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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

Medical Debt Plagues Texans of Color


medical debt collection via NPR

Texas Latinos and other communities of color are among the hardest hit by medical debt, according to a new report. The report, from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, shows that 1 in 4 Texans (23%) has medical debt. In communities of color, that rises to nearly 1 in 3 Texans (29%). These rates are higher than in other states and the nation. "When people can’t pay their medical bills, costs turn into mounting medical debt," according to the report. "[This medical debt] compromises patients’ health and financial security, harms their credit scores, and can even limit a patient’s housing, job, and health opportunities." Alarming Medical Debt among Texans of Color The median medical debt in collections owed in Texas is $850. Texans of color owe slightly more at $875. ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 10/22: Liver Awareness Month


Liver cancer and hepatitis viruses

October is Liver Awareness Month! Liver cancer is continuously on the rise, especially among Latinos. In South Texas specifically, Latinos have the highest rate in the nation. When it comes to hepatitis C, the number of U.S. Latinos with hepatitis C (2.6%) is higher than the number of overall people with hepatitis C (1.3%). Hepatitis C disease progression has also shown to be faster in Latinos than in Whites. Furthermore, the most common risk factor for liver cancer is long-term infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) worldwide. These infections can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and are directly responsible for making liver cancer the most common cancer in many parts of the world. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, otherwise known as NASH, is another ...

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SNAP: Speak Up Against the Never-Ending Attack!


snap hunger hungry food insecurity

SNAP is in danger of getting cut, again! In its third proposed cut in 10 months, the Trump Administration wants to change how USDA calculates heating and cooling costs when it comes to SNAP benfits. This would cut program benefits by $4.5 billion over five years, and trim monthly benefits by as much as $75 for 1 in 5 families on SNAP. Almost 8,000 households would lose SNAP benefits entirely, according to The New York Times. “If the three proposals become final and are implemented, millions of SNAP participants will have their benefits reduced or cut altogether — particularly seniors, people with disabilities and working families — and 500,000 children will lose access to school meals,” Kate Leone, of advocacy group Feeding America, told The Times. The USDA is asking ...

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Salud America! Members Flood USDA with Comments to Protect SNAP!


SNAP federal food assistance protect poverty

Members of the Salud America! network contributed to more than 75,000 comments that were submitted to regulations.gov urging the Trump Administration to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Over 1,650 people visited Salud America!'s take-action page for SNAP comments which contributed to overall comment numbers. The current rule “helps poor working families accumulate modest assets for a rainy day,” Lisa Davis, the senior vice president of No Kid Hungry, told The New York Times. Additionally, governors, mayors, attorneys general, state delegations, teachers, and pediatricians also filed comments with the USDA. These statements overwhelmingly oppose the Trump administration’s recommended rule to limit eligibility for food stamps — and cut millions from ...

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Business Funding Bias: Another Obstacle for Latinos


Latino business funding

Latino-owned businesses struggle with bias and racism when it comes to securing financing, according to a report published by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI). The State of Latino Entrepreneurship report examines national trends underlying Latino business growth. Lack of business funding—due to bias—is the report's prime concern. “It’s easy to slip into the notion that everyone is a racist, and that’s wrong,” said Jerry I. Porras, who leads the SLEI at Stanford Graduate School of Business, in a press release. “But there’s a lot of unconscious racial bias — not intended, if you will, but a product of our socialization. Over time, if you’re able to recognize how this bias is creeping into our culture, you can consciously make the ...

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No, Latino Parents Do Not Choose to Live in Poverty



Latino kids living in households with low-incomes and with at least one employed adult need more support, according to new research. Previous research has shown that Latino and other minority youth experience higher rates of poverty and more significant gaps in education and health opportunity than their white peers. “Instead of focusing on providing employment to Latino parents, we should be focusing on how to advance the positions they already hold,” Lisa A. Gennetian, a visiting associate professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, told NBC News. “The question should no longer solely be, ‘How do we move low-wage Latino parents to the workforce?’ because the majority are already there." Study Findings Researchers examined the financial positions ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 9/17: Childhood Cancer Disparities


kid cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 15,780 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year, according to the American Cancer Childhood Organization. 25% of those children will not survive the disease. Additionally, Latino and black children are more likely to die of numerous childhood cancers than their white counterparts. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 to tweet about childhood cancer disparities. What: #SaludTues Tweetchat – Childhood Cancer Disparities Time/Date: 1-2P.M. ET (Noon-1P.M. CT), Tuesday, September 17, 2019 Where: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues Host: @SaludAmerica SPECIAL GUESTS: Solving Kids' Cancer (@SolveKidsCancer) HASHTAGS: #SaludTues #ChildhoodCancerAwareness We will open the ...

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Your Skin Color May Decide Where Your Ambulance Ride Ends Up


ambulance color latino emergency room visit

Latinos and blacks are more likely to be taken by ambulance to safety-net hospital emergency rooms, and not always the closest hospital, according to a new study. National guidelines require EMS transportation to the nearest suitable hospital. However, the study, led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine, found large racial/ethnic differences for where emergency patients are taken. Latinos and blacks were more likely than whites to be taken to a safety-net hospital—one with a legal obligation or mission to give health care regardless of insurance status. This suggests "ambulance diversion" bias, where ambulances don't take certain patients to the nearest suitable hospital.  "The cause for this observed pattern is unknown and needs to be further studied to ...

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Advocates: ‘Tragic’ New Rule Will Hurt Latina Reproductive Health


Latina reproductive health title X

Organizations who offer reproductive services in areas with limited options for low-income Latinas and other women of color are dealing with a new Trump administration rule that can limit clinics' access to federal funding, making it harder to offer affordable care to women, NBC News reports. The "gag rule," named because advocates say it hinders a doctor's ability to provide the care they think is best, went into effect August 2019. The rule states that family planning services that get Title X federal funding must also be financially detached from any abortion services. Abortion and Title X services also must take place in separate facilities. However, federal law already forbids taxpayer funds to be used for abortions, excluding cases of rape, incest, or to save the woman's ...

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