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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

Christina Duarte: Creating Virtual Health Classes to Fight the Pandemic in Laredo, Texas


Christina Duarte Creating Virtual Health Classes Fight Pandemic Laredo

Since childhood, Christina Duarte has wanted to help people. Helping people is why she became chief of health education and promotion for the Health Department of Laredo, Texas, a predominantly Latino city on the U.S.-Mexico border. When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Duarte immediately looked for ways to help her community, which struggled with disparities in COVID-19 case and death rates. So Duarte shifted the city’s in-person health classes to a virtual platform to help those at home during the height of the coronavirus quarantine. “Our participants continued to ask, ‘are you even going to have classes again? My mental health is at stake,’” she said. “Then the numbers increased. We started working on mental health preparedness here at the health department. ...

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On Record-High Day of COVID-19 Cases, Latinos Fare the Worst


Record High COVID-19 Cases Latinos Worst

As we ready for a new president after the Nov. 3 election, the United States is seeing record-high rates of new coronavirus cases for a single day. The majority of those infected—a single-day record 144,000 new cases on Nov. 11 after a then-record 136,000 cases on Nov. 10 and 125,000 new cases on Nov. 6—come from the Latino community. Worse, that community has also experienced the pandemic’s harshest outcomes, including economic impacts, social upheaval, and, most significantly, mortality rates. The hard data, which illustrates the unthinkable disparities hurting people of color amid COVID-19, should aptly illustrate these problems, according to Dr. Rogelio Sáenz, a professor of demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio. “One thing is certain,” Sáenz ...

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Report: Early Life Smoking Drastically Raises Heart Disease Risk


Early Smoking Heart Disease Risk Twitter

Smoking kills, and it’s not just lung cancer — but heart disease, too. Smoking, especially those who begin at a young age, seriously increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular issues, including incidences of mortality, according to recent data from the Journal of the American Heart Association. Smokers, especially those who began the habit before adolescence, showed a correlated increase in cardiovascular-related deaths. “Age at starting to smoke is an important, but underappreciated, determinant of adult cardiovascular mortality, and this study indicates that the [roughly] 5 million US smokers who began before age 15 years are at especially high risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease if they do not quit,” the study states. “If the associations between ...

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Extremely COVID-19 High Rates among Latino Farm, Food Workers


COVID-19 Latino Farm Food Workers

Nearly three-fourths of all coronavirus cases in some of the country’s most critical industries are happening among Latinos, the group already experiencing harsh burdens from the virus. Of the 5,721 workers in food processing, food manufacturing, and agriculture fields who tested positive for COVID-19 early in the outbreak, 72.8% were Latino, according to October 2020 data from the CDC. These numbers shouldn’t come as a total surprise, based on the conditions these laborers face in the workplace, said Dr. S. Patrick Kachur, a population and family health professor at Columbia University. "Workers come and go from the workplace on a daily basis,” Kachur told TODAY Food. “If they are living in communities with widespread transmission, or households with other persons who ...

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Study: Secondhand Smoke Is Sending Children to the Hospital


Secondhand Smoke Sending Children Hospital

Exposure to the fumes from harmful tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, can severely affect people, especially in children. Recent research shows that children who live with a smoker are more likely to become hospitalized than their peers living in smoke-free households. According to Dr. Ashley Merianos, an associate professor in the School of Human Services at the University of Cincinnati, this data does not come as a complete surprise. "In past studies, we found up to nearly one-in-two children who come to the pediatric emergency department are exposed to tobacco smoke," Merianos told The Denver Channel. "We also found that the children who had been exposed had increased respiratory-related procedures, increased diagnostic testing. So, for example, being tested for ...

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What Are COVID-19 Long Haulers and Are Latinos at Risk?


COVID-19 ‘Long Haulers’ Latinos Long-Term Risk

Not all COVID-19 experiences are equal. For some, the illness’s side effects can last for weeks or even months. This group of severely affected individuals, referred to as “long haulers” by experts, is experiencing infection and lasting consequences. These maladies include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. While there is only a general understanding of those who deal with prolonged coronavirus side-effects, there is enough data to see there is a problem, according to officials. “Anecdotally, there’s no question that there are a considerable number of individuals who have a postviral syndrome that really, in many respects, can incapacitate them for weeks and weeks following so-called recovery and clearing of the virus,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, ...

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Texas’ Digital Divide and its Impact Latino Students


Texas Digital Divide Latino Students

Children across the Lone Star State have returned to school — still, some learners are adjusting to the new way of learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic better than others. As educators rely on web-based teaching more each day, the students who lack sufficient internet access face significant hardship. In Texas, 1.8 million K-12 public school students, many of whom come from disadvantaged groups, including Latinos, find themselves among those struggling to learn. “Families that are suffering from the digital divide are dealing with a lot,” Carlotta Garcia, a Central Texas Interfaith organizer, told The Texas Observer. “These are families dealing with life and death. Right now, they’re dealing with food, medicine, sickness, and the threat of displacement.” Lack of ...

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Report: ICE Allegedly Gives Detained Immigrants Hysterectomies Without Full Consent


ICE Detained Immigrants Hysterectomies

Among the horrific forms of treatment undocumented individuals face, a new report claims that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) performs hysterectomies on immigrant women. The shocking details, obtained through a complaint filed by Project South, assert that a gynecologist at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia performed these procedures — without providing a full understanding of the operation. Sometimes, they didn't even give these details in their native language, according to the report. Dawn Wooten, a former nurse at the detention center and the whistleblower of this complaint provided insight into the alleged practice. "Everybody [that the accused gynecologist] sees has a hysterectomy — just about everybody," Wooten said in the complaint. ...

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