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Catherine Wilson

Catherine Wilson is a digital content curator for Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. She is a graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland College Park, and hopes to utilize her skills to help people find their voices and inspire change in their communities.

Articles by Catherine Wilson

Tell HHS: Promotoras Are Essential for Public Health and Vaccine Education!



As COVID-19 exposed cracks in our healthcare system and racial/ethnic health inequities, community health workers rose to the challenge to educate communities on virus prevention, dispel misinformation, and advocate for the vaccine.  Community health workers – called promotoras in Latino communities – are non-medical public health workers who connect people to healthcare and social services.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) is seeking public comments on the use of community health workers to increase “cultural competency in educational campaigns on public health vaccines and prevention, including but not limited to influenza and COVID-19.”  Submit this Salud America! model comment to tell HHS about the importance ...

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The Surprising Level of Material Hardship for Latinos in the ‘COVID Year’



In 2020, COVID-19 shut down the world. People were forced to navigate social isolation, food shortages, business closures, virtual schooling, reduced work hours, and job loss amid the pandemic. Latino families suffered from some of the highest rates of COVID-related mortality and socioeconomic impacts, worsening Latino health inequities. With 2020 now several years past, how bad was the pandemic for Latinos? 6 in 10 (62%) Latino households with children experienced at least one material hardship in the form of housing quality, bill-paying, food insecurity, and/or medical hardship in 2020, according to a new report from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families that looks back at the impact of COVID-19 on Latinos. Material Hardship in 2020 amid COVID-19 ...

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Grace After Fire: Veterans Group Helps Women Vets Help Themselves



Facing homelessness and battling PTSD, trauma, and disability, US Navy veteran Olivia Zavala Carridine was struggling.  She found a lifeline in Grace After Fire.  Olivia, a mother of four in San Antonio, got pivotal support from the women veteran’s organization – which aims to provide women the resources and tools to succeed in her community, work, and home after leaving the military.  “[Grace After Fire] has empowered me to believe that I shouldn't be ashamed of my story,” she said. “I have a sisterhood with women that I didn't have many times with my sisters serving alongside me.”  Olivia got back on her feet with the help of Grace After Fire – and she’s not the only one.  Grace After Fire Origins  Some wars take place on a battlefield, standing toe ...

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Study: Sugary Drink Taxes Linked to Decreased Obesity in Seattle


soda tax sugary drink tax shopper latina woman grocery store

Over the last several years, cities across the US have taxed sugary drinks to reduce the consumption of these beverages and prioritize the health of their communities.   In 2018, Seattle joined this wave of cities in placing a tax on sugary drinks.   At 1.75 cents per ounce, the tax was created to disincentivize the consumption and purchase of sugary drinks and improve community health.   But did it work?  A recent study published on the JAMA Network sought to answer this very question by comparing the health of children within the taxable area to those in neighboring areas.  This is what they found.  Sugary Drink Tax Studies  Studying the relationship between the sugary drink tax and health is nothing new.  In fact, previous studies on taxes have pointed to a ...

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Explore Your Mental Health with the All of Us Research Program



One in four U.S. adults were living with a mental health condition as of last year — that’s nearly 60 million people, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  Many questions remain about the rise of mental health issues.   That's why the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program has taken a special interest in mental health.  As part of the program’s mission to collect the health data of over 1 million Americans, the All of Us Research Program is learning more about the mental health backgrounds of participants, which could advance mental health research.   When signing up for the program, participants fill out mental health surveys.   Through these surveys researchers can study early mental illness risk ...

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Latinos to Feel More Heat Due to Bans on Protections for Outdoor Workers



With heat reaching record-breaking numbers every summer in some states, evidence points to our climate changing.  For instance, Florida saw its hottest year on record since 1895 when the surface temperatures reached 177 degrees in places. Heat indices rose to triple digits multiple days in a row in Texas, making 2023 the second-hottest summer on record.  In the wake of extreme heat, weather experts have advised people to limit their time outside when the sun is out, especially for the population’s most vulnerable people like seniors and children.  But what about those who can’t escape the heat?   Despite the weather, outdoor workers are braving the elements to provide a valuable service to support their families.   Many of these workers are Latino.  While ...

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Latinos Have Some of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the US



Latinos make up 18% of the American workforce and are the fastest growing working population in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. However, there is a lack of Latino representation in corporate leadership, and few occupy high paying jobs in lucrative industries like engineering, technology, and science. Due to systemic inequities stemming from generations of racism and oppression, many Latinos work labor-intensive jobs in industries such as agriculture, building and ground maintenance, and construction. These jobs are more physically demanding, putting stress on the body, and are performed outdoors, where workers are exposed to the elements and pollution. Working these jobs can endanger the health and safety of employees. Latino workers die on the job more than ...

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Webinar: What Does Your Health Story Say About You?



In March 2024, we invited organizations, leaders, and clinicians in The Alamo City to learn about the social determinants of health (SDOH) in San Antonio and how they could leverage the All of Us Research Program to promote health equity in research. This time, we are getting personal about your health by exploring the benefits of All of Us, including how you can get a free report about your genetic ancestry, your genetic traits (why you might love or hate cilantro), and risk for diseases. To learn more about your story, join our webinar, “What Does Your Health Story Say About You? Investing in Personal Health Through All of Us,” at 10-11 a.m. CT, Thursday, June 20, 2024! Join us as we take a tour of the interactive All of Us Research Program portal and answer some of your burning ...

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7 Research Opportunities You May Have Missed this Month



You can help create a healthier future.   Volunteers for registries, research programs, and clinical trials can help researchers learn how to slow, manage, and treat cancer and other diseases.  “With diverse research participation, researchers have more opportunity to create better prevention and treatments that work for all people,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio.  Here are seven research opportunities based in San Antonio and beyond to explore!  1. Help Guide Cancer Research in South Texas This research opportunity based in San Antonio comes from the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. They are searching for cancer survivors, caregivers, and community ...

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