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Alyssa Gonzales

Articles by Alyssa Gonzales

Apply for the Hispanic Leadership Development Fellowship!



Apply now for the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Hispanic Leadership Development Fellowship!   The fellowship program is a paid, 9-month, in-person leadership opportunity to prepare for career opportunities in public health agencies and increase awareness and competency in health equity knowledge and practice, including infection control.  Each fellow is paired with a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agency in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area from Sept. 1, 2024, to May 30, 2025.  “We are dedicated to increasing the representation of Hispanics in key executive leadership positions,” said Dr. Elena Rios, NHMA President and CEO.  Applications are due April 1, 2024.  APPly Here!  Components of NHMA’s Hispanic Leadership ...

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Latino Parents Worried about Teen Social Media Use, Urge Policy Safeguards



Social media has become a part of everyday life and routine, especially for young Latinos.      While social media can offer supportive communities and educational resources, it can also bring harmful impacts and habits.  Nearly half of Latino parents are “extremely concerned” over the potential harmful impact that heavy social media use can have on their pre-teen children’s mental health, according to new data from the Brookings Institution.  “The Latino community is particularly vulnerable to mental health challenges as a result of social media use,” according to Brookings report.   Let’s dig deeper into what the data says and how it affects Latinos.   Young Latinos and Social Media  The Brookings Institution survey, led by the Omidyar Network, ...

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After COVID: Many Latinos Still Stuck in Inflexible Jobs



When COVID-19 hit, it hurt many Latinos who worked in industries and jobs with few benefits and no flexibilities to respond to childcare disruptions.   Unfortunately, after the pandemic, that situation remains.  The industry and occupational distribution of Latino parents with low incomes remains largely unchanged from pre- to post-pandemic for mothers and fathers, according to a recent study from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families.  “We provide the first national portrait of the industries and occupations that employ Latino parents with low incomes in the aftermath of the pandemic, and highlight employment shifts that occurred during the pandemic,” according to the study.   Let’s dive into the study finding and how it impacts Latino ...

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What Is Thirdhand Smoke? How Can You Protect Against It?



Many know of the harms and health risks of smoking and secondhand smoke.   However, you may not have heard of thirdhand smoke, which is the chemical pollutants that linger and settle indoors after tobacco is smoked.   “The chemicals in thirdhand smoke include nicotine as well as cancer-causing substances such as formaldehyde, naphthalene and others,” according to the Mayo Clinic.  Policy gaps are failing to protect the public from thirdhand smoke, according to a recent study.  The study suggests that policies safeguard against thirdhand smoke even as they protect against secondhand smoke exposure by prohibiting indoor smoking in public places.  “While these measures have been instrumental in protecting public health, saving lives, and reducing health care ...

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What Would Happen If More People Got Cancer Screenings?



Cancer screening can help catch cancer early when it is more treatable. But participation in screening is sporadic at best, especially among Latinos.  What would happen if more people got screened for cancer?  To find out, a team of U.S. and Canadian researchers used computer modeling to estimate the number of deaths that could be prevented, and the harms caused, if more people followed recommended cancer screening guidelines.  Let’s explore what they found and what it means for Latino cancer.  The Impact of More Screening: Potential Lives Saved  Cancer screenings can catch early cases of lung, colorectal, cervical, and breast cancers.  But only 13% of people eligible are up to date for lung cancer screening; 69% for colorectal cancer screening; 73% for cervical ...

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Study: Latinos Suffered Big Losses in Health Coverage, Care Amid COVID-19



Racial/ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage and healthcare access worsened during the pandemic, according to a new study in the journal Geospatial Health.  The study found Latinos and African Americans were the most affected populations.     “Our results suggest that loss of insurance coverage and reduced access to health services deepened inequities in an already uneven healthcare landscape, particularly for African American and Hispanic/Latino populations,” according to the study researchers.  Let’s dive into what the data found and what this means for Latinos.   How Did COVID-19 Impact Healthcare for Latinos?  Study researchers – from CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public ...

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The State of Cigarette Smoking and E-Cigarette Use in Latinos



Only 7.7% of Latino adults in 2021 smoked cigarettes, which is lower than the national prevalence of 11.5%, the Truth Initiative reports.  But the news isn’t all good.  While Latino adults have a lower usage rate of all tobacco products than adults overall, smoking prevalence differs widely within Latino subgroups and by gender.  Let’s explore Latino tobacco use and why it matters for health.  Cigarette Smoking Patterns in Latino Adults    Latinos in the U.S. that identify as Puerto Rican reported the highest current smoking prevalence at 17%. The lowest rates are among Latinos with Central or South American origin (6%), the Truth Initiative reports.  Latina women have a lower smoking rates (6%) than Latino men (12%).    In 2022, 7.8% of young Latino adults ...

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Help South Texas Researchers Learn More About Sleep Disturbance



Do you get the recommended 7-10 hours of sleep a night?   Insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality contribute to the development and management of many health issues, from diabetes to heart disease, according to the CDC.   Researchers at UT Health San Antonio and their partners are studying sleep disturbances among blood cancer patients and comparing effectiveness of two wellness-based mobile apps to help improve sleep.   The Reducing Sleep disTurbance in Cancer (REST-C) study, also called the Heme Study, is a clinical trial that is currently recruiting adults diagnosed with blood cancer and experiencing sleep disturbance. A clinical trial is a study that helps researchers learn more about how different treatments and interventions can be used to help slow, manage, and ...

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Take Action to Lower Your Risk for Cervical Cancer



Today is a great time to protect yourself and others cervical cancer.    For Latinos, cancer is the leading cause of death. Latinos also are more likely than their peers to develop cancer in the liver, stomach, and cervix.  The good news is you can lower your cervical cancer risk!   In celebration of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January, let’s dive deeper into how we protect against cervical cancer.   Cervical Cancer Risk Factors and Symptoms   Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex, according to the CDC.   There are different types of HPV. Some cause changes on your cervix that can lead to cervical cancer.   Other risk factors include having HIV (the ...

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