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As part of the Center for Health Journalism Fellowship, journalists work with a senior fellow to develop a special project. Recent projects have examined health disparities by ZIP code in the San Francisco Bay Area, anxiety disorders and depression in the Hispanic immigrant community in Washington state, and the importance of foreign-born doctors to health care in rural communities.

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.

Five prominent Oregon hospitals do worse than the national average on a key measure of patient safety.

Many states make more hospital information public than Oregon does

While many states make information related to medical care complications public, Oregon does not. That means that the best information about an individual hospital’s quality and safety may be kept from the public.

Each year, thousands of patients in Oregon face complications of care

Each year thousands of patients are harmed by medical care in Oregon. A Bend woman, Mary Parker, was one.

Journalist Kate Long examines how some West Virginians are changing their lifestyles to drop pounds and reduce their risk of diabetes and other obesity-related diseases. West Virginia has one of the highest chronic disease rates in the nation.

How, why, when did W.Va. pack on the pounds?

Until the 1980s, few West Virginians are overweight in archival photos. In the 1960s and 1970s, during the poverty war, Americans got used to seeing pictures of bone-thin West Virginians on the evening news. Only 13.4 percent of Americans were obese then.

Cheesecake Factory has its SkinnyLicious menu. At Taco Bell you can order a Fresco taco. This "stealth health" approach squeezes the calories out, making food a little better for you. But the key, says one expert, is not to make a big deal about it.

Can W.Va. do the same?

In 2005, almost four out of 10 kids in the Kearney, Neb., schools were obese or overweight. Five years later, Kearney had chopped the obesity rate of their grade school kids by a stunning 13 percent.

One in four fifth-graders has high blood pressure and cholesterol. One in four eleven-year-olds is obese, a clear red flag for the future.

Wood County school helps get kids fit before they sit

How do you get kids to exercise at 7:30 in the morning? Hula hoops in the gym before school. Kate Long profiles one anti-obesity program at a West Virginia school.

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