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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

Three Heroes Blazing a Path for Equitable Transportation


equitable transportation for Latino communities

Equitable transportation that is safe, affordable, and reliable can boost a person’s health and social mobility. But too often, public money pays for projects that widen historical gaps in access to transportation options for communities of color. Latinos, for example, face many transportation inequities that cut off connections to health-promoting assets─like affordable housing, green spaces, and medical care. This also makes it harder to lead healthy lives, according to a Salud America! research review, The State of Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space. That’s why we at Salud America! are spotlighting three Salud Heroes who are pushing forward for equitable transportation for Latinos and all people! Minerva Perez’s Free Ride Program Helps Latinos Overcome ...

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3 Big Reasons Skin Cancer is Skyrocketing among Latinos


latina applying sunscreen on beach shore sand to prevent skin cancer

Warning: This may send you running for sunscreen. The rate of melanoma—the most dangerous form of skin cancer—has risen 20% among Latinos in the past 20 years. Latino adults and kids also are more likely than their white peers to be diagnosed at an advanced stage of skin cancer. But, sadly, many Latinos don't run for sunscreen. “The belief that Hispanic people don’t have to worry about skin cancer has existed among Latinos for generations,” said Dr. Maritza Perez, a dermatologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “They hear it from their parents and grandparents, and then they pass this belief on to their children.” Why is skin cancer rising in this darker-skinned group? What can we do about it? What Is Melanoma? Melanomas are ...

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Honoring Latino Military Heroes on Memorial Day


latino military hero rocky versace for memorial day

Memorial Day is May 27, 2019. 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. More than 40 Medals of Honor have been awarded to Latinos, 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 ...

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San Antonio Researcher to Study Why Gastric Cancer Is Rising in Latinos


young man having a stomachache gastric cancer

Gastric cancer, which forms in the lining of the stomach, is more likely to afflict Latinos than whites, and in Texas is diagnosed at younger ages and less curable stages. Dorothy Long Parma wants to find out why. Long Parma, a researcher at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, the team behind Salud America!, recently received a three-year, $360,000 "Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program Career Development Award" from the U.S. Department of Defense to study the risk factors for gastric cancer in Latinos. The study will look closely at H. pylori bacterial infection, which increases risk of gastric cancer, and is common among Latinos, according to a prior study led by Long Parma. Long Parma also will examine other factors like behaviors, ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 5/28: How to Prevent Skin Cancer in Communities of Color


sunscreen apply to prevent skin cancer latino hispanic girl

Summer is here. Unfortunately, so is skin cancer risk. Too much unprotected exposure to the sun can give you more than a sun burn. Rates of melanoma—the most dangerous form of skin cancer—have skyrocketed in recent years. This rise is happening even among Latinos and other dark-skinned populations. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, to share strategies to improve the prevention of skin cancer among Latinos and all people: WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “How to Prevent Skin Cancer in Communities of Color” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, May 28, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (@CDC_Cancer); the American Academy of Dermatology ...

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Dr. Amelie Ramirez to Chair New Department of Population Health Sciences at UT Health San Antonio


Amelie Ramirez Latino Health Champion 2018

Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at the the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio and a leading health disparities researcher, has been named chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, announced Dr. Robert Hromas, dean of the Long School of Medicine. The appointment is effective June 1. Dr. Hromas also announced that the department will be renamed the Department of Population Health Sciences. The new department will continue to provide services in all biological and medical analytical areas. It will also focus on efforts to use analytical tools to enhance the health of the unique populations in San Antonio and South Texas. Dr. Ramirez will continue to serve as director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research, ...

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Erika Zamarripa: Learning to Live After Breast Cancer


Erika Zamarripa breast cancer survivor San Antonio

By Erika Zamarripa San Antonio Cancer Survivor There is that "C" word again. Cancer can be defined as a "disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body." Or it also can be defined as a "practice or phenomenon perceived to be evil or destructive and hard to contain or eradicate." Whatever you want to call it, it sucks. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 ER positive breast cancer at the age of 32 on Dec. 18, 2013. My twin boys were only 9 years old at the time and I was working at H-E-B Pharmacy. I remember one day taking a shower and I felt a lump on my breast. This lump hurt when I touched it and the longer, I felt it, the more I started to worry. I called my gynecologist and made an appointment. He felt it and sent me for a mammogram and an ...

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8 Unconventional Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo


diverse group volunteering for environmental clean up

What are you doing for Cinco de Mayo? Many will use it as an excuse to party with margaritas and tacos. We at Salud America! invite you to think outside the box and celebrate Cinco de Mayo in one of six unconventional ways. 1. Find Out What Cinco de Mayo Really Means Cinco de Mayo ("Fifth of May") does not celebrate Mexico's Independence Day. Mexico won independence on Sept. 16, 1810. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. Still, it has evolved into an observance of Mexican heritage. "In the 1950s, Chicano activists turned Cinco de Mayo into a commemorative holiday used to educate Mexican Americans about their cultural heritage," ...

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