What Is Salud America!?
Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children is a national online network of researchers, community group leaders, decision-makers, and members of the public working together to support healthy policy and environmental changes that can help reverse the Latino childhood obesity epidemic. We focus on six topics as they relate to Latino childhood obesity:
- Promote Healthier Food in Schools
- Promote Healthier Food in the Neighborhood
- Increase Access to Local Places to be Active
- Provide Children with More Opportunities to be Active
- Decrease Unhealthy Food and Beverage Advertising
- Reduce Consumption of Sugary Drinks
To that end, we have created a new action-oriented Salud America! website o serve as a clearinghouse of Latino-focused news, maps, resources and Salud Hero stories to promote healthy changes in communities for Latino kids across the nation.
Salud America! is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, funded first from 2007-12 and again from 2012-15, with direction and technical assistance provided by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. Since its inception, Salud America! has built the field of Latino researchers, increased scientific evidence, and spawned recommendations to reduce Latino childhood obesity. For 2012 and beyond, we have six core activities:
- Serve as clearinghouse for Latino childhood obesity
- Expand network membership, interactivity
- Develop an online platform to educate on creating healthy changes
- Interpret science and produce evidence-based content
- Produce dynamic multimedia content
- Monitor and evaluate program activities
Faculty & Staff
Dr. Ramirez, an internationally recognized cancer health disparities researcher, is director of Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. She has spent 30 years directing research on human and organizational communication to reduce chronic disease and cancer health disparities affecting Latinos, including cancer risk factors, clinical trial recruitment, tobacco prevention, obesity prevention, healthy lifestyles, and more. She also trains/mentors Latinos in behavioral sciences and is on the board of directors for LIVESTRONG, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, etc. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.
Vega reviews and reconciles monthly ledger accounts and subaccounts and assists in reviewing and reporting grants at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. She also helps create, submit, and revise prior approvals and purchase orders. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Despres coordinates multimedia communications at Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. This includes: managing, planning and organizing publications and interaction among an internal communication team, researchers, mass media, and the public; and writing and editing newsletters, grants, manuscripts, websites and blogs.
Aguilar is a project coordinator for Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. She directs the day-to-day operations of the network and its online components. She has a background in health and kinesiology, and intervention projects in obesity.
Carrillo produces and directs video content for Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. He uses his acting and film-making experience to create films that effectively promote health and wellness to Latino communities.
Mr. Gallion, an accomplished health communications producer and researcher with vast experience in program development and analysis, is deputy director of Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Over the years, he’s performed media production and coordination for many health groups and research teams in Houston and San Antonio. His work to promote cancer control, diabetes risk and tobacco cessation has been recognized in scientific literature and lauded with media industry awards.