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Santa Barbara County's Safety Net

Santa Barbara County’s Safety Net: A Noozhawk Special Project

This is the index to Noozhawk’s Safety Net series, a special project exploring Santa Barbara County’s safety-net population and its impacts on local health-care services currently and in advance of changes mandated by the health-care reform law that takes effect Jan. 1.

Our series is a result of an exciting partnership with USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, which awarded Noozhawk reporters Lara Cooper and Giana Magnoli a rare dual California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship to undertake this important work.

One in five Santa Barbara County residents has no health insurance, and many more 
are underinsured. Safety-net care providers are seeing record numbers of patients, even
as they confront growing financial strains and profound changes in their industry.

Under the direction of executive editor Tom Bolton, our reporters have taken a comprehensive look
 at the difficulty of serving this under-represented population, including low-income, Spanish-speaking, uninsured or homeless residents. They also have explored 
the looming challenges from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Critical safety-net services have not had the visibility they deserve. We believe
 Noozhawk has a unique ability to raise public awareness and identify possible solutions.

This project is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Foundation, CenCal Health, Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine, Pacific Western Bank and the Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp.

Day One

» Patchwork of Clinics Struggles to Keep Santa Barbara County Healthy

Day Two

» Without Health Insurance, Many Put Off Critical Treatment

Day Three

» Poor Children May Have Most to Gain from Health-Care Changes

Day Four

» Health-Care Providers Face Significant Challenges Serving Uninsured

Day Five

» Emergency Rooms Strained by Growing Load of Patients

» Mental Illness Places Escalating Burden on Emergency Rooms

Day Six

» Demand for Services Expected to Jump with Affordable Care Act

You can support more independent quality journalism like Noozhawk’s Safety Net series by becoming a member of Noozhawk’s Hawks Club. Click here to make a donation online, or mail your check to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. Personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.