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Amelie Ramirez

I am director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. I have spent 30 years directing research on human and organizational communication to reduce chronic disease, cancer, and obesity health disparities affecting Latinos.


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Articles by Amelie Ramirez

Discover the State of Health Equity in Your Community!


Health Equity Report Card blog

Wonder what health equity looks like in your community? Select your county name and get a customized Health Equity Report Card from Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, which shows your area stacks up in housing, transit, poverty, health care, food, and other health equity issues compared to your state and nation. The Health Equity Report Card auto-generates local data with interactive maps and comparative gauges, which can help you visualize and explore health inequities. Get your Health Equity Report Card! “People can easily email their local Health Equity Report Card to decision-makers, share it on social media, and use it to make the case for community change to boost health equity—where everyone has a fair, just opportunity to live the healthiest lives ...

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Action Pack: Start ‘Handle With Care’ So Police Notify Schools if Kids Exposed to Trauma!


Handle With Care police schools trauma 3

Some kids witness domestic violence or murder. Some see loved ones hurt in accidents. These kids still have to go to class, carrying a burden of stress and trauma that can interfere with their behavior and grades—in schools that aren’t even aware there’s an issue. Fortunately, you can help these kids. Download the free Salud America! “Handle With Care Action Pack.” The Action Pack helps police, school, and mental healthcare leaders start the Handle with Care program, in which police notify schools when they encounter children at a traumatic scene, so schools can provide support right away. GET THE ACTION PACK! The Action Pack was created by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Salud America! Latino health equity program at UT Health San Antonio and Andrea Darr, ...

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The State of Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review


Latino minority family moving into affordable housing for health equity

Where you live is significantly linked to how healthy you are. Sadly, U.S. Latino communities face unaffordable housing, unreliable public transportation, and a lack of green space and parks. This limits Latinos’ access to health-promoting assets─medical care, good schools, healthy food, and physical activity. This contributes to health inequities affecting this population. Fortunately, community leaders can adopt dynamic land-use methods, public-private partnerships, and community involvement to build and revitalize Latino neighborhoods. This can create affordable housing, connection to public transportation, and more green spaces. The result is health equity─a fair, just opportunity to achieve the best health possible. Quick Links News Release (PDF) Full Research ...

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Future Research Needs: Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space


greenway for safe routes to housing and public transit

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Future Research Many of the policy suggestions and strategies highlighted in this review are based upon research performed within urban Latino communities. While many of the suggestions may be applicable to smaller Latino communities, it will be essential to determine if they will be successful when applied to the semi-isolated Latino communities of the “new Latino destinations.” In one sense, because the majority of these policy recommendations hinge upon community activism and solidarity, it may be possible to translate them into the heavily Latino-majority communities found in these small-town and rural areas. However, activism builds upon political ...

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Policy Implications: Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space


cyclist bike bus public transit

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Conclusions Latinos need affordable housing options, access to reliable, relevantly routed public transportation, and connected, safe, and maintained green spaces for transportation and recreational use. Many societal and economic factors are responsible for the inequitable distribution of funds to support these projects. For instance, it was beyond the scope of this review to fully discuss the historical legacy of disparities. However, with proper political will and community activism, change can be made to improve access to affordable housing, public transportation, and green spaces in all types of Latino communities. A common theme across the research has ...

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Strategy: Latino Community Involvement Can Spur Environmental Justice


community activism in park green space for environmental justice

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary Neighborhood development initiatives in Latino communities that rely upon “bottom-up” activism, a wide public-private partnership network, and “cultural brokers” have been effective at driving and maintaining long-term community change, especially in the context of environmental justice in Latino communities. Green Space Access Is an Environmental Justice Issue Over the past two decades, uneven access to green space has become an important environmental justice issue as awareness of its contribution to public health has become more widely recognized [33, 52]. In general, racial/ethnic minorities and low-income people have less access to ...

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Strategy: Green Space Projects Can Boost Latino Health


latino father son in a green space park

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary Green space initiatives that take community concerns, needs, and desires into consideration may be most effective at improving Latino physical and mental well-being. Green spaces support public health in many ways—they filter air, remove pollution, attenuate noise, cool temperatures, replenish ground water, mitigate stormwater, and can provide food [53, 54]. Beyond these benefits, however, are the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of green space, as discussed below. Green Spaces Benefit Latino Physical Health Policies and programs that specifically work to improve these conditions in Latino communities will go a long way to increasing the ...

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Strategy: Improve Public Transit to Improve Latino Quality of Life


Latina woman riding bus public transit transportation

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary Income-based fare reductions, improved scheduling, and transit routing improvements to link places of residence with places of employment are emerging ways to improve quality of life for Latinos living in the U.S. To improve transit connectivity and safe transportation options in Latino communities, smart advocacy decisions will have to be made. Transit routing improvements will have to address coverage gaps in the suburbs, disconnects between population centers and job nodes, and alignment of routes between riders and destinations [42]. Transit scheduling improvements must be made to meet the working hour needs and reliability required for regular ...

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Strategy: How Transit-Oriented Development Benefit Latinos


Transit-oriented development and housing with a greenway for Latino families

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary To improve access to affordable housing near public transport, Latinos would benefit from transport-oriented development projects in their neighborhoods that increase the stock of affordable housing centered around the transport hub. These projects should emphasize strong preemptive community involvement to limit displacement and gentrification that has frequently plagued these projects, and to maintain cultural authenticity in Latino neighborhoods that have undergone revitalization. What Is Transit-Oriented Development? Transit-oriented development is a model for neighborhood revitalization that can be defined as ‘walkable, dense, compact, mixed-use ...

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