To safely lift Bernard Valencia out of his hospital bed, Cheri Moore uses a ceiling lift and sling. The VA hospital in Loma Linda, Calif., has safe patient handling technology installed throughout its entire facility. Annie Tritt for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Annie Tritt for NPR

Terry Cawthorn was a nurse at Mission Hospital for more than 20 years. But after a series of back injuries, mainly from lifting patients, she was fired. Cawthorn took legal action against the hospital and still faces daily struggles as a result of her injury. Susannah Kay for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Susannah Kay for NPR

The screenshot from a simulation video shows the magnitude and distribution of forces NPR correspondent Daniel Zwerdling endured on his spine while re-creating the way nurses lift patients from their beds. Courtesy of the Spine Research Institute at The Ohio State University hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Spine Research Institute at The Ohio State University

Edward Brown, who was jailed for not paying fines he couldn't afford, is among 16 plaintiffs in two lawsuits filed against the cities of Ferguson and Jennings, Mo. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Shapiro/NPR

Tonya DeBerry (center) and her children, Herbert Nelson and Allison Nelson, have all been held in Ferguson and Jennings jails for unpaid traffic tickets. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Shapiro/NPR

The X-ray of Tove Schuster's spine shows the metal cage and four screws her surgeon used to repair a damaged disk in her back. Daniel Zwerdling/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Zwerdling/NPR

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices. Steve Hebert for ProPublica hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Hebert for ProPublica

McArthur Edwards' driver's license was suspended for two years because he was unable to pay a $64 fine. He's using this bus stop to commute. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Shapiro/NPR

Desiree Seats, 23, lost her license for two years before she even got it because of an unpaid fine. Without a license, she couldn't find the jobs she needed to start earning money. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Shapiro/NPR

Marian Grunwald (from left), Earl Elfstrom and Verna Matheson bounced a balloon back and forth with nursing assistant Rick Pavlisich on Dec. 13, 2013, at an Ecumen nursing home in Chisago City, Minn. Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul hide caption

itoggle caption Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul