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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

Salud America! Wins International Marketing and Communications Awards


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We at Salud America! care about improving Latino health. That’s why we're excited to announce we have won three Communicator Awards for our efforts to promote awareness of and solutions to Latino health issues! 2017 Communicator Award of Excellence, Content & Marketing Campaign—Branded Social Campaign, Salud America! Latino Health Campaign 2017 Communicator Award of Distinction, Website (Health), Salud America! 2017 Communicator Award of Distinction, Copy or Writing for Websites, Salud America! Communicator Awards, presented by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, honor international marketing and communications that "transcends innovation and craft" and made a "lasting impact." Salud America! is led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, professor and director ...

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One Latino City’s Epic Citywide Summer Scavenger Hunt for Health


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Did you know San Antonio (67% Latino) is the first U.S. city to conduct a citywide scavenger hunt for free health, wellness, and physical activity events? It’s called Fit Pass. You can pick up a pass or download a bilingual Fit Pass app to earn points by attending cool summer wellness activities, starting with a free 5K run and fitness expo at Pearsall Park on Saturday, June 10, 2017. You can earn points and prizes throughout the seven-week program that concludes with another free 5K at LBJ Park on Saturday, July 29, 2017. The origin of Fit Pass is featured in a new Rivard Report article and Salud Heroes video and story by Amanda Merck of Salud America!, a national Latino healthy weight promotion network based at UT Health San Antonio and funded by Robert Wood Johnson ...

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The One Sure-Fire Way to Recruit Latinos for Beneficial Studies


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Editor's Note: American Heart Association News originally published this article. For years, many U.S. Hispanics have been excluded from treatment studies because they don’t speak English. So a handful of Southern California researchers got creative when recruiting patients for a recent project. Would having Spanish-speaking staff and Spanish-language materials result in significantly more Hispanic participants than they’d seen in previous studies? It did. And it was unexpectedly easy to sign up Spanish speakers once researchers started speaking their language, said Nerses Sanossian, M.D., the study’s lead author and associate professor of neurology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. The study, published recently in the journal ...

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Spanish-Speaking Patients Looking for Someone to Talk To


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There is a shortage of mental health professionals in the United States. This situation is more severe for Latino and other minorities, who face barriers of language and culture that can make it hard to seek and get help, Pew Charitable Trusts reports. Take, for instance, Ana Paula Guerrero of Aurora, Ill. Guerrero says it makes it easier and better for her therapy if she doesn't have to translate her emotions from her native Spanish to her adopted English. "When I am talking about certain feelings in Spanish, it's (about) vocabulary and being able to gather the words to express yourself," Guerrero told the Daily Herald of Illinois for a report on language barriers to mental health care. "It's not the feeling itself, but the ability to communicate what you are ...

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Eye Alert: Latino Kids Most Likely to Have Vision Problems


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A growing number of U.S. children may develop vision problems before they reach kindergarten, according to a study, Newsmax reports. Latino children were the most likely group to have vision problems. Study results Study researchers examined U.S. census records and eye exams of 12,000 children ages 6 and younger. They estimated that 174,000 U.S. children ages 3-5 had vision impairment as of 2015. That number could grow to more than 220,000 children by 2060. The study also found that Latino kids accounted for 38% of vision impairment cases, compared to 26% among white kids and 25% among black kids. "Researchers estimated [the Latino] proportion would climb [from 38%] to 44% by 2060 aided by higher birth rates in this population relative to other racial and ethnic groups," ...

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#SaludTues Bilingual Tweetchat 5/30: Connecting Minority Youth to Opportunity


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More Latino and Black youth are “disconnected”—not in school and not working—than their White peers, according to recent County Health Rankings data. How can we connect more minority youth to healthy, successful futures? Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, to tweet about the latest strategies and resources to connect Latino and other minority youth to opportunities in education, jobs, and civic engagement from the earliest ages into adulthood: WHAT: #SaludTues Bilingual Tweetchat: “Connecting Minority Youth to Opportunity” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, May 30, 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: County Health Rankings (@CHRankings), The United Way (@UnitedWay) Optional hashtags: ...

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How to Successfully Screen Latino Toddlers for Autism


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A few years ago, only 1 in 10 Latino children were screened for autism when they came in for well-child visits at Unity Health Care's Upper Cardozo Health Center in Washington, D.C. None were flagged for autism. The problem? Latino parents often misunderstood the center's written autism screening questions. Questions were designed for English speakers and, even when translated into Spanish, tended to mystify or confuse Spanish speakers, Spectrum News reports. The answer? A Georgetown University researcher created a culturally and linguistically tailored oral screening test where clinicians asked Latino parents the autism questions. Trained multilingual interviewers, and later center clinicians, gave the oral screening to parents. Of 1,400 children screened, 4% were ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 1p ET 5/23: How to Help People Move More, Sit Less


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We shouldn’t have to shake up our daily routines to get the mental and physical benefits of physical activity. But for Latino families, physical activity often isn't a daily norm. In fact, Latino-majority schools provide less time for recess and P.E., and Latino neighborhoods have fewer places to walk and play, Salud America! research shows. Let's use #SaludTues on May 23, 2017, to tweet about partnerships, programs, policy changes, and infrastructure that can help Latinos and everyone move more and sit less in the places where we live, learn, work, play, pray, and retire. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Active Living Programs, Policy Changes, and Infrastructure Improvements” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, May 23, 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with ...

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Latinos and the State of Unemployment Insurance and Government Benefits


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By Jackie Edwards Contributing Writer Unemployment insurance and government benefits are available to qualifying Latinos who lawfully reside in this country, federal policy states. Many Latino homes could benefit from this aid. In fact, more than 5% of adult Latino workers and 15% of teen Latino workers are unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But Latino immigrants are much less likely than their white counterparts to receive government benefits. "Unemployment insurance benefits can provide crucial economic stability during unexpected job loss, provide for basic needs during a job search, and keep families out of poverty," according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP). Why Latinos Should Care about Federal Aid A growing share of the U.S. ...

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How Two Towns Saved Swimming Pools from Demolition


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Swimming may be the perfect physical activity to help Latino kids achieve good health. But city governments often make the "painful choice to shut their pools to save the budget," according to a New York Times story a few years ago. Pool closures can especially hurt low-income and Latino and racial/ethnic communities where the local pool may be the only luxury. What can community residents do to save pools? We at Salud America! are happy to spotlight two communities who stepped up in unique ways when their local pools faced being cemented in! Hannah Lieder: Saving a Public Pool in the Heart of Minneapolis Phillips Pool had been open for 22 years in the heart of urban Minneapolis, Minn., when it shut down for renovations in 2009. Renovation plans turned into ...

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