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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

Daniel Carlos Hughes: From Quitting Dow Chemical to Studying Holistic Health, Cancer Prevention


Daniel Carlos Hughes thought he wanted to be a chemical engineer. He worked at Dow Chemical for 23 years, moving up to a middle management position. But then he had a midlife crisis. Now he works as a kinesiologist focuses on sport and exercise psychology. He researches holistic interventions for cancer prevention and with an emphasis on exercise and stress in Latina breast cancer survivors as a faculty member of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. While the career switch was risky and required many years of schooling, Hughes is glad to have found a calling where he can help cancer survivors live longer, fitter, better lives. Hughes, a First Generation Mexican American in His Second Career Hughes was born in Mexico City. His family ...

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Can Financial Literacy Help Close the Latino Wealth Gap?

Financial literacy can help us understand wealth and the economic opportunities available to us. Latinos face many barriers to economic opportunity, like systemic and historic discrimination, generations of inequity and wealth gaps, and a lack of access to resources on financial literacy. One business is stepping up to help teach younger Latinos about financial literacy. SUMA Wealth, a financial services company focused on Latinos, announced a multi-platform financial education initiative called SUMA Academy to empower Latino youth to break generations of wealth inequity. “Empowering young Latinos with financial knowledge is the key to reducing the wealth gap,” said Beatríz Acevedo, CEO and co-founder of SUMA Wealth, according to a press release. “They share their learning with ...

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Expanding Broadband Access Could Address the Latino Digital Divide

About 19 million Americans lack access to broadband services, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Of those 19 million, the majority are in low-income and rural communities and communities of color. This “digital divide” is problematic, especially as students and families have needed to rely on the internet for online learning and telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, businesses and the federal government are stepping up to help these areas by expanding broadband access. In his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, President Joe Biden proposed expanding broadband services to low income, rural areas. Comcast also recently announced their decision to invest in low-income areas to close the digital divide. Together, initiatives like ...

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Margarita Alegría: Engaging Minority Communities in Mental Health Research

Margarita Alegría: Engaging Minority Communities in Mental Health Research

With over 30 years of working in mental health and disparities research, Margarita Alegría is what you might call an expert in the field. Alegría is the Chief of the Disparities Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor in Harvard Medical School’s departments of medicine and psychiatry. Last summer, she was named Harry G. Lehnert, Jr. and Lucille F. Cyr Lehnert Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair. Alegría has decades worth of experience in studying public health, mental health, substance abuse, and the social determinants of health. She’s conducted countless studies on how to improve the lives of ethnic and racial minority groups and people with disabilities. Now she wants to make her research more accessible to the general public. Alegría ...

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5 Key Barriers to Health Opportunities for Latinos

5 barriers for latino health opportunities

Everyone should have a fair and just opportunity for the best possible health and well-being. That’s health equity. And that’s the mission of the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative. The HOPE Initiative is led by the National Collaborative for Health Equity and Texas Health Institute in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides funding. The HOPE Initiative tracks data on 27 indicators related to social and economic factors, community & safety, physical environment, access to healthcare, and health outcomes. “Our unique analyses use an opportunity framework to set aspirational but achievable goals to improve life outcomes—especially populations of color most affected ...

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2021 County Health Rankings Show Gaps & Health Disparities for Latinos

Have you ever wondered how your county compares to others in healthcare, education, and opportunities? County Health Rankings & Roadmaps is a program by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that measures health disparities in different counties based on local data to help improve health and quality of life. The 2021 update of the County Health Rankings reflect the inequities worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and shines a brighter lens on racial equity and justice. “And while the Rankings do not measure COVID-19 risk, they do help to show the root causes that contribute to poor health. Creating conditions for everyone to thrive requires looking to multi-layered social, economic, and structural factors that run much longer ...

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Bobby Marines: Using Art to Spark Difficult Conversations Within the Latino Community

Art can convey a story or a message. So what if you could use art to spark a conversation about issues in your community? That’s the question that Bobby Marines asked himself when realizing he could use his talent to lead important conversations in the Latino community. To find the answer, Marines launched Voces y Visiones, a web series that features Marines’ art to lead a conversation about hot topic issues within the Latino community, with the help of the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) and Alliance of Chicanos, Hispanics and Latin Americans (ACHLA). “The overall goal is to use arts as catalysts for social and community discourse,” Marines said. From Eighth Grade Dropout to Successful Visual Artist It took hitting rock bottom for Marines to find his ...

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Resolving Microaggressions: A New Diversity Training from UT Health San Antonio

Resolving Microaggressions

The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio is launching a new diversity training called Resolving Microaggressions. This training aims to empower faculty members to recognize and speak out against acts of racism and discrimination. “The goal of this training is to turn spectators into active peacemakers in tense situations, where someone is being attacked, even subtly on the basis of their gender, race, age, training or socioeconomic status,” wrote Robert Hromas, dean of the Long School of Medicine, in an email to faculty members. The training is focused on microaggressions. These are typically more subtler forms of racism, within implicit bias, that can be overlooked. “Microaggressions are the extent to which individuals who are ...

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Survey: Latino Parents Are Hopeful for Their Children’s Opportunities

Latino parent RWJF survey

Latino parents are hopeful that their children will have more opportunities to succeed in life than they did, but recognize that inequities may limit them, according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). To create the Raising the Next Generation study, RWJF, together with the research firm PerryUndem, interviewed over 2,000 parents and caregivers (400 of which were Latino) on their perceptions of inequity and discrimination in the U.S. They also asked about optimism about the future and challenges their children might experience. The survey revealed many interesting findings about how Latino parents perceive inequities and how income and immigration affect their perceptions. Findings from the Raising the Next Generation Study When it comes to future ...

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