Jeraldine Ortiz: Finding Life Through a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial

Jeraldine Ortiz Breast Cancer Survivor Clinical Trial featured

Jeraldine Ortiz knows that breast cancer is tough for Latinas. Breast cancer is the top cause of Latina death. This stems from cultural barriers to care, low screening rates, and low participation in clinical trials studies trying to find better treatments. This is why Ortiz, when diagnosed with breast cancer, volunteered for a clinical trial. Today, after more than 15 years as a cancer survivor, Ortiz said she strongly believes her participation in a clinical trial at UT Health San Antonio helped her get better treatment and better quality of life in her post-cancer journey. “Clinical trials give the opportunity to better treatment for all populations," Ortiz said. "We have a better future." Ortiz Chooses a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial In 2006, Ortiz was diagnosed with ...

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Report: Government Can Play a Critical Role in Maternal Health for Women of Color

Maternal Health Women Color

In the last 30 years, maternal health disparities have increased for women of color, according to a new report by the US Commission on Civil Rights. For example, There are 10.3 deaths per 100,000 for Latina women. For white women there are only 6 deaths per 100,000. Moreover, Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die than their white peers from pregnancy-related complications. The report also illustrates how government, especially federal government, can play a critical role in changing this fact, according to Norma V. Cantú, chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. “[At the federal level] efforts can be made to improve hospital quality, particularly for women of color if maternal health disparities are to be eliminated,” Cantú said. “Improvements in safety ...

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5 Things to Know About Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, is a lively annual Mexican holiday that celebrates friends and family members who have passed away.  Characterized by vibrant parades, singing, traditional dress and costumes, and altar building, Día de los Muertos brings unity between the living and returning spirits. “This indigenous holiday from Mexico celebrates the loving connection between the living and our departed loved ones that is so deeply missing in Western culture,” said Aya de Leon, a Puerto Rican novelist and Berkley professor, as reported by San Antonio Express News.  For Día de los Muertos, our team at Salud America! is honored to remember the loved ones we’ve lost from COVID-19 and other conditions, and protect the health of our living familia. 1. ...

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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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Latino ‘Excess Deaths’ Far Exceed Initial Estimates during COVID-19 Pandemic

Latino Excess Deaths COVID-19 Pandemic

Annually, CDC researchers compile and analyze data to predict the number of deaths that will occur in the coming year. The number of mortalities that go over this initial estimate, or “the difference between the observed numbers of deaths in specific time periods and expected numbers of deaths in the same time periods,” are known as excess deaths. Looking at deaths in 2020 compared with predicted deaths, researchers found that U.S. Latinos suffered double the excess deaths per 100,000 people than their white peers. “There were profound racial/ethnic disparities in excess deaths in the United States in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in rapid increases in racial/ethnic disparities in all-cause mortality between 2019 and 2020,” according to a recent study ...

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Rappers, Actress Urge Latino to Get Screened for Cancer, Join Clinical Trials

Hip hop artist Chuck D, one of the founding members of Public Enemy, once urged people of color to “Fight the Power.” Now he’s urging them to fight cancer. Chuck D wants people to “check your behind” and get screened for colon cancer as part of a new public service announcement (PSA) from Stand Up to Cancer / Unidos Contra El Cancer, a charitable fundraiser for cancer research. DJ and poet Pete Colon sings the same musical message in a Spanish-language PSA. In another PSA video, actress Uzo Abuda urges people of color to join clinical trials. “Hip-hop has a powerful voice and we’re using it to help make the community better, to try to get people to pay attention, to stay healthy and to catch things early instead of reading about it when it’s too late,” said ...

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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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Workshop: How to Advance Systemic Change to Reduce Obesity

obesity workshop roundtable latina girl grocery store fruit

Latinos and other people of color suffer high rates of obesity. This is often due to racist policies and discriminatory practices that create less access to healthcare, healthy food, affordable housing, and financial resources for families of color. What can we do about this? You are invited to join a virtual workshop, "Systems and Obesity: Advances and Innovations for Equitable Health and Well-Being," on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 (10 a.m. To 2:45 p.m. ET) and Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET). This is the third workshop in a series from the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Find the results of the first and second workshop. "The workshop will explore how to ...

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Alma Lopez: Better Health Through a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial

Alma Lopez-breast-cancer-clinical-trial

Breast cancer is the top cause of death for Latinas. But Alma Lopez has been a breast cancer survivor for more than 15 years. She believes participating in a clinical trial at UT Health San Antonio helped her get better treatment and better long-term health in her survivorship journey. “Clinical trials are great for finding new treatments that help people,” Lopez said. “And it helps the scientists. It gives opportunity to better medication for all populations. It builds a better future.” Lopez Chooses a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial About 15 years ago, Lopez was diagnosed with breast cancer. Lopez began weighing her treatment options. At first, she had doubts about whether to volunteer for a clinical trial. She thought it might take too much time, or cause ...

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