Maria is the health reporter for Vida en el Valle, a bilingual McClatchy publication in Central California. She has worked for more than a decade in daily journalism – as a reporter covering spot news, a features writer and editor and editor of a Spanish publication for Lee Enterprises newspapers in California. She was also the features copy editor for three Gannett newspapers — the Visalia Times-Delta, Tulare Advance-Register and The Salinas Californian. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge. She has received numerous journalism fellowships, including the Poynter Institute’s 2013 Specialized Reporting Institute fellowship on Medicare; the AHCJ 2013-2014 Regional Health Journalism Fellowship West; the 2013 SPJ Diversity Leadership Program Fellowship; and Families USA’s National Health Policy Journalist Training for Communities of Color and the 2014 California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship.