Jocelyn Wiener

storyteller

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

Portfolio

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...
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...
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...
'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...
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'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...
'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...
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....
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...
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...
'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:...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
Tackling Life, Part 2
Latino Youth In California See Significant Rise In Psychiatric Hospitalizations
Psychiatric hospitalizations of Latino children and young adults in California are rising dramatically - at a much faster pace than among their white and black peers, according...
The Parents Who Jump-Started Autism Research in California
Two decades ago, a group of well-connected, politically savvy families launched a world-leading research center-and fueled a debate over whether autism can and should be cured....
Ticket to Nowhere
She was a friend to all, but died alone
Tackling Life, Part 3

Essays

My Son Wears A Dress
For my son, his desire for the dress is profoundly logical: He needs it to twirl. By Jocelyn Wiener "I want the yellow dress," begs the weeping, shrieking two-year-old boy...
Perspective | The tooth fairy is coming
My daughter floats into the living room, cheeks flushed, hair rumpled. A hopeful smile flutters across her face. Her tongue wiggles something. "Could I have a loose tooth?" she...
Perspective | Should I tell my children about the issues that worry me?
The nightmare always ended the same way: I knelt in the back yard at night, trying to hide my three younger brothers in the sandbox while Nazis searched our house. What saved...
Perspective | My 4-year-old's first encounter with homelessness left me struggling for answers
The white feathers floated everywhere. It took me a moment to discern their source. A woman, 30-something, slim and tired-looking, was trying to stuff a ratty down sleeping bag...
Words to Live By
My baby and my fitbit
How a small piece of technology had a human-sized impact on a mother's relationship to her child.

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