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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

Spanish-Speaking Patients Looking for Someone to Talk To


latino doctor with patient

There is a shortage of mental health professionals in the United States. This situation is more severe for Latino and other minorities, who face barriers of language and culture that can make it hard to seek and get help, Pew Charitable Trusts reports. Take, for instance, Ana Paula Guerrero of Aurora, Ill. Guerrero says it makes it easier and better for her therapy if she doesn't have to translate her emotions from her native Spanish to her adopted English. "When I am talking about certain feelings in Spanish, it's (about) vocabulary and being able to gather the words to express yourself," Guerrero told the Daily Herald of Illinois for a report on language barriers to mental health care. "It's not the feeling itself, but the ability to communicate what you are ...

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Eye Alert: Latino Kids Most Likely to Have Vision Problems


latina girl glasses

A growing number of U.S. children may develop vision problems before they reach kindergarten, according to a study, Newsmax reports. Latino children were the most likely group to have vision problems. Study results Study researchers examined U.S. census records and eye exams of 12,000 children ages 6 and younger. They estimated that 174,000 U.S. children ages 3-5 had vision impairment as of 2015. That number could grow to more than 220,000 children by 2060. The study also found that Latino kids accounted for 38% of vision impairment cases, compared to 26% among white kids and 25% among black kids. "Researchers estimated [the Latino] proportion would climb [from 38%] to 44% by 2060 aided by higher birth rates in this population relative to other racial and ethnic groups," ...

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#SaludTues Bilingual Tweetchat 5/30: Connecting Minority Youth to Opportunity


rwjf county health rankings brownsville latina girl painting

More Latino and Black youth are “disconnected”—not in school and not working—than their White peers, according to recent County Health Rankings data. How can we connect more minority youth to healthy, successful futures? Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, to tweet about the latest strategies and resources to connect Latino and other minority youth to opportunities in education, jobs, and civic engagement from the earliest ages into adulthood: WHAT: #SaludTues Bilingual Tweetchat: “Connecting Minority Youth to Opportunity” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, May 30, 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: County Health Rankings (@CHRankings), The United Way (@UnitedWay) Optional hashtags: ...

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How to Successfully Screen Latino Toddlers for Autism


latino boy thinking; mental health care

A few years ago, only 1 in 10 Latino children were screened for autism when they came in for well-child visits at Unity Health Care's Upper Cardozo Health Center in Washington, D.C. None were flagged for autism. The problem? Latino parents often misunderstood the center's written autism screening questions. Questions were designed for English speakers and, even when translated into Spanish, tended to mystify or confuse Spanish speakers, Spectrum News reports. The answer? A Georgetown University researcher created a culturally and linguistically tailored oral screening test where clinicians asked Latino parents the autism questions. Trained multilingual interviewers, and later center clinicians, gave the oral screening to parents. Of 1,400 children screened, 4% were ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 1p ET 5/23: How to Help People Move More, Sit Less


latino kids riding bikes, active

We shouldn’t have to shake up our daily routines to get the mental and physical benefits of physical activity. But for Latino families, physical activity often isn't a daily norm. In fact, Latino-majority schools provide less time for recess and P.E., and Latino neighborhoods have fewer places to walk and play, Salud America! research shows. Let's use #SaludTues on May 23, 2017, to tweet about partnerships, programs, policy changes, and infrastructure that can help Latinos and everyone move more and sit less in the places where we live, learn, work, play, pray, and retire. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Active Living Programs, Policy Changes, and Infrastructure Improvements” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, May 23, 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with ...

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Latinos and the State of Unemployment Insurance and Government Benefits


latino millennials work diverse young adults

By Jackie Edwards Contributing Writer Unemployment insurance and government benefits are available to qualifying Latinos who lawfully reside in this country, federal policy states. Many Latino homes could benefit from this aid. In fact, more than 5% of adult Latino workers and 15% of teen Latino workers are unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But Latino immigrants are much less likely than their white counterparts to receive government benefits. "Unemployment insurance benefits can provide crucial economic stability during unexpected job loss, provide for basic needs during a job search, and keep families out of poverty," according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP). Why Latinos Should Care about Federal Aid A growing share of the U.S. ...

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How Two Towns Saved Swimming Pools from Demolition


latino girl swimming in pool water

Swimming may be the perfect physical activity to help Latino kids achieve good health. But city governments often make the "painful choice to shut their pools to save the budget," according to a New York Times story a few years ago. Pool closures can especially hurt low-income and Latino and racial/ethnic communities where the local pool may be the only luxury. What can community residents do to save pools? We at Salud America! are happy to spotlight two communities who stepped up in unique ways when their local pools faced being cemented in! Hannah Lieder: Saving a Public Pool in the Heart of Minneapolis Phillips Pool had been open for 22 years in the heart of urban Minneapolis, Minn., when it shut down for renovations in 2009. Renovation plans turned into ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 5/9: Latino Kids and Healthy Minds


latina girl student school class

A child needs more than nutritious food and physical activity to be healthy. They need healthy minds, too. But 1 in 5 children today suffer a serious mental illness. Depressive symptoms among Latino youth are especially high, putting them at risk of dropping out of school, using drugs, and suicide. For Mental Health Awareness Month in May, let’s use #SaludTues on May 9, 2017, to share tips and strategies to promote healthy minds and environments for Latino and all kids across the U.S. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: "Latino Kids and Healthy Minds" TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, May 9, 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludToday CO-HOSTS: Cheryl Aguilar (@cheryl_aguilar); Jesus Rodriguez, MD of Kaiser Permanente ...

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Latinos Still Least Likely to Have Health Insurance, If Trumpcare or Obamacare


kid sitting poverty low income health

Only about 1 in 10 people don't have health insurance in 2017. That means far more people are covered with health insurance now than in 2013 before the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, went into effect. However, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved a healthcare bill that could leave 24 million fewer people insured by 2026 than under Obamacare, CNN reports. Here's how the bill would work, according to Salon.com. In any case, Latinos will likely still face the biggest uphill climb for healthcare coverage. The State of Latino Healthcare Coverage Latinos are among several groups to suffer from lack of health insurance with rates far above the national average, according to U.S. News & World Report. Other groups with less coverage than whites include ...

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