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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.

Farmers in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties donate thousands of tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to food banks every year, supply feeding centers as far away as Washington and Colorado. It’s a massive foodlift operation that all began 38 years ago with a freezer full of slightly yellow cauliflower.

Maria Martinez and her husband and three sons live in a colorful stucco home in a subsidized housing development near San Diego Bay. But as soon as she steps outside, Martinez and her neighbors are confronted with an onslaught of environmental health hazards.

As the staff and volunteers at Second Harvest Food Bank work to combine food distribution with community-based nutrition education, the obvious questions arise: Do these peer education programs actually make a difference? Do participants change their eating habits for the better? And do these behavioral changes create measurable differences in participants' health?

As research reframes addiction risks, school officials and treatment professionals step up efforts to keep drugs away from kids

It was once perceived as a rite of passage of sorts, but adolescence and substance use are now considered a toxic combination. More and more research is revealing that choices made at an early age — generally in the early teenage years — can have lasting effects, few of them positive.

UCSB officials, local law enforcement walk fine line between enforcement and student safety

While prescription drug abuse and addiction can start with a legitimate prescription or self-medication, many South Coast college students end up in emergency rooms or treatment programs as the result of chasing a high.

Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse staffer works with youth — and their parents — to educate themselves and their community

Shereen Khatapoush chose her career path when she was 15 years old, after a friend died in a drunk driving-related car accident.

Deputy DA says earlier intervention, rehabilitation are key to keeping kids off drugs and alcohol, and out of a life of crime

As a Santa Barbara County deputy district attorney who works with young offenders, Von Nguyen knows what the community’s children are up to.

Hospitals and clinics on the front lines develop their own systems to monitor abuse, suspicious activity

Prescribing controlled substances is a highly regulated process, especially as abuse and addiction become more prevalent, but oversight is fractured between agencies with the burden falling on local health-care providers.

Seniors make up 13% of population, account for a third of all prescriptions written in the U.S.

The baby boom culture. Longer, but not necessarily healthier lifestyles. A general lack of information and communication. Each of these elements plays a role in the growing phenomenon that is the misuse of prescription drugs by the elderly.

Drugstores a key front in battle against prescription abuse, but regulations hinder effectiveness

Pharmacist Peter Caldwell jokes that his career path was set as an infant when his parents used a prescription cabinet for his bassinet.

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