Maricopa County residents eligible for free pool fences through Pool Fence Safety Program

PHOENIX – Child Crisis Arizona, the Salt River Project and the 493 Firefighter Foundation aim to decrease childhood drownings through the 2024 Pool Fence Safety Program that provides free pool fences to eligible Maricopa County residents.

A "Watch your children!" sign hangs on Sam Aguilar and Brandi Stoll’s pool fence on Feb. 21, 2024, in Phoenix. (Photo by Harris Hicks/Cronkite News)

Black Americans three times as likely to experience kidney failure as whites

PHOENIX — Black Americans are more likely to experience kidney failure than any other racial group in the United States, as the community has high rates of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Angela Beatty on her way to receive dialysis on Feb. 28. Beatty says untreated high blood pressure caused her kidney disease. (Photo by Jack Orleans/Cronkite News)

The VA pioneered the use of telehealth for veterans who can’t easily access health care facilities

PHOENIX – Veterans Affairs has been using telehealth since the early 2000s, long before the surge in use brought on by COVID–19. Telehealth helps veterans who have mobility issues and gives them access to specialists even in remote areas.

What Arizona and Maricopa County are doing to manage smoke, air quality

PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Air Quality Department and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality are working to maintain the health and prosperity of the environment and residents as it relates to air quality through no-burn days and prescribed-burn smoke dispersion.

The American Lung Association designated the Phoenix-Mesa area in the top 10 most-polluted cities by ozone and by year-round particle pollution in its State of the Air 2023 report. (File photo by Kasey Brammell/Cronkite News)

Arizona reports 20% increase in HIV cases, predominantly affecting Hispanic communities

PHOENIX – Reported Arizona HIV cases have increased by 20%, an uptick largely affecting the Hispanic community. A Phoenix care organization describes how financial and cultural barriers persist to persuading people to get tested.

Christopher Carrillo, case manager at the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS in Phoenix. (Photo by Jack Orleans/Cronkite News)

Prom, conversation, bingo: Seniors seek socialization

GILBERT – Phoenix senior homes held a prom in January to give their residents a special event with live music, dancing and a chance to dress up and socialize. Socialization is key to mental health and well-being for senior citizens.

Elaine Galusha, right, dances with Bob Platek during a prom on Jan. 27. “These are vibrant-life communities,” said Kim Wood, director of wellness programming at Savanna House. (Photo by Kevinjonah Paguio/Cronkite News)

With traffic fatalities on the rise, Phoenix looks for safety solutions

PHOENIX – Phoenix, which had the most traffic deaths in the state in 2022, is working toward eliminating traffic fatalities using its Vision Zero Road Safety Action Plan.

Phoenix, which had the most traffic deaths in the state in 2022, is working toward eliminating traffic fatalities using its Vision Zero Road Safety Action Plan. (File photo by Andrea Jaramillo/Cronkite News)

Abortion opponents rally at Capitol during ‘crucial time in Arizona’

PHOENIX – Abortion opponents packed the plaza outside the Arizona Capitol on Friday in an impassioned display of anti-abortion advocacy at what one advocate called "a crucial time in Arizona" for the abortion fight.

Phoenix continues outreach to struggling teens during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

PHOENIX – The city of Phoenix is using Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month as an opportunity to raise awareness about a complex issue and to continue support and outreach for teens affected by dating violence.

Teen Lifeline counselors receive messages from teenagers who have called to express their gratitude. The organization keeps the messages and hangs them in their hotline room. (Photo courtesy of Teen Lifeline)

LGBTQ+ youth face increased risk for suicide and barriers to accessing mental health care

TUCSON – LGBTQ+ youth are facing a persistent mental health crisis and seek gender-affirming resources for support. Societal attitudes and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation create barriers to mental health care for the community.

The exterior of the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th in downtown Tucson. (Photo by Jack Orleans/Cronkite News)

Former drug user tells story at Maricopa County’s first Spanish-only forum on fentanyl addiction

PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Attorney's Office hosted its first Spanish-only forum on the dangers of fentanyl. The program featured Ronny Morales who told his personal story of using the drug and getting sober.

Arizona is in critical need of blood donations for sickle cell disease patients

PHOENIX — A lapse in blood donations has caused a critical blood shortage in Arizona and is affecting sickle cell disease patients. Maintaining a diverse blood supply is especially important for African Americans, who have a higher incidence of sickle cell.

John Chavez gets his blood drawn in a donation chair on Feb 10. (Photo by Jack Orleans/Cronkite news)