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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

You Can Donate Biospecimens for Research to Fight Cancer, Alzheimer’s!


You Can Donate Biospecimens for Research to Fight Cancer, Alzheimer's!

Ever heard of donating biospecimens for research? When a person donates biospecimens—blood, fluid, or tissue samples—it gives researchers the opportunity to better understand, treat, and prevent medical conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's. Biospecimens are especially needed from Latinos, who suffer health disparities. "Latinos who donate biospecimens are heroes. Their contributions enable researchers to make medical discoveries and build new therapies to help millions of Latinos across the nation," said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, leader of the Salud America! Latino health equity program at the Institute for Health Promotion Research in the Department of Population Health Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. What are Biospecimens? Biospecimens are materials from the human ...

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¡Usted Puede Donar Muestras Biológicas para Investigación a Fin de Combatir el Cáncer y el Alzheimer!


Donar Muestras Biológicas cancer alzheimers research

Cuando una persona dona muestras biológicas o biospecímenes—sangre, líquido, o muestras de tejido—le da a los investigadores la oportunidad de entender, tratar y prevenir de una mejor manera, condiciones médicas desde el cáncer hasta el Alzheimer. Se necesitan de manera especial muestras biológicas de latinos, quienes sufren disparidades de salud. “Los latinos que donan muestras biológicas son héroes. Sus contribuciones permiten a los investigadores hacer descubrimientos médicos y crear terapias nuevas para ayudar a millones de latinos en todo el país”, dijo la Dra. Amelie G. Ramirez, líder de Salud America! programa latino de equidad en salud del Institute for Health Promotion Research en el Department of Population Health Sciences, de UT Health San ...

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Webinar: A New Vision for Reaching Latinos for Systemic and Behavioral Change


Amelie Ramirez of UT Health San Antonio health equity Systemic and Behavioral Change

Latinos are expected to comprise well over 25% of the U.S. population by 2050. But they face health disparities in eye health, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and more, endangering the future health of the nation. Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, will explore the causes of these disparities in a virtual presentation, "A New Vision for Reaching Latinos for Systemic and Behavioral Change," at 2:45 p.m. ET, July 14, 2022, at the 11th Annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit led by Prevent Blindness. The overall event, which is free, is set for July 13-14, 2022. "Our efforts must address structural inequities — from a lack of healthcare access to unaffordable housing to experiences of discrimination to a lack of diversity among health care ...

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Latinas, Take Control of your Prenatal Health


COVID-19 Pregnancy latina prenatal health

Sascha Ellington, PhD Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CDC is encouraging people who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant now, or may become pregnant in the future to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations. Latinas have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 with the second-highest rate of cases reaching over 65,000. Learn how COVID-19 vaccinations can provide additional peace of mind for you and your family during pregnancy. Navigating COVID-19 and Pregnancy Did you know people who are pregnant or were recently pregnant are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 than people who are not pregnant? If you become sick with COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are more likely to experience preterm birth and stillbirth and might be at ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 7/5: What Is Biospecimen Donation and Should You Donate?


biospecimens donate donation blood draw latina patient

Ever heard of donating biospecimens for research? When a person donates biospecimens—blood, fluid, or tissue samples—it gives researchers the opportunity to better understand, treat, and prevent medical conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's. Biospecimens are especially needed from Latinos, who suffer health disparities. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, to tweet about the need for biospecimen donations, how researchers use the donations, and how you can donate to improve health for all people! WHAT: #SaludTues: What Is Biospecimen Donation and Should You Donate? TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. EST (Noon-1 p.m. CST), Tuesday, July 5, 2022 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: Melissa Simon, Health Equity Researcher, ...

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Honoring Latino Military Heroes on Memorial Day


latino military hero rocky versace for memorial day

Memorial Day is May 30, 2022. 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 ...

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What is PPE?



You may be wearing PPE on your face right now. A mask is a common form of PPE, or “personal protective equipment,” as are respirators, gowns, gloves and eye protection frequently worn by frontline healthcare workers. These all help protect the wearer – you! – from germs that can make people sick. But they have a second important function, too. “So, the unique thing about PPE in healthcare is that it actually serves two purposes, and both of those purposes are really important. One part is to protect you, but the other part is to protect your patient and coworkers from germs that you might be carrying,” said Dr. Abigail Carlson, an infectious diseases physician with the CDC, as part of CDC Project Firstline’s Inside Infection Control video series. What is PPE and ...

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The Massive Need for Equitable Latino Representation in Clinical Trials


clinical trials latino family home volunteer

Latinos represent less than 10% of volunteers in cancer clinical trials. The lack of Latinos in clinical trials makes it harder for researchers to find treatments tailored for this group — which makes up 18.5% of the U.S. population and a diversity of heritages. This is why Drs. Amelie G. Ramirez and Patricia Chalela of UT Health San Antonio identified barriers and strategies to boost Latino representation in clinical trials in a new commentary in JCO Oncology Practice. It will take more than simply raising awareness of clinical trials to everyone. "To achieve equitable participation of Latinos and other underrepresented groups in clinical research, we need comprehensive approaches that address social and contextual barriers to participation," said Ramirez, leader of the ...

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


latina elder with face mask walking coronavirus covid

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 6/9/22: New U.S., state, and city data! COVID-19 Case Rates for Latinos The U.S. population recently rose to 18.5% Latino. Coronavirus is disproportionately sickening Latinos. Variants like Delta and Omicron sparked case surges, too. Latinos currently comprise 24.7% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, second only to Whites (53.6%), according to CDC data on health equity and cases on June 8, 2022. Race/ethnicity data is available for 65% of the nation's cases. COVID-19-associated hospitalizations also have been higher among Latinos. Several states are also ...

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