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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

Healthy Vision Month: Keeping an Eye on Health Equity for Latinos


NEI healthy vision month eye health equity for latinos

May is Healthy Vision Month! The National Eye Institute (NEI) has theme for Healthy Vision Month: "Eye on Health Equity." This is important because people of color, like Latinos, face barriers to eye health care. "NEI is putting a spotlight on the importance of increasing diversity in the eye health field — and how that can help everyone have an equal chance for healthy vision," according to the agency. Here are six ways to promote health equity and healthy vision. 1. Share Testimonials from Diverse Eye Health Professionals NEI spoke with professionals about how increasing diversity and representation can improve eye health outcomes and promote health equity. Read their testimonials and share them with your network! 2. Meet the Organizations that Bring Healthy Vision ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 6/1: Strategies to Address Food Insecurity


address food insecurity tweetchat family eating meal dinner lunch at home

Sadly, food insecurity ─ being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of nutritious food ─ is common in the United States. This is especially true for Latinos and other people of color. U.S. Latino and Black households are more likely to suffer food insecurity (16.2% and 21.2%, respectively), than the national average (11.1%), according to USDA data, Salud America! reports. COVID-19 is making the situation worse, too. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, to discuss emerging strategies to reduce fod insecurity and improve healthy food access for Latinos and all people during and beyond the pandemic! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Strategies to Address Food Insecurity TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, June 1, 2021 WHERE: On Twitter ...

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New $9.8 Million Study is 1st to Seek Full Understanding of the Latino Cancer Survivorship Journey


New $9.8 Million Study is 1st to Seek Full Understanding of the Latino Cancer Survivorship Journey

Latinos with cancer face a tough survivorship journey. Many suffer advanced disease, poor quality of life, and stressful social and economic inequities. This is why a new, first-of-its-kind national cohort study will unpack the social, cultural, behavioral, psychosocial, biological, and medical influences on post-cancer life in Latino cancer survivors to fill a crucial gap in knowledge about their survivorship experience. The study, “Avanzando Caminos (Leading Pathways): The Hispanic/Latino Cancer Survivorship Study,” is funded by a 6-year, $9.8-million grant from the National Cancer Institute that will team up two of its Cancer Centers, the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of ...

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Facebook Live En Español: Questions on the COVID-19 Vaccine and Latinos


Facebook Live En Espanol on COVID-19 vaccine and Latinos

COVID-19 has a disparate impact on people of color. Latinos, for example, suffer higher case and death rates than their White peers. At the same time, Latinos are getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 vaccine at much lower rates, due to distrust and misinformation. This is the focus of Univision's Facebook Live event in Spanish, “¿Tienes dudas sobre las vacanuas contra el covid-19 y comom recibirlas?" The panel is set for 11 a.m. ET / 10 a.m. CT on Thursday, April 29, 2021. Update 4/29/21: In case you missed it, here is the video link. Panelists include: Yarel Ramos, Univision Los Angeles Janet Murguia, UnidosUS Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, Director of the Salud America! program and its multi-level efforts to promote action and information about COVID-19 and Latinos, ...

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Virtual Town Hall 4/28: Minority Health, Community Leaders Fight COVID Together


Virtual Town Hall Minority Health, Community Leaders Fight COVID Together faces

COVID-19 has a disparate impact on people of color. Latinos, for example, suffer higher case and death rates than their White peers. At the same time, Latinos are getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 vaccine at much lower rates. This is the focus of a Facebook Live town hall, "Making It Plain — Minority Health Professionals and Community Organizations Fight COVID Together," set for 7-8:45 p.m. ET, Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Update 4/29/21: In case you missed it, watch the video here. Panelists include: Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, is Director of the Salud America! program and its multi-level efforts to promote action and information about COVID-19 and Latinos, Professor and Chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences, and Director of the Institute for Health ...

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


latina older woman talking on cell phone with mask to cover covid-19 coronavirus

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 5/12/21: Various 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 29% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, second only to Whites (50%), according to CDC data on May 12, 2021. Race/ethnicity data is available for 62% 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% Latino. But they make up ...

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Maegan Molnar: Breast Cancer Changes You, and That’s OK


Maegan Molnar breast cancer survivor main art

By Maegan Molnar Breast Cancer Survivor in San Antonio I was only 26 years old when I was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. My world flipped upside down when I came across a lump during my very first breast exam just three weeks before my wedding. I had nine rounds of IV chemo before we realized it wasn’t working. I then had to stop treatment, have a lumpectomy, and then completely restart a different IV chemo regimen. I then had a double mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction followed up 9 rounds of an oral chemo therapy. To say I was exhausted when it was over would be a complete understatement. To say I was naive when I thought it was over would be completely accurate. This May will be 5 years since my diagnosis. I cannot imagine trying to add up the ...

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Facebook Live En Español: The Latino Cancer Survivor’s Journey


Latina Latino Cancer Survivor breast cancer strong

Cancer affects different people differently. For Latinos, the cancer survivorship journey is shaped by cultural and spiritual beliefs. Latinos also face struggles with barriers to care, screening, clinical trial participation, and patient-doctor communication. This is the focus of a new Spanish-language Facebook Live event, “Supervivencia: Viviendo a través y más allá del cáncer," set for 6-7:30 p.m. CST Monday, May 19, 2021. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) South Texas Chapter is sponsoring the event. Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio will host the event on its Facebook page. Register here for the Facebook Live event. The event will feature: Dr. José Cruz, MD, is a hematology and oncology expert with the Methodist Healthcare's Adult Blood and ...

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The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke Are Serious, Especially In Multifamily Housing


dangers of secondhand smoke in multifamily housing indoors like apartment buildings

Many people know secondhand smoke is a danger to health. However, most people, including many health professionals, don't realize just how dangerous it is, especially inside multifamily housing like apartment buildings. Why is Secondhand Smoke a Big Threat to Health? According to the American Lung Association: Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year. Between 1964 and 2014, 2.5 million people died from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to the 2014 report from the U.S. Surgeon General. The report also concluded that secondhand smoke is a definitive cause of stroke. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or ...

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