Recent Stories

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    Flu down locally, shots still urged

    Even though the effectiveness of this year's influenza vaccine is diminished, local cases of the flu are down from last year. It's still early in the flu season so there could yet be a spike, but so far Kern County cases of the flu are at...

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    County ranks high in tobacco sales to minors

    The rate of illegal sales of tobacco products to minors in Kern County is almost twice higher than that of the state, according to a report the Kern County Public Health Services Department released Friday. In an effort to evaluate the...

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    Trailer donated to Magdalene Hope for HIV testing service

    With its pastel pink and white exterior, an outsider would never guess that a 1960 vintage camping trailer, nicknamed Bunny, would be used for HIV testing. But the trailer was donated to Magdalene Hope Ministry, a nonprofit organization...

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    Threshold Choir caters to the sick

    At Mercy Hospital downtown Friday, a woman lay scowling in a bed in the intensive care unit. A group of people dressed in cheerful holiday colors had gathered in the common area outside her room, and the patient was clearly annoyed by the...

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    Report finds high child abuse, neglect in Kern

    Kern County children ages 5 and younger are twice as likely as their statewide peers to be victims of abuse and neglect, according to a new report. The findings were part of the Children's Data Network project at the University of...

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    Health reform in California: A state of accelerating change

    Gail Fulbeck, 64, relies on her body for work. She hauls soda, energy drinks, snacks and water to the 23 vending machines she owns around downtown Sacramento. The physical demands of her job, coupled with her husband's history of...

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    Health reform proves a mixed bag in Kern

    Margaret Pendley has had chronic pain since the double whammy of a car accident in February and a fall a month later. The restaurant server has been on disability since the accident, and has spent much of this year trying to find a pain...

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    Supervisors trusting but verifying glowing KMC numbers

    It's been one year since Russell Judd and his team of contract managers took over control of county-owned Kern Medical Center. He took an organization that bled an average of $2.6 million a month between October 2013 and March 2014 and,...

  9. Children's Hospital Central California

    Madera children's hospital creating valley network, opening Bakersfield clinic

    MADERA -- The name is old but new again at Valley Children's Hospital, the crayon-colored hospital overlooking the San Joaquin River in Madera County. Children's Hospital Central California is reverting to its original name, officials...

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    KMC update: Staffers ready for Ebola, budget picture brightening

    Kern County supervisors got a taste Monday of the preparations Kern Medical Center has made to handle a potential Ebola case they hope will never come. A hospital worker, muffled in layers of protective blue clothes and masks, twisted...

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    ASK EMILY: It's not easy to check out of Hotel Covered California

    In my previous column, I explained that you become ineligible for Covered California's tax credits when you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare. You will owe money to the government if you keep getting the credits after your Medicare begins....

  12. Sexually transmitted diseases

    STD infections rising statewide, but even higher in Kern

    Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise statewide, but the rate of infection in Kern County is particularly alarming. Kern led the state in chlamydia cases last year, was second only to San Francisco County in gonorrhea cases, and...

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    ASK EMILY: New to Medicare? Drop Covered California fast

    It's open-enrollment season again, and I'm not just talking about Covered California. Among those making important health care decisions right now are more than 50 million Americans -- including more than 5 million Californians -- who...

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