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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

The Eye-Popping Surge of Latino-Serving Colleges, Universities


Latino Hispanic college student studying in a university library

The number of Latino or Hispanic-serving colleges and universities has risen 98% in the past 10 years, from 264 in 2007 to 523 in 2018, according to a new report by Excelencia in Education. A “Hispanic-Serving Institution” (HSI) has 25% or more undergraduate full-time equivalent Latino enrollment. HSIs now constitute 17% of all colleges and universities. The Key Data Two of three Latino undergraduates attend an HSI. 46% of student enrollment at HSIs is Latino. HSIs are present in 27 states and Puerto Rico. That's up from 21 last year. HSIs are very concentrated geographically. 69% were located in three states and Puerto Rico. California has the most, followed by Texas and New York. Most HSIs are located in a city (273) or suburb (163). Fewer were in towns ...

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Amy Perez: The Fight to Overcome Breast Cancer at Age 22


Amy Perez - breast cancer survivor - with her family

By Amy Perez San Antonio Cancer Survivor Just after my 22nd birthday while putting on tanning lotion, I noticed a hard lump in my chest that I hadn’t noticed before. My mom works at MD Anderson in Houston, so I told her about the lump as soon as I noticed it, and she helped me get an appointment to get the lump checked out. My cancer was far enough along to where there was no waiting for results. They told me before I left the hospital that day that I had cancer. I began chemo right away but my body was resistant to it. At the end of 6 months of chemo my tumor was 10x larger than when I had started. My doctors told me that I was inoperable, which is pretty hard news at just 22. As if having cancer and struggling with treatment wasn’t hard enough, I also had an ...

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17,000 Latinos Killed With Guns in California Since 1999


gun violence prevention

Nearly 17,000 Latinos were killed with guns in California from 1999 through 2016, which mirrors a national rise in gun violence, according to a new study from the Violence Policy Center. But the alarming data doesn't end there. In 2016, Latino firearm homicide victimization rate was 4.40 per 100,000. That is more than three times the white firearm homicide victimization rate of 1.45 per 100,000. The firearm homicide victimization rate jumps to 6.63 per 100,000 for Latinos ages 10-24. “For far too long, we have not had actionable data on Latino gun violence in California," said Fernando Rejón of the Urban Peace Institute. "This [Violence Policy Center] report provides us with critical information to understand the impacts and make change." California's Shocking Gun Violence ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 3/12: Preventing Gun Violence


Gun-violence-prevention-march-tweetchat

Gun violence is a rising public health and social justice issue in the United States. In fact, gun violence is one of the top causes of premature death, killing more than 38,000 Americans and causing nearly 85,000 injuries each year, according to the CDC. The good news is that gun violence is preventable. The bad news is that not enough people see it as preventable, according to the Berkeley Media Studies Group. Mass shootings are not the largest source of gun violence, but they dominate media coverage. This can spark fear, create the idea of gun violence as inevitable, and obscure potential solutions to the epidemic. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, to share innovative strategies to create a new narrative on preventing gun violence in Latino and all ...

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Amelie Ramirez Wins Health Equity Lifetime Achievement Award


amelie ramirez health equity in 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, on being selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Health Equity Special Interest Group of the Society of Behavioral Medicine! This honor recognizes substantial scholarly contributions to health equity research in behavioral medicine over a career. Ramirez will be formally recognized March 8, 2019, during a Health Equity Special Interest Group gathering at the 40th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in Washington, D.C. “I’m very thankful for this award from such a prestigious group as the Society of Behavioral Medicine, which is a recognition of our ongoing work to promote Latino health equity across the nation,” Ramirez ...

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51% of U.S. Babies are Children of Color, Struggle for Good Health


low income babies state of babies children of color

Today's children are more diverse than at any other time in U.S. history. More than half (50.4%) of babies are Latino and other children of color. These changing demographics have substantial implications for planning policies and services that best meet the increasingly diverse familial, cultural, and language needs of our youngest children, according to the new State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 from ZERO TO THREE and Child Trends. Yet children of color and their families face big barriers to health equity. The states where these children are born and live during their first three years makes a big difference in their chance for a strong start in life. "Opportunities to grow and flourish are not shared equally by the nation’s infants, toddlers, and families," according to the ...

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Maria Guzman: The Long Journey after Breast Cancer



By Maria Teresa Guzman San Antonio Cancer Survivor Sometimes it seems like it was yesterday that I first heard the word "Breast Cancer." But the reality is it has already been 3 years since I was all alone spending a Valentine’s Day in the midst of needles and nurses. You see, at 38 years old I started with a sudden stabbing pain in my breast that would not go away. I had it for a month, not really wanting to pay attention to the signals my body was giving me until I felt a lump. It would have been easy to let fear win, but I took the hardest road and picked up the phone to call my doctor. Within two days I had an exam, and a biopsy it was at that moment that the doctor said, “It is Valentine’s Day and I’m sorry you have to spend your day here in pain but I ...

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Amelie Ramirez Elected Board President of Top Texas Health Agency


Amelie Ramirez komen scholar

Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, on being named President of the Board of Directors for The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST)! TAMEST is a premier scientific organization that unites the brightest scientists and researchers across Texas. Ramirez, elected to a two-year term, will help supervise all programs and affairs. She also will serve as representative of the organization. “I look forward to helping guide TAMEST's efforts to make Texas a premier destination for world-class research in medicine, engineering, science and technology," Ramirez said. "Together we will work to improve the lives of our citizens and grow the economy." Dr. Ramirez & Her Work to Improve Latino ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 2/5: Helping Kids Have Healthier Childhoods!


young hispanic latino kids playing clay classroom

“Children are our future.” You’ve heard this old saying before, but it’s never been truer. Childhood experiences set the physical, psychological, and social foundation as a child grows into adulthood. But Latinos and other communities lack support to meet children’s needs in opportunities for good health, education, and more, jeopardizing our nation’s future. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, to share innovative strategies and solutions to help Latino and all children have healthier childhoods and brighter futures: WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: "From Birth to Graduation: Helping Kids Have Healthier Childhoods and Brighter Futures" TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: ...

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