About the Author

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Josh McCormack

Digital Content Curator, Salud America! Josh McCormack joined Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health​ San Antonio, in February 2019. Graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in English Literature, he has previously worked in journalism and publishing. Josh enjoys reading; some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, Omar El Akkad and J.R.R. Tolkien.​

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Articles by Josh McCormack

Project Firstline: What’s a Virus?


Viruses are a type of germ that can infect a host body and cause illness, like a cold or COVID-19.    A virus uses living things, like animals and people, to make copies of themselves. Then they keep spreading from one living thing to another.   Viruses can lead to numerous illnesses, including: bronchitis, the flu, the common cold, and COVID-19.  Fortunately, if you know a little bit about viruses, then it’s easier to understand why the things we do for infection control work to stop them from spreading and making people sick.  CDC’s Project Firstline, an initiative to inform and train healthcare workers about infection prevention and control, helps us explore the three main parts of viruses:   1. The Genes of Viruses Genes are the first main part of a ...

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Student Loan Debt and Forgiveness: How It Impacts Latino Students

Student Loan Forgiveness Latino

Latino students take out more student loans to pay for their education than their White peers, adding to a racial/ethnic wage gap and harming upward mobility. In fact, even 12 years after graduation, Latino students still maintained over 83% of their loan debt, compared to only 65% for White borrowers, according to a recent report from the nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center. “Borrowers in majority-Black and majority-Latinx neighborhoods shoulder greater debt burdens and struggle disproportionately when repaying their loans,” according to the Borrower report. “The more racially segregated a neighborhood grows, the larger the student loan disparities become, with borrowers in the most segregated areas being up to five times more likely to fall behind on their loans ...

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What is Project Firstline?

Project Firstline SaludFirstline

COVID-19 worsened the many health disparities already facing people of color. The pandemic revealed long-standing gaps in infection control knowledge and understanding among the frontline healthcare workforce. This is why CDC launched Project Firstline, a training and education collaborative designed to ensure all healthcare workers, no matter their role or educational background, have the infection control knowledge and understanding they need and deserve to protect themselves, their patients, and their coworkers. Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio is now working with the National Hispanic Medical Association to bring Project Firstline content to frontline healthcare workers to protect themselves, their facilities, and their patients (from Latino and all communities) from ...

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Lack of Latino Registered Dietitians Impacts Latino Health

Impacts Health Latino Dietitians

A healthy diet is critical for the wellness of Latinos and all people. Yet we know that fast-food options outnumber healthier options like supermarkets and farmers’ markets in many Latino neighborhoods. This lack of healthy food access results in overconsumption of unhealthy foods and higher obesity risk. Now the lack of diversity among registered dieticians is making it harder for Latinos to get knowledge and resources for a healthy diet, according to The New York Times. In fact, Latinos make up only 12.7% of registered dieticians, according to Zippia. That is less than the 18.5% Latino share of the U.S. population. “It’s really a no-brainer that we need to consider the communities we serve,” said Doug Greenaway, president of the National WIC Association, according to ...

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Join a Bladder Cancer Clinical Trial to Help Reduce the Risk of Recurrence!

Clinical Trial Graphics

Cancer survivors face the possibility that cancer will come back after treatment. Clinical trials are studies that help researchers learn more to help slow, manage, and treat cancer, as well as prevent cancer recurrence. If you have had bladder cancer, you can volunteer for a bladder cancer prevention clinical trial that is studying encapsulated rapamycin (eRapa) and its ability to reduce the risk of bladder cancer recurrence. This trial is led by researchers across Texas, including UT Health San Antonio, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and South Texas Veterans Health Care System, to explore new ways to prevent bladder cancer from coming back. “Unfortunately, people who’ve had bladder cancer have a high risk of developing a second bladder cancer,” said Dr. Amelie ...

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Latinos Pay More for Energy Than What They Use 

Latinos Energy Use

Race/ethnicity plays a significant role in determining home energy use, emissions, and cost burden, according to a study by the University of Michigan and McGill University.   Majority-White neighborhoods had the highest per-capita emissions, researchers found.   In African-American neighborhoods, emissions were 90% of those in White neighborhoods. Latino neighborhoods had the lowest per capita emissions, at only 60% of White neighborhoods.  Yet communities of color pay higher energy rates than what they produce, adding yet another inequity that harms health outcomes among this population and other people of color, according to study co-author Tony Reames of the University of Michigan.  “People that are struggling financially and then have high energy burdens are ...

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Healthy Eating Linked to Better Heart Health Among Latinos

Eating Heart Health Latinos

New data from the American Heart Association shows that Latinos who eat healthily have healthier hearts. This research shows that Latinos who followed a healthy dietary plan had healthier hearts in terms of structure and function. “Healthy diet quality is an important and vital tool in the prevention of heart disease,” said lead study author David Flomenbaum, a medical student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “Many of our results correspond to current knowledge about diet quality and cardiovascular health.” The Study and Its Findings  on Healthy Eating and Heart Health Researchers evaluated over 1,800 participants in the “Echocardiographic Study of Latinos” ancillary study. With this, they compared adherence to two popular healthy ...

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Join a Genetic Screening Clinical Trial to Help Identify Your Tumor Risk!

Clinical Trial Genetic Screening Tumor Risk.png

While some cancers develop through unhealthy habits like smoking, others happen through genetics. Clinical trials with volunteers who have a family history of cancer can help researchers learn how to better slow, manage, and/or treat these diseases. This can help save the lives of people whose family experiences cancer generationally. If you have a family history of cancer, you can join a clinical trial at UT Health San Antonio that is studying pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas — endocrine tumors often inherited from family members genetically. “A family history of endocrine tumors could mean you and your loved ones have a higher risk,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research and the Salud America!  program at UT Health San ...

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