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Alyssa Gonzales

Articles by Alyssa Gonzales

Latino Influence on U.S. Economy Continues to Grow



The total economic output, or gross domestic product (GDP), for Latinos in the United States has grown from $1.7 trillion in 2010 to $3.2 trillion in 2021, according to the Latino Donor Collaborative’s 2023 U.S. Latino GDP Report.   Let’s dive deeper into why and how Latinos are driving the U.S. economy.   The Latino GDP  The U.S. Latino GDP is $3.2 trillion.  That makes it the is the fifth-largest economy in the world embedded inside the United States, according to 2023 U.S. Latino GPD Report.  “U.S. Latinos are not a niche market, nor small, nor as sometimes described as a market of the future,” according to the report. “It is already the third fastest growing economy on the planet, and may soon rival China’s growth rates.”  Growth of the Latino ...

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How Latinos Can Get Mental Health Resources in Spanish



One of the many factors that contributes to the disparities within mental health in the Latino community is lack of culturally accurate and relevant resources.   With this need in mind, Mental Health America (MHA) has launched a Spanish Mental Health Resource Center complete with Spanish-language resources and tools.   Let's examine what these resources have to offer and why materials like these are important for Latinos.   Spanish Mental Health Resource Center  Fostering mental health awareness and support for all is crucial.   “Language barriers can make communicating with providers difficult, or even impossible, particularly when a person is seeking counseling for sensitive or uniquely personal issues,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness ...

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How Does Vision Rehabilitation Work for Latinos?



The National Eye Institute has provided educational tools and resources in both English and Spanish that focus on vision rehabilitation.   Let’s explore these resources and how they can be beneficial for Latinos.   What is Vision Rehabilitation?   Millions of people in the United States are living with visual impairments like blindness, glaucoma, cataracts, and other vision problems.   “A visual impairment can make it hard to do everyday activities like driving or reading,” according to the National Eye Institue. “A visual impairment can’t be fixed with glasses, contacts, or other standard treatments like medicine or surgery.”  Vision rehabilitation can help make the most of the vision you have and improve quality of life.   There are lots of different ...

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How Latinos Can Identify Strokes with RÁPIDO



A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts.  Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke.   Many know the acronym FAST that helps identify a stroke – F (face drooping), A (arm weakness), S (speech), and T (time to call 911) – and can spur quick action to save lives.   What can those who speak Spanish use? What does strokes in the Latino community look like?   Using RÁPIDO to Identify a Stroke    While the FAST acronym can be helpful in spotting a stroke, it doesn't translate well in Spanish.  In fact, just 58% of Latino adults in the U.S. can recognize stroke signs, compared to 64% of Black adults and 71% of white adults, according to a CDC ...

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Dr. David Acosta: Meeting the Need for Latinos in Medicine



Growing up, David Acosta was blessed to be part of a loving Latino family with his mother and father, four brothers, and an abuelita in Southern California.   They found joy in helping each other and others.  Acosta realized in childhood he wanted to choose a future career that would bring joy to others – he decided to become a doctor.  "I knew from an early age that I wanted to go into medicine and help out,” Acosta said. “My family [was] probably most instrumental in me going down this path.”  Acosta went on to get his medical degree, practice medicine, and now serves as chief diversity and inclusion officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).    But his path wasn’t always easy.  The Cultural Side of Medicine   Acosta was ...

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What Latinos with Diabetes Should Consider When Enrolling in Medicare 



Did you know that 1 in 10 Latino have been diagnosed diabetes?   In fact, the rate of diabetes is higher among Latinos (11.8%) than Whites (7.4%) and Asians (9.5%), according to CDC data.   This is problematic because the disease takes a harsh physical toll, from vision loss to amputation and death, and a big healthcare toll, costing $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in lost productivity.  For Latinos who have diabetes, having health insurance is critical to managing the disease.   Let’s explore the state of diabetes among Latinos and what to consider when choosing a Medicare plan to help manage the disease.   Latinos and Diabetes Risk   If you’re a Latino adult, your lifetime chance of developing diabetes is over 50%, and you’re likely to ...

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Gabriela Mistral: First Latina to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature



Gabriela Mistral, born as Lucila Godoy Alcayaga in Chile, was the first Latina author to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945.  Her poems explore deeply cultural issues of spirituality, heartbreak, death, and childhood.   But beyond her verse and prose, Mistral also changed lives in Latin America and beyond through advocacy, education, and diplomacy.  “She tried to speak for [the disadvantaged] through her poetry, her many newspaper articles, her letters, and her talks and actions as Chilean representative in international organizations,” according to the Poetry Foundation. “Above all, she was concerned about the future of Latin America and its peoples and cultures, particularly those of the native groups.”  Gabriela Mistral – Her Early Life  Born in ...

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The Need for Latino-Focused Parkinson’s Disease Research



Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance, according to the National Institute on Aging.  But what do you really know about Parkinson’s and your risk?  Let’s dive into the causes, symptoms, and treatment of Parkinson’s and how it impacts Latinos.   What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?  Parkinson’s disease is a progressive and chronic nervous system disorder that affects movement and is caused by destroyed nerve cells in the brain.    “A decrease in dopamine levels leads to abnormal brain activity, causing symptoms of Parkinson's disease. However, it is currently unknown what causes the death of neurons in the brain,” according to dementia.org.  While the exact ...

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Screen Time and Mental Health: Resources for Young People



Mental Health America (MHA) has published the Selfies, Social, & Screens: Navigating Virtual Spaces for Youth toolkit to help younger people’s technology habits.   “Parents, caretakers, and household members act as the main influence on a child’s use of technology,” said Schroeder Stribling, President and CEO of Mental Health America.   Let’s examine youth mental health, the helpful resources that this toolkit contains, and how you and others you know can benefit from it.   How Technology Use Impacts Mental Health  Virtual habits and activity can have a large impact on the mental health of young people.   “Children and teens are dealing with the intense emotions of growing up in a digital age where much of their lives are spent online,” according to ...

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