Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

Quick Read: Young Adults Could Lose Coverage if Health Law Overturned

Even some Republicans who hate most things about the Affordable Care Act admit that they support allowing young people to stay on their parent’s insurance plans. It has become so popular that some insurance companies have said they will keep the policy even if Obama’s healthcare law is overturned by the Supreme Court. But there … Continue reading Quick Read: Young Adults Could Lose Coverage if Health Law Overturned →

Beverage Companies Blur Line Between Philanthropy & Marketing

If you were watching the Superbowl in 2010 when the Packers beat the Steelers, you may have noticed that Pepsi commercials were absent from the ads that were vying for the attention of millions of viewers. Instead, Pepsi announced Pepsi Refresh, a project to take the $20 million dollars it would have spent on Superbowl advertising and give it to a good cause. They used a vast social media campaign to involve the public in voting for which cause would get the money.

Quick Read: PTSD in Heart Attack Survivors More Common Than Realized

The emotional effects of heart attacks may be more severe than anyone realized. More heart attack survivors developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), than doctors previously realized. Survivors report a lack of faith in the body, paranoia about minor chest pain, sleeplessness and anxiety. Source: Nytimes The emotional toll of a heart attack can be … Continue reading Quick Read: PTSD in Heart Attack Survivors More Common Than Realized →

Court Challenge Could Result In Medicaid Cutbacks Instead Of Expansion

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News The future of the nation’s largest health insurance program — Medicaid — hangs in the balance of the Supreme Court’s decision on the 2010 health law. The state-federal program which covers 60 million poor and disabled people would be greatly expanded under the health law, adding 17 million more … Continue reading Court Challenge Could Result In Medicaid Cutbacks Instead Of Expansion →

Quick Read: Diabetes May Affect Brain Function in Older Adults

Almost a third of the U.S. population over the age of 65 has diabetes, about 11 million people. A study out of UCSF notes a strong association between declining brain function and diabetes in older adults. The study suggests that aggressive management of blood levels in midlife may be even more important than thought before. … Continue reading Quick Read: Diabetes May Affect Brain Function in Older Adults →

Quick Read: Consumers Stuck With Murky Sunscreen Labels Another Summer

This month sunscreen companies were supposed to role out new labels that follow strict guidelines on the claims companies can make about their products. Now consumers will have to wait until next summer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has delayed the deadline for clearer labeling until December. Source: Npr Anyone who’s gone to the … Continue reading Quick Read: Consumers Stuck With Murky Sunscreen Labels Another Summer →

VA Adds Mental Health Clinicians

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that it will add 1,600 mental health clinicians and 300 support staff to veterans hospitals across the country to help contend with the rising demand for mental health care among returning veterans. That’s an almost 10% increase in mental health staff and is sorely needed at hospitals that … Continue reading VA Adds Mental Health Clinicians →

California Prison Medical Costs Higher Than Average

By KQED Staff and Wires As the state prepares to resume control of inmate medical care, it must find ways to reduce costs that are triple the national average, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office said Thursday. The federal receivership that has been in place since 2006 has greatly improved the medical care of state prison … Continue reading California Prison Medical Costs Higher Than Average →

Report: Fewer Unhealthy Air Days in California

By Bernice Yeung, California Watch California air pollution reached unhealthy levels less often in 2011 than a decade ago, according to a report released this week by a state association of regional air district officers. Compared with 2000, there were about 74 percent fewer days of “unhealthy air” statewide last year, data from the report [PDF] showed. Air quality … Continue reading Report: Fewer Unhealthy Air Days in California →

Quick Read: Why Was Warren Buffet Tested For Prostate Cancer?

Warren Buffet has announced that at age 81 he has early stage prostate cancer. The billionaire investor has decided to aggressively treat the cancer with radiation, but doesn’t intend to resign from his position as chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. It is not uncommon for older men to have the disease, but many don’t … Continue reading Quick Read: Why Was Warren Buffet Tested For Prostate Cancer? →

California Advocates For Healthy Food in U.S. Farm Bill

The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization in Congress this year and California food and health advocates are eager to use the opportunity to shift national policy towards healthier eating, which would also benefit California farmers. A panel of food experts that included Michael Pollan, author of bestseller Omnivore's Dilemma, and Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture packed Wheeler Auditorium at U.C. Berkeley Thursday evening.

S.F. Doctor New Head of National HIV Office

President Obama has tapped San Francisco's own Dr. Grant Colfax to head the Office of National AIDS Policy in Washington, D.C. Dr. Colfax is the former director of HIV prevention and research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Dr. Grant Colfax, newly appointed director of the Office of National AIDS Policy and former director of HIV prevention and research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Photo: S.F. Dept. of Public Health) In an interview on KQED's Forum earlier this week Dr. Colfax was optimistic about a new phase in the fight against HIV. “We’ve had some striking scientific advances in prevention and care. We really are for the first time talking about an HIV-free generation,” Dr. Colfax told Forum's Michael Krasny. To achieve that future Dr. Colfax said HIV testing should become a regular part of primary health care. “HIV testing needs to be part of routine primary care and we need to break down the stigma that is still unfortunately associated with HIV testing,” he emphasized.

Global Experts Meet in Oakland to Share Ideas on Children’s Health

Malaria, tuberculosis, HIV -- these are the communicable diseases many people associate with death in the developing world. But increasingly diseases like diabetes, heart disease and conditions related to obesity have become the ticking "time bomb" that public health experts are desperately trying to prevent form exploding. California public health advocates are integrating healthy food into free lunch programs to help prevent NCDs. Photo: USDAgov/Flickr The Public Health Institute (PHI) convened the first-ever conference focusing on children and non-communicable diseases this week in downtown Oakland. Experts from around the world gathered to exchange ideas about how to prevent diseases that were once thought to be illnesses of the developed world from spreading globally. It's no coincidence that the conference is being held in Oakland.