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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

Latinos: COVID-19 Disrupts Finances, Daily Life, Mental Health


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COVID-19 doesn't discriminate. But U.S. Latinos are more likely than all Americans to say the coronavirus pandemic changed their daily lives, and disrupts their mental health, finances, and jobs, according to new Pew Research Center surveys. "Latinos make up significant portions of the hospitality, construction, leisure and agricultural sectors of our labor market, and are the largest uninsured population in America," wrote Kristian Ramos, ex-spokesman for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, for The Hill. "These workers and uninsured families are unable to telecommute, will not be paid if their jobs are lost, and likely do not have immediate access to health care." Latino Daily Life During COVID-19 Early on in the outbreak, Pew Research Center reported that a higher percentage of ...

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Reports: Latino Workers Are Hit Hardest by COVID-19 Pandemic


latino workers hit hard by covid-19 coronavirus food service

Coronavirus does not discriminate. But experts warn that COVID-19 will cause more suffering among U.S. Black and Latino workers, due to societal inequities shaped by structural racism and low-paying jobs with no chance of telework. "When the COVID-19 pandemic has ended in this country, we will see an unequal distribution of infections and deaths along the intersecting lines of race and class," wrote labor historian Christopher Hayes in the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Why is this? Coronavirus Compounded: Income Inequities among Latino Workers These statistics show a glimpse of how much Latino workers earn: 1 in 3 Latinos live in poverty. 1 in 2 Latino families are low-income. Nearly 60% of Latinos earn less than $15/hour (vs. 39% of full-time workers overall). In ...

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Our Favorite Spanish-Language Coronavirus Resources for Latinos!


Our Favorite Spanish-Language Coronavirus Resources for Latinos

Coronavirus is locking down much of the United States, making it harder for vulnerable populations like Latinos to get information, especially those who speak Spanish. Fortunately, new resources are popping up for Spanish-language Latinos. Here are some of our favorites! CDC Promotes Spanish-Language Coronavirus Resources for Latinos About 37 million Latinos in the U.S. speak Spanish at home. But the CDC wasn't on the Spanish-language boat from the onset of coronavirus. In fact, on March 17, 2020, the website Latino Rebels shared that CDC was behind in translating its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" coronavirus recommendations. They finally posted it three days later. But now their Spanish-language website has lots of information. They cover how COVID-10 spreads, symptoms, ...

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What Cancer Patients Need to Know about Coronavirus COVID-19


latina hispanic cancer patient survivor at home due to coronavirus covid-19

Cancer patients are at higher risk for the new coronavirus COVID-19, as well as more severe outcomes of the diseases, than those without cancer, health experts say. What does this mean for your cancer journey? For treatment? Screening? Clinical trials? Latinos and vulnerable populations? "We don't want to be overly alarming, but the truth is that Latino and all cancer patients should be concerned about COVID-19 because they are at higher risk," said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, leader of Salud America! and associate director of community outreach and education at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. "So we want to help spread truthful, equitable information that will help all cancer patients in their journeys." Here are some important issues for cancer patients and ...

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How Coronavirus Is Crippling Rural Health Care, Especially for Latinos


rural latino hispanic farm worker health care coronavirus covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic is weakening the already-fragile rural health care safety net, and endangering health of rural residents, public health experts say. Here are a few ways this is happening. The Rural Health Care System and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rural hospitals are small businesses that their communities rely upon. But health staff is becoming sick. Cash-flow problems are at crisis levels, according to the National Rural Health Association. They list these troubles: Adequate number of supplies and tests EMS shortages, as many in rural communities are volunteers; Overall workforce shortages if rural providers get sick; Telehealth waivers and site flexibility for Rural Health Clinics; Critical Access Hospital waivers; and Need for loan ...

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Minnie Morales: From Cancer at Age 20 to Life as a Survivor


Minnie Morales breast cancer survivor2

By Minnie Morales San Antonio Cancer Survivor I've always felt there are many ways to view any situation and essentially make light of anything you are going through. I never imagined having to face such dark days as early as 20 years old, but that is what God asked me to do. When I graduated high school and started getting my prerequisites for nursing school, life was hard enough transitioning into adulthood! I fully trusted the doctors when I showed them a large lump in my right breast that I found while sitting in my college class. "It's just a cyst... you're too young to get breast cancer, don't worry about it." Because breast cancer doesn't run in my family and I had never encountered anything like that at 19, I believed what I was told. I finished my ...

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Coronavirus Care: Amazing Acts of Kindness during a Pandemic


coronavirus COVID-19 latino women helps neighbor with kindess buying her groceries

The coronavirus pandemic is causing fear and hoarding of groceries. But it's also inspiring beautiful acts of kindness around the nation. Kindness and equity can be rare during times of panic. Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a serious condition that demands our attention. Smokers are uniquely susceptible. But, even amid an unusual disease outbreak, people and organizations are showing that kindness is instrumental in caring for people and promoting survival and health equity in tough times. "At a time of so much fear and uncertainty, these acts of kindness — for those committing and receiving them — are a desperately needed balm," says Latina writer Helen Ubiñas of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "A unifying act of humanity that reminds us that we are all in this ...

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‘Next-Level’ Patient Navigation Improves Quality of Life for Latino Cancer Survivors


patient navigation latino cancer patient survivor medical forms

Latino cancer survivors who have a "next-level" patient navigator—one who regularly calls to offer support and culturally tailored materials—have better health-related quality of life than survivors with a more passive navigator, according to a new study by UT Health San Antonio, University of Miami, and Northwestern University. The study, published in the journal Cancer, provided patient navigation services to 288 Latino breast, prostate, and colon cancer survivors in San Antonio and Chicago. Half of survivors got access to a typical navigator. They could reach out to their navigator for help with paperwork, transportation, appointment scheduling, translation, accompaniment, and more. The other half got access to a "next-level" patient navigator who offers the same ...

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Study: Since Trump, Latino Youth Anxiety Over Immigration Has Skyrocketed


hispanic boy teen youth child immigrant sad anxiety mental health

U.S.-born Latino youth with immigrant parents suffer "significantly increased" anxiety over immigration since the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, according to a recent study. Researchers in California and Arizona studied 397 U.S. citizen children of Latino immigrants. They compared children before the election at age 14 and after the election at age 16, to see if their concerns over immigration policy linked up to worse mental, physical health. Nearly half the youth worried "at least sometimes" about U.S. immigration policy. That included whether they'd be reported to immigration officials or their parents would be deported. Their health problems surged after the 2016 election, according to the study. "Fear and worry about the personal consequences of current U.S. ...

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