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Psychiatrist Frank Joseph Ilardi knows something about .

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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 .

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Public hospitals have been closing at an alarming rate. Last month, the troubled in Los Angeles announced it was preparing to reopen after years of quality concerns, but it has lived on the precipice for more than two decades.

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Steven Debuskey is executive director of the Fresno Native American Health Center (FNAHC), a nonprofit community-based organization serving the health care needs of urban Native Americans and Alaska Natives in Fresno.

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Dr. J. Luis Batista is medical director for the Fresno Native American Health Center (FNAHC), a nonprofit community-based organization serving the health care needs of urban Native Americans and Alaska Natives in Fresno.

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This racial group includes any of the original peoples of North, South and Central America who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. The five leading causes of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, diabetes and chronic liver disease/cirrhosis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities. Native Americans suffer disproportionately high rates of obesity, infant mortality, mental health problems and substance abuse.

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If you're a journalist with big ideas who wants your work to matter, the Center for Health Journalism invites you to apply for the all-expenses-paid-- five days of stimulating discussions in Los Angeles about social and health safety net issues, reporting and engagement grants of $2,000-$12,000 and six months of expert mentoring.

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