CIRS Blog about Rural California

By Ron Shinkman

 

After nearly a decade of cuts and incomplete coverage, Californians enrolled in the state’s low-income dental program have full coverage this year.

 

But whether there will actually be enough dentists willing to accept the low-reimbursement rates and red tape often attached to the Denti-Cal program remains to be seen.

 

Denti-Cal provides dental services to roughly 14 million children and adults statewide. But coverage for the 7 million adults enrolled was hobbled for years following the 2007 economic recession.

Continue reading
in Rural Health 54 0
0

Dewey Welker has lots of dreadful memories.

 

With great clarity, down to the way his father turned up his shirt sleeves that day and the deep gray of his father’s jeans, he can describe every moment of being abandoned outside a liquor store at age 4.

 

He remembers stealing his first pair of shoes at age 7 and, a little later, beating up another boy to rob him of his scooter.

 

Marijuana came at 9, cigarettes at 12. His best friend introduced him to methamphetamine at 15.

 

That boy would later shoot himself.

Continue reading
in Rural Health 143 0
0

New state rules about the application of  pesticides on farms near rural schools and daycare facilities take effect Jan 1., following years of campaigning by groups advocating for teachers, the environment and public health. Yet these advocates argue that the rules still don’t do enough to protect school children and school staff from potentially dangerous chemicals.  

 

The new rules adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) prohibit spraying pesticides within a quarter mile of schools and daycare facilities on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

 

Advocates argue that the buffer zone of a quarter of a mile doesn’t do enough to protect the estimated 5,500 students, teachers and daycare workers who spend their weekdays at the farm-side facilities.

 

“At the end of the day is this where we want to be? No. We wanted the buffer at one mile. But, are these new regulations better and more consistent than before? Yes, they are,” said Paul Weller, a spokesman for Pesticide Reform. 

 

DPR’s long-awaited rules apply to fumigation, aerial, ground air-blast, sprinkler and dust application of pesticides on fields. These application methods may cause pesticide drift, when potentially harmful chemical become airborne and drift from farms into the surrounding communities.

Continue reading
in Rural Health 181 0
0

Much has been written about the disproportionately high incidence of health problems such as diabetes and obesity among African Americans and Latinos when compared to non-Hispanic whites. But health disparities among smaller minority groups such as American Indians and Pacific Islanders have received far less attention.

new report out of University of California Riverside aims to change that. Led by Andrew Subica, an assistant professor of social medicine, population and public health, the study examines seven years worth of data on health trends among American Indians and Alaskan natives, native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and multiracial adults living in California.

The findings paint a startling picture of ill health among these small and historically neglected populations. Not only do their rates of diabetes and obesity surpass those of non-Hispanic white people, but many are just as or even more likely to suffer from these diseases than African Americans and Latinos.

Continue reading
in Rural Health 347 0
0

By Linda Childers

Olivia Basurto was concerned when her nine-year-old son Samuel came home from school with a rash on his arms. After trying to treat the pink bumps with over-the-counter creams, and having no success, Basurto called to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

She quickly learned that in her small rural town of Pixley (population 3,310), in the Central Valley, physician specialists are a rare commodity. The nearest specialist was either in Porterville or Fresno, located almost an hour away, and they had a three-month wait.

But then, the Pixley Medical Clinic, a rural health clinic that provides family practice medicine to residents of Pixley and the surrounding cities, asked Basurto if she would be open to a telemedicine appointment with a dermatologist. The doctor, a retired dermatologist volunteer with The MAVEN Project, could assess her son’s rash and offer medical advice.

Continue reading
in Rural Health 273 0
0

Sign Up for our E-newsletter

blog-butn

© COPYRIGHT 2011. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE FOR RURAL STUDIES.