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Bakersfield

Picture of Kerry Klein
The Central Valley's Kern County reported a 30 percent rise in overdose deaths from 2016 to 2017, bucking the statewide decline in fatal overdoses.
Picture of Kerry Klein
The antifungal drugs used to treat valley fever can cause hair loss. With the number of valley fever cases on the rise, a wig shop in Bakersfield, Calif., is helping women feel better about themselves.
Picture of Harold Pierce
Facing pushback from the medical community, California Assemblyman Vince Fong withdrew a bill late last month that would have required doctors to order specific types of lab tests when they suspect valley fever.
Picture of Kerry Klein
This reporting was undertaken as part of a project with the USC Center for Health Journalism’s California Fellowship. ...
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Valley Public Radio in California's Central Valley reports on what law enforcement agencies in the valley say they are doing to help police officers cope with the mental strain of a violent line of work.
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Central California wasn't always the mecca of U.S. agriculture. Historically millions of acres of wetlands shrouded the region, but river diversion for irrigation dried all but five percent of the rivers and streams in the area. We question whether a change in waterways will impact community health.

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Valley fever hasn’t generated significant research funding. What will help move the needle? A sustained effort by public health advocates, clinicians and patients and their families and continued attention from media outlets.

Picture of Michelle Levander

The sustained fire power and reach of seven news outlets – combined with community outreach efforts – have yielded results as we approach the one-year anniversary of the new Reporting on Health Collaborative and its series on the toll of valley fever.

Picture of The Reporting on Health Collaborative

Survivors and their loved ones walk to support research for valley fever. Physicians were also on hand at the event to answer questions about how the disease affects humans.

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Got a great idea for an ambitious reporting project on a California health issue?  Let us fund it.  Apply now for the 2019 California Fellowship, which provides $1,000 reporting grants and six months of expert mentoring to 20 journalists, community engagement grants of up to $2,000, specialized mentoring, to five.

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