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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.

California’s second most expensive health and human services program, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, was designed to help the elderly and disabled afford basic necessities. But for many older Californians it's not meeting that goal.

In the first of our two-part series, Senior Insecurity, we’ll look at how the deepest state budget cuts to SSI in a decade have impacted older disabled Californians. A growing number of them can’t afford enough food or are living on the streets. 

 

California sends out about three billion dollars a year to the disabled and elderly so they can buy food and afford housing. But in the second part of our series, Senior Insecurity, Capital Public Radio found there's little oversight of this program.

Even though Supplemental Security Income - or SSI - is California's second most expensive health and human services program, the state doesn't track whether it's enough to live on or how people spend their money.

 

An apparently homeless man rests on a South Park Blocks bench, across from a downtown church. City and county officials have asked Portland's religious institutions for help this winter in housing the homeless, especially homeless families. 

 

Investigations into the WIC food program

The WIC federal nutrition program has just undergone a makeover, and vouchers are now good for fresh produce and healthy foods. This switch has put thousands of WIC-certified stores through some changes of their own. Rachel Dornhelm reports.

Investigations into the WIC food program

The WIC program, which offers nutrition education and food vouchers to low-income families, will soon get a healthy overhaul. But to cash in, food manufacturers have had to make some adjustments. Rachel Dornhelm reports.

WIC Food Program Changes Emphasis

The Women, Infants and Children Program provides food vouchers and nutritional education to low income families. California runs the biggest WIC program in the nation -- 60 percent of all infants born in this state are enrolled in it. Now, the program's changing the kinds of food it recommends.

Want to lose weight? Don't count on pills
Illuminating Depression

I produced an eleven minute TV story on depression, focusing on new research into better understanding the neural mechanisms underlying depression, as well as current treatments, including antidepressants, transcranial magnetic stimulation and cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of talk therapy.

Getting fatter. Can government reforms help?

Reforms unlikely to defeat obesity

Hidden Wells, Dirty Water
Thousands of rural, mostly poor, Lower Yakima Valley residents in Washington state rely on small private wells that aren't routinely tested or inspected, posing serious health risks.

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