Youth Radio podcast: Healthcare

Young people are thought of as the healthiest among us, and it can be easy to discount how essential quality healthcare can be for youth. A 20-year-old Bay Area woman and others describe how asthma impacts her life nearly every day, and how access to a doctor is literally a lifeline. “It’s like a disability […]

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Asthma as a Disability: A Family’s Struggle With Chronic Illness

A young mother’s struggle with asthma and chronic migraines is a perfect illustration of the two-way street between life stress, such as homelessness, and physical health. Preservation of the healthcare services she accesses through the Affordable Care Act are key to that equation.  “It’s either pay rent or pay for medicine. Get food or pay for medicine.” Listen to her story at […]

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It feels like there’s not enough oxygen in the air

Among the American Lung Association’s list of most polluted cities in the country, multiple cities in California’s Central Valley appear; Merced County children are diagnosed with asthma at more than twice the statewide average. Asher Pan has suffered from asthma since early childhood, and moving to Merced — where geography, pollution, and a spate of wildfires combine to create poor air quality — has […]

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Students breathe easier at Ramona Gardens school

A new indoor air filtration system was installed in Murchison Elementary School over the summer to reduce the levels of outdoor pollutants inside classrooms. Students are regularly exposed to contaminants from a nearby freeway, an industrial zone and a rail line, all high-impact pollution sources. A 2012 Boyle Heights Beat story reported that children living in the zip code that includes Ramona […]

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Breathtaking: asthma and the social determinants of health

Darcell Harrison never knew how serious asthma could be until his teens, when his cousin, unable to breathe, frightened the whole family with repeated trips to the emergency room. With a little research, he discovered that asthma is not only a leading factor in hospitalization of children, but that minority children are disproportionately affected – by a lot. Black and Puerto Rican children […]

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Breath-taking: My experience with asthma

During grade school, Kavon Jones remembers the emergency room as his “second home.”  He interviews a doctor who informs him about the less obvious triggers for asthma flare-ups, including the high stress caused by living in an area with violent crime. “Burchard said that the lack of access to resources,  may determine how effective asthma management […]

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Women unite for reproductive and environmental health

A community group-support workshop called Ambiente de Mujer, translated to Women’s Environment, offered an opportunity to raise awareness, camaraderie, and self-care for Long Beach women.  Sessions explored the intersections of environmental and reproductive health. Rates of childhood asthma are particularly high in Long Beach; so are teen pregnancy rates. “To be open minded to something like sexuality– that is something we are not […]

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