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In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown Allocated $8 million to Cocci Research And Awareness. How Has It Been Spent?

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In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown Allocated $8 million to Cocci Research And Awareness. How Has It Been Spent?

During a checkup in November 2019, Abraham and his mother, Magdalena Gonzalez, received a skin test
During a checkup in November 2019, Abraham and his mother, Magdalena Gonzalez, received a skin test from nurse Jackylou Cortez to evaluate how their bodies react to the fungus that causes valley fever. (Credit: UCLA)
Friday, January 17, 2020

By: Kerry Klein

Click HERE for Spanish version.

Health experts credit a rising interest in valley fever research to former California Gov. Jerry Brown, who in his final 2018-2019 budget allocated $8 million in state funding toward combating the disease after years of advocacy from Assemblymen Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) and Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) and to reporting from the USC Center for Health Journalism Collaborative’s “Just One Breath” series, which brought a regional reporting team together that focused for years on the issue in the Central Valley and Arizona. Of that, the state public health department received $2 million, and the remaining $6 million was split evenly between the University of California system and the newly formed Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical in Bakersfield.


Related story:

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Here’s where that money’s been spent:

$3 million to the University of California system:

  • $2,200,000: Project titled “Investigating fundamental gaps in Valley Fever knowledge,” a collaboration of 11 investigators across six UC campuses: San Francisco, Berkeley, Davis, Merced, Riverside and San Diego
  • $650,000: Project titled “The Immune Dysregulation of Disseminated Coccidioidomycosis," a collaboration of six investigators across three UC campuses (LA, San Diego and San Francisco) and the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical
  • $150,000: Miscellaneous research needs, including October 2019 Valley Fever Summit at UC Merced

$3 million to the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical:

  • $2,600,000: Patient care, including construction of a brick-and-mortar Valley Fever Institute clinic (to be unveiled later in 2020), as well as diagnostic equipment and patient amenities
  •  $282,000: A variety of valley fever-related research projects
  • $118,000: Education, including a video to provide continuing medical education to providers in endemic areas

$2 million to the California Department of Public Health:

  • $2,000,000: A valley fever-awareness campaign to be finished by June 2020. Includes evaluating awareness in different groups, as well as developing public messages for social media and other formats to address key awareness gaps.

 

About This Series

This project results from an innovative reporting venture – the Center for Health Journalism Collaborative – which currently involves the Bakersfield Californian, Radio Bilingüe in Fresno, Valley Public Radio in Fresno and Bakersfield, Vida en el Valle in Fresno, Hanford Sentinel, the Voice of OC in Santa Ana, the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, La Estrella de Tucsón and the Center for Health Journalism. The collaborative is an initiative of the Center for Health Journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

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