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San Francisco,California,United States

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

I went to needle exchange to hang out. You may be asking yourself what a soccer mom from the burbs is doing perched on a folding chair in the parking garage of 101 Grove on a dark November night, surrounded by syringes. I was there as a guest observer because I’m working on a series of articles a

Picture of Beatrice Motamedi

Since this conference began on Thursday (an eon ago), we health writers have been confronted with a series of fascinating if not always easily grasped topics in public health. Elicitation strategies in social epidemiology. The use of P-values to analyze medical findings. Grandfathered insurance plans. The biochemistry of the hippocampus.

It’s a deluge that can send you scurrying for cover. In my case, it’s made me do some thinking about the power of story.

Picture of April Dembosky

Last year, I was reporting a story about alternative churches in San Francisco. I talked to Matthew Fox, an Oakland pastor and the creator of the Cosmic Mass, a Christian rave that replaces sermons and hymns with techno music and dancing. Hold the drugs. Fox developed his event as a way for people to experience and process intense feelings of ecstasy, anger, and grief.

"We're not shown ways to deal with grief," he said. "It's where a lot of our addictions come from. We bottle it up, we take a drink or a pill."

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

San Francisco and the Bay Area is, in many ways, a microcosm of much of America. As a metaphor for the extremes of environmental wealth and poverty in America today, you can walk 10 short San Francisco blocks from 6th and Market to 1001 Taylor Street. In that short distance, your walk spans the divide between an area where homeless men lie in igloos of wool blankets as urine trickles down a crack in the sidewalk, up to where Grace Cathedral's soaring Ghiberti Doors, known as the gates of paradise, open over Nob Hill.

Picture of Hillary Meeks

When my 2-year-old son has to see a doctor for his eyes or ears, I plan to take at least a half a day off work, if not a full day. Between the hours-long wait in the overcrowded specialists’ offices and the time it takes to travel to another county, our time is eaten away because these doctors are so few and far between in the San Joaquin Valley. That’s the mantra of Tulare County and health care. There aren’t enough doctors to go around, specialist or otherwise.

Picture of Paul Kleyman

Serious depression is a growing problem for multicultural seniors. But unlike older whites, ethnic people 50- are blocked from treatment by poverty, limited or no insurance, lack of programs geared for them—and the stigma of mental problems that permeates many cultures. New America media senior editor Paul Kleyman reports his series on mental challenges for ethnic seniors.

Picture of Shuka Kalantari

An audio a social event for developmentally disabled people. The monthly dance is organized by the , a nonprofit resource for people with developmental disabilities.

Picture of Shuka Kalantari

's studio space, and see artists show off their work. is an art studio in San Francisco's Mission District, where all the artists are people with developmental disabilities.

 

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