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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

Research: Latino Communities Lack Accessible Green Space



This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary Latino communities lack green spaces that are safe, accessible, functional, and culturally relevant. What Are Green Spaces? Within urban, suburban, and rural communities, green space can be natural or maintained outdoor public space, such as parks, playgrounds, sporting fields, school yards, day care and early care yards, greenways/trails, tree-lined sidewalks, community gardens, nature conservation areas, forests, as well as less conventional urban “green alleyways,” “pocket parks,” and green walls or roofs [52]. Green Space Inequities Exist Unfortunately, access to and quality of green space is not equitably distributed. Compared with ...

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Research: Latinos Face Big Public Transportation Challenges



This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary U.S. Latinos report specific transportation challenges that arise due to the discrepancy between where Latinos live versus where they work. These challenges include transit fare affordability, reliability, and coverage. Latinos Use Public Transit Frequently According to the Pew Research Center, Americans who are lower-income, non-White, immigrants, or under 50 are most likely to use public transportation on a regular basis [39]. Among urban residents, 27% of Latinos use public transit daily or weekly, compared to 14% of non-Latino Whites, and foreign-born urban residents are 20% more likely to regularly use public transportation than native-born urban ...

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Research: Latino Rural Migration Led to Housing, Transportation Inequities


dilapidated housing rural affordable

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary A pattern of Latino migration to small town and rural areas in the Southeast and Midwest instead of to traditional urban centers has led to the formation of isolated, segregated rural Latino communities with unique housing and transportation needs. The Latino Population Shift: From Urban to Rural Real estate and transportation trends have shown two prominent residential shifts among Latinos. First of all, in urban areas, Latinos are living farther from transport hubs and amenities, where housing is more affordable. Secondly, a large number of Latinos are migrating into new areas where jobs are available and rents are more affordable, primarily to ...

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Research: Latino Families Burdened by Housing Costs, Eviction



This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Summary An increasing number of Latinos are burdened by high housing costs and can even face possible eviction, displacing them from urban centers near public transport to the fringes of urban areas, where transport, services, and employment are more difficult to access. Housing Affects Health Currently at 58.6 million, Latinos account for more U.S. population growth than any other demographic [1]. Public policy has led to decades of disinvestment in low-income communities and communities of color in the United States, which has led to worsened physical and mental health in these communities [16, 17]. Health equity refers to the ability of all individuals to ...

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Introduction & Methods: Latino Housing, Transportation, and Green Space


tower of affordable housing

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latinos and Housing, Transportation, and Green Space: A Research Review » Abstract Across the United States, Latino communities vary in affordable housing, safe and adequate transit, parks and open green space, and other elements that are necessary to fully thrive and achieve health equity. These differences in opportunity result in health disparities between different zip codes or census tracts—with poor health outcomes more prevalent in communities of color and low-income communities. It is perhaps even more critical to address these underlying social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to health than to address the health disparities directly if we are to hope for long term changes in community health and ...

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Tell U.S. Gov’t: We Want Healthy Physical Activity Guidelines for Kids!


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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants your help to shape the next edition of its Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which haven't been updated since 2008. The guidelines recommend how everyone can improve their health with regular physical activity. Now, a new report from the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee shows how higher levels of physical activity among children and adolescents are associated with favorable health outcomes, including heart and muscle fitness, bone health, and weight status. Speak up on to shape the guidelines now! Copy this model public comment developed by our Salud America! research team, click the “submit” button, and paste the comment on health.gov's comments website by April 2, 2018: I support ...

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Tell USDA: We Want Healthier Dietary Guidelines!


Latina girl grocery cart healthy food carrots obesity

The USDA wants your opinion to shape the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans! The guidelines aim to help people choose an overall healthy diet. They have specific nutritional targets and dietary limits for children (ages 2-18), adults (19-64), and older adults (65 and older). Now, for the first time, the guidelines will cover pregnant women and babies (birth to age 2). What do you think the guidelines should recommend? How does it impact Latinos? Speak up! Copy a model public comment developed by our Salud America! research team, click the "submit" button, and paste the comment in the USDA's comments submission website by March 30, 2018. Model Comment: General I urge the USDA and HHS to create the strongest possible Dietary Guidelines to ensure that all kids, parents, ...

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The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review



Abstract Many Latino children are at risk of not getting the proper care, services, and environment they need for healthy formative development. Traumatic early experiences, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and low participation in preschool programs impair Latino children’s social and emotional development, academic achievement, and overall health and wellbeing. But there’s reason for hope. Culturally-sensitive programs and policies can prevent or reduce the effects of traumatic childhood experiences, improve mental health, and boost school readiness. Early childhood development and education programs, breastfeeding and family support, and Latino family values support all have been shown to promote healthy early development. Read the News Release (PDF) Read the ...

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