Public Press wins an Excellence in Journalism award for ‘Public Schools, Private Money,’ in the winter 2014 edition

 

Public health

KQED Tackles Junction Between Homelessness, Mental Illness

Emily Dugdale, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 10 2014 - 4:44pm

KQED Public Radio’s “Forum” hit the airwaves this morning with a conversation with Robert Okin, the former chief of psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital, who recently published a new book on homelessness and mental illness. He said the common belief that the homeless choose to reside on the streets, from his experience profiling them, is false.

‘Laura’s Law’ No Quick Fix for Strained San Francisco Mental Health System

Robin Ngai, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 11 2014 - 9:33am

The challenge of preserving civil rights while providing mental health care dominated debate about “Laura’s Law,” a controversial measure adopted this week that gives family members and law enforcement a legal means to compel treatment. Proponents say the law will help families frustrated by their loved ones’ refusal to seek treatment, but service providers and activists say it is not a panacea for San Francisco's overstretched mental health system.

How ‘Healthy San Francisco’ Matters – and Doesn’t – in Obamacare

Angela Hart, KQED — Oct 7 2013 - 9:14pm

Government shutdown temporarily aside, effective Jan. 1, 2014, most people need to carry health insurance or pay a fine. It’s called the “individual mandate.” If you’re signed up with Healthy San Francisco, there’s one very important thing you need to know: Healthy San Francisco is not health insurance. So, it’s not going to get you off the hook for that individual mandate.

State Homeless ‘Bill of Rights’ Put on Hold Until Next Year

T.J. Johnston, San Francisco Public Press — May 30 2013 - 2:41pm

A “homeless bill of rights” in California must wait until next year for a vote in the full Assembly after clearing its first hurdle.  Advocates say the legislation would protect homeless people from local enforcement of so-called “quality of life” laws, and specify homeless people as deserving of protection in the state’s antidiscrimination statutes.

Most Haight merchants say nothing changed on street after ‘sit-lie’ prohibition

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jul 16 2012 - 10:36am

A majority of retailers surveyed last November in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood said the enactment of San Francisco’s sit-lie law hasn’t worked as expected: Homeless people still hang out in front of their businesses.  An independent research report commissioned by the city found that 58 percent of the merchants in the district — the focus of a political battle that led to voter approval of the ban in 2010 — say the same number of people or more continue to park themselves on sidewalks. Sixty-one percent said they encountered sidewalk sitters at least three times per week.

S.F. to tackle shelter waiting game for disabled and older homeless

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jun 6 2012 - 3:52pm

UPDATE: Listen to reporter T.J. Johnston's updated report on this story at KQED news here. The health of homeless people — especially older and disabled ones — is endangered by a time-consuming wait they endure daily when reserving a bed in San Francisco’s public shelter system, advocates and city officials say. As a result of a hearing before a Board of Supervisors panel, the city has begun a series of public meetings with providers, city officials and clients, to seek improvements in shelter access and the health of senior and disabled clients. Homeless policy director Bevan Dufty and others hope to work out a plan this summer and present it to the board.

Chinatown death triggers worries about isolated seniors

Summer Chiang, New America Media — May 7 2012 - 3:30pm

A tragedy happened in San Francisco’s Chinatown in mid-April. Yee-Shui Mar, 91, fell from a window in her apartment building. The Chinese-language newspaper Sing Tao Daily reported that Mar, who was from Taishan City in Guangdong province, lived alone. She had a married daughter and grandchildren living elsewhere.  

Tobacco brands zero in on black youth, study finds

Bernice Yeung, California Watch — Apr 23 2012 - 4:12pm

Tobacco marketing is targeting California's low-income and African American youth, according to researchers who examined advertising throughout the state. Academic researchers funded by the state’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program found that there was greater visibility of menthol cigarette advertising at retailers near high schools where there are larger African American student populations.

Bay Area program helps seniors, disabled live independently

Matt Perry, California Watch — Apr 18 2012 - 1:56pm

“I don’t know how any senior can handle all of this stuff,” sighs Mary Anne Humphrey, 68, who suffers from limited mobility due to a spinal cord injury. Humphrey is explaining the endless paperwork, social services, doctor appointments, benefit plans and medications she juggles as a disabled senior. Fortunately, Humphrey is one of 1,200 San Francisco County residents who have received help over the past five years from a unique Bay Area program that keeps older adults and the disabled living independently: the Community Living Fund.

City's health plan risks reverting to safety net for poor

Angela Hart, SF Public Press — Mar 15 2012 - 8:26am

Local, state officials must develop new models for care by 2014

This story appeared in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

San Francisco’s experiment in universal health care, which grew over the last five years to cover an estimated 85 percent of the city’s uninsured, may need to partly return to its origin as a network of safety net clinics and hospitals for the poor as national reforms syphon off middle-class patients. Healthy San Francisco provides medical services to more than 50,000 city residents. But the program could take a financial blow within the next two years as cities and counties adapt to national health reform.

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