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On Valley Edition: Fresno County Health Funding; Teatro Obesity

Nov 15, 2011

This week on Valley Edition, we hear an in-depth report on Fresno County's decision to become the only county in the state not to pursue federal funding for a new low-income health program. We'll also hear about a new theater program that takes on the issue of obesity in the Valley's Latino community.

Segment 1: Fresno County walks away from $50 million in health care funding
Earlier this fall the Fresno County Board of Supervisors chose to withdraw the county's application for $50 million in federal funding that would have helped create a "Low Income Health Program" for the county's poorest residents. That makes Fresno the only county in the state to not take advantage of this new program, designed to get poor residents out of local emergency rooms and into a primary care setting. On this Valley Edition, host Juanita Stevenson reports on how an old contract with a local hospital, the debate over immigration, and the uncertainty over cost, caused the county to walk away from a program that could have improved health and created jobs. Kevin Hamilton of Clinca Sierra Vista, Jacey Cooper of Kern County's Kern Medical Center Health Plan, and Diana Dooley, California's Secretary of Health and Human Services join our roundtable discussion following the report.

Segment 2: New theatrical production tackles obesity
Augustin Lira is widely recognized as one of the fathers of the Chicano movement. In 1965 he co-founded the group Teatro Campesino, which focused on the issues facing California's migrant farm worker population. Now in 2011, he's tackling a new topic that impacts many local Latino residents – obesity. "The Weight of Things" is a new production of four vignettes plus and original song, produced in conjunction with the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program. Guests Patricia Wells and Genoveva Islas-Hooker tell us about what this new production hopes to accomplish.

Special funding for this program comes from the California HealthCare Foundation