Jocelyn Wiener


I am an Oakland-based narrative journalist with a focus on health and mental health care and other social issues.


The Sacramento Bee

She keeps her teeth in a box - evidence of a system that failed her

Karen Wadsack stores her collection of broken teeth inside a tiny box. She considers each tooth essential evidence of a system that's failed her. For the past eight years, the...

Washington Post

When Nursing Homes Push Out Poor And Disabled Patients

Anita Willis says the social worker offered her a painful choice: She could either leave the San Jose, Calif., nursing home where she'd spent a month recovering from a stroke -...


Worried parents: What's wrong with my child?

Kirsten Yeates was worried. Her newborn daughter, Riley, wouldn't sleep more than a few minutes without being held and rocked. At just a few weeks old, she'd begun vomiting...


That early help you need for your child doesn't come soon enough

The federal program Early Start, a statewide system to help infants and toddlers with developmental delays often fails to provide timely access to crucial therapies. The federal...

The Atlantic

The Deportation Fears of Immigrants With Disabled Children

Every few minutes, Abril begins to choke. Diagnosed as a baby with severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy, the Santa Cruz, California, 8-year-old has never spoken, or walked or...

The Sacramento Bee

In rural north state, more seniors depend on government for daily meals

Social Security and senior nutrition programs were created to ensure that the elderly would not have to face hunger. But in some rural California communities, counties are...

California Healthline

'Don't Cut Me!': Discouraged By Experts, Episiotomies Still Common In Some Hospitals

Since it was uploaded to YouTube, the video of Kimberly Turbin's 2013 episiotomy has been viewed more than 430,000 times. In the video, Turbin lies on her back in a hospital...

Kaiser Health News

Fear Of Deportation, Hate Crimes Reportedly Threaten Mental Health Of Young Californians

In the months leading up to the presidential election, Guillermo and his friends at Oakland International High School had a running joke. "If Donald Trump wins," they'd tease...

California Healthline

California's Healthy Kids Programs Fade As Undocumented Children Gain Access To Medi-Cal

Baby Sergio's fever was spiking. His parents had just arrived in Watsonville from Mexico with no papers, no money, no family, no friends. They tried bringing down the fever. It...

Center for Health Reporting

'Model' dental program proves painful for kids

Almost two decades ago, the state made Sacramento County the testing ground for a new model of delivering dental care to poor children. Officials envisioned a managed care...

Center for Health Reporting

Families of mentally ill children struggle for access to residential treatment

The first time Emily tried to kill herself, at age 15, she swallowed the entire contents of a bottle of Prozac, along with some Sudafed and Claritin she found in the medicine...


Marin lags among counties in providing eye care to low-income children

By many measures, Marin County is among the healthiest places in California. But when it comes to the eyesight of children, Marin has for years had a more dubious distinction....

Kaiser Health News

In Battle Against Ovarian Cancer, A New Focus on Fallopian Tubes

Two thin tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus have assumed an outsize role in the battle against ovarian cancer. Research increasingly points to the likelihood that some...

The Sacramento Bee

California launches audit of mental health services in schools

California's state auditor has launched an investigation of school districts and other local educational agencies to determine whether they are delivering enough treatment to...

Kaiser Health News

'Walking Wounded' Share Jarring Stories For No-Smoking Campaign

Felicita Soto remembers finding blood in the oddest places. On her pillow in the morning. In her sandwich after she took a bite. Once, a coworker whispered with disgust:...

Center for Health Reporting

Hospitalizations way up for California's youngest residents

In recent years, Dr. Jason Bynum has seen the churn: teens in crisis cycling through his south Sacramento psychiatric hospital, admitted, released, and just a few months down...

Center for Health Reporting

Mentally ill languish in jails due to cuts, lack of beds

The latest chapter of Kim Green's recurring nightmare began last fall. In October, her 24-year-old daughter - who suffers from severe bipolar disorder and a mood disorder...

Center for Health Reporting

Two tiny towns struggle after their clinics close

DOYLE - Just before the turnoff into this tiny community, near the shuttered Burger Barn, a sign announcing Doyle's existence also hints at its fade toward oblivion. Underneath...

Center for Health Reporting

Finding specialists tough for rural patients under managed care

QUINCY, Plumas County - Diane Kantoff's job is to find specialists who will treat patients of the Plumas District Hospital Clinic in this quaint little town in the woods 80...

The Sacramento Bee

Tackling Life, Part 1

In 1992, football united a group of boys. Dangerous streets, however, beckoned. Some of the teammates would triumph, but tragedy was always near.