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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

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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Advocates Urge Taking ‘Food Security’ Toward ‘Nutrition Security’

Advocates Urge Nutrition Security

Millions of Latinos and other Americans of color suffer from a lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. For years, experts and advocates have described this problem as “food insecurity.” However, as this conversation takes the forefront after a year of food-insecurity problems highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic, nutrition experts are now saying it is time to address food security in a new light: Through “nutrition security.” “You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘food security’ to describe consistent access to food,” Cara Rosenbloom, a registered dietitian and the president of Words to Eat By, wrote in a recent Washington Post perspective. “But many health professionals and policymakers think it’s an inadequate ...

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Salud Talks Podcast Episode 35: “Understanding COVID-19, Part 1; Safety and the Vaccine”

ST Twitter promo 2 SaludTalks on COVID-19 vaccine

Despite its widespread success, there has been some misunderstanding about the COVID-19 vaccine. In hopes of addressing these issues, we sit down with medical providers, researchers, and even a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participant. These experts provide a greater understanding of the treatment and why it is so safe. Check out this discussion on the Salud Talks Podcast, Episode 35: "Understanding COVID-19, Part 1; Safety and the Vaccine"!  WHAT: A #SaludTalks discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine and the Scientific Pathway WHERE: Available wherever fine podcasts are downloaded, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Tune In, and others WHEN: The episode went live at 1:30 p.m. on June 28, 2021 WHO: Salud America! Podcast Producer Josh McCormack; Dr. ...

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Study: Fast-Food Ads Disproportionately Target Black, Latino Youth

Fast-Food Ads Target Youth

Across the nation, people of color have less access to healthy, nutritious foods. To super-size that unhealthy environment, the fast-food industry spent $5 billion on advertising in 2019, especially targeting Latino and Black youth, according to a new study from University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. “Fast-food consumption by children and teens has increased over the past decade, and fast-food advertising definitely plays a role in that rise,” said Dr. Jennifer Harris, senior research advisor for marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center and a co-author of the study. “Our findings show that these advertisements disproportionately target Black and Latino youth, groups who already face greater risk for obesity and other diet-related ...

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What is Your City’s ParkScore Ranking? Why Is It Important?

City ParkScore Ranking

Access to green, outdoor spaces can make a huge difference in the lives of marginalized groups, especially Latinos. Parks are essential for public health, climate resilience, and strong connected communities. Still, 100 million people in the US—including 28 million children—don't live in a home that is within a 10-minute walk of a park. The Trust for Public Lands (TPL) knows these facts and is working to improve countless lives through green spaces advocacy — including updating its annual ParkScore rankings. While there has been some movement in making parks more accessible, people of color still face “major disparities” in park access, according to TPL’s rankings. “In the 100 most populated cities, neighborhoods where most residents identify as Black, ...

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New Health Dangers Linked to PFAS, a ‘Forever Chemical’ in Food, Breast Milk

Health Dangers Breast Milk

Mothers want to protect their newborn babies from all threats. Unfortunately, 100% of U.S. breast milk samples tested positive for containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), a dangerous chemical found in food, water, and everyday products, according to new data. “We now know that babies, along with nature’s perfect food [breast milk], are getting toxic PFAS that can affect their immune systems and metabolism,” Erika Schreder, a Toxic-Free Future science director and study co-author, said. “Moms work hard to protect their babies, but big corporations are putting these, and other toxic chemicals that can contaminate breast milk, in products when safer options are available.” The New Research on Breast Milk and PFAS Previous reports have confirmed that ...

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Breast Cancer’s Impact on the Latino Community

Breast Cancer Latino Community

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in Latinas. In fact, while breast cancer death rates have declined recently, the rate of decline for Latinas is lower (1.1% per year) than their white peers (1.8% per year). “Latinas are less likely to be screened for breast cancer, so they are more likely to be diagnosed at later disease stages,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) and the Salud America!  program at UT Health San Antonio. “This makes it critical to improve breast cancer screening, prevention, and support for Latinas.” What Is Breast Cancer? Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. ...

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