Health reform in redwood country
Health reform in redwood country

About this project

Health reform is on its way to low-income residents of rural California, including Humboldt and Del Norte counties along the northern coast. A consortium of 34 rural counties has applied to participate in the “Bridge to Health Reform,” a $10-billion federally financed expansion of statewide public health coverage. While backers are convinced it will save health care services in these sparsely populated, budget-challenged counties, skepticism abounds among Redwood Country health professionals that the new health order is not tailored to their needs.


At a glance: County Medical Services Program

 The County Medical Services Program is a relatively obscure indigent care provider that was established in 1983 to enable smaller, rural California counties to deliver health care services to poor adults.

Isolated clinic brings reform model to Redwood Country

As rural medical providers wrestle with the challenge of bringing health reform to the most isolated regions of California, a promising test case has emerged on the far northwest tip of the state.

Rural providers weigh in on health care reform

As she treated the lower body paralysis of Donnice Hildreth, who is anxiously awaiting the results of a San Francisco neurosurgical evaluation, Dr. Kate McCaffrey could not restrain her skepticism of a program launched in March to bring federal...

Who qualifies

Under the rules of the “Bridge to Health Reform” free health coverage provided by the County Medical Services Program, or CMSP, will be offered to people earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level, or $22,350 for a family of four....


John Gonzales

John Gonzales

Senior writer John Gonzales specializes in the demographics of health policy. He was most recently based in New Orleans as Southern Regional Correspondent for the Associated Press. He covered efforts to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina, as well as immigration and the shifting demographics of The South. Gonzales previously was Hispanic Affairs reporter at Newsday -- a beat that took him from New York's emerging Mexican neighborhoods, to the U.S. border region, to rural Mexican towns. His "Texas Smuggling" articles won the National Association of Hispanic Journalists best breaking news award in 2004. He was also awarded The Freedom Forum’s North American Journalist Exchange fellowship in 2001. Gonzales spent the early part of his 15-year journalism career on the staffs of The Daily Breeze and the Gardena Valley News. He is a USC Annenberg graduate, with honors, and a dual major in political science. He is also a Spanish speaker and graduate of the Los Angeles Times Minority Editorial Training Program, or METPro.

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