Health Workers Start Mega Baby Showers for Moms in Need



Kori Eberle calls early and steady prenatal care the “best gift a baby can receive” for healthy early childhood development. That’s why Eberle coordinates home visits, screenings, and parenting and health education for vulnerable women from pregnancy to their baby’s second birthday as part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) Healthy Start program in San Antonio (63.2% Latino population). Eberle and Metro Health’s Healthy Start program want most of all to reduce disparities in the local infant death rate, which is higher for low-income, Latino, and African American families. Sadly, Eberle found that not enough moms-to-be know about their resources or get the help they need to ensure a healthy delivery and proper early brain ...

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Tech Guru Brings Healthcare to Latinos in Houston


Dr. Peter Kim

Peter Kim is a sort of accidental convert to the world of telehealth. Kim was about to start his labor-intensive medical residency—but he also wanted to continue his work as a community health coordinator with Harbor Health Home in Houston. How could he do both? Telehealth. Kim began to further explore how to use telehealth to better support low-income Latino families in accessing healthcare to treat and prevent illnesses across Houston and beyond. Peter Kim already knew that a lack of access is one of the main inequities that keep many Latinos from obtaining the best quality healthcare possible. Technology as a healthcare tool In Houston, Texas (43.86% Latino population), the nation’s fourth-largest city, many Latino, Asian, and low-income families struggle to manage ...

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Minnesota Professor Educates on Language and Life



Severe headaches changed the life of María Emilce López and gave her a renewed purpose. While a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in the 1990s, the Argentine native’s headaches led her to be rushed into surgery to treat what turned out to be a brain aneurysm. This was her first brush with the American medical system, and after her ordeal, she decided it was time to help others who might be in a similar position. López, now a language instructor at the University of Minnesota, helped create new medical Spanish classes that not only teach cultural competency, but also require students to volunteer at area health fairs and community clinics, helping to eliminate barriers to care. Navigating a health crisis María Emilce López learned first-hand how language ...

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At-Risk Residents Get a Cooking Class You Can Take Home for Dinner



Noemi Villarreal sees Latinos in San Antonio struggle with disease, and wants to help. That’s why she has helped launch family support connectors, and also developed farmers markets in the Eastside, a heavily Latino section of the city. The farmers markets did not work. How could Villarreal and neighborhood leaders still bring cooking and nutrition education to families to help prevent disease? Thinking outside the box, they created a series of classes that include a chef demonstration—and take-home bags so families can replicate nutritious food recipes at home. Encouraging Healthy Eating for Latinos San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) is home to 18,000 residents (67.5% Latino) who face health issues due to inequities in income, education, access to health ...

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Every Little Step Counts for Latino Child Health



Yolanda Konopken knows 1 in 10 people have diabetes in Arizona. Her program to help families manage diabetes has been at full capacity for years at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix (41.3% Latino population). Konopken wanted to do more to prevent unhealthy weight from causing diabetes in younger children. She had an idea to start a new, bilingual education program to provide support and counseling for families with children at risk of diabetes. She worked hard to develop a bilingual curriculum and launch a fun program that involves the whole family in a series of culturally relevant classes to build children’s self-esteem and positive lifestyle behaviors, such as cooking healthier foods and getting active. The Crisis of Obesity in Arizona Arizona has the ...

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Clinic Leaders Add Mental Health, Support to Primary Care


dentist latina oral care x-ray

For 30 years, a group of small clinics have provided primary healthcare to residents in Maricopa County, Ariz. (30% Latino population). A few years ago, the leadership of those clinics—Dr. Avein Saaty Tafoya and Lisa Blue—recognized that local residents continued to face cultural, language, financial, and other barriers to proper comprehensive healthcare. They felt compelled to change the entire approach of their clinics. Adelante Healthcare System began to seek grants and partnerships to add personnel to expand beyond their historical focus on primary care. Today their new team—primary care physicians, specialists, health coaches, mental and behavioral health social workers, and others who connect families to insurance, health education, and more—provide more ...

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Parents Help Save Pool in Low-Income Minneapolis Area


pool saved hannah lieder minneapolis phillips pool

Hannah Lieder, foster mother and founder of Minneapolis Swims, has been working since 2010 to keep open the local Phillips Pool in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minn. Why? Lieder knows that children living in low-income, Latino, or minority neighborhoods have historically lacked convenient access to physical activity spaces, particularly swimming pools, compared to white or high-income neighborhoods. These social and environmental inequalities contribute to disparities in drowning rates, physical activity levels, health outcomes and academic achievement. Phillips Pool was in disrepair and under constant threat to be concreted over. Now, six years later, Lieder’s legacy lives on, through Denny Bennett, as crews will break ground on the Phillips Aquatics ...

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Gardens Help Grow Wellness in Eastside San Antonio



Stephen Lucke learned a shocking fact as a college student in San Antonio, Texas (63% Latino): Life’s most serious health issues can be prevented by improved access to healthy foods. He was so surprised that he immediately helped start fruit and vegetable gardens on his campus at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). But he wanted to do even more to grow access to fresh produce across town. How Gardens Can Boost Food Access Stephen Lucke had aspirations of going to medical school before studying biochemistry at UIW. When he took a nutrition class, he realized he could promote healthy food as the first line of defense against getting sick in the first place. “I just really became educated about the obesity epidemic in the United States,” Lucke said. “You know ...

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Health Worker’s Bilingual Campaign Curbs Sugary Drinks in Minneapolis



Alma Galvez was sick of seeing a growing number of overweight Latino child patients at her clinic in Minneapolis, Minn. (10.5% Latino population). In her job as a community health worker for St. Mary’s Health Clinics in Minnesota, Galvez was able to pinpoint a big culprit—sugary drinks. Galvez and Shannon Gavin, the organization’s coordinator of family health programs, wanted to reduce sugary drink consumption among Latino child patient and families. So they jumped head-first at the chance to work with state health officials to create a bilingual, culturally relevant campaign to urge Latino families to rethink their drink. Sugar’s Stranglehold on Latino Health Galvez and Gavin are big players in how St Mary’s Health Clinics serves its large minority and low-income ...

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School Dietician Uses Student Videos to Give Health a Starring Role



Barbara Berger was more than concerned—she was downright worried about the growing weight and health of her students. The school dietitian in Las Cruces, NM (67.1% Latino population), found it hard to promote healthy eating and physical activity to her teenaged students. That was, until she let students do it themselves in a way that would engage students in a fun, creative story-telling experience. Through the use of creative films and videos, Berger found that the students were not only able to help solve real-world health problems, they had fun and gained valuable life-skills while doing it. Opening Credits: A Video Idea to Help Middle-Schoolers Barbara Berger has been involved with health and nutrition education since 2012 for the Las Cruces Public School ...

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