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Cliff Despres

Cliff Despres, who has more than a decade of experience in journalism and public relations, is communications director for Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio.


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Articles by Cliff Despres

How Hispanic Heritage Month Became a Thing


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At Salud America!, we're excited to discuss Latino health during Hispanic Heritage Month! This annual U.S. observance, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. How did this observance start? U.S. Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles introduced legislation on the topic. President Lyndon Johnson implemented the observance as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres of Pico Rivera proposed the observance be expanded to cover its current 30-day period. President Ronald Reagan implemented the expansion. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988. Why is the date of this observance important? Sept. 15 is significant ...

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The Science of Digital Content Curation at Salud America!


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The Internet is crazy huge. So, how can health communicators reach the right people with the right health messages? At Salud America!, we use "digital content curation" to raise awareness of the particular health issues that disproportionately burden Latino children and families, as well as promote solutions and build people's capacity to change these issues. Check out our new scientific article that explains how we "curate." Our approach to digital content curation Digital content curation is an emerging strategy that uses a systematic, refined process to create tailored online and social health messages and prevent mixed messaging and information overload for an audience. With massive amounts of content created across the Internet every minute, our Salud America! digital ...

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Mental Health Research: Policies with Promise


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This is part of our Mental Health & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Policies are lacking on mental health and Latino kids In addition to the evaluation of programs and interventions dedicated to the improvement of mental health among Latino youth, there is a need for Latino-specific mental health policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Current healthcare policy has been focused primarily on reorganization of the healthcare system and payment reform without much consideration of the factors outside of medicine that affect health. Latino mental and physical health are influenced by many factors, including neighborhood characteristics, employment, social policies, culture, and beliefs about health; the implementation of health impact assessments that evaluate the ...

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Rick Carrillo Gives Latino Health a Starring Role for Salud America!


Rick Carrillo, Video, Salud America!

In the movie The Killing Strain, Juan “Rick” Carrillo plays a soldier who escapes a helicopter crash to lead a group of flu-epidemic survivors to safety. On screen, he was a nothing-can-stop-him hero. Off screen, Carrillo struggled fighting the elements—mountain cedar had him blowing his nose, taking antihistamines and using his inhaler between takes. “I wasn’t feeling 100%, but the scenes captured during filming were very effective in telling the story of this gutsy soldier,” Carrillo said. “This always reminds me the great power a camera has on creating a world for audiences to absorb and be part of.” Today, Carrillo uses his acting and film-making experience as a Video Production Manager for Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, a national program that ...

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What’s Your Big Idea for Healthy Change?


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What is the one thing you want most for kids in your schools? Salud America! can customize an "Action Pack” just for you to help you build a case and get supporters for your big idea for a healthy change, whether it’s water bottle fountains, brain breaks, shared use, bullying policies, etc. Action Packs can include: Custom emails to school/district leaders Custom webpage to build supporters Custom data and graphics for social media Custom fact sheets, FAQs and PPTs Request your customized Action Pack now! Michaeli Smith, the wellness coordinator at Comal ISD in Texas, had a big idea for more water bottle fountains in schools. Water bottle fountains, compared to traditional water fountains, help improve students' access to water in schools be enabling them ...

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Uncover the True Health of Your Town!



Is it hard to find healthy food in your town? Or places to play? Or health care? What does local health look like, compared to other areas? The new Salud America! Salud Report Card has these answers and much more. You can select your county and automatically generate customized data on local obesity, food access, physical activity, and health equity issues compared to the state and nation, and comparing Latinos to non-Latinos. The Salud Report Card also offers policy solutions, case studies, and share-ability to inspire people and policymakers to start and support healthy changes in their communities. Enter your location for your own free Salud Report Card! "Moms, dads, teachers, local leaders and more can use the Salud Report Card to find out what health issues are ...

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Tell WHO: I Want Equitable Active Spaces!


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The World Health Organization (WHO) is drafting a global action plan to promote physical activity. WHO wants your comments on this plan through Sept. 22, 2017. How can you take advantage of this unique opportunity to speak up for equity in access to active spaces for physical activity for Latino families and communities of color around the world? Copy and paste the below model comment from our research team at Salud America!... I believe priority should be given to creating safe routes to walk and bike and developing shared use agreements and open use policies that formally share school recreational with the public after class. These initiatives can help Latino children and families living underserved communities access the physical, mental, social, and health benefits of ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 8/22: How to Turn Schools into Health Hubs


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If you're a teacher or health worker, you already know that students who are healthy also perform better in the classroom. But not all schools maximize this health-and-education connection. By working together, schools, providers, and community members have a unique opportunity to improve the health of Latino and all students, while fostering better classroom performance and attendance, as well as a culture of health among parents, educators, and beyond. Let’s use #SaludTues on Aug. 22, 2017, to tweet about ways to partner up for creating healthy environments for students and their families! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Working Together to Boost Student Health” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. EST Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: ...

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Fight Rages on Over Menu Labeling in Restaurants



Thank you for speaking up on the importance of menu labeling! Salud America! supporters submitted 12% of the comments FDA received regarding their one-year delay of menu labeling (332 of 2,714 online comments). We also reached more than 6 million people online and on social media with menu labeling messages. These actions show that many people want to make it easy for Latino and all families to make healthier decisions about the foods they eat outside the home. Now, what will FDA do? The fight up to now Months ago, the FDA announced a one-year delay for food companies to adopt changes to menu labeling of foods in restaurants and other eateries. Industry stakeholders welcomed the extension amid concerns over their ability to meet the compliance deadline of July 2018, while ...

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Register: Inaugural Latino Cancer Science Conference Feb. 21-23, 2018!


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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Dr. Amelie Ramirez, leader of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, is spearheading the Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference Feb. 21-23, 2018, in San Antonio. Latinos are expected to face a 142% rise in cancer in coming years. There is consistent evidence that higher amounts of body fat are associated with increased risks of a number of cancers, especially among Latinos. The inaugural Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference will unite health researchers, professionals, and leaders to tackle Latino cancer on many fronts. Register for the conference today! Submit an abstract for a poster presentation by Nov. 1, 2017. "We have seen substantial advancement in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment over the ...

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