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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

Comment Now: Urge Against Pesticide Deregulation!


Against Pesticide Deregulation

Despite the swearing-in of President Joe Biden, a proposed rule from former president Donald Trump is still in the works to further deregulate harmful chemicals in products. This kind of action could lead to health consequences among the workers who use pesticides with the chemical Chlorpyrifos, as well as the communities where those products are used. California already bans the chemical. The only way to ensure protection is to stop this rule before it is approved, according to George Kimbrell, the legal director for The Center for Food Safety. “True to form, the Trump Administration has placed corporate dollars over public health,” he said in a recent statement. “If allowed to stand, its proposal to continue registering this neurotoxic insecticide would cause irreparable ...

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As Vaccines Roll Out, San Antonio Latinos are Hesitant


COVID-19 vacunas vaccine espanol

In one of America’s most populated Latino cities, some people of color are disinclined to get a COVID-19 vaccine. This hesitation comes in spite of the heavy toll coronavirus has taken on Latinos in this metropolitan area — as well as across the country. Public Health experts—such as Dr. Amelie Ramirez, the director of UT Health San Antonio’s Institute for Health Promotion Research and Salud America!—believe that the best way to solve this problem is community-oriented communication. “I feel that the messenger really needs to be the individual who lives, works and worships in the community with them,” Ramirez told Laura Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News. COVID-19 Vaccinations in San Antonio Countless lives are saved because of vaccines, which are rigorously ...

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More Multifamily Dwellings in California Go Smoke-Free


California Smoke-Free Multifamily

More and more Californians are working toward a tobaccoless future. In the city of Crescent City, Calif., residents will no longer be able to smoke in multi-unit housing. A new ordinance, recently passed by the City Council, aims to reduce the harmful toxins non-smokers face when facing secondhand smoke inside their apartments or condos. The city joins a list of over 60 other California cities with similar policies. Secondhand smoke is linked to cancer and heart disease. There is even data to suggest that some forms of exposure are more harmful than other, such as sidestream exposure — a mix of mainstream smoke, the smoke exhaled out by a smoker, and sidestream smoke from the burning tobacco product. “[Sidestream] smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents ...

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Texas Latinos Urge for Equity in COVID-19 Vaccinations


Texas Latinos Equity COVID-19 Vaccinations

Despite experiencing some of COVID-19’s worst impacts, Latinos struggle to get a vaccination — especially in Austin. This comes at a time when many from communities of color are already uncertain in the first place. There are higher rates of Blacks and Latinos who report hesitancy about obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination, according to the COVID Collaborative. This kind of information is exactly why those ethnic groups need to be prioritized in the vaccine rollout, according to the Austin Latino Coalition. "Due to the historical discrimination that has often posed barriers to economic advancement, lack of access to health care, food and other systemic inequities that still exist today, Latinos, African-Americans, and low-income communities have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 ...

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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

The United States continues to see 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 writes in a recent piece for Poynter. “Americans of ...

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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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