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John Fitzpatrick awaits his appointment during his monthly asthma clinic at Children's Hospital Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on T
This story was produced as part of a larger project led by Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman, participants in the  Other stories in this series include:
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Anyone who has helped a friend or family member undergo cancer treatment knows the fear and frustration that can consume a patient's life. There are new, experimental treatments being touted every year, many of them only available outside of the United States.

William Heisel's picture

Journalist. Santa Monica City Councilman. Music Producer. Entrepreneur. Bobby Shriver has worn a lot of hats, some of them simultaneously. Now, while working as a councilman, he runs (RED), a company he created with Bono to fund the purchase and distribution of medications to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa. I reached him at his office in Santa Monica.

Here is a recap of our conversation. It has been edited for space and clarity.

William Heisel's picture

The release of a major new CDC report on states' tobacco control programs, the first in 5 years, is a great peg for taking a look at what's happening in your state and community. The CDC report gives state-by-state breakdowns of smoking rates by age and other demographics and provides a snapshot of current state regulations on smoking.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

Ouch. Medicare is expected to run out of money in a mere eight years, according to a new report from the trustees who oversee the federal health insurance program primarily for the elderly.

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The Record in Hackensack, New Jersey, awoke to its worst nightmare recently when one of its biggest advertisers pulled all of its ads.

The reason?

William Heisel's picture

In covering the current swine flu outbreak, the ethnic media in the United States has been ahead of the curve on some stories the mainstream media is just picking up, such as a growing backlash against Mexicans.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

Father William Cleary helped set up a Catholic parish in Satellite Town, one of the growing suburbs of Lagos, Nigeria, in 1987. The 73-year-old served there until July 2008 and saw the country undergo massive societal, cultural and political changes while struggling to overcome stubborn public health threats from poor sanitation, a malarial climate and a reluctance to face head-on the threat of AIDS.

William Heisel's picture

Every few decades, a flu pandemic spreads westward from Asia. The last one, in 1968, was relatively mild - and we have yet to see the full damage caused by the swine flu outbreak. But the next pandemic is inevitable - and it’s likely to come from China.

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President Barack Obama is searching for a new surgeon general. He might consider screening the resumes of doctors a little lower in the federal ranks.

William Heisel's picture

It didn't take long, did it? Already, unscrupulous vendors are hawking products to "cure" or "prevent" swine flu. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission issued an alert warning about such scams. And that's not all - some swine flu emails actually carry viruses that can infect your computer or steal your personal data. The Washington Post blogs on the problem here.

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