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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

#SaludTues Tweetchat 9/15─Hear Her: Preventing Pregnancy-related Deaths


Latina hispanic mother pregnant baby health motherhood infant tweetchat hear her

Every woman’s health matters. A pregnancy can bring potential complications to both mother and child. Some risks are worse for Latinas and other mothers of color. That’s why the CDC’s new campaign, “Hear Her,” encourages all women to know how to prevent maternal mortality, and share their concerns with their health care provider. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, to tweet about the importance of CDC’s new campaign and maternal health, especially for Latinas in honor of the launch of Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15 to 10/15)! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat “Hear Her: Preventing Pregnancy-related Deaths” WHERE: Twitter WHEN: 1-2 p.m. ET (12-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 HOST: Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio (@SaludAmerica) ...

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How Hispanic Heritage Month Became a Thing


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At Salud America!, we're excited to discuss Latino health during Hispanic Heritage Month! This annual U.S. observance, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. How Did Hispanic Heritage Month Start? U.S. Congressmen Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles and Henry B. Gonzales were among those who introduced legislation on the topic in 1968. President Lyndon Johnson implemented the observance as Hispanic Heritage Week that year. U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres of Pico Rivera proposed the observance be expanded to cover its current 30-day period. President Ronald Reagan implemented the expansion to Hispanic Heritage Month. It was enacted ...

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3 Ways to Keep Labor Day from Becoming COVID Day


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Don't let down your guard against COVID-19 during Labor Day weekend. Cases spiked after the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays, so health experts are stressing the importance of containing the coronavirus during the coming holiday. How can we contain the virus? Latinos can wear a mask and care for it properly, avoid public places (or at least get together safely, familia), and know what to do if you’re exposed, according to our "Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19" campaign. "Labor Day is coming up, and we need to stress personal responsibility," said Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, CNBC reports. "We have to go into the fall with decreasing cases like we’re doing now. We can’t risk a lack of personal ...

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New Latino-Focused Campaign: Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19!


Juntos We Can Stop Covid campaign against coronavirus

COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact Latinos, killing over 33,000 and hospitalizing many more of our mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents. That is why Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio is launching the “Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19” digital communication campaign to inform and urge Latino families to take action to help slow the spread of coronavirus, especially among those with underlying illnesses. The campaign features culturally relevant fact sheets, infographics, and video role model stories—all united with the hashtag #JuntosStopCovid. See and share the #JuntosStopCovid campaign! share the campaign! “As Latinos, we are resilient. But part of our resiliency requires action,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, campaign organizer and ...

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Report: U.S. ‘Failed Miserably’ in Policy Response to COVID-19, But Has a Path Forward for Future Pandemics


Latino man mask covid19 coronavirus pandemic

U.S. leaders have "failed miserably" in planning and executing a cohesive national response to COVID-19, which has killed over 170,000 people here, according to a new report. The report is Public Health Law Watch's Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19. It features 50 top national experts evaluating the policy response to the pandemic. The experts blame neither resources nor individual courage, but rather "a failure of leadership and the implementation of an effective response." COVID-19 revealed weaknesses in the nation’s health care and public health systems. It also worsened existing health inequities for Latinos and other people of color—even creating new disparities. Still, the report offers 100+ recommendations on how federal, state, and local leaders can better ...

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38,367 Speak Up for Healthier Nutrition Guidelines!


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Thank you to the 38,367 people—including over 800 Salud America! members—who submitted public comments for better nutrition and limited added sugars for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans! These comments are the latest step in shaping the guidelines. USDA and HHS update the guidelines every five years. They are the leading set of nutrition standards for people, health professionals, and federal food programs. Submitted between mid-July and mid-August 2020, the new comments arrive after an initial 55,000 public comments between winter 2019 and spring 2020. A federal committee then released a scientific report to inform the guidelines. Recommendations include no sugary drinks for children up to age 2 and less alcohol intake for men. Now we await the release the ...

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


Coronavirus case and death rates in U.S. rise man waits for bus in SF Mission District

Coronavirus 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 9/16/20: Various new data state and U.S. data! COVID-19 Case Rates for Latinos Coronavirus is disproportionately sickening U.S. Latinos. Latinos and black people together comprise 55% of coronavirus cases, nearly double their U.S. population makeup, according to CDC data released June 15, 2020. The U.S. COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate is 166.9 per 100,000, according to CDC data updated on Sept. 11, 2020. That is compared to 120.9 on July 24. Hospitalization rates for Blacks and Latinos are 4.7 times the rate among Whites. Here are some state examples of Latino coronavirus ...

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Study: Salud America! Increased Exposure to Latino Health Equity Content amid COVID-19


latino health equity digital content curation during covid-19 coronavirus

When COVID-19 struck, it impacted Latinos more than others. That is why Salud America!, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded national program at UT Health San Antonio, immediately applied its digital content curation model to create equitable, culturally relevant information and action opportunities to address pandemic effects on Latinos. The result? Record spikes in program website traffic and confirmation of the curation model's capacity to increase people's exposure to culturally relevant and action-oriented information for a novel topic like COVID-19, according to a new study published in the journal Health Promotion Practice. "We have shown that digital content curation is an effective, measurable public health promotion tool to disseminate awareness-raising and ...

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Parks Are Smaller, Hotter, More Crowded Where People of Color Live


Equitable parks green spaces latino hispanic size crowding bicycle biking bike trees covid mask

Amid the surging COVID-19 pandemic and one of the hottest summers in world history, public parks are a refuge. But not all parks are created equitably. Parks that serve primarily Latinos and others of color are half the size of parks that serve majority White populations. They are also five times more crowded, with hotter temperatures, according to a new study from The Trust for Public Land. "As cities struggle with extreme heat this summer, parks are one of the best ways for residents to find relief," said Diane Regas, leader of The Trust for Public Land. "We all need and deserve parks—and all of the benefits they provide—all of the time. But during this period of compounded public health emergencies, unequal access to quality parks can be downright dangerous." What Did the ...

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