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A Crisis in Caring: California's School Nursing Shortage focuses on the critical shortage of school nurses in Northern California, and its impact on students, teachers, parents and whole communities. California's top leaders, local physicians and students with chronic illnesses weigh in on the crisis.

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Valentine's Day should be a national holiday. Until it is, most of us have to work Feb. 14 every year and tango with our valentines at night.

Pity poor Dr. Amanda Waugh then.

She couldn't even look forward to a nice dinner and a long conversation about the plays of Tony Kushner over chocolate soufflé, because on Valentine's Day in 2009, she was stuck with the night shift at the La Palma Intercommunity Hospital's emergency room south of Los Angeles.

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This weekend was the second session of the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship conferences in Los Angeles, and the event provided some fascinating and newsy morsels. Here's a round-up of what some of the speakers had to say (Check out more detailed blog items here as well.).

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When huge earthquakes hit Haiti and Chile recently, teams of doctors from California flew there to help. But physicians in disaster zones are often hampered by the lack of a critical need often taken for granted: reliable power. Now, a California couple's handmade solar power kits are filling that need. Reporter: Rachel Dornhelm

listen here, aired on KQED's The California Report

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

As the 2010 Census gets underway, journalists need a more sophisticated understanding of people over 65 to report on them accurately, says Steven Wallace, a University of California-Los Angeles public health researcher.

"There is no 'The Elderly,'" he told California Endowment Health Journalism Fellows at a Los Angeles seminar on Sunday. "The elderly are a complex mixture of individuals. It's important to realize there are different groups and profile the diversity within them."

Picture of Kelly  Peterson
SACRAMENTO — ViewFinder: A Crisis in Caring: California's School Nursing Shortage focuses on the critical shortage of school nurses in Northern California. This documentary airs on KVIE channel 6, Wednesday, March 17, 7 p.m. The program offers insight on how this issue impacts students, teachers, parents, and communities. California lawmakers, health professionals, educators, school nurses, and students with chronic illnesses weigh in on the problem.
Picture of Angilee Shah

On a Saturday morning, four people wait outside the front door of a converted mini-mall in Rosemead, CA. Ten minutes later -- the doors open exactly at 9 a.m. -- the two women and two men file into the lobby to sign in for their appointments at the Asian Pacific Family Center. The front desk is covered with pamphlets in the many languages of the significant Asian immigrant populations of the San Gabriel Valley. The clinic operates in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese. Cambodian Chiu Chow, Japanese and Korean, serving over 1,700 immigrant Asian Pacific outpatient families per year.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

At 7 p.m. on a Friday night, the waiting room of LAC+USC Medical Center's emergency department is crowded and will get worse as the hours tick by. This public safety net hospital sees, on average, 450 emergency patients each day, some for ear infections, others with gunshot wounds.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Watts

In "LaVonna's World," people in South Los Angeles are able to buy healthy, fresh food at reasonable prices in grocery stores near their homes. They're able to see a specialist when they need to and get the health insurance they need. They don't suffer disproportionately from diseases like diabetes and asthma.

Picture of William Heisel

When your child dies because of mistakes made by a doctor, you can sue. Scott and Kathy Broussard did that when Dr. Andrew Rutland twisted their daughter Jillian Broussard's neck so severely that he separated her head from her spine. Most patients either lose in court or settle their cases. If they settle, they go silent. How many times have you called a patient's family to be told, "We can't talk under the terms of the settlement."? The Broussards settled their case, but that didn't stop them from talking.

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Get the latest updates from top experts and a leading journalist tracking the story, as well as crucial context and insights for reporting responsibly on this fast-moving public health threat in our next webinar on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Sign-up here!

Got a great idea for a reporting project on vulnerable families or health disparities?  We'll help fund it, and provide you with five days of all-expenses-paid training at USC in July, plus six months of mentoring. Click here for more information.

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