Lauren M. Whaley

Lauren M. Whaley

Center for Health Reporting

Lauren M. Whaley is a photographer, radio producer and print reporter specializing in topics related to mental illness, reproductive health care and health disparities. She is also a childbirth photographer.

This year, she is working on a series about how low-income parents access care for perinatal mental illnesses. The project is funded by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

Whaley was a 2016-17 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) STEM story project. She has contributed radio, video, photography and written stories to KQED Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, the San Jose Mercury News, the New York Times and other media outlets. For six years, I worked as the Center for Health Reporting's multimedia journalist, based in Los Angeles. She is a past president of the national organization Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and spent her early 20s leading canoe expeditions for young women, including a solo-led 45-trip in the Canadian Arctic. 

House Calls

Garden Grove nurses' house calls program helps seniors prolong independence

GARDEN GROVE — Kelly Baik plopped two large plastic Tupperware containers in front of Nelson Tran and Loan Nguyen, who were seated at the kitchen island. Baik opened one, picked out an amber-colored bottle and rattled it.

House Calls

Profile: Mallory Vega, Executive Director, Acacia Adult Day Services

“With the demographics that we were seeing, we felt that it was a program that would go on forever,” Vega said. “People were starting to say, ‘Hark! The boomers are coming, the boomers are coming.’”
House Calls

Profile: Natalie Franks, Activities and nutrition supervisor, Acacia Adult Day Services

Franks, 36, is now the Activities and Food Supervisor at the center, and life there is even more meaningful than she imagined. The elderly population she serves now includes her grandfather Manuel Lopez Ornelas Jr., 83, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
House Calls

Profile: Steve Pearson and Zelda, Caregivers, Acacia Adult Day Services

“She is such a loving dog,” Pearson said. “I tried to give her treats to get her to do something, didn’t work. Gave her a hug and a rub, told her you loved her, and she’d do anything.”
Mental Breakdown

Faces of mental illness, 3 years later: Jim Christiansen

Jim Christiansen manages his bipolar disorder by painting, getting massage therapy and going to support groups.
Mental Breakdown

Faces of mental illness, 3 years later: Antoinette and Randy Brooks

The Center for Health Reporting found Antoinette Blunt and Randy Brooks in 2012 as part of The Modesto Bee’s reporting on the dilapidated state of mental health treatment in Stanislaus County.
Mental Breakdown

Coping with mental illness in Stanislaus County

Economic calamity has a crushing effect on a community’s mental health, resulting in more people seeking treatment for mental illnesses, ranging in severity from depression to suicidal.
Mental Breakdown

Faces of mental illness, 3 years later: Susan De Souza

Susan De Souza called herself one of the “in-betweens:” people not sick enough to be eligible for public help, but too poor to afford insurance on their own.
Outbreaks on the rise

Vaccination photos: Needles, screams and vials

Needles plunging into arms. Screaming toddlers. A stock image of a vial. These images often illustrate stories about childhood vaccinations. But maybe they shouldn’t.
Medical Interpreters Shortage

Interpreter Judit Marin: A voice that makes a difference

Judit Marin will tell you she is “just a voice,” called upon to help Bay Area Spanish speakers communicate fully with doctors who speak English – not to mention the complex language of medicine. But the 45-year-old Barcelona native and Oakland resident also represents the advantages of face-to-face medical interpreting at a time when California needs those skills most.
Under-vaccinated

CalWORKs will reduce welfare if parents don't prove their kids are vaccinated

The outbreaks of measles and whooping cough over the past year put a spotlight on the need to ensure as many children as possible get their immunizations. That effort is getting help from an unlikely source: a state welfare agency that will reduce cash aid if parents fail to keep their kids' vaccinations up to date.
Under-vaccinated

Vaccination rates low at LA County child care centers

In Los Angeles County, which has seen 33 confirmed cases of measles, it’s difficult to determine preschool vaccination rates. Nearly 30 percent of county preschools failed last fall to submit state-required vaccination data.
Under-vaccinated

Measles outbreak: Bay Area day cares show high rates of unvaccinated kids

As new measles cases continuing to surface every week, Bay Area parents are still on high alert.
15-month-old girl gets her first MMR dose. (Lauren M. Whaley/CHCF Center for Health Reporting)
Under-vaccinated

Thousands of kindergarteners enter school with incomplete immunizations

Thousands of kindergartners in Riverside and San Bernardino counties were conditionally enrolled in school this year without being fully vaccinated, state data show. Vaccination rates and policies have come under scrutiny because of the recent measles outbreak that has sickened 141 people in 17 states since an initial exposure at the California Disney resorts in December. Most of those infected had not been vaccinated.
Under-vaccinated

Vaccination status not necessarily ideological

The mother of an Orange County child who exposed 20 infants to measles last year never intended for her baby to go unvaccinated.
Under-vaccinated

Alameda County works to improve vaccination rates

As we reported on Friday, kids without all their vaccinations are falling through the cracks at schools across California.
Under-vaccinated

Majority at some LAUSD kindergartens are under-vaccinated

While a measles outbreak and a statewide pertussis epidemic have focused public attention on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, experts say under-vaccination is also a pressing problem.
Under-vaccinated

Partially vaccinated kids fall through the cracks

Sara Martín is not against vaccinations. But that didn’t make it any easier to cart her two young kids on two buses from East Los Angeles to a downtown clinic to get their required immunizations.
Under-vaccinated

Measles outbreak: Low vaccination rates at some Bay Area schools raise alarm

With alarm over the Disneyland measles outbreak growing across California, almost 5,000 kindergartners enrolled in Bay Area schools are without proof they've been fully vaccinated, a major concern as the highly infectious disease continues to spread.
The ACA in California one year in

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 ACA in California one year in

Treating the Newly Insured: A Doctor's Story (Video)

Dr. Hector Flores marvels at the impact of the Affordable Care Act on his Montebello family practice. The number of uninsured patients, he says, has been cut almost in half.

The ACA in California one year in

Saving big time with Obamacare (Video)

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.
Ask Emily

Video: Ask Emily's tips for navigating Obamacare's second year

This is a companion video to Ask Emily's column on Open Enrollment, in which Emily Bazar explains why cheaper isn't always better wh
Clinic scramble

Community health center emerges as a model clinic

Teresa Recinos, 60, recently limped into the San Fernando Health Center, her right leg aching from sciatica. Dr. Rabin Kheradpour decided she needed an MRI and a bone density test. He also ordered a colonoscopy.
Mitchell Katz

L.A. County's top health official shows compassionate side

The homeless man with high blood pressure, who had previously suffered a stroke, arrives at the East Los Angeles county health clinic at 9:50 a.m. When he registers at the front desk, he refuses to see one of the many physicians on duty. He insists on waiting for his favorite doctor.

A singer's Obamacare lament

When we last spoke with leukemia patient Carol Kroger, she had resolved to apply for the state-run health reform exchange Covered California, hoping to escape the rising premiums of her private plan.

Clinic scramble

Strained Clinics: Will they be ready for patient onslaught?

Los Angeles community clinics and health centers already have waiting rooms brimming with patients.

Health Reform in Hollywood

Performers' hopes tempered by sober realities

Before her injury, dancer Chisa Yamaguchi could catapult 12 feet in the air from a towering stage structure, but Hollywood’s brass ring of health insurance was always out of reach. Then came Obamacare.
Uninsured Hopes

High stakes for uninsured in Tulare County

Tulare -- This poor, rural county in the southern Central Valley made its name in agriculture by producing more milk than any other county in the nation. But for the men and women laboring in the dairies, fields and packing plants here, Tulare County also owns a less auspicious distinction: It is home to the highest percentage of adults in California without health insurance.
Deadly Paint

Lead poisoning in California's kids: Antonio's story

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