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Vaccination divide holds along class lines

Posted on 31 October 2013 (0)
Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register

Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register

Orange County Register

The doctor with a soothing voice assured her it was safe.

Connie Kraus and her infant son sat down for a “shot talk” in the Capistrano Beach office of famous alternative medicine pediatrician, Dr. Bob Sears. He told her risks of some childhood vaccines outweigh the benefits, said Kraus, who elected for a few immunizations but decided to hold off on measles, mumps and rubella shots.

Years later, Kraus’s friend lectured her about developing infertility from the diseases. Swayed, she vaccinated Munroe at age 8.

“I’m not willing to completely ignore public health concerns,” Kraus said Monday, at Journey School in Aliso Viejo, where her son attends second grade. “I try to take in both sides.”

She’s not alone. As more parents choose to skip or delay vaccinations for their school children, Orange County has developed a health divide. A county report released last week shows that affluent and mostly white communities, especially in South Orange County, have the lowest kindergarten vaccination rates, while lower-income areas are nearly fully immunized.

“Highly educated people are using other sources to question the reasoning behind recommendations for their children,” said Dr. David Nunez, the family health medical director at Orange County Health Care Agency. “People in these areas are exposed to more information and more misinformation.”

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Special Series: School Flight

Posted on 03 December 2011 (0)


Daily Pilot

This three-part series examined the choices parents make about schools in Costa Mesa, Calif., a community whose ethnic and socioeconomic identity has shifted dramatically in recent years.

Many parents take their kids out of local public campuses and enroll in nearby districts or private schools.

Their flight illustrates a larger trend in suburbs across the country. As immigrants continue to move into historically white communities, the established families are choosing to leave their neighborhood campuses.

Over the course of a year, Mike interviewed dozens of parents, and many teachers, children, education experts and administrators. They offered their perspectives and solutions to what many viewed as a serious problem.

School Flight Part 1: Why Mesa Verde families transfer out

School Flight Part 2: Not everyone chooses to leave neighborhood schools

School Flight Part 3: Families return to neighborhood schools

Comments: Readers respond to ‘School Flight’ series

Hospital Works to Bridge Cultural Barriers

Posted on 03 May 2011 (0)
A new garden at Hoag Hospital in Irvine follows feng shui principles. (Don Leach, Daily Pilot)

A new garden at Hoag Hospital in Irvine follows feng shui principles. (Don Leach, Daily Pilot)

Los Angeles Times

The nurse just thought she was bringing a refreshing dessert — a Popsicle — to a new mother. She didn’t expect the grandmother, shocked, to stop her and intercept the treat.

The cold was taboo for Shu-Fen Chen.

After emigrating from Taiwan, Chen gave birth to her first child in a Los Angeles hospital. Her cultural beliefs say a new mother shouldn’t touch anything cold for a month after birth, or she will suffer headaches later in life, she says.
Eventually, Chen moved to Irvine, home to one of the largest Chinese American populations in the nation and once home to Irvine Regional Hospital, where she had her second child. There, the nurse knew better.

“So many traditions people cannot believe,” said Chen, executive director of the South Coast Chinese Cultural Assn. in Irvine. “But some nurses just understand our culture.”

When Hoag Hospital opened its Irvine campus recently, replacing Irvine Regional, administrators hoped they had done enough to understand Irvine residents’ cultural beliefs, traditions and language.

Since the 1950s, Hoag has served mostly white and increasingly Latino patients at its Newport Beach location. Now, the hospital is stepping into a community that is nearly 40% Asian and has a large Iranian population.

Hoag has made a number of special preparations for these patients. They include creating patient rooms arranged according to the principles of feng-shui and to serving steamed rice for breakfast, and less-tangible gestures such as respectfully presenting documents with two hands and speaking to patients with more formality.

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