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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

Inside the Revamp of the Thrifty Food Plan and the Massive Expansion of SNAP

Thrifty Food Plan Expansion SNAP

Lack of nutritious food can result in countless physical, social, and mental health complications. For many Latino families, governmental assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), put food on the table and uplift out of poverty. But health experts say federal food aid needs expansion to help families in need. Fortunately, the Biden administration recently announced the modernization of the Thrifty Food Plan—used to calculate SNAP benefits—and a 25% rise the average SNAP benefit, the largest single increase in the program’s history. “The background formula was based on food preparation costs and nutrition standards that were developed in 1975,” Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry told the Indy ...

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Elsada Wilson: Amid Breast Cancer, Finding Hope Through a Clinical Trial

Elsada Wilson Breast Cancer Clinical Trial

Cancer is a tough, scary, life-threatening journey, especially for women of color. That is why researchers conduct clinical trials, which are studies to find more effective treatments or achieve a better understand breast cancer and survival among minorities. But, to make progress, clinical trials need diverse volunteers – like Elsada Wilson. Wilson joined a clinical trial at Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio and found hope for herself, her family, and the future. “I felt like I was helping further studies and knowledge,” she said. "If it helps me then I'll be able to help my family and help other people that need help. I wanted to help others. I said to myself, ‘It might be that small thing that might help another person.’ Right?” Wilson’s Breast ...

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Join the AHEAD Clinical Trial to Help Our Familias Prevent Memory Decline!

AHEAD Clinical Trial Familias Prevent Memory Decline

Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than their white peers. Its why diversity in clinical trials is absolutely critical. Fortunately, those studies can help us fight back against Alzheimer’s. If you are age 55 to 80, you can volunteer for the AHEAD Clinical Trial that aims to protect against the onset of Alzheimer's disease, led by the experts at the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio. “I got involved with the AHEAD clinical trial because both of my parents had Alzheimer’s,” Dave Ralberer, an AHEAD study participant and study partner, said. “My mother was 72 when she passed away. My dad has been struggling with the disease for 13 years. I have the unusual opportunity to be working with ...

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UPDATE: The COVID-19 Booster Shot and What Latinos Should Know

COVID-19 Booster Shot Latinos

As the American people still grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, medical experts are now in the process of distributing a booster shot, which many say can help. The booster shot is critical in making headway with bringing the pandemic to an end, according to Dr. Anthony Faucci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President. "I’ve made it clear that my opinion has always been that I believe that a third-shot booster for a two-dose mRNA [vaccine] should ultimately and will ultimately be the proper, complete regimen," he said in a recent interview with The Atlantic. "The vaccine is very successful. The durability of it is something that’s a subject of considerable discussion and sometimes ...

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Paving the Way from High School to College for Latino Students

High School to College Latino Students

Latino students were once the fastest-growing group in U.S. colleges. Due to COVID-19, that is no longer the case. Latinos and other communities of color continue to bear a heavy burden of the pandemic economic fallout, making it harder for families to send their children to college. In response, George Fox University, a private university in Newberg, Oregon, launched the Liberation Scholars Program. The program offers seminars, mentoring, and more for high school students at Woodburn High School, according to Mario Garza, a college and career counselor at Woodburn. “I think what we try to do, and I think what George Fox is doing with us through their Liberation Scholars program, is really trying to build up the toolbox for all of these kids,” Garza said, according to ...

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70,000 Latinos Lost Lives to Gunfire Since 1999

Latinos Lose Lives Gunfire

Gun violence claims many lives every year. 69,519 U.S. Latinos were killed with guns from 1999 through 2019, according to a new report from Violence Policy Center (VPC). The report, which also analyzed lethal gunfire data from 2019 by race/ethnicity, found Latinos have a nearly twice-as-high homicide victimization rate (5.15 per 100,000) than whites (2.62). Most homicides involved firearms, and Latino victims were often youths or young adults. This issue warrants legislative attention, as too many people still suffer at the hands of guns, according to Josh Sugarman, executive director at VPC. “A lot of states have not adjusted the way that they approach violence prevention and issues associated with their increasing Latino population,” Sugarman said. “The reason we do ...

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Latinas Are Leaving the Workforce. How Will This Impact Economy Recovery?

Latinas Leaving Workforce Economy Recovery

During COVID-19, many people were laid off or faced reduced work. Latinas suffered the biggest drop in workforce size of any demographic group, according to UCLA Latino Police and Politics Initiative (UCLA LPPI), a Latino-focused think tank. This could have a long-lasting impact on Latina wellbeing, labor shortages, and economic recovery overall, said Sonja Diaz, the founding director of UCLA LPPI. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic really created a ripple effect of economic disruption in particular on communities by race, and then again, by gender,” Diaz told ABC News. “The real story here is the fact that Latinas have left the labor market, which is akin to dropping out of college. It’s really hard to get those individuals back in, and [have] a pathway towards ...

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Congresswomen of Color Introduce WIC for Kids Act

Congresswomen Color WIC Kids Act

Many Latino families don’t have access to healthy, nutritious foods. To put food on the table, they rely on government food aid programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). SNAP and WIC can improve diets and help raise people out of poverty. But many people of color don’t participate, even if eligible. Now two congresswomen of color — Reps. Jahana Hayes and Jenniffer González-Colón — introduced the WIC for Kids Act to eliminate barriers to enrollment for millions of pregnant women, mothers, and children, improve child and maternal health, and increase food access. “I introduced the WIC for Kids Act of 2021 to make it less burdensome on families to enroll ...

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Major PFAS Legislation Works its Way Through Congress

Major PFAS Legislation Congress

Extremely harmful toxins, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), contaminate water supplies, products, food packaging, and other everyday sources. It's why some national legislators want to pass a bill to designate these chemicals as hazardous substances. This designation would then begin action toward federal cleanup standards. This is a critical issue, especially for marginalized communities that face exposure to PFAS, according to Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). “PFAS contamination is a pressing issue for countless communities, and while the EPA under President Biden is working hard to address the issue, it is still playing catch up after four years of inaction,” he said during opening remarks in the committee hearing. The PFAS Action Act of 2021 ...

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