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Santa Cruz County Health Overview



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Formerly known as Citizens for Better Nursing Home Care, Advocacy runs two programsā€”the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and the Patientsā€™ Rights Advocate Programā€”dedicated to residents of nursing homes, board-and-care care, and mental health facilities.

California Local Pin Marker Local Health Digest

Antidepressant Prescriptions to Young People Surged During the Pandemic

02/27/2024

The monthly rate of antidepressants being dispensed to young people increased about 64% more quickly during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study in the journalĀ Pediatrics.

ā€˜Fourth Waveā€™ of Opioid Epidemic Crashes Ashore, Propelled by Fentanyl and Meth

02/20/2024

The United States is knee-deep in what some experts call the opioid epidemic's "fourth wave," which is not only placing drug users at greater risk but is also complicating efforts to address the nation's drug problem.

California Local Pin Marker Recent Articles

Image caption: A new law seeks to prevent cars from speeding, which causes about one of every three traffic fatalities.
If Drivers Wonā€™t Slow Down, Proposed Law Requires Cars Do It for Them

ā€œIntelligentā€ speed-limiting technology will be required in all new California cars starting in 2027, if a new law authored by San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener passes.

Image caption: Los Angeles voters can take a step toward reducing traffic violence with a measure on the March ballot.
Can Traffic Deaths in Los Angeles be Reduced With a Ballot Measure?

With traffic deaths now regularly topping 300 per year, Measure HLA on the March 5 ballot gives Los Angeles voters the opportunity to force their reluctant city to implement new traffic safety measures.

Image caption: California traffic deaths dropped by 12 percent in the first three months of 2023, but road fatalities remain at crisis levels.
Death on the Roads: Traffic Fatality Crisis Far From Over

As the COVID pandemic eased, so did the epidemic of death on the road. Somewhat. But the ongoing crisis of traffic fatalities remains at high levels with early numbers form 2023 appearing to top 4,000 in California.

Image caption: Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas chats with Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer on the first day of the new legislative session Wednesday.
California Legislature Opens 2024 Session With Packed Agenda

State lawmakers reconvene with a lot of problems to fix, but not a lot of money to spend on solutions with a projected $68 billion budget deficit.

The Pajaronian logo LOCAL NEWS
Watsonville Hospital board approves budget, showing improved financial picture

Watsonville Community Hospital. Pajaronian file photo
Just two years ago, Watsonville Community Hospital was saddled with a $30 million debt and was facing bankruptcy and possible closure.

Image caption: When the calendar turns to 2024, undocumented Californian adults will become eligible for the state's public health insurance program, Medi-Cal.
All Undocumented Californians Eligible for Medi-Cal for First Time

Undocumented Californians are leaving health care clinics with ā€œsmilesā€ after they learn theyā€™re newly eligible for Medi-Cal insurance. The health insurance expansion was decades in the making for immigrant advocates.

Image caption: Ambiance rides often save lives, but they can also ruin the lives of families slapped with expensive surprise bills for the emergency service.
Surprise Ambulance Ride Bills Banned Under New Law

Surprise ambulance bills can leave families deeply in debt after a medical emergency. A new state law that forces insurance companies to negotiate payments is expected to save Californians tens of millions of dollars a year.

Image caption: New efficiency measures in the Medi-Cal payment process may spell the end for some children's mental health programs.
Kids' Mental Health Programs May Close As State 'Modernizes' Payments

California is modernizing how it pays health care providers through Medi-Cal. Some mental health providers say the changes endanger their services.

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