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

Video Contest for Teens with an ‘Eye on the Future’ for Science Careers

The National Eye Institute has launched the Eye on the Future campaign to encourage teens to pursue careers in science, specifically eye health and biomedical research. The campaign is kicking off with a video contest! For the video contest, open to teens nationally, high school students can submit 30-second-to-3-minute videos on several science-related categories, such as their favorite scientific discovery or the impact they'd like to make in the science world in 20 years. Students can record video submissions on their own or team up with a group of friends. Submissions are due May 1, 2022. "Winners will get cash prizes — to to $2,000 — plus the opportunity to visit the National Institutes of Health for a day," according to the National Eye Institute, part of the ...

Read More

1 in 3 Latinos Will Face Cancer in Their Lifetime: Conference to Address Disparities, Inequities

With 1 in 3 Latinos facing a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, UT Health San Antonio is hosting the 2022 Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos in-person conference on Feb. 23-25 at the Westin Riverwalk, 420 W. Market St, in San Antonio, Texas. The biennial conference is expected to draw 200 researchers, oncologists, physicians, community leaders, and students for an open dialogue on research advancements and actions to translate basic research into clinical best practices, effective community interventions, system-change advocacy, and professional training to eliminate cancer disparities in Latinos. The first Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conferences in 2018 and 2020 united 80 guest speakers and over 600 attendees from 25 states, from D.C and New York to ...

Read More

Study: Peer Modeling with Psychological Inoculation Can Promote COVID-19 Vaccinations

covid-19 vaccines peer modeling with psychological inoculation study2

COVID-19 vaccination is often deterred by misinformation, from conspiracy theories to exaggerated side effects on social media. Vaccine misinformation is potent among Latinos due to lack of reliable information that is culturally relevant or in Spanish, along with little government outreach. That is why UT Health San Antonio researchers studied a new type of advertisement on Facebook to push people to get vaccinated. They used video testimonial ads of Latino peer role models, like Rosa Herrera, who tout the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, while providing psychological inoculation by acknowledging misinformation, rejecting it, and receiving the vaccine. Compared to generic vaccine promotion ads from the CDC, the Latino peer model ads yielded a significantly higher rate of ...

Read More

The 1st Surgery for Alzheimer’s Disease in South Texas

deep brain stimulation surgey alzheimers dementia clinical trial ut health san antonio 3

A San Antonio woman in her 70s underwent South Texas’ first deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for Alzheimer’s — one of the first 300 surgeries of its kind in the world — at University Hospital on Nov. 5, 2021. UT Health San Antonio and clinical partner University Health are among 27 clinical trial sites worldwide evaluating the effectiveness of the DBS technique in a clinical trial to treat patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. DBS is an established, nonpharmaceutical treatment that researchers hope could slow or even halt the progress of this devastating disease. Dr. Alexander Papanastassiou, associate professor of neurosurgery at UT Health San Antonio who sees University Health patients, implanted DBS electrodes during the operation. The surgery is minimally ...

Read More

#SaludTues Tweetchat 3/1─Two Years Later: How COVID-19 Is Impacting Latinos

latina teacher with mask for covid-19 students hispanic

For the past two years, COVID-19 has continued to ravage the United States. Data continue to show that Latinos and other people of color are disproportionately affected, amid worsening historical health and social inequities. How can we address this? Let’s use #SaludTues on March 1, 2022, to explore health inequities facing the Latino population over the past two years (and long before that), and share solutions and strategies to promote health equity amid the pandemic! WHERE: Twitter WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat “Two Years Later: How COVID-19 Is Impacting Latinos” WHEN: 1-2 p.m. ET (12-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, March 1, 2022 HOST: Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio (@SaludAmerica) CO-HOSTS: The Children’s Partnership (@kidspartnership); Latinx Voces LLC ...

Read More

Robyn Towt: Breast Cancer Survivor, Advocate for Women Suffering from Breast Implant Illness

Robyn Towt breast cancer survivor

By Robyn Towt Breast Cancer Survivor in San Antonio My name is Robyn Towt. I am a three-time cancer survivor, most recently diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 at the age of 44. I had stage one IDC that was found during my routine mammogram and ultrasound. I did not have any treatment, only a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction with Mentor silicone breast implants. The implants caused an array of debilitating health issues, something that none of my doctors told me could happen. I had symptoms ranging from chronic migraines, rashes and extreme fatigue to debilitating insomnia, burning pain, heart palpitations, hair loss, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing and muscle pain. I had the implants removed after just four months and all of my symptoms completely ...

Read More

We’re Hiring Community Behavioral Health Faculty Members!

hiring community behavioral health faculty ihpr phs ut health san antonio

The Department of Population Health Sciences at UT Health San Antonio — home to the Salud America! program in the Institute for Health Promotion Research — is seeking two applicants for open-rank faculty positions in community behavioral health and biostatistics. The two positions will also serve in the Population Science and Prevention research program at the Mays Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center at UT Health San Antonio. Go here to apply or learn more about the community behavioral health position. Go here to apply or learn more about the biostatistician position. "Our goal is to recruit two faculty members who will establish meaningful community-based and community-engaged research in our diverse and medically underserved 38-county ...

Read More