Writing was my first foray into storytelling, and here you can find samples of my work as a journalist. I tend to write about public health issues in California, and issues faced by today's generation of military veterans.

Program Aims to Reduce Disparities in Foster Care System

Nationally, the foster care system is a long-term home to more children of color than White children. The disparities in California are particularly alarming, with more than half of African American foster children in care for more than two years. Forty-five percent of Native American foster children have also been in the system, which was […]

New Apps Aim to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

On a single day in California, nearly 800 requests for emergency shelter went unmet, according to a 2012 domestic violence census. That was far too many left with no place to go for one team of software developers. They created SafeNight app, now in limited pilot, which uses crowdsourcing techniques to help domestic violence organizations […]

Young Veterans Face Soaring Unemployment Levels; Employers Find Ways to Skirt USERRA Laws

In 2011, Sergeant Antonio Thomas found himself in the position of many returning Reservists: unemployed and looking for work. SGT Thomas had spent nearly a year in Iraq, where he worked as a petroleum supply specialist. Once home, he spent months searching for a job that would support his family. SGT Thomas and his wife […]

Sequester, Shutdown Imperil Domestic Violence Services in Rural Areas

Domestic violence service providers in rural areas, already hard-pressed for resources, are reeling from federal budget cuts that took effect earlier this year and the ongoing shutdown of much of the federal government. Ask most domestic violence service providers about whether they have sufficient resources and you’ll probably get the same answer: it’s never enough. […]

Trapped in a Military Marriage

Tiffany Kettermann didn’t realize that her husband was violent until they were already married. When she met him in April 2003, she thought he was “the most caring, gentle person I had ever met in my life.” She learned he was joining the Air Force. “I was like, ‘Yeah, this is the guy for me.’” […]

Jails look to ACA to insure inmates

When the signature reforms of the Affordable Care Act go into effect on January 1st, millions of Californians will have expanded access to government subsidized health-care benefits. Counties, some of which saw their jail populations and health-care costs swell since prison reforms took effect in 2011, want to make sure that jail inmates will be […]

Poor health care moving from prison to jails

California’s sweeping criminal justice reform plan was meant to sharply reduce the state’s prison population. But the changes may have also had the unintended consequence of passing along to county jails the biggest problem associated with overcrowding – poor health care. The reform, also known as prison realignment or AB 109, transferred authority for people […]

In annual homeless census, counting youth is a challenge

Lavonna Martin speaks with a homeless man at his encampment made entirely of cardboard boxes. He slept under an overpass with only a pile of blankets to warm him on a night when temperatures were in the 30s.

The man pulled back the curtain to reveal the tiny encampment, allowing a small group of outsiders to step through and see what passes for a life lived under an overpass. “It’s a little rough, but we make due,” said the man, who identified himself as 51-year-old Lamar. He explained how he had dug out […]

The DNA of disparities

Everybody carries the potential for diseases in their genes, but that potential doesn’t always result in illnesses. What flips the genetic switch to create disease in some people and not in others? And even more critically, why is it that those who have ongoing exposure to stress—living in a violent neighborhood or below the poverty […]

Flame retardants in furniture more common than expected

Flame retardants in furniture once seemed like a good way to prevent fire accidents in our homes. But multiple animal and human studies suggest that many flame retardant chemicals used to treat furniture are either toxic or have not yet been proven safe for long-term use. Now, new research suggests that these chemicals are more […]

Thanks for stopping. Have a super day.