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California,United States

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Experts say that nitrate pollution is a major threat to California future water supply, while some cities already spend millions of dollars to treat nitrates in groundwater. Second in a two-part series produced in collaboration with California Watch and KQED Radio.

http://www.californiawatch.org/remedies-nitrate-contamination-anything-quick-cheap

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(Cross-posted from HealthyCal.org)

As the governor’s revised budget makes all too clear, California is in a world of hurt. The deepest recession since the Great Depression has reduced personal incomes, retail sales, corporate profits and property values. Those are the things the state and local governments tax to provide the revenue to support the schools, universities, health and social services and law enforcement on which most of us depend in one way or another.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

I’d like to believe that dangling financial incentives in front of medical groups and doctors shouldn’t influence the quality of my health care for better or worse.

But they apparently do exactly that, according to some intriguing new research on how financial incentives influenced health screenings and treatment for millions of patients at Kaiser Permanente, the giant HMO based in California.  

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The news was good -- and not so good -- in today's just-released report from the Public Policy Institute of California on the health of California's foster care system. The report, Foster Care in California: Achievements and Challenges, was authored by Caroline Danielson, PPIC research fellow and Helen Lee, PPIC associate director of research.

Some key findings include:

Picture of William Heisel

There are several ways to secure one’s genetic line for at least another generation.

One can court another person, marry (or not), mate and bask in the many joys of parenthood.

Folks born without the proper equipment or in relationships that don’t allow for simple reproduction can arrange for an egg donor, sperm donor or surrogate mother to help carry one’s genes to a daughter or a son. Parenthood is just as fun.

And then there is what someday may be dubbed the Ramaley method.

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If you are anticipating covering Southern California's inevitable weather stories this summer -- heat waves, water shortages, wildfires -- consider this: These narratives are health, environment, public policy and economic stories all in one.

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During its six-month pilot project, the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Reporting on Health at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism quietly produced in-depth journalism with California newspapers. Now, the Center has gone public with a new website and high-profile hires, including editor-in-chief David Westphal.

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The Internet and social media have a way of upending professional conventions and giving rise to new models.  As traditional boundaries blur, some unique collaborations have emerged between cutting-edge journalists and public health practitioners. I’ve been fascinating by some of these projects, which have yielded new insights, ground-breaking stories and new ways of connecting with the public. 

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Most journalists don't pay much attention to their local "medically indigent" program, which offers health care to poor people who don't qualify for Medicaid or other government programs. But that's one of the local programs that could be at risk under health reform.

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If the ProPublica experiment with nonprofit investigative journalism is teaching us anything, it is the importance of follow-through.

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Ace reporter Lisa Krieger of the San Jose Mercury will share how she stays on top of the story every day, and offer pro tips that will bolster your own coverage. Sign-up here!

In this webinar discussion, we’ll talk about what questions journalists should ask health systems to gauge their preparedness and understand their potential decisions on rationing care. Sign-up here!

Stuck reporting from home? This webinar will focus on helping reporters find health sources and affected people online, through social platforms and digital communities. Sign-up here!

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