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chronic disease

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Over $1 billion in services are poured into the 13 poorest neighborhoods of Alameda County each year. It is what Anthony Iton calls "services overkill."

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We continue our 5-part series on the high cost of health care in America.

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We continue our 5-part series on the high cost of health care in America.

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New Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a new report on health disparities showing that:

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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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Roberta Lee, M. D., is the vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine for the Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel's Continuum Center for Health and Healing in New York City. Previously, she served a seven-year stint as the medical director. In addition, she has a clinical practice in internal and integrative medicine. For the last five years, she has traveled regularly to Micronesia as the ethnomedical specialist in an interdisciplinary team of biologists, ethnobotanists, ecologists and conservationists. Her focus has been the traditional uses of kava.

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Rina Alcalay is an emertis professor of public health sciences at UC Davis. Her research involves the effective communication strategies to prevent depression among populations in transition, such as people who have changed cultures, who have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, or who are aging.

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Dr. Randall Stafford is an associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and a fellow at CHP/PCOR. He is an epidemiologist, health services researcher and primary-care internist. His research focuses on improving chronic disease prevention, and exploring the mechanisms by which physicians adopt new prevention practices.

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Dr. Lester Breslow is a professor and dean emeritus of the UCLA School of Public Health. He has been professionally active in public health for 65 years, especially in chronic disease control and health promotion. His colleagues call him Mr. Public Health "mostly because he helped set the course for modern thinking about health and fitness," according to a Los Angeles Times profile.

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Jean Turner is director of Inyo County Health & Human Services. It is her job to promote personal health, community wellness and public health, assess and ensure access to appropriate health care and services, prepare for and respond to health emergencies and disasters, encourage the adoption of healthy and environmentally sound behaviors, control communicable diseases, and prevent and manage injuries and chronic disease and mitigate the associated disabilities.

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