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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

Margarita Alegría: Engaging Minority Communities in Mental Health Research


Margarita Alegría: Engaging Minority Communities in Mental Health Research

With over 30 years of working in mental health and disparities research, Margarita Alegría is what you might call an expert in the field. Alegría is the Chief of the Disparities Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor in Harvard Medical School’s departments of medicine and psychiatry. Last summer, she was named Harry G. Lehnert, Jr. and Lucille F. Cyr Lehnert Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair. Alegría has decades worth of experience in studying public health, mental health, substance abuse, and the social determinants of health. She’s conducted countless studies on how to improve the lives of ethnic and racial minority groups and people with disabilities. Now she wants to make her research more accessible to the general public. Alegría ...

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5 Key Barriers to Health Opportunities for Latinos


5 barriers for latino health opportunities

Everyone should have a fair and just opportunity for the best possible health and well-being. That’s health equity. And that’s the mission of the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative. The HOPE Initiative is led by the National Collaborative for Health Equity and Texas Health Institute in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides funding. The HOPE Initiative tracks data on 27 indicators related to social and economic factors, community & safety, physical environment, access to healthcare, and health outcomes. “Our unique analyses use an opportunity framework to set aspirational but achievable goals to improve life outcomes—especially populations of color most affected ...

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2021 County Health Rankings Show Gaps & Health Disparities for Latinos


2021 County Health Rankings Show Gaps & Health Disparities for Latinos

Have you ever wondered how your county compares to others in healthcare, education, and opportunities? County Health Rankings & Roadmaps is a program by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that measures health disparities in different counties based on local data to help improve health and quality of life. The 2021 update of the County Health Rankings reflect the inequities worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and shines a brighter lens on racial equity and justice. “And while the Rankings do not measure COVID-19 risk, they do help to show the root causes that contribute to poor health. Creating conditions for everyone to thrive requires looking to multi-layered social, economic, and structural factors that run much longer ...

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Bobby Marines: Using Art to Spark Difficult Conversations Within the Latino Community



Art can convey a story or a message. So what if you could use art to spark a conversation about issues in your community? That’s the question that Bobby Marines asked himself when realizing he could use his talent to lead important conversations in the Latino community. To find the answer, Marines launched Voces y Visiones, a web series that features Marines’ art to lead a conversation about hot topic issues within the Latino community, with the help of the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) and Alliance of Chicanos, Hispanics and Latin Americans (ACHLA). “The overall goal is to use arts as catalysts for social and community discourse,” Marines said. From Eighth Grade Dropout to Successful Visual Artist It took hitting rock bottom for Marines to find his ...

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Resolving Microaggressions: A New Diversity Training from UT Health San Antonio


Resolving Microaggressions

The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio is launching a new diversity training called Resolving Microaggressions. This training aims to empower faculty members to recognize and speak out against acts of racism and discrimination. “The goal of this training is to turn spectators into active peacemakers in tense situations, where someone is being attacked, even subtly on the basis of their gender, race, age, training or socioeconomic status,” wrote Robert Hromas, dean of the Long School of Medicine, in an email to faculty members. The training is focused on microaggressions. These are typically more subtler forms of racism, within implicit bias, that can be overlooked. “Microaggressions are the extent to which individuals who are ...

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Survey: Latino Parents Are Hopeful for Their Children’s Opportunities


Latino parent RWJF survey

Latino parents are hopeful that their children will have more opportunities to succeed in life than they did, but recognize that inequities may limit them, according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). To create the Raising the Next Generation study, RWJF, together with the research firm PerryUndem, interviewed over 2,000 parents and caregivers (400 of which were Latino) on their perceptions of inequity and discrimination in the U.S. They also asked about optimism about the future and challenges their children might experience. The survey revealed many interesting findings about how Latino parents perceive inequities and how income and immigration affect their perceptions. Findings from the Raising the Next Generation Study When it comes to future ...

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Endorse Dr. Amelie Ramirez’s Comment on Racial Equity and Diversity in Research!


ndorse Dr. Amelie Ramirez’s Comment on Racial Equity and Diversity in Research!

As a part of its UNITE initiative to address systemic racism in healthcare, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is looking for feedback on how to advance racial equity and diversity within the biomedical research workforce, as well as advancing research on health inequities. At Salud America!, we believe that increasing diversity among research leaders and clinical trial participants will help achieve true health equity, especially for populations disproportionately impacted by health issues and COVID-19, like the Latino population. If you agree, you can endorse our leader’s comment to NIH. Responses will be accepted through Friday, April 9, 2021. Endorse Dr. Amelie Ramirez’s Comment to NIH! Dr. Amelie Ramirez, Director of Salud America! and of the Institute of ...

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Report: Texas Latino Children Face Struggles with Food Insecurity, Health Insurance, Economic Opportunity


latino parents health concern

Not all children in Texas have equal access to healthy food and quality healthcare, and stable economic security. Latino children and other children of color face disparities in these areas due to historic systemic racism. The details of these disparities are covered in a new report, “Texas KIDS COUNT: Health Equity for Every Texas Child,” led by nonprofit group Every Texan with support and funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas. The report explores three key areas ─ food insecurity, health insurance, and economic opportunity ─ and what public policy can address inequities so all Texas children can live healthier lives. The ‘Texas KIDS Count’ Report on Food Insecurity Food insecurity is prevalent in the United ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 3/30: Let’s Protect Mental Health and Stop Cyberbullying


Salud Tues Cyberbullying Mental Health

Nearly one in five American adults lives with a mental illness. Even more are undiagnosed or unable to get treatment. Social media can have a negative impact on mental health, especially when cyberbullying or online discrimination is involved. Studies show exposure to racial and ethnic discrimination on social media is correlated with higher levels of anxiety and depression for people of color, particularly among young Latino men. Join #SaludTues on March 30, 2021, at 1:00 PM EST to tweet about how we can protect mental health and stop online discrimination. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Let’s Protect Mental Health and Stop Social Media Discrimination” DATE: Tuesday, March 30, 2020 TIME: 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST (10:00-11:00 p.m. PST) WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag ...

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