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Friday, May 29, 2009 - 2:05pm

Lack of primary care and attention to chronic disease are the real ills of the health care system, panelists said at a seminar on health care reform for California Broadcast Fellows.

Anthony Iton, public health officer for Alameda County, says that 3 out of every 4 health care dollars goes to the treatment of chronic disease. "It is the elephant in the room. If you're not talking about chronic disease, you're not talking about health," he says.

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May 29, 2009 | 0 comments
Friday, May 29, 2009 - 11:56am

Mark Katches is the deputy managing editor for projects at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He leads a team of reporters who have been watch-dogging the use of chemicals in food containers and other products for the past two years.

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May 29, 2009 | 2 comments
Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 11:10pm

Robert Bazell doesn't mince his words when it comes to what he thinks makes good journalism. The three-time Emmy winner and NBC News' chief science and health correspondent doesn't put much stock in journalism school.

"Being a good reporter isn't about having the academic credentials," Bazell explained. What counts, he said in his keynote speech to this year's California Broadcast Fellows, is the ability to talk to the right people. "I think that all reporting is community reporting," he said.

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May 28, 2009 | 0 comments
Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 4:39pm

In a world of sound bites, 140-character reports and information overdose on the Internet, news about health often doesn't get all the airtime it deserves. The first session of a seminar for broadcast journalists will look at ways television, radio and multimedia journalists can boost coverage and depth in their reports.

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May 28, 2009 | 0 comments
Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 11:02am

When does it make sense to tamper with a time-released medication? If the drug is a controlled substance, like the painkiller OxyContin, the answer is: never.

Doing so damages the time-released properties of the drug and can lead to a massive dose all at once. This is what makes OxyContin such a great high for people who crush it, and such a long, painful addiction for them, too.

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May 28, 2009 | 0 comments
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - 4:05pm

Writer, editor and blogger Angilee Shah is live-blogging the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships seminar for broadcasters taking place May 28-31 in Los Angeles. She's also on Twitter @ReportonHealth.

Angilee, a former managing editor of AsiaMedia, has written for the Far Eastern Economic Review, The China Beat, TimeOut Singapore , Asian GEOgraphic and Asia Pacific Arts.

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Monday, May 25, 2009 - 11:08pm

The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't issue policy statements all that often. When it does, the statements tend to be deeply researched and full of fodder for future stories. That's the case with the "The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children," which appears today in the AAP journal Pediatrics.

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Monday, May 25, 2009 - 9:20pm

It's a common complaint among police officers. In the wake of television shows like CSI, the public expects too much. They think that cops can lift a 30-year-old fingerprint off a Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle found at the bottom of a lake just by running it through the portable 30-PBR-H2O scanner the CSI team members carry in their Thermoses.

That type of technology just doesn't exist, police are fond of saying. And even some of the high-tech stuff that does exist is only accessible by the elite officers of the major metropolitan departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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May 25, 2009 | 0 comments
Friday, May 22, 2009 - 4:40pm

After California voters soundly rejected several proposals to mitigate the state's staggering $21 billion budget deficit, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is suggesting unheard-of cutbacks in health and social programs. This time, the discussion isn't just about cutting money from the Healthy Families subsidized health insurance program, it's about scrapping it altogether.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 - 5:01am

The Center for Healthcare Decisions has given itself a tough task. Its staff tries to bring together people from different economic brackets and get them to talk in very specific terms about all facets of health care.

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May 22, 2009 | 0 comments
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 8:03am

Matthew William Wasserman of Katy, Texas, found a unique way to treat a female patient's back: "a sensory examination of the genital area."

That was according to the Texas Medical Board.

Now, Wasserman had only been out of medical residency for three years when this happened, and he did not have a lot of women in his graduating class at Baylor Medical College. Still, one has to assume that most doctors know the basics of anatomy, male or female.

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May 20, 2009 | 1 comments
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 11:11pm

California journalists, you know how the state's special election is going to turn out. Late on election night, all of the budget-related propositions - save for the one regarding lawmaker pay raises - are failing miserably. Even Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger skipped town.

So, now that ticked-off voters are turning down the stopgap budget fix proposed by Schwarzenegger, the question in the coming days will be: what happens to health care?

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Monday, May 18, 2009 - 10:48am

Anyone who has driven the highways around Los Angeles has seen the giant billboards with a chubby man stuffing a giant piece of cake in his mouth next to the words "Dieting Sucks." It's a promo for a plastic surgery practice that promises to use Lap-band surgery to cure overweight patients.

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May 18, 2009 | 2 comments
Friday, May 15, 2009 - 4:53pm

Anyone who has helped a friend or family member undergo cancer treatment knows the fear and frustration that can consume a patient's life. There are new, experimental treatments being touted every year, many of them only available outside of the United States.

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May 15, 2009 | 4 comments
Friday, May 15, 2009 - 11:56am

Journalist. Santa Monica City Councilman. Music Producer. Entrepreneur. Bobby Shriver has worn a lot of hats, some of them simultaneously. Now, while working as a councilman, he runs (RED), a company he created with Bono to fund the purchase and distribution of medications to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa. I reached him at his office in Santa Monica.

Here is a recap of our conversation. It has been edited for space and clarity.

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May 15, 2009 | 0 comments

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