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Kern Medical Center

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In his final 2018-2019 budget former California Gov. Jerry Brown allocated $8 million in state funding toward combating valley fever, split evenly between the University of California system and the new Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical in Bakersfield. Here’s how that money’s been spent.
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Just 48 people have signed up across California and Arizona for a new clinical trial of Fluconazole, an antifungal drug used to treat valley fever. That's far fewer than officials had expected.
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“I was really lost,” Candice said of her mother's death from valley fever in 2009. “She was my best friend.”

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Jesse Cottrell is a fourth-year medical student who decided to attend the American University of the Caribbean for a simple reason: "I couldn't get into a U.S. school."

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

Kellie Schmitt reports on a Caribbean medical school that recently agreed to pay Kern Medical Center $35 million to have its students train at the cash-strapped county hospital. Some see this as one way to help solve the U.S. shortage of primary care physicians. Others worry because Caribbean medical schools don't receive the same accreditation as their U.S counterparts.

Picture of William Heisel

The Bakersfield Californian recently took on one of the most ambitious health care quality projects I have seen attempted by an outlet outside of the really big markets. One reporter, Kellie Schmitt, wanted to answer two questions: whether most of the doctors in Kern County were from another country and whether that mattered.

Picture of Farida Jhabvala

Kern County, with similar geography and population to Fresno, decided to enter the new health insurance program called Bridge to Reform. On the way, Kern has stumbled upon many challenges, but for some patients, the program has changed their lives.

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