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On Valley Edition: Medical Interpreters; Clinics; Makers Faire; High-Speed Rail

Credit California High Speed Rail Authority
File Photo

This week on Valley Edition we take a look across the region at health issues, innovation, the future of high-speed rail in California and more.

More than 100 languages are spoken in the San Joaquin Valley. In area hospitals and doctors’ offices, that creates a need for medical interpreters who can bridge the communication and culture gap between providers and patients. And that need is only expected to increase next year when the Affordable Care Act is implemented. A new bill would provide additional funding and support to the Medi-Cal program to provide interpreter services to patients who speak limited English. But could it also help break down the medical and cultural barriers that can lead to health problems? FM 89’s Rebecca Plevin reports on the issue.

Plevin also brings a report on a regional disease that many consider neglected by health policy leaders. But this week, a Central Valley Congressman brought valley fever to the attention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Plevin reports on Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s meeting with the CDC, and his short-term and long-term goals for valley fever.

The first segment of the program focuses on a group that has a goal to create a culture of innovation in the region. The San Joaquin Valley is known for its agriculture exploits and groundbreaking farming techniques but in Fresno a new sort of innovation is developing.  The Fresno Grizzlies along with Fresno Ideaworks held the first ever Mini Maker Faire in Fresno on April 21. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero reports on the event and the budding culture of innovation in the region.

Also on Valley Edition, a commentary about food culture and the economy in the region. Earlier this Spring the Fresno Food Expo brought together valley food businesses with regional and national buyers, as well as hundreds of ordinary local residents. But Del Rey farmer and guest commentator Nikiko Masumoto says all the buzz about food products, left her dreaming of something more meaningful, a focus on local food culture.

We end the program with a journalist-to-journalist interview between Valley Edition host Juanita Stevenson and Fresno Bee reporter Tim Sheehan. Tim has been on the high-speed rail beat since 2010. He provides insight into the future of the rail and what it has been like as a journalist documenting high-speed rail.


Scott Kramer,
 board member with Fresno Idea Works

High Speed Rail
Tim Sheehan,
Fresno Bee Reporter

Juanita Stevenson has lived and worked in Fresno for the past 24 years. She is perhaps best known to Valley residents as a longtime reporter and news anchor with local television station ABC30, and has also worked at stations KJWL, KYNO and ValleyPBS. She is the recipient of the 2001 Associated Press Award for Best Reporting, and the 1997 Radio & Television News Directors Association Regional Edward R. Murrow award for Best Reporting.
Rebecca Plevin was a reporter for Valley Public Radio from 2013-2014. Before joining the station, she was the community health reporter for Vida en el Valle, the McClatchy Company's bilingual newspaper in California's San Joaquin Valley. She earned the George F. Gruner Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism and the McClatchy President's Award for her work at Vida, as well as honors from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Plevin grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is also a fluent Spanish speaker, a certified yoga teacher, and an avid rock-climber.
Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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