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As part of the Center for Health Journalism Fellowship, journalists work with a senior fellow to develop a special project. Recent projects have examined health disparities by ZIP code in the San Francisco Bay Area, anxiety disorders and depression in the Hispanic immigrant community in Washington state, and the importance of foreign-born doctors to health care in rural communities.

Years after his service in Vietnam, Steve Champeau is still battling the demons of past trauma; local officials are seeing more such cases as images from Iraq inflame symptoms.
Community clinics fill huge need, but state budget deficit puts them in jeopardy
No Retrofit

Among the social determinants of stress for teens living in the inner city is the fear of random violence — gunshots that ring out and take a life unexpectedly and tragically. Marquis Woolfolk, 18, was on track to graduate in June after a spotty academic career with one bright light, a four-day internship on the Bay Bridge retrofit construction project in September 2009. That experience resulted in a page one story for the Oaktown Teen Times, a nonprofit, citywide newspaper by, for and about Oakland teens. Co-Managing Editor Beatrice Motamedi, who worked with Marquis on his story, remembers what it was like to see a teen imagine his future.

Brain injury victims fall through cracks in Virginia's network of care

Victims of traumatic brain injuries often fall through the cracks of the system of care in Virginia, particularly those with behavior problems. Injuries often cause problems like impulse control and anger issues. These victims often ping-pong from one facility to another because their behavior gets them thrown out. They need structured treatment but few long-term residential facilities that specialize in brain injury rehab take government insurance like Medicaid. This is a population that is growing because improvements in emergency medical care have saved more people who suffer brain injuries in accidents. Also, more military personnel are surviving traumatic brain injuries sustained in battle. People with severe mental problems, dementias and disabilities such as autism also sometimes have these behavior issues that make them difficult to place.

Melissa Evans examines the extent of Southern California's hospital backup and emergency room overcrowding.

Fil-Am teen gang members lead double lives, experts say

The story is almost always the same. The first time parents find out their son or daughter is involved in gang activity is when the police officer comes to door and makes an arrest. Sometimes officers are met with crying or angry parents. Other times, the front door is slammed in their face. Most often, the officers encounter parents who are in denial or blindsided because they truly didn’t know.

Gang prevention through parental involvement in San Diego’s Filipino- American community.

Pureza Bacor recalls the Filipino father, a single parent, who called at 4:55 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. He spoke in hushed tones and in near tears. “Do you speak Tagalog? I can speak in English but what I need to say, I can’t express myself right in English. I need to speak to someone who speaks to Tagalog,” pleaded the father.

Part III: Answering the cry for help

Gamblers are at a higher risk of suicide, stress-related illnesses, divorce, bankruptcy, arrests and incarceration. Those seeking help for their addiction usually do so when close to or in the midst of crisis. In many cases, the call for help initially doesn’t come from the gambling addict, but from a concerned or aggravated family member. For years, immigrant or refugee Asians living in California have found the search for assistance is difficult. Many treatment providers didn’t understand the cultural nuances or risk factors, much less speak the language needed by the gambling addict or their family.

Part II: Are AAPIs at higher risk?

During a San Diego afterschool club presentation for 11-13 year olds, a group of 82 students of predominantly of Filipino American descent were educated on the signs of problem gambling. Afterwards, students were asked if – based on what they had learned – they thought someone they knew may be in danger of being a problem or pathological gambler. More than 80 percent raised their hands.

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