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Central Valley

Picture of Monica Velez
A reporter set out to do a set of stories on the difficulties Merced County residents already faced in accessing care. Then, eight health clinics serving Medicaid patients in the county closed.
Picture of Mackenzie Mays
"The community engagement process pushed me out of my reporting comfort zone, and not only led to new sources but strengthened the relationships I had with previous sources," writes Fresno Bee reporter Mackenzie Mays.
Picture of Mackenzie Mays
Half of California’s 10 counties with the highest teenage birth rates are in the Central Valley, despite statewide record lows in teen births. Even so, the Valley lacks programs that help boys understand the responsibilities of sex and parenthood.
Picture of Mackenzie Mays
The neighborhood a child grows up in may be the biggest contributor to teen pregnancy rates. And one way to reduce the number of teen pregnancies is to provide structure, like after-school activities, to teens in needy neighborhoods.
Picture of Monica Velez
Horisons Unlimited Health Care filed for bankruptcy and closed all eight of its clinics, including five in Merced County. About 80 percent of Horisons patients were on Medi-Cal.
Picture of Kerry Klein
Knowing this one simple truth can help areas experiencing physician shortages: Where doctors grew up can predict where they practice, but where they are trained is one of the biggest drivers.
Picture of Kellie  Schmitt
Instead of strictly asking about medical providers, Dr. David Carlisle, an expert on health disparities, urges reporters to examine the availability and diversity of dentists, psychologists, pharmacists and optometrists in their community.
Picture of Mackenzie Mays
For years, some school districts in California's Central Valley have been reluctant to teach comprehensive sex education. Worse, the valley's pregnancy and STD rates are some of the state's highest.
Picture of Jeffrey Hess
What are the mental health effects of deadly encounters with police? Reporting out that difficult question led to a number of tough lessons along the way, as KVPR's Jeffrey Hess explains.
Picture of Elizabeth Zach
In California’s Central Valley and rural north, more than a dozen hospitals have closed since the early 2000s. The closures often limit care options and inflict economic misery — some communities never recover.

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Got a great idea for a reporting project on the health of underserved communities in California or on the performance of the state's health and social safety nets?  We're offering reporting grants of $2,000 to $10,000, plus six months of mentoring, to up to eight individual journalists, newsrooms or cross-newsroom collaboratives.  Deadline to apply:  September 20.

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