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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

Latinos Fall Behind in COVID-19 Booster Shots


covid vaccine data latinos

As the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines continue to be distributed across the country, several states are reporting the demographic makeup of their vaccine distribution numbers. Initially, Latinos made up a very low percentage of those getting a vaccine, despite being disproportionately hurt by COVID-19. However, in the summer and fall of 2021, more and more Latinos got vaccinated, even surpassing the number for Black and white people, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Still, disparities for Latinos persist in different states. Differences in education level, political affiliation, and health insurance also add to the vaccine gap. As some states begin to release data on booster shots, data shows that Latinos are getting ...

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Latino Parents: New Guidelines for Healthy Eating for Kids Ages 2 to 8


Latino Parents: New Guidelines for Healthy Eating for Kids Ages 2 to 8

Childhood is critical for building healthy eating behaviors that can help your child grow and prevent chronic diseases. That’s why Healthy Eating Research (HER) has developed new guidelines that can help parents decide not only what to feed young kids aged 2 to 8, but how to feed them and introduce lifelong healthy habits. These guidelines apply to all parents, but it can be particularly helpful to Latino parents, as Latino kids are more likely to develop chronic health issues like high blood pressure and obesity and are often in schools with few healthy options. How Should You Encourage Kids to Try New Foods? To create these guidelines, HER gathered a national panel of 15 experts in child development and nutrition. They developed strategies to help parents get their children ...

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Latinos Are Underpaid by $288 Billion a Year, Creating a Massive Wage Gap


Latinos Are Underpaid by $288 Billion a Year, Creating a Massive Wage Gap

A wage gap between Latino and white workers is a large factor in preventing economic mobility for Latinos, according to a new study by McKinsey & Co. The gap is particularly large for Latino immigrants, who are paid far less in the same job categories as other workers. “The median wage for foreign-born Hispanics is $31,700 compared to $38,848 for those born in the U.S. For non-Latino white workers, the number goes up to $52,942,” according to NBC Latino. With low wages and fewer opportunities for fields that offer career growth, Latinos are at a disadvantage and are more likely to struggle to meet basic needs like housing, food, healthcare, and more. This, in turn, heightens their risk for disease and poor health outcomes. Let’s learn how low wages and other barriers ...

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Thanks for Speaking Up to Improve Healthcare for Latinos!


Lung Cancer Impact Latinos

Over 60 members of Salud America! endorsed our public comment to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in their request for feedback on as part of its draft Strategic Plan for 2022-2026. The draft was open for comment from Oct. 7 to Nov. 7, 2021. At Salud America!, we believe that improving healthcare by making it more accessible and culturally tailored for Latinos and other people of color will help build health equity. We believe this is possible through increasing diversity among research leaders and clinical trial participants, eliminating implicit bias in the doctor’s office, and hiring healthcare workers who can provide culturally relevant patient care. That’s why we submitted a comment from our leader, Dr. Amelie Ramirez. Dr. Amelie Ramirez’s Comment ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 1/4: Raising Awareness for Cervical Cancer


Donar Muestras Biológicas cancer alzheimers research

Each year, more than 14,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States. This cancer is especially hurting communities of color, with Latinas at a high risk of a diagnosis. But cervical cancer is preventable. Stopping cervical cancer for Latinas and all communities means equitable education about the causes, prevention, and treatment of HPV and cervical cancer. Join #SaludTues at 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 4, 2022, to tweet about how we can stop cervical cancer in celebration of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “What Can We Do to Stop Cervical Cancer?” DATE: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022 TIME: 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST (10:00-11:00 p.m. PST) WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: ...

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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



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 Maldonado 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 ...

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