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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

Broadband Maps Show Texas Infrastructure Gaps, Particularly for Rural Latinos


Latino digital divide

Updated broadband coverage maps for all 254 counties in Texas highlight that many Texans lack the digital infrastructure needed for high speed, stable internet, particularly in rural areas and communities of color, according to Connected Nation Texas. “To close the Digital Divide in Texas, we need accurate data on where Texans are connected and where they lack basic infrastructure to participate in the digital world,” said Ellen Ray, Chair of Texas Rural Funders, which supported Connected Nation Texas in producing the maps, according to a press release. “The future of Texas education, healthcare, and economic development will depend on all Texans having the ability to access high-speed internet.” Lack of access to high-speed internet is especially prevalent in rural Latino ...

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Why Did These Vaccine-Hesitant People Decide to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?


Why Did These Vaccine-Hesitant People Decide to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

People decide to get a COVID-19 vaccine for a variety of reasons – to protect their families, to protect their health, and to help society return to normal. Some people are skeptical or hesitant to get the vaccine. Vaccine skepticism among Latinos is caused by a variety of sources, such as historical trauma from healthcare mistreatment and misinformation about vaccines that is circulated on social media. But many people are having a change of heart and deciding to get a vaccine. As a part of their ongoing research on attitudes about COVID-19, the de Beaumont Foundation, along with pollster Frank Luntz, conducted focus groups to hear from people who had changed their minds about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Let’s hear why some of these people wanted a vaccine after ...

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Survey: Latinos Want Major Changes to Immigration System


Latino immigrant survey

Latinos widely agree that the immigration system in the United States needs a large overhaul, according to a new survey by PEW Research. “A majority of Latino immigrants and those born in the U.S. share the view that the country’s immigration system needs fixing, and this sentiment extends across all ages and education levels,” according to researchers Jens Manuel Krogstad and Mark Hugo Lopez. While most Latinos agree changes are needed in immigration policy, priorities differ depending on political party and legal status. This survey of Latinos on immigration comes four months into the Biden presidency, which has promised to enact various changes that would help Latino immigrants. These include defunding the U.S. and Mexico border wall, ending family separation at the ...

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Over 530 People Spoke Up for Racial Equity and Diversity in Research!


NIH unite racial equity diversity research

Over 530 members of Salud America! endorsed our public comment to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in their Request for Information (RFI) on how to advance racial equity and diversity within the biomedical research workforce, as well as advancing research on health inequities. Other organizations like the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Council On Governmental Relations, and Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology also submitted comments. The RFI was open for comment from March 1 to April 23, 2021. 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 ...

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Addressing Vaccine Misinformation and Building Vaccine Confidence


Immunization Covid-19 prevention

As the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines continue to be distributed across the country, we’re getting closer to herd immunity and ending the pandemic. One obstacle on this path is vaccine skepticism. Vaccine skepticism is caused by a variety of sources, such as historical trauma from healthcare mistreatment and misinformation about vaccines that is circulated on social media. Misinformation about vaccines is especially dangerous as it will often target Latino and Black communities, which have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and are communities that most need the vaccine. Let’s go over the most common questions about COVID-19 vaccines, who is causing the spread of misinformation, and how to address it and build trust in ...

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Patricia Chalela: A Team Player Involving Technology into Latino Health Promotion Research


Patricia Chalela latino health promotion research at ihpr san antonio ut health

Patricia Chalela has always loved working in public health and being a valuable member of a team. Chalela is an associate professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. Here she is an integral part of a team that studies how texting helps people quit smoking, trains students in research methods, and is learning the ins and outs of Latino cancer. Whatever the task, she is happy to help find ways to promote health in the Latino community, which suffers high rates of several diseases and cancer types. “I love what I do and I love to work with this team to make a difference for Latinos. It has been an amazing ride, really very rewarding,” Chalela said. A Colombian Immigrant Who Came to Texas Chalela was born in Colombia to a Lebanese ...

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How Can Public Art Aid Social Cohesion and Community Wellbeing?


public art social cohesion

How can art help a community? Art and cultural practices can help boost social cohesion and overall community wellbeing, according to a new report, WE-Making: How Arts & Culture Unite People to Work Toward Community Well-Being, which explores this concept. “A cohesive culture for health equity is one where everyone works individually and as a group to ensure that each person has a fair, just opportunity for health and wealth, as well as equitable access to basic resources required for these goals according to a Salud America! research review. The WE-Making report was developed by the National Endowment for Arts and the Kresge Foundation, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Bush Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Report on Arts ...

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