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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

Report: Access to Nature Improves Health Outcomes

Access Nature Improves Health Outcomes

After spending most of the last year indoors, Latinos and all Americans are ready to experience the world around us, again — including spending much-needed time outdoors. Not only is the prospect of walking on trails, hiking, camping, and other recreational activities exciting, it will lead to better health outcomes. People’s access to places such as parks, trails, as well as other green spaces is correlated to increased levels of physical activity and other positive health effects, according to new research from Stanford University. “Nature experience boosts memory, attention and creativity as well as happiness, social engagement and a sense of meaning in life,” said Gretchen Daily, senior author on the paper and faculty director of the Stanford Natural Capital Project. ...

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Dominic Aliano: Making Multifamily Housing Smoke-Free for His Community

Aliano Multifamily Housing Smoke-Free

Growing up in a working-class, union family, Dominic Aliano saw firsthand how local governance could help people in his hometown. Aliano now serves as the Vice Mayor of that city, Concord, Calif (29.9% Latino). He has led numerous initiatives to improve life in Concord ─ including the city’s smoke-free multifamily housing ordinance, which prohibits smoking inside units of all apartments. Smoke-free multifamily housing helps protect families who face toxic secondhand smoke exposure and other systemic inequities where they live, according to Aliano. “This legislation and ones like it are really important for people, especially those in the communities that I represent, who are mostly renters in multi-family housing complexes,” he said. “Sometimes landlords take ...

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Latina Scientists Urge Climate Action Through ‘Science Moms’

Latina Scientists Science Moms

Climate change is wreaking havoc on communities across the US. The health impacts are already felt among Latinos and other people of color. That’s why a group of researchers started an exciting project: Science Moms. This "nonpartisan group of climate scientists and mothers," including several Latinas, are working to connect with other women in hopes of creating a grassroots movement to address climate change for future generations. "We founded Science Moms to help mothers who are concerned about their children's planet but aren't confident in their knowledge about climate change or how they can help," Science Moms state on their website. "Together, we aim to demystify climate science and motivate urgent action to protect our children's futures." Women Step Up for Climate ...

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Calculate It: See How Much Money a Sugary Drink Tax Can Bring Your Community

Calculate Sugary Drink Tax

Sodas, juices, and other sugary drinks contribute to obesity and other health issues. This is why many communities are passing sugary drink taxes. This kind of governmental action has proven to reduce consumption of sugary drinks, and create revenue for local health programs. Can a sugary drink tax work in your community? Use the new Sugary Drink Tax Calculator from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity to estimate the potential national or state revenue from a volume-based excise tax on sugary drinks. “This new information will hopefully help policymakers determine how much revenue a tax could raise in their communities if they were to implement one,” Dr. Tatiana Andreyeva, the Director of Economic Initiatives at the Rudd Center, said ...

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How Does Lung Cancer Impact Latinos?

Lung Cancer Impact Latinos

Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer. Latinos, even while they smoke fewer cigarettes and experience lower rates of lung cancer than their White peers, still suffer poor outcomes, too. This is due to issues with access to treatment, and other significant factors, according to a recent study published in JCO Global Oncology. “Hispanics tend to experience greater health disparities as a result of structural, sociodemographic, psychosocial, and cultural factors … one-third of US Hispanics had no health insurance and reported not having a consistent health care provider,” the researchers state. “In addition, there is an underrepresentation of Hispanics in lung cancer studies, resulting in a need to research and validate the findings seen in NHWs.” What Is Lung ...

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Every New Arkansas School Must Have a Water Bottle Fountain

Arkansas School Water Bottle Fountain

Countless children across the country struggle with access to healthy, clean water at school. Schools that provide their students with water bottle refill stations can significantly improve their health over time. Cities and states throughout the U.S. are doing just that by installing these kinds of fountains in their schools. Legislators in Arkansas (7.7% Latino), with the help of the American Heart Association (AHA), recently passed a law to require all new schools built in the state to provide a water bottle fountain to their students. “We know drinking enough water can improve a child’s performance in school, making it easier for them to learn,” said Dave Oberembt, government relations representative for the AHA in Arkansas, in a statement. “Substituting water for ...

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Study: Latinos Suffer from Prostate Cancer Misperceptions

Prostate Cancer Misperceptions

Prostate cancer has a big impact on the Latino community. One reason is that Latinos face a lack of easy-to-understand, culturally competent information — which leads to poor outcomes for those experiencing prostate cancer, according to a recent study published in BMC Public Health. “Black and Latino focus groups revealed the existence of cultural beliefs, misunderstandings and fears pertaining to [prostate cancer] which could influence health-related behaviors,” according to the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Some themes were common across groups; others suggested racial and gender predilections. Future targeted efforts focused on directly addressing prevalent misperceptions among underserved communities in urban settings ...

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Study: Latinos Suffered Highest Rate of COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Latinos Suffered Highest Rate of COVID-19 Hospitalizations

COVID-19 has devastated the Latino community since the start of the pandemic. As researchers gain more insight into the impact of COVID-19 over time, they’re finding Latinos continue to experience harsh impacts. In fact, a recent study from the CDC shows that Latinos and other communities of color experienced higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalization than their white peers. This is not just a symptom of COVID-19, but an issue of systemic injustice that needs dedicated action, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. "[There is a] critical need and an important opportunity to address health equity as a core element in all of our public health efforts,” Walensky said Monday during a White House Covid-19 briefing. “These disparities were not caused by the pandemic, ...

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Texting and Other Innovative Ways to Increase Latino Cancer Screening

latina hispanic breast cancer screening mammogram doctor patient

Latinos face some serious cancer health disparities. They are so serious that many health experts recommend cancer screening, a type of test that looks for signs of different cancers early, before the illness can cause serious harm. “Screening tests can help find cancer at an early stage, before symptoms appear,” experts at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). “Early detection is important because when abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread and be harder to treat..” What is Cancer Screening? Cancer screening is a series of exams, most of the time recommended by a physician or begun at a certain age, to explore the body for any signs of cancer. According to NCI, types of screening ...

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