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Julia Weis

Julia Weis joined Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, in September 2020. With a degree in Communication from Trinity University, Julia has previously worked in journalism, marketing, graphic design, and technical writing. She loves biking and hiking in the Central Texas outdoors and is passionate about environmental and social justice issues.


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Articles by Julia Weis

A Teacher’s Guide to Hispanic Heritage Month


A Teacher’s Guide to Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, is a time to celebrate and remember Latin American history and culture. For teachers, it’s an excellent opportunity to bring fun cultural activities into the classroom. Here are some suggestions to incorporate history, art, literature, and more on Hispanic Heritage Month for your classroom. Start by Recruiting Latino Parents & Students to Help for Hispanic Heritage Month If you have Latino students in your classroom, they may be interested in sharing their culture with the class. Having parents or students come in and share their personal stories and cultural traditions can be an enriching way for your class to learn. You can email students and parents asking if anyone is interested in collaborating on the ...

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Hispanic, Latino, Latinx: What’s the Difference?


Photo of folklore dancers dancing in Mexico. Mexican culture and traditions.

Hispanic? Latino? Latinx? People often debate the best term to use when describing the ethnicity of those who trace their heritage from Latin America and Spain, who comprise 18.5% of the U.S. population. “There’s no correct term to use, and appropriateness varies when using Latino, Hispanic, Latinx, or country of origin,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. Let’s talk about the origins of these terms, who uses them, and what the data says about this population’s own preferences. The Origin of “Latino” The term we use at Salud America! to describe this group is “Latino.” “Latino,” or the feminine “Latina,” is used to describe people with ancestry from Latin American countries. Unlike “Hispanic,” the ...

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Gilberto Lopez: Combatting Vaccine Misinformation through Art


gilberto_lopez covid-19 art hero

When Gilberto Lopez was visiting his family in California at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he realized his community wasn’t getting the information they needed about safety precautions. “Information that was coming through to my academic bubble, I call it ‘The Harvard Bubble,’ was completely different than the information about COVID that was coming down to the immigrant community,” said Lopez, who comes from a farm-working community in the Central Valley. He wanted to do something to make sure Latino communities learned about COVID-19 and vaccines in culturally relevant ways, like art. Lopez is an assistant professor at Arizona State University's School of Transborder Studies, where he focuses on the health and wellbeing of immigrant, Mexican communities in the ...

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Pregnant Latinas Have Low COVID-19 Vaccination Rates


Doctor giving COVID -19 coronavirus vaccine injection to pregnant woman. Doctor Wearing Blue Gloves Vaccinating Young Pregnant Woman In Clinic. People vaccination concept.

Pregnant Latinas have some of the lowest vaccination rates against COVID-19 compared to other ethnic/racial groups, according to a report from the CDC. The disparity is likely due to less culturally competent and accessible healthcare in communities of color, as well as vaccine misinformation about fertility and pregnancy. The CDC encourages all people who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and that pregnancy should not be a barrier. “COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future,” according to the CDC’s website. With more culturally relevant resources regarding vaccine safety for fertility and pregnancy, vaccine ...

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The Roots of Racial Disparities: A New Framework on the Social Determinants of Health


The Roots of Racial Disparities: A New Framework on the Social Determinants of Health

Where we live and the conditions that we live in impact our health and life outcomes. This concept is widely called the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). Unfortunately, when people live in and experience negative conditions, it can lead to poor health outcomes and disparities, particularly among Latinos and other marginalized communities. In their new SDOH framework, the Praxis Project highlights the root systems of oppression that have led to health disparities for communities of color. “Many traditional SDOH frameworks lack the explicit naming of systems of oppression that cause disparities in health determinants. In an effort to incorporate these systems of oppression and to highlight the root causes of these determinants from a justice and community power ...

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Study: Language Isolation Affects Latino Health


Language isolation

Older Latinos who live in neighborhoods where little English is spoken are at a higher risk of poor health and early death, according to a new study from the University of Georgia. “If you are linguistically isolated, you’re very likely to be isolated socially, and we know social isolation contributes to mortality,” said Kerstin Emerson, a co-author of the study. The study has implications for how language barriers and social cohesion in a community can affect health, particularly among elderly Latinos. What Does the Study Say about Language Isolation? Researchers at the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health conducted the study to determine if neighborhoods that are linguistically isolated impact health. The study analyzed data from a survey of over 1,100 ...

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Study: Less Money is Spent on Latino Healthcare


Study: Less Money is Spent on Latino Healthcare

Healthcare spending is disproportionately skewed toward white people, with less money spent on Latino patients, according to new research from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and others. “This study found statistically significant differences in estimated healthcare spending across six race/ethnicity groups, with differences present for total spending, age-standardized spending, spending by type of care, and health-condition-specific spending per notified case,” according to the study. The disparity has significant implications for policies needed for equity in healthcare spending. “Despite making up 18.5% of the U.S. population, only 11% of healthcare spending goes toward Latinos. We can address this disparity by examining the ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 9/7: How to Improve Health Equity for Hispanic Heritage Month


#SaludTues Tweetchat 9/7: How to Improve Health Equity for Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time where we can honor the history, culture, and diversity of the Latino community. Unfortunately, many Latinos in the U.S. still face many health inequities, including limited access to healthcare, poor nutrition and physical activity, low COVID-19 vaccination rates, and more. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, to discuss how we can improve health equity for Latinos while celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: How to Improve Health Equity for Hispanic Heritage Month TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, September 7, 2021 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS:  Public Health Maps (@PublicHealthMap); Latinx Voces en Salud Campaign (@VocesenSalud); ...

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How This Latino Student Group Campaigned to Remove Discriminatory School Policing


How This Latino Student Group Campaigned to Remove Discriminatory School Policing

Thanks to the efforts from the student-led community organization Gente Organizada, Pomona Unified School District will no longer allow police patrols to monitor campuses. The decision comes after years of campaigning against discriminatory practices by school police, which was amplified after the racial justice protests of 2020. Removing school police means Latino youth are safer from discrimination in school, as Pomona (71% Latino), a city in Los Angeles County, is home to many Latino and immigrant families. “This is a milestone that has been met,” said Caroline Lucas, a Pomona youth organizer, according to Los Angeles Times. “For me, it means that leaders can experiment with what transformative activists have been trying to do.” A Campaign Sparked by an Act of ...

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