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Eric Moreno

Eric Moreno is a Content Curator with the Salud America! program at UT Health San Antonio. He specializes in covering the topics of health equity and family and social support. He holds a BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and an MA from Gonzaga University.

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Articles by Eric Moreno

At-Risk Residents Get a Cooking Class You Can Take Home for Dinner

Noemi Villarreal sees Latinos in San Antonio struggle with disease, and wants to help. That’s why she has helped launch family support connectors, and also developed farmers markets in the Eastside, a heavily Latino section of the city. The farmers markets did not work. How could Villarreal and neighborhood leaders still bring cooking and nutrition education to families to help prevent disease? Thinking outside the box, they created a series of classes that include a chef demonstration—and take-home bags so families can replicate nutritious food recipes at home. Encouraging Healthy Eating for Latinos San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) is home to 18,000 residents (67.5% Latino) who face health issues due to inequities in income, education, access to health ...

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College Shows How to ‘Cultivate Health’ in a Diverse Neighborhood

Dr. Janet Houser wants her Regis University in Denver to "make a difference in the world" for better health. So they've started in their own backyard. Houser, the university's provost, is uniting community groups and developers to "cultivate health" in the neighborhood around the university—creating affordable housing and surrounding it with a health clinic, health education, and access to active spaces and healthy food. In just a few years, they want to give local families a place where they can equitably live, learn, work, and play. Is such a big transformation really possible? A Rising Latino Population Denver is one of the largest, fastest-growing cities in the country. It also has a rising Latino population, from 23% in 1990 to 31% in 2014. This changing ...

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Health Equity, a Bike Full of Groceries at a Time

Ricardo Rocha believes anyone can be a hero and improve local healthy food access. Even someone like him. Someone who grew up in a poor family that toiled to put food on the table in Mexico. Someone who immigrated to the deserts of New Mexico, and eventually Denver (31% Latino). Someone who was a struggling, undocumented high-school student. “I was not doing very well in high school. Someone there told me about the College Assistance Migrant Program," Rocha said. "That helped get me into [Metropolitan State University of Denver],” Rocha said. “I learned a lot about what it really meant to belong somewhere." Rocha wanted to do more than "belong somewhere." He wanted to make that somewhere better. So, when he noticed many people trying and failing to find healthy food ...

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Seattle TV Station Buys $1M in Patient Debt – AND Forgives It!

If you're in the hospital, your health and your pocketbook are taking a hit. A TV station in Seattle (6.5% Latino) tried a unique way—buying debt from people's medical expenses, then forgiving it(!)—to improve the lives of locals dealing with cancer, The Hill reports. Buy why? 'Big Issues with the Bills' TV station KIRO reporter Jesse Jones – a cancer survivor himself – reported a story about a cancer patient that was struggling to pay her bills and couldn’t afford further treatments. Many Latinos face this situation. 27% of Latinos have no usual health care provider and 15% have no health insurance, according to a Salud America! research review. These Latinos often end up seeking routine healthcare in the emergency room, which can be very costly. After his ...

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With No Affordable Housing, Jobs Go Unfilled

construction hard hat housing development

Open jobs sit unfilled for months at a time in McKinney, Texas (19.24% Latino). Retail, restaurants, and construction businesses can't find workers. The cause? The people who can fill those jobs can't afford to live in McKinney—the average home price is $340,000. "Just think about the salary it takes to afford a house like that, and then to maintain it. You just can't do it," McKinney Mayor George Fuller told Channel 5 NBC. "You can get a job, but you can't afford housing." Affordable housing is a rising need in many large and growing cities across the nation. San Antonio, for example, recently started an affordable housing task force to address its own shortage. San Antonio City Council member Shirley Gonzales is leading a push in her district, too. Heck, even Eva ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 2/20: Oral Health Takes a Community

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (#NCDHM)! What a great time to recognize the importance of kids' teeth. Yes, teeth. For kids, not properly caring for teeth can lead to cavities, decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. It can force kids to miss school and fall behind in their academic development. More than that, it can eventually contribute to mental health issues, heart disease, certain cancers, and other major problems—all more prevalent among Latinos. The bottom line = Latino and all kid’s smiles matter! On Tuesday, Feb., 2018, let’s use #SaludTues to tweet about the issues, discuss solutions, and share resources on oral health for Latinos and all kids for National Children’s Dental Health Month! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: ...

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4 Ways to Celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month!

latino boy at the dentist for dental work

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! Parents, this is a great time to take another look at the best ways to prevent cavities for you and your kids. Why is this important to you? To be healthy, kids need to have healthy mouths. Mouth pain means that kids miss school and parents miss work, and dental treatment can be expensive or hard to access. Poor oral health can lead to infections, nutritional problems, and affect a child’s overall well-being. Latino kids suffer more than other kids from tooth decay, from baby teeth up through permanent teeth. Latino kids from families with lower incomes have the highest rates of severe and untreated decay. So what can you do? 1. Drink water instead of soda pop, juice or other sweetened beverages Water is essential ...

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Shirley Gonzales and Her Amazing Push to Revitalize Housing in Historic San Antonio

When San Antonio native Shirley Gonzales earned a business degree years ago, she immediately went to work to find new locations to expand her family's local business, Bill's Pawn Shop. Gonzales studied the city's historic, largely Latino Westside. She loved the area so much, she moved her family there. But she found it hard to navigate the city’s complex procedures for opening and expanding businesses—an experience that eventually led her to run for, and earn, a seat on the San Antonio City Council. Now Gonzales is pushing to revitalize business on the Westside and helping residents find better, more affordable homes to live in, too. “There is so much about this community that is good,” Gonzales said. “It has great history, great people living here, strong ...

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New Spanish-Language Sleep Program Improves Health

Do you get enough sleep? If not, your lack of shut-eye could be harming your health. In fact, for Latinos, lack of sleep contributes to heart attacks, obesity, and other big health issues. That’s where the “Los trastornos del sueño y la promoción del sueño saludable” (the sleep disorders and the promotion of a healthy sleep) program comes in. Los trastornos del sueño trains community health workers, called promotores, to teach people about the importance of sleep. The program's 600 promotores—300 in the U.S. and 300 in Mexico—teams up with nurses and clinicians to deliver bilingual and culturally relevant education to improve sleep habits. This helps reduce health care needs for sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome. Now they've won an ...

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