One Man’s Drive to Get Buses Moving in San Antonio


Councilmember Rey Saldaña checks his phone to locate his current route on the bus Source Scott Ball Rivard Report

A few years ago, San Antonio City Council member Rey Saldaña tried his own transportation experiment. He ditched his car and relied on public transit for one month. The good? Saldaña met great people. He read. He explored the city. Parking was no problem. The bad? When buses ran late, he missed connections and showed up late to council meetings. Rain drenched him at bus stops. He had to skip fun activities because of a lack of frequent routes. Saldaña’s eye-opening experiment led him to champion more funding for VIA Metropolitan Transit (VIA), the regional mass transit agency serving San Antonio and Bexar County, which operates with the least amount of funding among all major transit authorities in Texas. His efforts spurred the city to invest millions to improve public ...

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No More Us vs. Them: Trauma Training is Rebuilding Police-Community Trust



Police came to four-year-old Fatimah Muhammad’s house in Newark, N.J. (34% Latino), after an altercation between her parents. They came in with force. They had guns. They aggressively grabbed and body-slammed her father before taking him away, Muhammad said. “I was completely terrified,” she said. “Instead of feeling grateful.” As a kid, Muhammad didn’t have a name for some of the traumas that she and her neighborhood were experiencing, like police aggression, domestic violence, and mass incarceration. But she felt an “us vs. them” sense when it came to police. Years later, amid a wave of unlawful policing in Newark, Muhammad helped seize an opportunity to unite police and community to explore trauma and rebuild trust. ‘Unconstitutional’ Law ...

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Houston Doctor Starts Unique Clinic to Help Young Adults with Diabetes


young adult getting care at the diabetes young adult clinic

Latino youth are facing a rising diabetes crisis. Many lack support needed to manage their disease. That's why Dr. Siripoom McKay of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital helped create the Young Adult Diabetes Clinic to provide a medical home for diabetes management and support for Latino and all young adults. The program helps young adults ages 17-26 who may have been relying on parents for practical things like picking up their medication, setting appointments, and dealing with insurance. Young adults get connected to a physician, dietician, psychologist, social worker, and diabetes educator without parents to make sure they’re ready to go off on their own. This makes a smooth transition as they go out on their own and manage the chronic illness like ...

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New Action Pack: How to Start a School Food Pantry



About 1 in 6 children are food insecure. They don't know where their next meal is coming from. Fortunately, your school can help these students! The new Salud America! "School Food Pantry Action Pack" is a free guide to help school personnel talk to decision-makers, work through logistics, and start a School Food Pantry to help hungry students and reduce local food insecurity. A School Food Pantry accepts, stores, and redistributes donated and leftover food to students. The Action Pack was created by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Ramirez had input from Jenny Arredondo, nutrition director at San Antonio ISD, who started school food pantries on 10 campuses in 2017-18, based on a Texas law change led by Diego Bernal. Get the ...

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Latina Filmmaker’s Web Series Helps Bodegas Push Healthier Food



Evelyn Brito went to buy some vegetables for her 2-year-old daughter, but was stunned to find no fresh produce in her local bodega, a small grocery store in her Spanish-speaking neighborhood in Lynn, Mass. (38% Latino). Instead, unhealthy chips, cookies, and processed foods lined the bodega shelves. Brito wanted to change all that. Brito, an independent filmmaker and marketer, turned the cameras on the local food environment and engaged bodegas in finding a solution. That led to “Bodega Makeover,” a unique docu-reality web series. The Junk Food Problem in Lynn Brito grew up around bodegas in Boston. Her father worked in one when she was a child. “I would go to a bodega to get freshly peeled oranges for less than a dollar and the owner would ask me how my ...

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New Action Pack: Make Your School Trauma-Sensitive!


John Hernandez Twitter

About half of U.S. children suffer abuse, poverty, parental incarceration and other traumas. These kids face deep physical and mental scars that impair development, learning, and health. How can schools support and help students dealing with trauma? The new Salud America! “Trauma Sensitive School Action Pack” is a free guide with coaching to help school personnel talk to decision-makers, build a support team, craft a system to identify and support traumatized students, and more! The Action Pack was created by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Salud America! Latino health program at UT Health San Antonio, with input from John Hernandez, who created a unique system to help traumatized students at East Central ISD in San Antonio. Get the Action Pack! The Action Pack ...

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Get Water Bottle Fountains at Your School!


SaludWater water bottle filling praxina guerra school

Classic water fountains aren't always accessible or safe for kids. Water Bottle Fountains are filtered water dispensers for easily filling and refilling water bottles. This gives kids much-needed access to safe drinking water throughout the school day. They help keep kids hydrated while saving families money from buying bottled water. They also help the environment by reducing waste. Salud America! wants to help you get Water Bottle Fountains at your school with our custom-for-you Water Bottle Fountain Action Pack with Coaching! Request an Action Pack to get (at no charge to you): Customized, click-to-send emails, graphics and resources One-on-one support from an Action Pack Coach Ads on Facebook Promotion of your efforts to 100,000+ change-makers 25 Salud ...

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Uncover the True Health of Your Town!



Is it hard to find healthy food in your town? Or places to play? Or health care? What does local health look like, compared to other areas? The new Salud America! Salud Report Card has these answers and much more. You can select your county and automatically generate customized data on local obesity, food access, physical activity, and health equity issues compared to the state and nation, and comparing Latinos to non-Latinos. The Salud Report Card also offers policy solutions, case studies, and share-ability to inspire people and policymakers to start and support healthy changes in their communities. Enter your location for your own free Salud Report Card! "Moms, dads, teachers, local leaders and more can use the Salud Report Card to find out what health issues are ...

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Neighborhood Characteristics Play a Vital Role in Latino Caregivers’ Well-being and Stress



In Latino culture family is at the heart and center of life, and as parents begin to age, children are often expected to become their caregivers. 1 in every 3 U.S. Latino households has at least one family caregiver. These Latino caregivers—mainly women in their 40s—often juggle multiple jobs or leave the workforce entirely to enter, the respectable but high-stress, role of taking care of aging family members. How Do Neighborhood Characteristics Affect Caregivers? Among Latino caregivers who provide support to family members, those who also report high levels of neighborhood cohesion, have fewer depressive symptoms than those who provide care to older adults living in less cohesive neighborhoods, according to one recent study. The study goes on to highlight the protective role ...

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Study: Rural Immigrant Communities on the Border Suffer Poor Health


Stawberry Harvest in Central California

Foreign-born immigrants in U.S. rural borderlands are plagued by poverty, stress, discrimination and lack of access to adequate healthcare, according to a new study by the University of California Riverside. These inequities jeopardize their mental and physical health. “While the research focused on Latino immigrants in Southern California, our findings tell us a lot about structural level factors and daily life events and chronic strain that create stress for minorities and immigrants in rural communities,” Ann Cheney, lead researcher and an assistant professor in the Center for Healthy Communities at UC Riverside, said in a press release. Rural Health as a Health Disparity The South Eastern Coachella Valley is home to predominantly low-income Mexican farmworking ...

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Public Charge: What it Means for Immigrants


Rosa, an undocumented immigrant who wants her family's last name withheld, is surrounded by her family at their home in New York. Rosa, who used to get about $190 per month from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, stopped taking benefits fearing deportation. (Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)

The Trump administration recently announced draft regulation that would penalize legal immigrants applying for green cards if they use public benefits, such as food assistance, according to the Department of Homeland Security. This is called "Public Charge." What Does Public Charge Mean for Immigrants? Part of federal immigration law for over 100 years, the Public Charge test is designed to protect American taxpayers by identifying people who may depend on the government as their main source of support. For a Public Charge test, immigration officials look at all a person's circumstances in determining whether they are likely to become a public charge in the future, both positive and negative. This includes age, health, income, assets, resources, education/skills, family they must ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 10/23: Impact of Sugar & Healthier Alternatives



What are your plans for this coming halloween? If you have children, chances are many of them will be trick-or-treating for candy and other sugar-loaded treats. While its OK to enjoy a sweet treat from time to time, as a community it's also important to recognize the consequences that arise with easy access to products high in added sugars, and having less access to healthier options. Recently, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended that children over 2 years of age should consume no more than 6 teaspoons/day of added sugars. Yet most children have up to 19 teaspoons/day. Among Latino kids, this number may be even higher. Join us this #SaludTues on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, to find out how to take action and tweet about the Impact of Sugar and Healthier ...

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Reports: Philly Sugary Drink Tax is Working


Sugary drink tax

In Philadelphia, the 1.5-cent-per-ounce Sweetened Beverage Tax on sugary drinks took effect January 2017. The tax aims to reduce sugary drink consumption and raise funds for health and education programs, such as expanding pre-kindergarten programs and improving parks. The tax also offered a tax credit for companies that sell healthy beverages. Sugary drinks—soda, sports and energy drinks, sugary fruit juices, and flavored milk—contribute to the obesity and related health disparities facing U.S. Latino kids, according to a Salud America! Research Review. The beverage industry challenged the tax, calling it unconstitutional. In July 2018, the tax was upheld. But did it work as intended? Update on Soda Tax: It’s Working! The National Bureau of Economic Research has ...

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Study: Even If Thin, Some Latinos Genetically Predisposed to Diabetes


diabetes

Even if you're thin, you might be genetically at risk for diabetes. A new study, led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, examined data from 9,000 Latino adults ages 21-76 and found that a well-known gene variant linked to Type 2 diabetes—transcription Factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene—also may predispose a person to being leaner. Individuals with the TCF7L2 gene variant may be at risk for Type 2 diabetes even while maintaining a low body weight. The findings is novel, given many individuals with diabetes are obese. "The counterintuitive discovery that some people are predisposed both to being thin and developing Type 2 diabetes refocuses our attention on the need to collect data in diverse populations and across ...

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Raheem Baraka Makes Latino Family Health a Civil Rights Issue in Boston



Raheem J. Baraka grew up seeing health inequity all around him in Boston (19% Latino). He saw people in one low-income neighborhood suffer more disease, less access to health care, and live 33 years less than people in a wealthy area just 2.7 miles away. He saw doctors treating illnesses, not addressing prevention or social determinants of health. He was fed up. So Baraka started Baraka Community Wellness. The nonprofit group makes health a civil rights issue by creating programs to address health equity and the social determinants of health, such as the unique "Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids" program to connect single moms to access to healthy eating, physical activity, and social support from financial aid to housing advocacy. "I truly have a disdain for disparity and ...

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A Rising Health Disparity: Latino Babies Face Increased Neonatal Risks


pregnant latina mom

A recent study shows that Latino and African American premature babies have a 2-to-4-times greater risk of four severe neonatal health problems compared to their white counterparts, CNN reports. Latina moms already suffer from health disparities that impact their baby, according to a Salud America! Research Review: Maternal obesity Poor nutrition and lack of physical activity Lack of breastfeeding (less than 50% of Latina moms still breastfeed their newborns by age 6 months) Lack of paid maternity leave Pregnant women who experience other health disparities, such as poverty and discrimination, may be related to birthing preterm babies. "There is growing evidence that chronic stress associated with poverty and exposure to discrimination can lead to behavioral ...

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Bicycling to Build Community Connection, Wellness


Brandyn joined Bici Co through Earn-A-Bike in 2016, and now he's employed at the shop and passing along his knowledge and skills to the next crew. Source: BiCi Co. Facebook

Bicycling shops went extinct in Hartford, Conn. (43% Latino), a few years ago. That’s why, in 2015, the Center for Latino Progress teamed with Hartford Public Schools and Capital Workforce Partners to open BiCi Co.—short for Bicicleta y Comunidad—a community bike shop cooperative run by students. The shop soon became more than a place to get a bike. It transformed into a hub for community connection, civic engagement, and better health, according to Mobility Lab. How Did They Stimulate Community Connection? Many people don’t feel an emotional connection to or a sense of membership in their community. Those people are less inclined to take action to improve their own health, according to a 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey. Community connection can spur ...

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