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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

More Than Meets the Eye: How Surviving Colon Cancer Transformed Marielle Santos McLeod’s Advocacy Work

Marielle Santos McLeod thought she knew a lot about cancer care.  Years as a health professional had given her time to learn about cancer care and gain a closer look at the barriers Latinos face in getting equitable treatment.  That’s why, when the mother of four was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 36, she was shocked by just how little she really knew.  However, it was enduring the disease as a young Latina that guided her toward her life's purpose – serving as a patient advocate to uplift the voice of Latino cancer survivors.  “I love advocacy .... It's like one of the things that I'm convinced that I was put on this earth to do. I just had to get cancer to get to it first,” Santos McLeod said.  Spanish-Language Influence  Santos McLeod doesn’t believe ...

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907 Told EPA to Add PFAS to List of Hazardous Chemicals 

PFAS toxin clean water epa regulation scientists water

From what you wear and sit on to the ingredients found in products you use to clean your home; chemicals are all around us.  For example, a range of “forever chemicals” – known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – are found in many industrial and consumer products, such as paints, fire-fighting foam, metal plating, and cleaning agents.  PFAS have been linked to major health problems in humans and animals, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  That’s why the EPA is proposing to add several PFAS chemicals to its hazardous waste management list under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations, in an effort to protect “communities and drinking water supplies” near hazardous waste facilities.  Before any action is ...

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Food Insecurity Linked to Rise of Fatty Liver Disease in Latino Children

Childhood cases of fatty liver disease have risen over the last decade, prompting researchers to search for answers in risk factors such as genes, birthweight, and malnutrition. While studies involving adults that have fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis and food insecurity have been conducted, few focused on children — until now. A recent study assessed the influence food insecurity – living without enough food for a healthy life for all family members – on the development of fatty liver disease in 4-year-old Latino children, and discovered that food-insecure Latino children experienced a higher risk for the disease. Results of the Fatty Liver Disease Study The study involved two groups of San Francisco Latino mothers and followed their child’s development from pregnancy ...

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La Representación Importa: The Need for More Latinos in Film, TV

After decades of underrepresentation, whitewashing, and villainizing, a spike of positive representation of ethnic minorities, such as Latinos, has swept into Hollywood and mainstream media. Latino pioneers like José Ferrer, Edward James Olmos, and Rita Moreno broke systemic barriers to play defining roles in an industry dominated by White actors, paving the way for future Latino actors and Latino-led projects to break from the mold. This success has led to a new wave of notable Latino standouts and projects. America Ferrera, a U.S.-born Latina of Honduran heritage, nabbed an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Barbie (2023). Pedro Pascal, born in Chile, delighted audiences in the titular role of The Mandalorian before taking the lead in HBO’s TV adaptation of video game ...

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Report: The Tech Industry Needs More Latinos

Latinos continue to be one of the most underrepresented ethnic groups in high-paying jobs, such as careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Of the 34.9 million Americans working in STEM fields, only 8% are Latino as of 2021. Latinos are fewer than 10% of the workforce in the fields of health careers (9%), life science (8%), physical science (8%), computers and math (8%), and engineering (9%). The technology industry also lacks Latino representation. One in every five US workers is Latino, and only one in 10 of them have a job in tech. There even fewer in leadership tech roles, according to a new Kapor Foundation report. This paints a stark contrast to the growing number of Latinos in the US. Latinos currently make up 19.1% of the US population, and are ...

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The 5 Biggest Issues Driving Young Latino Parents to the Polls

The 2024 calendar year marks a potential turning point in the federal government as the presidential election is set to take center stage in November. Latino voters could help decide the outcome. Of the over 246 million Americans projected to be registered to vote in 2024, 36.2 million are Latino, according to data published by Pew Research Center. That’s a 3.9 million increase from the last presidential election, representing the second-largest increase of any minority ethnic group. The recent rise in projected voter registration means that Latinos will have a 14.71% say in what happens in the upcoming election. So, what’s on the mind of the Latino voter? To answer, Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors partnered with UnidosUS and BSP Research to survey 1,500 Latino parents with ...

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Survey: Latinos Among Students Most Likely to Withdraw from College

Latino and Black students have the greatest risk of withdrawing from post-secondary education programs, according to a recent survey by the Lumina-Gallup State of Higher Education. This finding comes at a time when institutions offering bachelor’s degrees are seeing a significant drop in enrollment — a situation exacerbated by COVID-19. Over the last decade, college enrollment has declined by 7.4%, which is the equivalent of 1.5 million students, according to Best Colleges. The biggest decline – 900,000 students – came during the pandemic years of fall 2019 and fall 2023. While the enrollment of underrepresented students such as Latinos and Blacks has somewhat improved, they are also considered to be more likely than their white peers to leave. Survey Results on College ...

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Diversity of All of Us Research Data Unlocks 275 Million New Genetic Variants

For the last few years, the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program has mounted an unprecedented effort to collect health data from 1 million people of all ages and ethnicities across the country for use in impactful scientific research. In fact, the data has led researchers to a shocking discovery — 275 million previously unknown genetic variants, according to a recent news release. Nearly 4 million of the variants are in areas that may be connected to risk for disease. The variants, uncovered using data shared by nearly 250,000 All of Us participants, put researchers in a position to better understand genetic influences on health and disease, especially in diverse communities often left out of research. NIH reported that half the genomic data came from Latino, ...

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First-Ever Cancer Patient Advocate Training Program Saves Seat at the Table for Latinos

Ahead of the 2024 Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos Conference, 15 Latina women from across the country came together, unified by a common thread — to become a research patient advocate. This gathering, on Feb. 20, 2024, marked the first in-person meeting of the Latino Cancer Patient Advocate Training Program, a new initiative to teach cancer survivors to become research patient advocates, who help others navigate the healthcare system and raise the Latino voice in research. Patient advocates are critical to the goal of reducing Latino cancer disparities, said Dr. Barbara Segarra-Vázquez of the University of Puerto Rico, co-leader of the new program. “You really have to have passion to become a patient advocate,” said Segarra-Vazquez. “It’s that desire to help ...

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