Co-Managing Editor Beatrice Motamedi, who worked with Marquis on his story, remembers what it was like to see a teen imagine his future.
The story is almost always the same. The first time parents find out their son or daughter is involved in gang activity is when the police officer comes to door and makes an arrest. Sometimes officers are met with crying or angry parents. Other times, the front door is slammed in their face. Most often, the officers encounter parents who are in denial or blindsided because they truly didn’t know.