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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

Rate of Latino Uninsured Expected to Decline during Open Enrollment

The next Open Enrollment cycle for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is about to get under way and millions of Americans are expected to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase healthcare coverage through the Marketplace. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell anticipates 13.8 million people will be signing up for coverage before the end of Open Enrollment. “We’re confident that millions of Americans will choose to enroll when they learn that quality, affordable health insurance is within reach,” Burwell said in a press release. “We believe 13.8 million sign-ups during the upcoming Open Enrollment will help keep driving down the national uninsured rate, which is already the lowest in our nation’s history.” Since its inception, the ACA ...

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Predatory Lenders Lead to Financial Hardship/Stress for Latinos

Stress is a leading cause for health concern for many Americans, including large numbers of Latinos. One of the greatest stressors plaguing Latino families has to do with finances. In an effort to alleviate financial issues, more and more people – including Latinos – are turning to payday loans, the Center for American Progress reports. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, nearly 12 million people each year turn to payday loans. These quick fix infusions of money regularly lead to the person receiving the loan going into hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of additional debt furthering stress. According to the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Latinos are more likely than the general population to use a payday loan. In order to reduce health disparities, it is ...

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Does the Gut Influence Diabetes in Latinos?

The human gut is a complex environment called a "microbiome." It is home to billions of bacteria and other microbes that help digest food. Research now shows that the gut might play a role in development of type 2 diabetes, which afflicts Latinos at a 66% higher rate than Whites. Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have received a five-year, nearly $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study if altering the gut microbiomes of Latinos can impact the treatment and prevention of diabetes, Yahoo! News reports. The human gut microbiome represents a promising target for dietary changes and treatments aimed at combating type 2 diabetes—particularly in the Latino Latino population that disproportionately develops the disease, said Dr. Robert ...

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HS Graduation Hits Record High

This past year, the nation’s high school graduation rate reached a record 83.2% and saw large increases across all racial and ethnic groups, the AP reports. New federal data also showed gains among disabled students and those from low-income families. In the data collected by the Department of Education, significant differences in graduation rates among racial and ethnic groups were reported. Asian Americans had a 90.2% graduation rate; whites were at 87.6%; Latinos graduated at 77.8%, followed by African-Americans (74.6%) and Native Americans (71.6%). Washington, D.C. (10% Latino population) made the most progress in the United States. In the 2014-2015, Washington, D.C. students improved their graduation rate by 7%. Speaking at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, a magnet ...

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Puerto Ricans Smoke More than Other Latinos

Smoking close up cigarette

When it comes to smoking, there's good and bad news for Latinos. The good: Researchers have long known that Latinos adults overall are less likely to smoke cigarettes than their white or black peers. The bad: New data now shows that one particular group of U.S. Latinos is more likely than all others to smoke. Nearly 29% of Puerto Ricans smoke cigarettes compared to 20% of Cuban Americans and 19% of Mexican Americans, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Heart Association reports. In Puerto Rico, smoking rates are much lower than in the U.S. Only 11% of all Puerto Ricans on the island smoke. Of the 5.4 million Puerto Ricans living stateside, many live in poor-quality housing and have low-income jobs. “Financial and ...

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New Law in CA Allows for More Mental Health Care Options for Latinos

Mental health inequities are a key problem that many Latinos face in their overall health care. In California (38.18% Latino population), steps have been taken to help alleviate some of these problems with the passing of a new law that will take effect on January 1, 2017. In past years, many health centers in rural parts of the state were unable to bill Medi-Cal, the government health program for low-income Californians, for services; the new law reverses that decision. Without proper treatment, mental health conditions can worsen and make day-to-day life hard. Latinos are less likely to seek mental health treatment. A 2001 Surgeon General’s report found that only 20% of Latinos with symptoms of a psychological disorder talk to a doctor about their concerns. Only 10% contact a mental ...

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Food Pantry Thinks Outside the Box to Bring Healthy Food to Latinos in Need

Jessie Fisher and her nonprofit food pantry, the Randolph Area Christian Assistance Program (RACAP) aim to provide a week’s worth of healthy food and toiletries to families in need in Schertz, Texas (29.3% Latino). But when food demand grew faster than the supply, Fischer and RACAP had to think quickly. They set up partnerships to gather leftover food from restaurants and grocers, pick up unwanted fruit from residents’ yards, and receive meat donations from hunters. They also launched food drives that yielded thousands of pounds of healthy food for Latino and other families during high-demand summer times. Did it work? Food Insecurity in Schertz Schertz, Texas (29.3% Latino population) is a fast-rising, increasingly Latino (18.1% in 2000 and 26.6% in 2014) community ...

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NIFA Programs Help Reduce Latino Family Food Insecurity

Food insecurity remains one of the country’s most troubling conditions that plague many Latino families. Feeding America has determined that Latinos are more than twice as likely to be food insecure as Whites. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support food and nutrition assistance programs giving aid to low-income households. More than 20% of all Latinos are food insecure as compared to just 10% of all Americans and nearly 25% of all Latino children live in a food-insecure household. In 2014, of the 92 counties with a majority Latino/Hispanic population, 18% were among the top 10 of counties with the highest rates of childhood food insecurity. In order to reduce health disparities, it is critical to ...

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Get the Latest Breast Cancer Resources in Spanish

latina breast cancer pink

Culture and language are two reasons many Latinas don't always get timely and appropriate treatment for breast cancer. Breast cancer is the No. 1 killer of Latinas. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) is hoping to alleviate some of the barriers to timely treatment through a series of informational materials in both English and Spanish. The MBCN has created several informational resources for individuals coping with Stage IV breast cancer: Conozca los datos Diagóstico: Cáncer de mama metastásico… ¿Qué significa para usted? La serie sobre el cáncer de mama metastásico: Guía para nuevas pacientes "Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer can often be a frightening or overwhelming for many women," according to the MBCN. "This type of diagnosis can be ...

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