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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

Dr. Benjamín Aceves: What Éxito! Means to Me


Dr. Benjamín Aceves: What Éxito! Means to Me

Dr. Benjamín Aceves wasn’t sure if he wanted to pursue a PhD. He was hesitant about the commitment. He didn’t have a background in academia that many pursuing PhD programs do. But after attending the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio, Aceves grew his network of scholars and learned about resources that could help him succeed in a PhD program. “My experience at Éxito! was mind-opening for sure,” Aceves said. He went on to earn his PhD and now is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California in San Francisco, where he researches the intersection of Latino health, chronic disease prevention, and the social determinants of health. Learning About Éxito! Aceves learned about Éxito! from his peers, who encouraged him to ...

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Dr. Mirella Díaz-Santos: Fighting Alzheimer’s in the Latino Community


Dr. Mirella Díaz-Santos: Fighting Alzheimer’s in the Latino Community

Dr. Mirella Díaz-Santos has a personal fight to end Alzheimer’s Disease. Her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when Díaz-Santos was in school. “I needed to know more about how this ‘disease’ can change someone who you love so much. How can it change it completely?” Díaz-Santos said. Díaz-Santos is an assistant professor in residence at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in the department of neurology and psychiatry. She’s also the director of research of the Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and is involved with the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s within the Latino community. Although she’s experienced bias and discrimination ...

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Webinar Dec. 14: How to Encourage Latinos to Participate in Clinical Trials


Webinar Dec. 14: How to Encourage Latinos to Participate in Clinical Trials

Latinos represent 18.5% of the U.S. population, but are far less than 10% of those in federal cancer and drug studies. This makes it hard for researchers to create treatments that work best for Latinos. To address this issue, you’re invited to join us for “How to Encourage Latinos to Participate in Clinical Trials,” the first webinar of a new series, “Let’s Address Health Equity Together,” at 11 a.m. CST on Dec. 14, 2021. This Zoom webinar will help health care professionals understand the lack of Latino participation in clinical trials and explore strategies and system-changing advocacy actions to improve Latino enrollment in clinical trials. "This webinar will help doctors, nurses, researchers and other healthcare professionals take action for diversifying ...

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Maria Maldonado: Why This Latina Mom Chose to Vaccinate Her 9-Year-Old Son


Maria Maldonado: Why This Latina Mom Chose to Vaccinate Her 9-Year-Old Son

Maria knows what it’s like to experience the tragedy of COVID-19. She lost five family members to the virus in the past year, including her mother. “It was just a tidal wave. And it was just very hard for us to go through something so tragic, back to back. It was a very difficult time,” Maldonado said. When the vaccine became available for adults, Maldonado couldn’t wait to get one. “I was not hesitant at all. Why? Because I trust science. They developed it fast, but they still took the protocols and the safety measures that they had to take,” Maldonado said. Once the vaccine was available for children ages 5 to 11, Maldonado got her 9-year-old son Jacob vaccinated. She hopes that other Latino parents will vaccinate their children and help protect the Latino ...

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New Health Equity Language Guide Helps Fight Implicit Bias & Discrimination


New Health Equity Language Guide Helps Fight Implicit Bias & Discrimination

The AAMC Center for Health Justice and American Medical Association (AMA) co-developed a new guide on inclusive language to advance health equity. “Designed for physicians and other health care professionals, Advancing Health Equity: AMA-AAMC Guide on Language, Narrative, and Concepts provides guidance and promotes a deeper understanding of equity-focused, first-person language and why it matters,” according to the AAMC Center for Health Justice. The guide is broken down sections on language to use to promote health equity, why these narratives matter, and a glossary that defines key terminology. Using inclusive language is important for healthcare providers to ensure that they are giving culturally comprehensive care that is absent of implicit bias or discrimination, which ...

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Donají Stelzig: How Éxito! Helped Me Build My Network


Donají Stelzig: How Éxito! Helped Me Build My Network

Like many Latino students, Donají Stelzig was unsure if she should pursue a PhD. She was intimated by the barriers and didn’t think she was capable of doing it, especially since she already had a full-time job and family. But after attending the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio, the researchers and scholars she met encouraged her to apply and followed up with her even when she was doubtful. Now, Stelzig has a doctoral degree and is a visiting assistant professor and lecturer at the University of Houston, where she also directs the Community Health Worker Training Center at the Honors College. She’s grateful for the Éxito! experience and how it helped her build a network to succeed throughout her career. Learning About ...

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What Parents Should Know: Children Ages 5 to 11 Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine


What Parents Should Know: Children Ages 5 to 11 Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

On Oct. 29, 2021, the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for children ages 5 to 11. It had previously been approved for those ages 12 and older. The move will make the vaccine available to 28 million children in this age group. Getting children vaccinated is vital for controlling the spread of the pandemic, especially as many schools have returned to in-person learning. Do you have questions about the Pfizer vaccine and want to know more before your children get vaccinated? Here’s what Latino parents should know. Is the vaccine safe for children? Why was it produced so quickly? Yes. Numerous clinical trials with young children have found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for children. COVID-19 vaccines are being ...

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Dr. Philip Ponce: Increasing Access to HIV Treatment for LGBTQ Latinos


Dr. Philip Ponce: Increasing Access to HIV Treatment for LGBTQ Latinos

Growing up as a gay, Latino man in the 1990s, Dr. Philip Ponce saw the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS. It pushed him to a medical career. “A lot of people in my community were dying of AIDS. I knew I wanted to work with other gay men, and I knew I wanted to take care of people with HIV,” Dr. Ponce said. Dr. Ponce is the Medical Director at Kind Clinic San Antonio, a clinic that provides sexual health services such as HIV testing and treatment, STI testing and treatment, access to HIV prevention medication known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and gender-affirming care. He’s also an assistant professor of infectious diseases at UT Health San Antonio and director of transplant infectious diseases at the University Transplant ...

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4 Compelling Communication Strategies to Build COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence


4 Compelling Communication Strategies to Build COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, public health experts are focusing on addressing concerns with vaccine efficacy and safety for those who remain hesitant. That’s why the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has put together a toolkit of communication strategies for people who are unsure about the vaccine, parents who are thinking of vaccinating their children, and strategies for engaging with specific communities, such as Latinos. “In a rapidly evolving situation, where new evidence is continually emerging, state and local decision makers must be ready to frequently adjust and adapt their communication and messaging strategies to meet public needs,” write the authors of the toolkit, Emily Brunson, ...

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