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Alyssa Gonzales

Articles by Alyssa Gonzales

Carlos Olivas: Every Day is Different as a Latino Caregiver

carlos a latino alzheimer's caregiver

A cool breeze hits Carlos Olivas III’s face and suddenly the smells of fresh, warm coffee and donuts hits his nose. He enjoys a short, tranquil moment at a bakery as part of his daily routine alongside his father, Carlos Olivas Jr., also known as Charlie. Carlos is a full-time caregiver for Charlie, who is living with Alzheimer’s in Sacramento. Carlos saw what caregiving looked like from a young age. He watched his mother and father care for his grandmother and, later, his father care for his ailing mother.   “My dad was the caregiver for my mom, who was dealing with breast cancer, diabetes, and congenital heart failure. In 2008, she passed. Reflecting back, that was the first time, the real hero,” Carlos said. “He set the stage as a male caregiver, without knowing ...

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Latino Cancer Patients Struggle with Unmet Needs, Face Worse Outcomes  

Cancer patients with unmet needs for support – in areas from finances to emotions – are more likely to experience worse clinical outcomes, according to a new study led by Dr. Frank Penedo of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.  Who are the cancer patients at highest risk for having unmet needs?  Latinos, Blacks, and people who experience anxiety, depression, pain, poor physical function, and low health-related quality-of-life scores.    "Our findings offer strong evidence that unmet supportive care needs are associated with unfavorable clinical outcomes, particularly higher risk for ED visits and hospitalizations," Dr. Penedo said, according to a news release.   Let’s dive into unmet needs and what they mean for Latino cancer ...

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Alberto Martin: Making the Most of Every Opportunity for Latino Health

As a child in Puerto Rico, Alberto Martin dreamed of playing professional soccer.  He knew that becoming a soccer pro meant lots of hard work, practice, and willpower to get better even when you’re tired and want to give up.  Today, Martin is using those lessons to become a different kind of pro – a doctor.  Martin is a second-year medical student at the Universidad Central del Caribe in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, and an intern at UT Health San Antonio’s Institute for Health Promotion Research.   He is motivated to share his story to demonstrate how following your dream – on the soccer field or the doctor’s office – can be reality.  “Stories and information you get, they just become such a powerful source of drive or inspiration. Because you want to see you, ...

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Advocate for Change During BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month in July

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month or Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to highlight mental health and wellness of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), including Latinos.  Several barriers, factors, and experiences contribute to the mental and overall health of BIPOC communities.  With this in mind, let’s explore ways to advocate for change and help others!   “When we reach out for help, we not only begin to heal ourselves, but we heal our communities,” according to Mental Health America.  Why is Mental Health Important?  Each BIPOC population in the United States is diverse in their own way.   For instance, the US Latino population includes origins and heritages from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, South, and Central ...

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Explore Resources for Bladder Cancer Survivors and Caregivers!

Every year, more than 82,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer.  Making up 5% of all cancers, bladder cancer also is the 6th most common cancer. Latinos have lower risk for bladder cancer but worse outcomes.   Have you or someone in your family recently been diagnosed and aren’t sure where to start?   Check out the following helpful resources from the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN). 1. Bladder Cancer Support Line (Bilingual)  BCAN’s Bladder Cancer Support Line offers support by connecting patients with professional oncology social workers.   “The call center’s staff will address the emotional, practical and informational needs of the bladder cancer community including those who have lost loved ones to the disease,” according to ...

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5 Ways to Keep Kids Safe This Summer

Summer heat waves are increasingly more severe due to climate change, making it important to ensure children’s safety amid rising temperatures.  While essentials like sunscreen, hats, and shade are important, one of the most crucial steps is keeping children hydrated.   Let’s dive into hydration and other ways to help families stay safe this summer!  1. Drink Water The Institute of Medicine recommends that children ages 4 to 8 drink about 2 quarts of water a day, with the amount going up as they get older.  Teenage boys should drink 3.5 quarts of water a day, and teenage girls 2.4 quarts a day.    How much more water should children drink amid the summer heat?   “There is no exact calculation for figuring out how much water is enough as kids run around faster ...

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Wildfire and Smoke Safety: What You Need to Know

Many in the US East Coast recently experienced heavy smoke exposure due to a series of wildfires burning in Canada.   “This Canadian crisis has not been limited to the Great North. Smoke from the fires has spread across a large portion of the U.S., affecting air quality for millions across the East Coast, as the fires rage on without signs of stopping,” according to CBS News.   This has further brought attention to the importance of wildfire safety.   Let’s dive into this issue, how it impacts others, and key safety tips everyone should know!  How Do Wildfires and Smoke Impact Safety?   Dry conditions in much of the US can increase the potential for wildfires in or near wilderness areas, which can cause harmful smoke, according to the CDC.   “This smoke can ...

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#SaludTues 7/11/23: How Do Latino Children Benefit from Preschool?

Over 3.5 million children participated in early childhood programs as of 2020.   Preschool and other early childhood education programs can greatly benefit children, especially Latino children.   In fact, studies have shown that low-income Latino kids who attended early education programs at age 4 attain stronger academic skills.   Let’s use #SaludTues on July 11, 2023, to explore early childhood education and how we can equitably ensure that its many benefits reach Latino children.   WHAT: #SaludTues: How Do Latino Children Benefit from Preschool?    TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. EST (Noon-1 p.m. CST), Tuesday, July 11, 2023.   WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues  HOST: Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio (@SaludAmerica)  CO-HOSTS: Public Health ...

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