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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

David Miskie: Founding a Bilingual, Nutritional Cereal Company to End Childhood Obesity

San Franola Cereals

When David Miskie graduated from UC Berkeley, he wasn’t planning on starting a cereal company. He actually worked for a few years in consulting, private equity, and investment banking. But after working on consumer products, Miskie, his dad, and his best friend Matt Teichman had an idea – What if we could create a product that everyone loves and make it healthier and better for you? That’s how San Franola Cereals & Snacks was born. Ten years later, San Franola is focused on distributing high quality, whole-food cereals to public schools. They’ve even expanded their labels to include Spanish, so that Spanish-speaking, Latino families can know what healthy ingredients are in their cereal. While keeping up with consumer demand and adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic ...

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National Institute of Health Establishes UNITE Initiative to Combat Structural Racism

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has announced a new initiative to address structural racism – the UNITE Initiative. “With representation from across the NIH Institutes and Centers, UNITE aims to establish an equitable and civil culture within the biomedical research enterprise and reduce barriers to racial equity in the biomedical research workforce,” according to the NIH website. NIH hopes that this initiative will help address racism and discrimination that has impacted healthcare throughout history. “Historical racism has led to the marginalization and oppression of Indigenous peoples, African Americans, Latinos, and other communities of color. … Structural racism has resulted in persistent health disparities, poor health status, and premature mortality as ...

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New Study: Latinos Undertreated for Stroke Risk

Latinos at risk of a stroke do not receive adequate treatment and support despite being aware of their risk factors, according to a new study published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal. “It’s a wake-up call for the medical community. Despite our best efforts, Hispanic and Latino populations still seem to be undertreated for their vascular risk factors,” said Dr. Fernando D. Testai, co-author of the study, according to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. “I didn’t expect the numbers to be so dismal.” Researchers suspect that lack of access to healthcare and not having health insurance are the main contributors to Latinos being undertreated for strokes, indicating that inequitable resources can have a detrimental impact on Latino health. What Did the Stroke ...

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Isabella Jiménez: Launching a Food App to Inspire Healthy Eating

isabella jimenez myfunfood app

Isabella Jiménez is only 16 years old, but she’s already an entrepreneur and app creator. In fact, she got started when she was 12. Jiménez began creating her app called MyFunFood in 2018. The app is meant to be a digital cookbook where young people can learn to cook easy, healthy recipes, while also playing trivia games and learning health tips. After years of planning and development, Jiménez launched MyFunFood in December 2020. It’s available to download for free in the Apple Store. “The goal now that it's out is just to try to get it to not only kids, but adults and families as well, and not just the San Antonio area, but hopefully even the across the country,” Jiménez said. UPDATE: Jiménez received the Silver Innovation Award from the Hispanic Heritage ...

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New Study: Social Media Discrimination Leads to Depression, Anxiety for Latinos

social media discrimination

Exposure to racial and ethnic discrimination on social media is correlated with higher levels of anxiety and depression for young Latino men, according to a new study by researchers at Florida International University. “Surprisingly, there is a lot of research about cyberbullying and social media but there really wasn't a thorough study that looked at how exposure to ethnic discrimination on social media impacts mental health,” said Miguel Ángel Cano, lead author and principal investigator of the study at FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, according to a press release. This study has severe implications for Latinos, who tend to suffer from mental health issues and have less access to mental health services. It also indicates how ethnic ...

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Biden COVID-19 Task Force Focused on Health Equity

President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Task Force is in full swing, and their main focus is tackling health equity. On Jan. 21, 2021, Biden signed an executive order to create a task force focused on COVID-19 related health and social inequities. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the country, it has had a disproportionate impact on some of our most vulnerable communities. Shortly after COVID-19 was first identified in the United States, disparities in testing, cases, hospitalizations, and mortality began to emerge. These inequities were quickly evident by race, ethnicity, geography, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors,” according to the White House press briefing. As a result, the Biden administration selected people from diverse ...

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Kathryn Karam: Acknowledging Your Own Bias as a Person of Color

kathryn karam

Kathryn Karam isn’t afraid to speak out against racism and discrimination. She thinks that everyone should address their implicit biases and that being a person of color doesn’t prevent you from having bias. That’s why Karam wrote a column for her college newspaper, The Collegian, last fall after the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd Protests to raise awareness about how people of color can have their own biases against Black people. Karam comes from a family of Middle Eastern immigrants, growing up in a culture where topics like politics were taboo. Now she’s a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying journalism and public relations, where she hopes to continue the conversation. Raised by Immigrants Karam grew up in the suburbs of Boston, in ...

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New Program Brief Encourages Trail Use for Latino and Black Youth

Taking a walk or hike can be a great way to get outside and get in some physical activity. But what if your community doesn’t have access to hiking trails? The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) created a resource that identifies hiking and walking programs that encourage youth from underserved communities to get outside and hit the trails. The program brief looks specifically at Latino and Black youth, because they are more likely to experience health disparities related to lack of physical activity and are at risk for health complications later in life. What’s in the Program Brief? NCCOR identifies nine programs that successfully reach diverse groups and produce positive health outcomes. The programs meet the following criteria: highlighted on ...

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Proposed Federal Job Guarantee Policy Could Address Labor Inequities for Latinos

People of Color Feel Social Determinants Health Twitter

Some members of Congress want to help bring equity to employment. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts introduced a resolution for a Federal Job Guarantee, a policy intended to make the economy more inclusive and equitable, closing racial and gender income gaps. “The resolution, which builds on the legacy and work of generations of Black women in the Civil Rights Movement, will help the United States achieve the promise of full employment, ensure a just, equitable recovery, establish a more resilient and inclusive economy, and begin to close racial and gender income gaps,” according to Pressley’s press release. If passed, the resolution could bring down unemployment rates that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and fight systemic inequities in the ...

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