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Alyssa Gonzales

Articles by Alyssa Gonzales

Minimize the Impact of COVID-19: Updated Guidance from the CDC



COVID-19 is not over, especially for Latinos. To help people stay vigilant in stopping the spread, the CDC recently published an updated Summary of Guidance for Minimizing the Impact of COVID-19 on Individual Persons, Communities, and Health Care Systems. “To prevent medically significant COVID-19 illness and death, persons must understand their risk, take steps to protect themselves and others with vaccines, therapeutics, and nonpharmaceutical interventions when needed, receive testing and wear masks when exposed, receive testing if symptomatic, and isolate for [greater than or equal to] 5 days if infected,” the CDC reported on Aug. 11, 2022. Vaccines and Therapeutics to Reduce Medically Significant Illness  The CDC recommends a strategic approach to minimize the impact ...

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Celebrating Our Heroes on National Latina Day August 20, 2022!


National Latina Day

Today we honor Latinas who are mitigating health inequities and disparities in the Latino community for National Latina Day on Aug. 20, 2022. Here are their stories of resilience, hard work, and success. Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez Meet Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, an internationally recognized researcher and director of Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. She is also Chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences, and Associate Director of Cancer Outreach and Engagement at Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. Amelie has spent more than 30 years reducing chronic disease and cancer health disparities affecting Latinos through human and organizational communication research. Q: What inspired you to choose ...

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You Can Help Researchers Across Texas!


Patient greeted by doctor.

UT Health San Antonio and other Texas universities are looking for healthy adults age 18 and older to participate in research studies across the state. Learn more about this opportunity and how you can participate! What is the Aim of the Studies? The University of Texas System Health Biobank Consortium is a collaborative effort among eight UT institutions to standardize and expand access to human biospecimens. Biospecimens are materials from the human body. They include tissues (hair, skin, or organs) and fluids (blood, urine, or saliva). These samples contain cellular, molecular, and chemical information. Along with the samples, biosbanks store biospecimens with personal and medical information (age, sex, race/ethnicity) and details about a donor’s lifetime environmental ...

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The Harsh Impact of Alcohol on the Latino Community


Latino drinking alcohol.

Alcoholism in the U.S. has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “A one-year increase in alcohol consumption in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to cause 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040,” according to a press release from the Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition, deaths caused by alcohol are up, too. After increasing 2.2% a year over the previous two decades, deaths involving alcohol jumped 25.5% between 2019 to 2020, totaling 99,107 deaths,” according to a 2022 study. “Deaths involving alcohol reflect hidden tolls of the pandemic. Increased drinking to cope with pandemic-related stressors, shifting alcohol policies, and disrupted ...

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Caring For Caregivers: Support for Families Impacted by Dementia


Latina Caregiver

Caregivers are a lifeline for people living with dementia. But who is the lifeline for caregivers? The Caring for the Caregivers program at UT Health San Antonio serves as a resource and support for patient caregivers and families through evidence-based education and research. “We envision a community where family caregivers are valued, respected, and supported with compassion. We are committed to values of social justice, collaboration, and family-centeredness in research and practice,” according to the Caring for Caregivers webpage. Learn about the programs, events, and tools that can help your family! Latino Caregivers by the Number Latinos are greatly impacted by dementia. About 13% of Latinos who are 65 or older have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, ...

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37% of Latinos with Children Suffer from Depressive Symptoms


Latino Parent

Over a third of lower-income Latino adults living with children had frequent anxiety or depressive symptoms this past fall and winter, according to a new analysis from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families. Of those 37% who experience symptoms, many do not receive mental health services to assist them. “This includes 33 percent of Latino adults who reported frequent anxiety symptoms, 26 percent who reported frequent depressive symptoms, and 22 percent who reported both; these rates are statistically higher than seen among their higher-income Latino peers,” according to the research center’s data. Let’s explore the factors that contribute to these symptoms and how Latinos can seek the resources and help that they need. What Causes These Mental ...

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New Study Aims to Create Risk “Scorecard” for Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease


Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's

Researchers at UC Davis Health and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) are working on a new study to predict who is most at risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The study includes creating a health ‘scorecard’ for dementia risk. Here’s what you need to know about the study and how you can participate. Study Goal UT Health San Antonio will be the clinical research site for the Diverse Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (Diverse VCID) study. Data will be collected through brain scans, genetics, and other key biomarkers. “Putting these very different pieces of information together, our ultimate goal is to really come up with a risk profile,” Dr. Charles DeCarli, Professor of Neurology and ...

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