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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

New Health Equity Language Guide Helps Fight Implicit Bias & Discrimination


New Health Equity Language Guide Helps Fight Implicit Bias & Discrimination

The AAMC Center for Health Justice and American Medical Association (AMA) co-developed a new guide on inclusive language to advance health equity. “Designed for physicians and other health care professionals, Advancing Health Equity: AMA-AAMC Guide on Language, Narrative, and Concepts provides guidance and promotes a deeper understanding of equity-focused, first-person language and why it matters,” according to the AAMC Center for Health Justice. The guide is broken down sections on language to use to promote health equity, why these narratives matter, and a glossary that defines key terminology. Using inclusive language is important for healthcare providers to ensure that they are giving culturally comprehensive care that is absent of implicit bias or discrimination, which ...

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Donají Stelzig: How Éxito! Helped Me Build My Network


Donají Stelzig: How Éxito! Helped Me Build My Network

Like many Latino students, Donají Stelzig was unsure if she should pursue a PhD. She was intimated by the barriers and didn’t think she was capable of doing it, especially since she already had a full-time job and family. But after attending the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio, the researchers and scholars she met encouraged her to apply and followed up with her even when she was doubtful. Now, Stelzig has a doctoral degree and is a visiting assistant professor and lecturer at the University of Houston, where she also directs the Community Health Worker Training Center at the Honors College. She’s grateful for the Éxito! experience and how it helped her build a network to succeed throughout her career. Learning About ...

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What Parents Should Know: Children Ages 5 to 11 Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine


What Parents Should Know: Children Ages 5 to 11 Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

On Oct. 29, 2021, the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for children ages 5 to 11. It had previously been approved for those ages 12 and older. The move will make the vaccine available to 28 million children in this age group. Getting children vaccinated is vital for controlling the spread of the pandemic, especially as many schools have returned to in-person learning. Do you have questions about the Pfizer vaccine and want to know more before your children get vaccinated? Here’s what Latino parents should know. Update 1/19/22: Greater than COVID shared new videos in English and Spanish featuring doctors answering questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for kids 5-11. Is the vaccine safe for children? Why was it produced so ...

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Dr. Philip Ponce: Increasing Access to HIV Treatment for LGBTQ Latinos


Dr. Philip Ponce: Increasing Access to HIV Treatment for LGBTQ Latinos

Growing up as a gay, Latino man in the 1990s, Dr. Philip Ponce saw the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS. It pushed him to a medical career. “A lot of people in my community were dying of AIDS. I knew I wanted to work with other gay men, and I knew I wanted to take care of people with HIV,” Dr. Ponce said. Dr. Ponce is the Medical Director at Kind Clinic San Antonio, a clinic that provides sexual health services such as HIV testing and treatment, STI testing and treatment, access to HIV prevention medication known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and gender-affirming care. He’s also an assistant professor of infectious diseases at UT Health San Antonio and director of transplant infectious diseases at the University Transplant ...

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4 Compelling Communication Strategies to Build COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence


4 Compelling Communication Strategies to Build COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, public health experts are focusing on addressing concerns with vaccine efficacy and safety for those who remain hesitant. That’s why the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has put together a toolkit of communication strategies for people who are unsure about the vaccine, parents who are thinking of vaccinating their children, and strategies for engaging with specific communities, such as Latinos. “In a rapidly evolving situation, where new evidence is continually emerging, state and local decision makers must be ready to frequently adjust and adapt their communication and messaging strategies to meet public needs,” write the authors of the toolkit, Emily Brunson, ...

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California Rules in Favor of Sugary Drink Tax, Rejects Penalty Clause of State Preemption Law


filling up soda sugary drink for kid's meals

California can no longer punish cities for enacting sugary drink taxes, as per an October 2021 court ruling that declared the penalty provision of the state’s Keep Groceries Affordable Act of 2018 unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed in 2020 by Cultiva La Salud and supported by ChangeLab Solutions and the American Heart Association. The implications of the ruling are widespread throughout the state. Charter cities, which include many of the largest cities in the state, can consider taxes that aim to reduce purchases of sugary drinks and help community nutrition with the revenue without the fear of punishment. Before this, the state could penalize a charter city that enacted a tax on sugary drinks by depriving the city of its sales tax revenues. Sales taxes often account for ...

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Melawhy Garcia: Éxito! Connected Me to Other Latino Professionals


melawhy garcia exito latino cancer research leadership training

Dr. Melawhy Garcia wanted to elevate her work to improve health among Latinos in California by applying for PhD programs, but she wasn’t sure about it. She wanted to hear from experienced faculty and scholars about what the process would be like. That’s why she attended the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio. “I actually knew some of the faculty presenting at [Éxito!], so I definitely wanted to hear from them and see what their journey was like going through a PhD program,” Garcia said. Éxito! helped Garcia apply to PhD programs and get accepted to a joint Doctoral Program in Public Health from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. Now, Garcia is an assistant professor in the Department of ...

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Comment Now: Tell HHS How to Improve Healthcare for Latinos!


clinical trial doctor nurse patient help

As part of its draft Strategic Plan for 2022-2026, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is looking for feedback from the public. The plan has five strategic goals for how the department will achieve its mission: Protect and Strengthen Equitable Access to High Quality and Affordable Health Care Safeguard and Improve National and Global Health Conditions and Outcomes Strengthen Social Well-being, Equity, and Economic Resilience Restore Trust and Accelerate Advancements in Science and Research for All Advance Strategic Management to Build Trust, Transparency, and Accountability At Salud America!, we believe that improving healthcare by making it more accessible and culturally tailored for people of color will help build health equity. This means ...

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Natalicio Serrano: What Éxito! Taught Me About Latino Representation in Academia


Natalicio Serrano: What Éxito! Taught Me About Latino Representation in Academia

Natalicio Serrano wasn’t sure he wanted to get a PhD. He knew the journey would be difficult, especially as a Latino going into a field with little representation. However, the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio changed that. “For me, Éxito! painted a clearer picture of what I could do with a PhD. It gave me the energy to want to apply and continue on with this academic journey,” Serrano said. Participating in Éxito! motivated Serrano to apply and get accepted to a PhD program in Public Health with the Prevention Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Serrano is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Education and Career Development program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on ...

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