About the Author

Author Picture

Alyssa Gonzales

Articles by Alyssa Gonzales

4 Incredible Ways SNAP Helps People


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food insecurity

The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program provides temporary support to help people and families afford food.   But SNAP benefits are often under fire.  After Trump-era efforts to curb SNAP benefits and the recent expiration of COVID-era SNAP increases, some lawmakers are pushing to add more work requirements to qualify for eligibility.  Under the House’s proposed expansion of work requirements to parents and caregivers, as many as four million children could go hungry.   “Millions of low-income households, people of color, and their families rely on basic supports to access health care, feed themselves, afford childcare, and survive financial and health insecurity,” according to a UnidosUs blog. “Cuts to these programs, or additional ...

Read More

Play Deserts Common in Southern Areas



Play deserts are common among the Deep South and Southwest areas of the United States, according to a recent study from the University of Georgia (UGA).   You may have heard of food deserts and how healthy eating options are limited or hard to access in many racial/ethnic and low-income neighborhoods.   Play deserts are defined as “areas where parks and other spots to run around and play are nonexistent, hard to access or in less safe locations that make parents second-guess taking their children to play there.”   The UGA study shows that play deserts cover about 7% of the US, but the rates are even higher in the Southern parts of the nation.   “Even if you have the park near where you live, if the environment is not safe or it’s difficult to access, then people ...

Read More

Lack of Men of Color in Health Professions Is a National Crisis



The low number of Latinos and other men of color graduating and entering the health care professions is a national crisis, according to a new consensus statement led by the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP).  The statement calls on local and national educational, health care, governmental, and community leaders to address this issue.    “A continued lack of awareness, marginalization and unconscious bias has led this issue to reach crisis proportions,” according to a FASHP statement. “This crisis is reflected in absolute numbers in academic institutions, in the representation of health professionals, in the elevation to leadership positions, and in health outcomes across the health professions.”   Let’s dive deeper into this ...

Read More

Latinos, Join UT Health’s Healthy Controls Study!



UT Health San Antonio and UTHealth Houston are looking for healthy Latinos to join their “Healthy Control Study” to help uncover new ways to treat disease.  “Controls” are healthy people who donate a biospecimen – such as blood, saliva, or tissue – that researchers can use to compare to people of a similar age and race/ethnicity who also have cancer, Alzheimer’s, or other health conditions.  A half-hour appointment with a one-time blood draw is all that’s needed for the new UT Health San Antonio and UTHealth Houston study.  “You don’t have to be sick to help advance medical research. Researchers need information from healthy people to compare with people who have a disease so they can learn more about disease and develop new treatments,” said Dr. Amelie ...

Read More

530 People Ask to Expand Health Care for DACA Recipients!



The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its proposed rule to expand health care for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.  The goal is to reduce barriers for DACA recipients through Affordable Care Act Marketplaces, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.   “DACA recipients, like all Dreamers, are Americans, plain and simple. The United States is their home, and they should enjoy the same access to health care as their fellow Americans,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a press release.      You can comment now on this proposed rule change.   We at Salud America! have created the following model comment you can use to speak up on the ...

Read More

With Cancer, Early Detection = Better Outcomes



65% of Americans 21 years of age and older say they are not up to date with one or more routine cancer screenings, according to a survey from the Prevent Cancer Foundation.   With this in mind, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has launched the Early Detection = Better Outcomes bilingual campaign to educate and encourage Americans to schedule routine cancer screening appointments.   “When people learn the benefits of early detection, they are much more likely to talk to their doctors and get screened to check their health,” said Jody Hoyos, CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, in a press release. “Routine screenings should be part of your wellness routine, just like eating healthy, exercising and taking care of your mental health.”  Let us dive into what this campaign ...

Read More

Keeping an Eye Out: 4 Ways to Promote Healthy Vision



For this year’s Healthy Vision Month, the National Eye Institute (NEI) is highlighting the theme of “Healthy Vision: A Family Focus” (“Visión saludable: ojos sanos para su familia”).  To ensure that everyone gets important eye health information, the NEI is sharing its helpful resources in Spanish – made through transcreation.   Transcreation is the process of taking a concept in one language and completely recreating it in another language, adjusting the literal translation to align with the cultural context of the intended audience.  “A successfully transcreated message (either written or visual) evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language, but in a way that resonates with the target ...

Read More

Feeding Fort Worth with the FunkyTown Fridge



Kendra Richardson worried if her neighbors in Fort Worth, Texas, would have enough food as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened nutrition security, healthcare, and housing.   Richardson saw an opportunity to help – with a community fridge.  Richardson launched FunkyTown Fridge in September of 2020 with the purpose of feeding the community and giving neighborhood families access to healthy food, making it the first and only community fridge in Fort Worth at the time.   “We place refrigerators and pantries in food apartheid neighborhoods around Fort Worth, and then allow them to be accessible and open 24/7,” Richardson said. “So, it's free food, community-based on a give what you can, take what you need basis.”  Let’s explore how has Richardson’s FunkyTown Fridge ...

Read More

Do You Know the CDC’s New COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations?



The CDC recently announced updated COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. The update allows people ages 65 and older or immunocompromised to get an additional updated bivalent vaccine dose at least four months after their initial bivalent dose. “If you’re in this group and have questions about getting an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose, you should consult your healthcare provider,” according to Public Health Communications Collaborative. Read more about the updated vaccine recommendations and why they matter for Latinos. The Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations Other changes made by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices include: Monovalent (original) mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be recommended for use in the United States. CDC ...

Read More