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Stacy Cantu-Pawlik

Stacy Cantu completed both her BS & MPH at Texas A&M University (gig ‘em!), and is passionate about all things public health. She curates content on Healthy Food and Healthy Minds.


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Articles by Stacy Cantu-Pawlik

Comment Now: USDA to Roll Back School Food Nutrition Standards


latino kids in a school food lunch line

School food nutrition is at risk again. The USDA, which relaxed school nutrition standards in 2018, is proposing two rule changes it says will give schools and summer programs more flexibility to meet student meal preferences and reduce food waste. But health experts warn this will roll back progress on school food nutrition. Schools could, for instance, cut breakfast fruit by a half-cup. Fries and burgers could be served a la carte. Pasta could count as a vegetable. This is a longer-term health threat than the coronavirus pandemic, according to Healthy Eating Research. "This would create a huge loophole in school nutrition guidelines, paving the way for children to choose pizza, burgers, French fries, and other foods high in calories, saturated fat or sodium in place of ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 1/21/2020: Engaging Latinos in Clinical Trials


doctor and nurse

Did you know that Latinos comprise less than 7.6% of clinical trial participants? This means that researchers have less chances to develop new cancer treatments for this population, which suffers a heavy burden of certain cancers, obesity, and mental health issues. Join us and use #SaludTues on Jan. 21, 2020, to tweet about how to increase Latino participation in clinical trials to prevent health disparities, in celebration of the quickly approaching Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference: WHAT: #SaludTuesTweetchat: Engaging Latinos in Clinical Trials  DATE/TIME: 1-2 p.m. EST (Noon-1 p.m. CST), Tuesday, January 21, 2020 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues  HOST: @SaludAmerica  CO-HOSTS: FDA Minority Health & Health Equity ...

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Salud America! Members Speak Up for SNAP as Thousands Lose Benefits


snap healthy food federal assistance baby hispanic infant eating

Salud America! members were among more than 120,000 people who submitted comments about a proposed cut the the SNAP federal food aid program. USDA wants to change in how it calculates heating and cooling costs when it comes to SNAP benefits. The change would limit individual states’ abilities to factor in utility costs with SNAP. This could affect people who live in cold-weather states like New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Vermont. The change would cut program benefits by $4.5 billion over five years. Almost 8,000 households would lose SNAP benefits entirely. Although people submitted 120,000 comments via regulations.gov, only 5,060 are available publicly on the website. Of these, 150 were from Salud America! members. "SNAP cuts have dangerous impacts on ...

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Amanda Merck: Propelling Civic Engagement in San Antonio and Beyond


Amanda Merck

Amanda Merck isn’t only a content curator for Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, a public health representative for the Active Living Council for a Healthier San Antonio, and a teacher of group classes for Fitness in the Park. She is a fighter for equitable transportation, equitable access to parks, and an advocate for children who experience trauma. Merck is a poster child for civic engagement for health equity─and she is dedicating her time and career to help countless others become civically engaged, too. ‘Never Any Talk about Civic Engagement’ Merck grew up in many different places including California, Texas, and Montana. As the daughter of a low-income, high-school dropout, working was meant to pay the bills. “There was never any talk about civic ...

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Alison Corcoran: Why We All Must Stand Up to Bias, Health Inequity



As a white woman living in Boston who grew up all around the world, privileged and well-educated, Alison Corcoran was a stranger to injustice and health inequity. “I’ve never been denied anything,” Corcoran told Salud America!. That all changed 11 years ago when she became a foster parent to her African American son. Experiencing Health Inequity and Bias First-Hand When Corcoran’s son joined the family, he was only in the first grade. During the family transition meetings, his social worker had told her: “Make sure you take him to the dentist soon – I don’t think he has ever gone.” So Corcoran took him to the family dentist for a cleaning and exam. During the appointment, it was no surprise that her son had multiple cavities. Then, it came time to visit ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 12/10: “A Guide to a Healthy Holiday”


healthy holiday apple christmas tree

In the United States, obesity rates have hit a historic high, especially for Latinos. Additionally, 40% of Latino kids are overweight or obese compared to 32% of all U.S. children. Let’s use #SaludTues on Dec. 10, 2019, to tweet information, resources, and tips that will help us all prevent or help the health dangers of stress, unhealthy eating and limited physical activity during the best time of the year. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “A Guide to a Healthy Holiday” TIME / DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, 12/10/19 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: Public Health Maps (@PublicHealthMap) We’ll open the floor to your stories and experiences as we explore: Healthy Holiday snacks Fun physical activity ...

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Dr. Jabraan Pasha: Tearing Down Implicit Bias in the Doctor’s Office


Jabraan Pasha implicit bias training doctor and leader

In training, doctors and other healthcare providers are taught to disregard their own personal upbringings, and that of their patients, from clinical decisions. But doctors are susceptible to their unconscious bias. Dr. Jabraan Pasha is changing that. Pasha created a workshop to spread awareness of implicit bias─the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions unconsciously─in the healthcare system. “The workshop aims to make us realize we are not bad people because of [implicit bias],” Pasha said. “We have these biases that are there. Agree or not they are there, and this can help people take steps to correct it.” “It’s important to remove shame and guilt.” Pasha’s Discovery of Implicit Bias Pasha, a native of Tulsa, ...

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4 Latino Leaders Eliminating Food Insecurity in Texas



U.S. Latinos face high levels of poverty, food swamps, and food insecurity—living without reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. In Texas, the food insecurity rate is 14.3%. That’s why Texas State Representative Diego Bernal championed legislation that would allow schools to set up school food pantries. Because of this law, schools are helping those who are hungry and food insecure as well as reducing food waste. The law has also inspired others to create change and do good for the community, like Jenny Arredondo, Samantha Almaraz, and Pablo Ramirez. Diego Bernal & School Food Pantries Bernal was heartbroken after touring Texas schools and seeing students go hungry, even as "perfectly edible food" was being thrown away in cafeterias. He wanted to ...

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