About the Author

Author Picture

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.


Connect with Cliff:
Twitter Link

Articles by Cliff Despres

Dr. Amelie Ramirez Featured as a Latina Hero in the Fight Against COVID-19


Amelie Ramirez on Latino Leaders magazine

Dr. Amelie Ramirez, leader of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, is featured in the latest edition of Latino Leaders, a national magazine that aims to connect and inspire leaders of Latino, Hispanic, and Latinx heritage. The edition is called "Heroes of the Fight Against COVID-19." Highlights include: Profile stories about health leaders: Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease expert; Dr. Elena Rios, president of the National Hispanic Medical Association; Dr. David E. Hayes-Bautista of UCLA; Joaquin Duato of Johnson & Johnson; Nanette Cocero of Pfizer; Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United; Dr. Robert Rodriguez of UCSF; Dr. Xiomara Rocha-Cadman of City of Hope; and more Profile stories about Latino elected leaders: Catherine Cortez-Masto, Arizona, and Marco ...

Read More

Health Misinformation is an Urgent Threat to Public Health, Says U.S. Surgeon General


Our-Favorite-Spanish-Language-Coronavirus-Resources-for-Latinos-prevent health misinformation amid pandemic.jpg

Today, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued his first public advisory of the Biden Administration to warn Americans about health misinformation. Health misinformation is threatening U.S. response to COVID-19, preventing Americans from getting vaccinated, and prolonging the pandemic. Misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines also often targets Latino and Black communities, which have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and have low rates of vaccine uptake. "Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic," Murthy said in a press release about the advisory. "My job is to help people stay safe and healthy, and without ...

Read More

#SaludTues Tweetchat 8/3: Breaking Down Systemic Injustices in Healthcare


Latina nurse doctor hospital worker for health equity figh healthcare injustices

A widening socioeconomic gap, racism, and discrimination contribute to inequitable distribution of healthcare and mental and physical health disparities among Latinos and other people of color. This is especially true amid COVID-19. How can we change this? Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, to discuss emerging strategies to promote a cohesive culture for health equity is one where everyone works individually and as a group to ensure that each person has a fair, just opportunity for health and wealth! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Breaking Down Systemic Injustices in Healthcare TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS:  The Praxis Project (@Praxis_Project); ...

Read More

Update: Coronavirus Case Rates and Death Rates for Latinos in the United States


covid-19 cases deaths by race ethnicity latino boy swinging on playground with face mask

The coronavirus COVID-19 can affect anyone. But reports show Latinos and other people of color are disproportionately affected, amid worsening historical inequities. What are the data really showing? UPDATE 7/21/21: New U.S., state, and city data! COVID-19 Case Rates for Latinos The U.S. population recently rose to 18.5% Latino. But coronavirus is disproportionately sickening Latinos. Latinos currently comprise 28.6% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, second only to Whites (50.1%), according to CDC data on July 21, 2021. Race/ethnicity data is available for 63% of the nation's cases. COVID-19-associated hospitalizations are also higher among Latinos. States are also experiencing Latino coronavirus case disparities: Utah is 14% Latino. But they make up 20.2% ...

Read More

Meet the 2021 Exito! Latino Cancer Research Trainees


Exito 2021 summer institute cohort of latino training participants

Program leaders have selected 26 aspiring Latino researchers from across the nation to join the 2021 cohort of Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio. Each year, Éxito! recruits U.S. master’s level students and professionals to participate in a five-day, culturally tailored Éxito! summer institute to promote pursuit of a doctoral degree and cancer research. The 26 new participants were selected from a deep pool of applicants. Each participant now will join the Éxito! summer institute on June 7-11, 2021 in San Antonio. They will interact with Latino researchers and doctoral experts to learn about Latino cancer, succeeding in a doctoral program, and the diversity of research careers. Meet the 2021 Éxito! Ccohort Leslie Aragon, ...

Read More

Liz Sanchez: Surviving Breast Cancer on Her Own Terms


Liz Sanchez - san antonio breast cancer survivor

By Liz Sanchez Breast Cancer Survivor in San Antonio My name Liz Sanchez and I am a cancer survivor — twice, since 2010. I was first diagnosed with breast cancer on December 16, 2010, at the age of 39. It was approximately one week before Christmas. So as you can imagine, my holidays were ruined for me. My OB/GYN sent me for my first mammogram and this is how it was discovered. My doctor moved quickly by setting me up with an oncologist and surgeon. I was diagnosed at stage 2. My BRCA test was negative and my family did not have a history of breast cancer. My grandfather’s sister passed of stage 4 breast cancer, but it skipped a generation. I had my tumor removed surgically on Jan. 11, 2011. I then underwent radiation therapy only. I refused to have chemo. Being ...

Read More

Honoring Latino Military Heroes on Memorial Day


latino military hero rocky versace for memorial day

Memorial Day is May 31, 2021. We at Salud America! are excited to honor all U.S. military personnel, including the Latinos, who have served and died for our country. Latinos in the Military: History Latinos have a “proud and indeed enviable” record of military service that dates back all the way to the Civil War, according to a U.S. Army historical website. About 20,000 Latino serviceman and women participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, 80,000 in the Vietnam War in 1959-1973, and more than 400,000 in World War II in 1939-1945. Latinos have earned more than 40 Medals of Honor, according to the Department of Defense. “Whether their heritage can be traced to Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, or one of dozens of other Spanish-speaking countries or ...

Read More

Dr. Amelie Ramirez: Answering the Big Questions on COVID-19 Vaccines


Dr. Amelie Ramirez answering COVID-19 vaccine latino questions

Latinos are getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 vaccine at much lower rates. Why is this? How can we build vaccine confidence? Dr. Amelie Ramirez and her team at Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio are working hard to promote vaccine confidence and answer Latinos' big questions about the vaccine. Ramirez is doing this in a variety of ways: Creating the Salud America! Latino COVID-19 Vaccine “Change of Heart” Bilingual Storytelling Campaign to share real Latinos who moved from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine confidence. Producing Salud America!'s weekly updated post on U.S. Latino vaccination rates, ways to improve confidence, and how to overcome vaccine misinformation. Joining the Latino USA podcast to answer Latinos' COVID-19 vaccine questions. Providing a ...

Read More