A study of healthcare needs in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys found that residents continue to face challenges having their health needs met. Nearly 30 percent of residents reported having difficulty accessing medical care and 20 percent with having no regular source of medical care, according to “Assessing the Community’s Needs: A Triennial Report on the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys 2007” released July 25 by the Valley Care Community Consortium. Moreover, 24 percent of residents said that they had not visited a dentist in the past year because they could not afford it, the study reported. Heart disease and cancer, particularly breast cancer and prostate cancer, are the leading causes of death for area residents. Poverty in the Valley continues to rise, with one out of five residents reporting that they receive some form of public assistance.