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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

Maria Hernandez: Fighting for Health Equity in Healthcare Organizations



For Maria Hernandez, fighting for health equity hits close to home. When her dad was in the hospital fighting cancer, Hernandez had a realization. “He’s being wheeled into the surgical unit, and he's with me and my mom and my two brothers, and we're all speaking Spanish, wishing him well. And all of a sudden, he puts up his hand and says, ‘Stop, don't speak Spanish, they're going to think I'm stupid, and they're not going to help me.’ And that just took my breath away,” Hernandez said. It made her realize that healthcare organizations must do more to address implicit bias. “Here I was, working on diversity and inclusion issues in major corporations. And I thought, what is healthcare doing about this? And so I started looking into this,” Hernandez ...

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Data: Despite Deep Impact from COVID-19, Immigrants Avoid Federal Assistance


Data: Despite Deep Impact from COVID-19, Immigrants Avoid Federal Assistance

Despite being severely impacted economically by the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income, immigrant families often avoided federal assistance programs, according to new data from the Urban Institute’s Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey. “Many immigrant families have suffered significant economic hardships and health impacts during the COVID-19 crisis and have faced barriers to participation in safety net programs or other supports,” according to researchers Hamutal Bernstein, Dulce Gonzalez, and Michael Karpman. Unfortunately, barriers like restrictive eligibility rules for immigrants as well as a fear of deportation or barring from legal residency discourage immigrants from seeking help through federal assistance programs, like food and housing aid. However, with President ...

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COVID-19 Pandemic Shows a Need for More Latino Nurses


COVID-19 Pandemic Shows a Need for More Latino Nurses

The Latino community has disproportionately felt the burden of COVID-19. COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been higher for Latinos than other groups. “The pandemic has disproportionately hit Latinos throughout the country, who are already at a disadvantage as they are likely to work in front-line jobs and have the highest uninsured rates,” writes Cynthia Silva, according to NBC News. As more Latinos have been hospitalized, healthcare providers have noticed the need for Latino nurses who can provide culturally competent, bilingual services. Unfortunately, less than 6% of nurses are Latino, mostly due to systemic barriers that prevent Latino students from pursuing a career in nursing. Let’s explore the importance of culturally competent healthcare and ...

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FDA Approves New Drug for Alzheimer’s, But Scientists Divided Over Decision


FDA Approves New Drug for Alzheimer’s, But Scientists Divided Over Decision

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug called Aduhelm (aducanumab) to treat Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Many are applauding the drug and are encouraged by the scientific progress in a field that has long had limited treatment options. Alzheimer’s affects over 6.2 million people in the U.S., with Latinos being 1.5 times more likely to develop it than white people. “What's really exciting is that aducanumab is the first new FDA-approved Alzheimer's treatment in nearly 20 years, and we're optimistic this will spark a wave of new research and innovation in this space. Patients are excited for that, too, and if aducanumab is the first step toward that brighter future, patients are eager to be part of it,” said Dr. Rany Aburashed, ...

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Luz Garcini: Helping Latino Immigrants Heal from Grief


Luz Garcini

Luz Garcini wants to help Latinos heal from the loss of a loved one. “One of the biggest needs that we see in the community right now is that there has been a lot of loss and grief, particularly associated to the loss of loved ones over the current [COVID-19] pandemic, that has not been addressed,” Garcini said. Garcini is a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist. She works as an assistant professor at the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) at UT Health San Antonio. To further the study of loss and grief among Latino immigrants, Garcini and her team at ReACH created a monthly webinar series, “Paths: Building Strength in the Face of Loss,” to help Latinos understand grief and build coping skills and strength. She hopes the series will help Latinos ...

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Norma Cavazos: Get the COVID-19 Vaccine to Protect Your Health, Community!


Norma Cavazos: Get the COVID-19 Vaccine to Protect Your Health, Community!

Like many of us, Norma Cavazos has had her life turned upside down by COVID-19. Many of her family members have gotten sick. Some even died. She’s had to stay at home for over a year now, doing curbside grocery shopping, spending time away from her family. Cavazos can’t wait for the pandemic to end. But when the COVID-19 vaccine first came out, Cavazos didn’t want to get it. She read a few fake news articles that claimed the vaccine would make people with underlying health conditions very sick. Ultimately, after doing more research and talking to her doctors, Cavazos decided to get the vaccine. She’s relieved she did. “It is a load of bricks off my shoulders. I'm more happy. I’m able to hug people,” Cavazos said. Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you ...

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Data: Police More Likely to Search Latinos, Raising Questions Over Implicit Bias


Data: Police More Likely to Search Latinos, Raising Questions Over Implicit Bias

Police are more likely to stop and search Latinos than white people, even though white people are more likely to possess illegal material, according to data from Texas and California, two states with large Latino populations. “That discrepancy could mean that a lot more innocent Latino people are being subjected to searches than white people are, an invasive and often demeaning process, which can damage trust in police,” according to Houston Public Media. The data comes out a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and a wave of police reform efforts, like implicit bias trainings. Now reform activists and city officials hope the data can spark more change. “I look forward to our Police ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 7/6: Inequities in School Health and Education


Inequities in school health and education

Everyone deserves access to a healthy, safe school environment with the opportunity to succeed. Unfortunately, many Latino and other children of color are disadvantaged through neighborhoods and schools that lack resources and funding. Latino kids are more likely to have unhealthy school food environments and are treated worse in schools. Children of color are often treated differently by school personnel; they are more likely to be harshly punished for minor infractions, and teachers may underestimate their abilities. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, to discuss inequities in school health and education that prevent Latino kids and other children of color from being healthy and successful in life. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Inequities in School Health ...

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What Latino Parents Should Know as Schools Plan for In-Person Learning in Fall


What Latino Parents Should Know as Schools Plan for In-Person Learning in Fall

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, states have struggled with what to do when it comes to schools and online learning. In the beginning of the pandemic when not as much was known about the virus, schools were shut down and students were sent home to do virtual learning. But this brought up issues of internet accessibility for rural, low-income families, along with difficulties for parents who suddenly needed to work and provide childcare during the day. As COVID-19 vaccinations have grown and cases are slowly decreasing, many administrators are figuring out what school will look like this fall. “We have to be able to pivot,” said Kaweeda Adams, a superintendent in Albany, NY, according to the Washington Post. Let’s take a look at how safe schools are, what Latino ...

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