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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

Edgar Muñoz: Generating Stats on Latino Health … with a Smile

MunozEdgar Exito 2018 participant

Edgar Muñoz has a passion for uncovering multilevel aspects of cancer and disease among the Latino population in the United States and in his native Colombia. And he’s always willing to lend a hand and a smile whenever needed. Muñoz offers plenty of smiles and epidemiological support as a senior-level statistician at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. At the IHPR, Muñoz assists in developing research, conducting analyses, identifying and using available methodologies and databases, and preparing reports. He has a master’s degree in epidemiology, and he has participated in the design, conduction, analysis, and evaluation of complex public health interventions in Colombia and the U.S. His interests are design and evaluation of ...

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Jacquelin Cordero: Health is a Social Justice Issue

CorderoJacquelin exito participant 2018

Jacquelin Cordero grew up on the borderplex (Cd. Juárez, Chih., MX – El Paso, Texas, US). As such, she’s very conscious of the impact of economic and societal differences and how it increases the disparities in her community. Cordero views adequate, accessible, and available health services as a human right and social justice issue. With the support of her parents, encouragement from her sisters, and a little pinole to energize her, she wants to use public health to address important mental health issues such as suicide prevention and substance use disorder. Even after dropping out of high school, she has always found a way to keep going, and that includes currently working on her graduate certificate of public health and master’s degree in social work at the University of ...

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Rossmary Marquez: From Political Turmoil to Public Health Promotion

MarquezRossmary Exito 2018 participant

With a strong support network and a tenacious spirit built from escaping political turmoil in her native Venezuela and moving to the United States a decade ago, Rossmary Marquez is persistent in her efforts to improve people’s health. Marquez completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon and graduated from Texas A&M with a master’s degree in public health. Her research interests include immigration, health disparities, and minority health. Before starting her master’s degree studies, Marquez worked for the CDC as an emergency risk communicator and was involved in the Ebola and Zika response. With the Venezuelan charm as a continual reminder of her roots and her path, Marquez goes the extra mile to talk with people about their experiences and how that ...

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Natalie Alfaro-Perez: Hard-working Advocate for Latino Health

PerezANatalia exito participant 2018

Natalie Alfaro-Perez wasn’t spoiled growing up. In fact, her parents already had her mowing the lawn at age 8, among other chores. This instilled in her a hard-working attitude and created in her a determination to achieve success. She has put those values to work as a public health student and health educator in a federally qualified health center, and she’s pushing for more progress as a health equity advocate. Alfaro-Perez received her bachelor’s degree in health science from California State University Sacramento, and is currently working on her master’s degree in public health from California State University, Northridge. In her work as a health educator, she is able to provide education to patients regarding chronic illnesses, and weight management. To further ...

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Emanuelle Dias: Using Research & Advocacy to Help At-Risk People

Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training, Emanuelle Dias

Emanuelle Dias, a proud Brazilian who grew up in Florida, has seen cancer affect her mom and grandma, which has driven her to dive into public health. Dias is a public health graduate student concentrating in public health education at the University of South Florida. She wants to work with at-risk communities and believes that both research and advocacy have the power to make a true impact in these communities. Dias wants to employ her patient demeanor and strong listening skills to accomplish her dreams of improving patient-provider communications and advocating for people in the community and sharing the human experience with one another. To further her experience and education, Dias applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! ...

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Leah Carrillo: From Ranching to Preventing Disease in San Antonio

Carrillo Leah

Leah Carrillo knows the value of hard work, thanks to diligent parents and plenty of sweat and tears on her family ranch in Leakey, Texas. Carrillo is working hard today to prevent disease in San Antonio. Currently a master’s-degree student at UT San Antonio, Carrillo already is actively supporting research projects to prevent cancer, obesity, and manage diabetes. She wants to continue working hard to increase the health of her community by translating her growing knowledge and skills into effective, accessible health programs. To further her training and education, Carrillo applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, recruits 25 ...

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Alejandra Mendez: Overcoming Hurdles to Boost Latino Health

Mendez Alejandra

Discrimination. Micro-aggressions. Going back to college with kids. With a mother who overcame these hurdles as an immigrant to the U.S. from Honduras, Alejandra Mendez learned resilience. Now Mendez always looks for opportunities for success, rather than possible barriers. Her optimism has enabled her to help people similar to her mother, conducting research on the impact of racial discrimination, and volunteering to help uninsured clinic patients. Mendez recently earned her master’s degree in public health in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Under the guidance of her preceptor, Mendez conducted research on how racial discrimination affects health throughout the life course and adverse birth outcomes. Prior to her ...

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Claudia Chavez: Pushing for Culturally Competent Healthcare for All

Chavez Claudia-Edit

If you need someone with a variety of experience in health fields, Claudia Chavez has it. Neuroscience? Check. Healthcare administration? Check. Delivering a baby (as part of EMT training)?! Check. Today, Chavez is growing her already strong health-promotion skills as a second-year student in the master’s program in healthcare administration at UT Southwestern in Dallas, where she also works as a research assistant. Chavez, a Dallas native, wants to make culturally competent healthcare a right—not a privilege—for all people. To further her training and education, Chavez applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, ...

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Adrianna Acevedo-Fontanez: Boosting Health in Puerto Rico

Acevedo-Fontavez Adrianna-Edit

Adrianna Acevedo-Fontanez celebrates her Puerto Rican heritage through music and food, such as using “el castero” to stew rice or fighting for “el pegao.” But she also knows that Puerto Ricans face dire health issues. That is why, when she sees people in need, she helps them. Her empathetic spirit and hard work as a community health educator is helping her address issues like lack of healthcare and lack of cancer screening among women. Fontanez is currently in the final phase of her master’s degree in epidemiology and is a community health educator at the University of Puerto Rico / MD Anderson Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research at the UPR Comprehensive Cancer Center. To further her training and education, Fontanez applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer ...

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