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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

Report: 1 in 5 Latino Youth Have Obesity


Latino youth have obesity rwjf report from seattle

One in six U.S. youth have obesity, but the issue is worse among Latinos and other youth of color, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). More than one in five Latino (21.4%), Black (23.8%), and American Indian/Alaska Native (28.7%) children ages 10-17 have obesity. The reasons? Structural racism and systemic health inequities. Racist policies and discriminatory practices affect our food system, access to healthcare, affordable housing, and critical family supports like childcare, the RWJF report says. Together, the effects of these policies and practices force families into hard choices on how to spend limited resources, especially during COVID-19. “The state of childhood obesity in America is an urgent call to action for leaders at all ...

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


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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 10/13/21: 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 26.6% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, second only to Whites (51.8%), according to CDC data on health equity and cases on Oct. 12, 2021. Race/ethnicity data is available for 65% 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% ...

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17 Awesome Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month


Hispanic Heritage Month HHM mural

Hispanic Heritage Month is here! This annual U.S. observance, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. We at Salud America! invite you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in these awesome ways. 1. Learn How Hispanic Heritage Month Started 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 Johnson’s Proclamation 3869, National Hispanic Heritage Week, 1968. (Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives) President Lyndon Johnson implemented the observance as Hispanic Heritage Week that year. U.S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres of Pico ...

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Award Finalist: Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training


Exito Latino Cancer Collage

For the third time, Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez's Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program at UT Health San Antonio has been named a finalist for Excelencia in Education's "Examples of Excelencia." The awards spotlight evidence-based programs that support Latino students in higher education. Éxito! was also a finalist in 2018 and 2019. The winning “Examples of Excelencia” in four categories—associate, baccalaureate, graduate, and community-based organizations—will be announced virtually at Excelencia in Education’s annual Celebracion de Excelencia on Oct. 28. 2021. Excelencia in Education is a national group that promotes Latinos in higher education. Éxito! recruits 25 Latino students and health professionals annually for a culturally tailored ...

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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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5 Reasons to Attend: Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos 2022


Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos Amelie Ramirez UT Health San Antonio

In the next 20 years, Latinos could face a 142% rise in cancer rates. Latinos also experience cancer differently—from genetics to healthcare access to survivorship. This is why Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, is hosting the Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos 2022 conference on Feb. 23-25, 2022 in San Antonio! "Our vision is to unite researchers, physicians, healthcare professionals, patient advocates and students from across the nation to discuss research advancements, identify gaps, and create action to translate basic research into clinical best practices, effective community interventions, and professional training programs to eliminate cancer disparities in Latinos," said Ramirez, whose Institute for Health Promotion Research ...

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5 Ways to Engage Latinos to Support Healthier Drinks, Not Sugary Drinks


voices for healthy kids sugary drink tax graphic

By Reena Singh Guest Blogger, Voices for Healthy Kids Voices for Healthy Kids recently completed research to get the Latino community’s take on sugary drinks and sugary drink taxes. The research identified several messaging findings and strategies to help engage the Latino community in efforts to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks. Specifically, the research found after receiving more information, support for sugary drink taxes jumped 28%. So, what did we learn about building relationships and engagement with Latino communities on efforts to increase access to healthy beverages and reduce the consumption of sugary drinks? 1. Materials and Messages Need to Be in Spanish and English 45% of Latinos in the survey reported they speak Spanish daily. The majority (62%) of ...

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4 Ways to Uplift Latinos to the Forefront of Health Care, Public Health, Society


latina mom and daughter face masks covid uplift latinos

Latinos are the largest racial/ethnic minority at 18.5% of the U.S. population. Yet they face considerable health inequities — from discrimination to a lack of access to health care, transportation, affordable housing, healthy food, and more. This contributes to a high burden of diabetes, obesity, and disease for Latinos. In response, we need more understanding of the root causes of health inequities, diversity in the health and research fields, better education, and greater societal presence for Latinos, according to a new article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, and Drs. Rita Lepe and Francisco Ciagarroa of the Transplant Center at UT Health San Antonio. "The changing ...

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Andrea Reichl: Facing Breast Cancer, Be Your Own Advocate


Andrea Reichl san antonio breast cancer survivor main

By Andrea Reichl Breast Cancer Survivor in San Antonio On June 8, 2015 I got the dreaded call that would change my my world as I knew it. I had only been 38 for one month and cancer never even crossed my mind as a possibility. I previously have had a mammogram and ultrasound annually due to a lump that was being monitored since my early 20s. Six months after my last mammogram my nipple became red and itchy. My gynecologist sent me to a breast specialist, who rudely told me it was because I didn’t have babies. It was devastating to hear that because she was unaware that for over 10 years my husband and I tried to have kids, unsuccessfully. She prescribed me a cream that didn’t work. I decided to go back to my gynecologist as things just didn’t feel right, and I ...

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