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Arely Perez

Perez received her Master’s degree in Health and Kinesiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Currently, she is project coordinator for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT San Antonio, the team behind the Salud America! program. Éxito! aims to increase the number of Latinos who pursue doctoral degrees and cancer research. Since joining the IHPR in 2012, her research focus has been on cancer survivorship and cancer health disparities.

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Articles by Arely Perez

Claudia Lozano: Promoting the HPV Vaccine for Latinos

Claudia Lozano is determined to find ways to increase HPV vaccination rates and dispel myths surrounding the vaccine. Lozano, who has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Texas at El Paso, already has contributed a great deal to the field of public health through working with her city’s public health department and authoring several publications on community-based programs. As a resident of the El Paso-Juarez border, Lozano has a keen understanding of the Latino community’s needs. Since 2004, Lozano has managed El Paso’s Medicaid waiver program. The program has served 18,000 participants with preventive health screenings. In July 2018, it was recognized as a model practice by the National Association of County and City Health Officials ...

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Nicholas Acuna: Reconnecting with Culture to Reduce Health Disparities

Nicholas Acuna used to suppress his culture growing up. But Acuna’s Peruvian heritage broke through and shines ever so brightly today, represented by the Llama artifact that sits on his desk to help him reconnect to his parents’ native land and reinforce his drive to reduce health disparities among Latinos. Acuna, a native of Bloomfield, N.J., is already gaining great research experience in promoting smoking cessation and other areas. While currently a master’s of public health candidate studying epidemiology at Rutgers University, Acuna is also involved in research to increase quit-smoking rates among correctional populations. He also helped research plant genetics, as well as mental health among older adults. To further his experience and education, Acuna applied for ...

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Patricia Dionicio: Forging a Path to Better Health for Latinos

Challenged by her sister to keep an open mind, Patricia Dionicio is taking that advice and forging her own path toward improving Latino health. Dionicio, who earned the Gates Millennium Scholarship in high school, is currently a master’s-degree student at California State University, Long Beach. She already is looking for new ways to address cancer and obesity. Whether it means using technology to overcome barriers to care for Latinos, or creating global-level telemedicine programs, all options are possible for her. Dionicio also recently collaborated on a study up for publication in the Journal of Telemedicine and E-Health. To further her experience and education, Dionicio applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led ...

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Cristian Garcia Alcaraz: From Picking Berries to Psychology Degrees

Donning a baseball cap, a holey shirt, and speaking mostly Spanish, Cristian Garcia Alcaraz spent his youth picking berries on California farms. At 8 years old, Garcia Alcaraz immigrated to Oxnard, California from Michoacán, Mexico. Garcia Alcaraz was not a very good student in middle and high school, because he had trouble with the English language. But none of that stopped him from pursuing his passion to fight for better health and more resources for farm workers like himself and his parents. Garcia Alcaraz is making strong progress in the English-language and he is excelling in higher education. In 2014, he transferred to Californian State University Channel Islands, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Now, he is working on his master’s in psychology at ...

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Norma Gonzalez: A Rising Social Justice Advocate for Latinos

Growing up as a “Southsider” in the 63% Latino city of San Antonio, Norma Gonzalez witnessed firsthand many socioeconomic and educational disparities. This gave her a clear passion for and sense of social justice. Now, fueled by her passion and resourcefulness, Gonzalez is a first-year master’s-degree student the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She also is working to address structural barriers while bringing great honor and pride to her community. She is already making a difference in health disparities programing, education, and public health, including research on support strategies for Mexican immigrant parents. To further her experience and education, Gonzalez applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The ...

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Lucero Silva: Standing Up for Latina Health Issues

Raised by a strong, single mom, Lucero Silva is a first-generation Mexican-American student who is dedicated to pushing for better health for Latinas. Silva, a candidate in the public health program that focuses on community health education at California State University, Long Beach, has already begun investigating why women fare worse for so many health issues. She interned at the Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training. She focused on health promotion through health education and community based participatory research. Now Silva is a graduate research assistant for Familias Saludables, a childhood obesity prevention research that focuses on Latinx youth and their families. To further her experience and education, Silva applied for the Éxito! ...

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Julissa Marin: Lending a Hand for Better Healthcare Systems

Just like her three-legged, good-luck Chilean pig that perhaps “gave up one of its legs to help others,” Julissa Marin is always looking to lend a hand wherever she goes. That includes lending a hand to improve healthcare systems. Marin, a full-time healthcare administration student in the Executive Program at California State University, Long Beach, wants to address inconsistencies in data information and review healthcare redesign. She also works full-time in the business officer of the Clinical and Pathology Laboratories at University of California, Los Angeles, where she rectified over $16 million by stabilizing the influx of lab charge errors in hospital billing work queues. To further her experience and education, Marin applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research ...

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Rosa Cobian Aguilar: Overcoming Adversity to Promote Health

Rosa Cobian Aguilar, like many Latinos, immigrated from Jalisco, Mexico, and grew up with no insurance and big struggles for healthcare access. But she overcame this adversity, with help from her hard-working, hyper-organized, Zumba-dancing Mom. Now Aguilar is a first-generation college grad who is working on her master’s degree in psychology at San Diego State University, working in the Cancer Disparities and Cancer Communication Research Lab. After college, she worked as a case manager and Spanish interpreter, at a community mental health clinic. She aspires to continue working in health disparities research and assure research findings reach underserved communities. To further her experience and education, Aguilar applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership ...

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Sara Rubio Correa: Improving the Health of Latinx Immigrants

When Sara Rubio Correa’s family immigrated to the United States from Queretaro, Mexico, when she was 5 years old, they faced strenuous jobs and little healthcare. Then they were deported back to Mexico. At age 16, Rubio Correa returned to the United States and began living on her own, driven by a resilient nature to overcome the hurdles of her childhood and become a doctor. Her experiences shaped her passion for improving the health of Latinx immigrants. Rubio Correa, currently working on her master’s degree of public health in health behavior at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, wants to focus her career on using research to address cancer and heart health, engaging community workers for Latinos, and spurring policy changes and shaping equitable environments for ...

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