About the Author

Author Picture

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.


Connect with Cliff:
Twitter Link

Articles by Cliff Despres

#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, ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

More Cities Are Banning Smoking in Apartment Units


no smoking in apartments in riverside and vallejo california multifamily secondhand smoke

Two more cities have prohibited smoking inside apartment units. On April 26, 2022, Riverside, Calif., city leaders preliminarily approved a ban on smoking in multifamily-housing rental complexes, including individual apartment homes and attached balconies and patios. Latino tenants helped drive the measure. On May 10, 2022, Vallejo, Calif., city leaders banned smoking in multi-unit residences. Bans like these—to reduce exposure to harmful secondhand smoke among apartment and condo tenants—are on the rise. "Upon adoption, Riverside would join at least 167 California cities and counties that have enacted ordinances to restrict smoking in multifamily housing complexes, said Karina Funez, advocacy policy manager for the American Lung Association in California, which has been ...

Read More

Men, Why Should You Get Screened for Cancer? Join This Webinar 6/9/22!



Unfortunately, Latino men have lower cancer screening rates than their White peers. Only 30% of Latino men received a PSA test for prostate cancer in the past year, compared to 37% of White men. Colorectal cancer screening was lower in Latinos (49%) than Whites (58%), too. To address this issue, you’re invited to join our webinar — Men, Why Should You Get Screened for Cancer? — at 2 p.m. CT on June 9, 2022. This Zoom webinar will feature guest speakers and patient advocates to help health care professionals and the Latino public understand the cultural and other barriers to screening, demystify screening tests, and share stories of Latino men's screening and cancer survival. This is the fourth webinar of a new series, “Let’s Address Health Equity Together.” The ...

Read More

We Need to Talk about Hand Hygiene Again


hand hygeine infection control saludfirstline

Do you realize how many things you touch with your hands every day? When we touch anything from our phones to our doorknobs, we can pick up germs like bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Germs can get in between our fingers or under our fingernails where it’s warm and damp, or in cuts on the skin, and grow and spread quickly, causing illness. That’s why hand hygiene and cleaning your hands is an important for infection control for frontline healthcare workers. “The simple answer is, when you clean your hands, you're stopping the spread of germs to your patients, to the environment, and to the things in the environment and from your patients or the environment to you,” said Dr. Abigail Carlson, an infectious diseases physician with the CDC, as part of CDC Project Firstline’s ...

Read More

#SaludTues Tweetchat 6/7: How to Address Alzheimer’s in the Latino Community


latina older man grandgfather abuelo guitar playing music

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month! This is a good time to reflect on the many challenges and inequities facing people of color in the United States when it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and brain health. Sadly, U.S. Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than whites. Latino caregivers experience high levels of stress when supporting their family members with the disease. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, to tweet about the latest data, strategies, and programs to prevent and reduce Alzheimer’s disease and promote better brain health among Latinos and all people! WHAT: #SaludTues: How to Address Alzheimer’s in the Latino Community TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. EST (Noon-1 p.m. CST), Tuesday, June 7, 2022 ...

Read More

Healthy Vision Month: A Family Focus


NEI healthy vision month message 1 english

May is Healthy Vision Month! The National Eye Institute (NEI) has theme for Healthy Vision Month—"Healthy Vision: A Family Focus" and "Visión saludable: ojos sanos para su familia." This is important because families of color, like Latinos, face barriers to eye health care. "We want to inspire families to team up and learn how to protect their vision together! We’re centering this year’s campaign around people who are more likely to have eye problems because of barriers in access to eye care," according to NEI. "A note to Spanish-speakers: Instead of directly translating, we purposefully transcreated some elements of the Healthy Vision Month content to make sure it’s culturally relevant." Here are five ways to promote health equity and healthy vision for families. 1. ...

Read More