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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

Electric Cars: A Vehicle for Environmental Justice

Electric Cars Environmental Justice

The climate crisis is especially impacting Latinos and other people of color. Despite being low contributors to the rate of emissions—toxins that are one of the main issues spurring global warming—they are experiencing worse health outcomes, due to rising temperatures and extreme weather events. This is why advocates have been calling for environmental justice, a strategy to address climate change through a lens that focuses on those who are harmed most. Electric cars are an emerging piece of environmental justice. As more and more electric vehicles hit the market, experts are saying these cars can drive efforts toward environmental justice for people of color. “The electric vehicle transition has great potential to benefit Black and Latino communities, which are ...

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Emelina Asto-Flores: Participant in a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial to Help Latinos!

Vaccine Clinical Trial Latinos

Why did Emelina Asto-Flores volunteer for a clinical trial to test a COVID-19 vaccine? Asto-Flores, a community health educator in Florida, saw how the pandemic devastated Latinos, and she decided to enroll in the trial to help her people. Not only did she help researchers make sure the vaccine is safe for Latinos, but the trial also gave her the knowledge and confidence to encourage others to get their shot. “Representation is important in a clinical trial,” Asto-Flores said. “You wouldn't want a clinical trial to be just consisted of one group. These results need to be proportionate to our diverse communities. It's so important for us as members of the [Latino] community to take that leadership role that could save lives. So those that are a part of that can say, ...

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Latino College Enrollment Shrunk During COVID-19

Latino College Shrunk COVID-19

Latinos are suffering high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with low vaccine rates. But in addition to the health impact, the pandemic is worsening underlying health inequities for this population in areas like access to housing, federal aid, and healthy food. Now, new research shows that the pandemic is even reducing the number of Latino students enrolling in college. The economic crisis brought on by the spread of the coronavirus, which hit the Latino community hard, made it hard for many Latino students to enroll. “Because our adults tend to be blue-collar workers who have lost out in this economy, having additional hands, all able-bodied folks working, has become essential,” Deborah A. Santiago, chief executive of the nonprofit advocacy group Excelencia in Education, ...

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Join the REACH Clinical Trial to Help Slow Alzheimer’s for Our Familias!

REACH trial graphic 1

Alzheimer’s disease hurts the quality of life of many of our beloved abuelos and abuelas, their family members, and caregivers. Fortunately, clinical trials can help us fight back against Alzheimer’s. You or your loved ones can volunteer for the REACH Clinical Trial that aims to slow the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, led by the experts at the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio. REACH Clinical Trial volunteers will be reimbursed up to $100 for each trial visit. “Our mission is to provide a compassionate and comprehensive network of clinical care for patients and their families with access to the most advanced treatment in clinical trials, as we continue to lead the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s and ...

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Study: Air Pollution Linked to Childhood Obesity in Latinos

Air Pollution Childhood Obesity Latinos

Latinos suffer from toxic pollution in the air at higher rates than their white peers, and it can lead to many harmful side effects. University of Colorado Boulder researchers just added another side effect to that list: Childhood obesity in those whose mothers were exposed to air pollution during pregnancy. Study authors say their findings reveal air pollution’s disproportionate impact on communities of color — the same communities that suffer a lack of access to healthy food and barriers to safe places for physical activity, which contribute to America’s obesity epidemic. “Higher rates of obesity among certain groups in our society are not simply a byproduct of personal choices like exercise and calories in, calories out. It’s more complicated than that,” said ...

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9 of 10 SNAP Participants Face Healthy Eating Barriers

SNAP Healthy Eating Barriers

Millions of Americans rely on social programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to put food on their tables. These individuals, many of whom are Latino or other people of color, still face barriers in accessing nutritious food. In fact, a recent USDA study showed that nine in 10 SNAP recipients have difficulty purchasing healthy, nutritious food. Facts like these are fueling calls from experts and advocates for “nutrition security,” a new outlook on the kinds of food that are accessible for all families, according to Cassie Ramos, a policy associate at Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Lack of access to nutritious diets is a major challenge for people with low incomes in the United States,” Ramos writes in an Op-Ed in The Hill. ...

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Salud Talks Podcast Episode 36: “Understanding COVID-19, Part 2; Distribution of a Safe Vaccine”

COVID-19 treatments and vaccines

Recently, experts from the National Institutes of Health joined our Salud Talks podcast to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine and the “scientific pathway” that ensures safety for those who receive such treatment. Now we’re talking all about the design of vaccine clinical trials and how they’re conducted. Listen to the Salud Talks Podcast, Episode 36: “Understanding COVID-19, Part 2; Distribution of a Safe Vaccine,” as we dive into how researchers bring scientific discoveries, like COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, to their patients in everyday practice! WHAT: A #SaludTalks discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine and its distribution. We also discuss why people choose to take part in clinical trials and partner with researchers to share their unique, lived experiences to ...

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Colorado Lawmakers Pass Stricter Pollution Regulations

Stricter Pollution Regulations Colorado

Companies emitting harmful waste and gasses into the Earth’s atmosphere will now have to abide by strict regulation policies recently passed by Colorado’s state legislature. The new law will require these businesses to more closely monitor their emissions standards — more importantly, the data found must be published publicly. Not only will the law ensure transparency, it could also save countless lives, according to Carmen Abrego Vasquez, a member of the Colorado People’s Alliance. “[This bill] an important step to making sure we have transparency and hold corporate polluters accountable, she told the Colorado Sun. “The majority of people who live in my community are Latinos or immigrants and this is a step to improve our lives. We have a right to know what’s in ...

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Study: Community Environments Impact Individual Health

Community Environments Individual Health

Neighborhoods with large populations of people of color also have high rates of chronic disease, less access to healthy foods, and other systemic injustices. These factors can lead to worse health outcomes. For example, take South Texas. Researchers here have linked neighborhood characteristics to worse physical and mental health outcomes in this largely Latino, rural region, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. “Several neighborhood environment variables were significantly associated with mental health, [physical activity], and C-reactive protein, though estimates were small,” according to study researchers from UT Health Science Center at Houston, UT Southwestern, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and UTHealth School of Public Health. The ...

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