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 ...

Read More

Texas Town Uses Free School Dinner to Energize Student Minds, Bodies


school dinners robstown texas

Tired. Unhappy. Unenergetic. Students were showing these emotions over the school day and into afterschool activities in Robstown ISD, a 97% Latino school district in this small gulf coast town in South Texas. Superintendent Maria Vidaurri wanted to find out why. Turns out, they were hungry. "Students needing to stay [after school for tutoring, sports, events] were tired, frustrated, and energy levels low," Vidaurri said. "The last time they ate was at lunch, which is usually at 10:15 a.m. to 12 p.m." Vidaurri wanted to give these students the energy they needed for the school day and after school. She also wanted to give support to local Latino families who often struggle to put food on the table. She also wanted to encourage school attendance, as two of every three ...

Read More

At-Risk Residents Get a Cooking Class You Can Take Home for Dinner



Noemi Villarreal sees Latinos in San Antonio struggle with disease, and wants to help. That’s why she has helped launch family support connectors, and also developed farmers markets in the Eastside, a heavily Latino section of the city. The farmers markets did not work. How could Villarreal and neighborhood leaders still bring cooking and nutrition education to families to help prevent disease? Thinking outside the box, they created a series of classes that include a chef demonstration—and take-home bags so families can replicate nutritious food recipes at home. Encouraging Healthy Eating for Latinos San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) is home to 18,000 residents (67.5% Latino) who face health issues due to inequities in income, education, access to health ...

Read More

Latina Nutrition Leader Starts a School Food Pantry to Feed Hungry Kids in San Antonio


jenny arredondo

Jenny Arredondo knows some San Antonio students leave school and don't eat again until they return to school the next day. Many students live in poverty. Some don't know where their next meal is coming from. Arredondo wanted to help. Arredondo, senior executive director of child nutrition at San Antonio ISD, found a solution in Texas State Rep. Diego Bernal's new state law. Schools now can start "school food pantries" to accept and store donated food and surplus food from the cafeteria, and distribute that leftover food to hungry students. How could she start school food pantries at San Antonio ISD? Food Insecurity at San Antonio ISD U.S. Latino children and families often struggle with poverty and live in poverty stricken neighborhoods with abundant fast food but little ...

Read More

Texas Policymaker Enables School Food Pantries to Save Leftover Food for Kids


latino kids in a school food lunch line

Texas State Rep. Diego Bernal had a simple question for school leaders in San Antonio. What's your biggest concern for students? Wasted food, they told him. In fact, Bernal toured schools in San Antonio (63.2% Latino) and learned leaders were frustrated with how much food is trashed and not given to students who live in poverty and have no food at home. Even in more affluent school districts, students were going hungry while schools threw away, “untouched, unopened, ripe, perfectily edible food,” Bernal told the San Antonio Express-News. Bernal was heartbroken. He wanted to do something. But how could he bring leftover school food to the mouths of hungry students? Children Going Hungry Bernal saw two types of hungry students in San Antonio. Students who are ...

Read More

Sweat Equity: How to Get Fit and Volunteer at the Same Time!


work out help out collage

Paul Rezaei loved being physically active as a kid, so much so that he became a personal trainer and has helped people get fit in San Antonio for 10 years. One day, as Rezaei watched people spend energy to jog on treadmills and move weights, he had a revelation: "Can't we do this [work out] while doing something positive for the community?" Rezaei wanted to host events where people could work out—and at the same time serve as volunteers to create gardens, help at-risk families, and improve the community. How could he make it happen? Physical Inactivity and the Need for Healthy Spaces Rezaei, a trainer at Life Time Fitness, sees many people in San Antonio (67% Latino) struggle to get the recommended daily physical activity. More than half of adults here are obese or ...

Read More

Young Latina Innovator to Launch ‘MyFunFood’ App



Isabella Jimenez of San Antonio isn't a normal 13-year-old. When Isabella watched in shock as her classmates ate only potato chips or candy bars for lunch day after day, she didn't just shrug it off. She gave herself a call to action. "Why not create a kid-friendly app with recipes and health tips for [students and] the whole community?" Isabella asked. Isabella's First Step In many Latino communities, like San Antonio (68% Latino), students are more exposed to unhealthy food in and out of school, according to a Salud America! research review. Isabella saw this in her school, Lee High School in North East ISD in San Antonio. "It's mainly concerning, because [chips and candy bars are] what they're putting into their diet,” Isabella said. Isabella wanted to find a ...

Read More

Health Equity, a Bike Full of Groceries at a Time



Ricardo Rocha believes anyone can be a hero and improve local healthy food access. Even someone like him. Someone who grew up in a poor family that toiled to put food on the table in Mexico. Someone who immigrated to the deserts of New Mexico, and eventually Denver (31% Latino). Someone who was a struggling, undocumented high-school student. “I was not doing very well in high school. Someone there told me about the College Assistance Migrant Program," Rocha said. "That helped get me into [Metropolitan State University of Denver],” Rocha said. “I learned a lot about what it really meant to belong somewhere." Rocha wanted to do more than "belong somewhere." He wanted to make that somewhere better. So, when he noticed many people trying and failing to find healthy food ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

CDC: Latino Youth Struggle with Obesity, Sleep, Asthma


tired sick stressed school class latina kid student sleep

More than one-third of U.S. high-school students were overweight or obese, including a higher rate among Latinos (37.7%) than their black (36%) and white (26.5%) peers, according to new CDC data. Sharp disparities were also found in Latino sleep habits and health conditions like asthma. The Data The CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors health-related behaviors. These behaviors usually develop during childhood and early adolescence. They contribute to the leading causes of death among youth and adults in the United States. The CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey is part of the surveillance system. It examines 121 health-related behaviors of high-schoolers. Today we're examining the data on obesity, sleep, and asthma. Latino Youth and Obesity More Latino and black ...

Read More

How a New Bridge Rebuilt Community Trust and Pedestrian Safety



Cam Juarez didn’t want people to be disappointed, again. Years ago, a city project failed to deliver a promised new pedestrian bridge over a dangerous waterway in the Rose Neighborhood (92% Latino) in Tucson, Ariz. It would have improved walking and bicycling safety and connected people to a park and a nearby elementary school. Rose neighbors were skeptical when Juarez, then the coordinator for Pima County’s neighborhood reinvestment program, asked them to pitch ideas for fundable improvement projects. But Juarez bridged leader-resident trust—and replaced a pedestrian bridge that resembled the rickety old one in Indiana Jones with an amazing new bridge. The Dangerous Waterway Most times, the Rodeo Wash is dry. But during thunderstorms and rainy seasons, the ...

Read More

#SaludTues Tweetchat 6/26: How to Curb Underage Drinking Among Latinos



Despite claims that underage drinking may be on the decline, certain groups like Latino youth continue to be at a high risk for engaging in frequent binge drinking behaviors. Nearly 1 in 2 high school aged youth reported drinking, according to a report from Child Trends, and over 1 in 6 high school seniors had five or more drinks in less than a couple of hours (defined as binge drinking), according to the CDC. Underage drinking poses a number of threats to youth especially since their brains are still developing at this age. Communities of color are often targeted through aggressive marketing of alcoholic beverages and living near a high density of alcohol outlets. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, to tweet about ways to prevent binge drinking among high ...

Read More

CDC Report: Latino Youth Have Worse Diets than Their Peers


kids lunch elementary school food eat

A few years ago, Salud America! found that Latino students are exposed to more unhealthy food in and out of school than their peers. This contributed to poor nutrition and high rates of obesity. Sadly, that situation still exists today. Latino high-school students eat fewer fruits and vegetables and don't eat breakfast daily as much as some of their peers, according to new data released in June 2018 from the CDC's 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The Data The CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors health-related behaviors. These behaviors usually develop during childhood and early adolescence and contribute to the leading causes of death and disability as well as social problems among youth and adults in the United States. The CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey is ...

Read More

See Why Critics Love Our Digital Health Platforms


Salud America Website

We at Salud America! are dedicated to helping people drive healthy community change for Latino and all kids. That’s why we’re excited to announce our efforts have won three Digital Health Awards from the Health Information Resource Center. The Center is a national clearinghouse for professionals who work in consumer health fields. It recognizes the world’s best digital health resources: Spring 2018 Digital Health Awards, Gold, Salud America! Twitter Spring 2018 Digital Health Awards, Silver, Salud America! Website Spring 2018 Digital Health Awards, Silver, Salud America! Digital Health Curation “We’re humbled by the recognition of our communication work from groups like the Health Information Resource Center,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud ...

Read More

Study: Lack of Sleep May Boost Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease


hispanic sleeping lady tired clock

If you don't get enough sleep, you run a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, and depression. Now lack of sleep is being tied to Alzheimer’s disease, too. Losing just one night of sleep led to an immediate increase in beta-amyloid, a protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Beta amyloid forms the main component of the amyloid plaques found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patient. It harms communication between neurons. A separate study also recently found that sleep deprivation impacts the beta-amyloid burden in regions of the brain implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. This situation also resulted in ...

Read More

¡Por Vida! Program Makes Eating Out Healthier in San Antonio



Gilbert de Hoyos opened Barrio Barista because he enjoys serving coffee to West Side residents in San Antonio (67% Latino). He also likes to cook. So de Hoyos added a small menu. And he didn't want it full of unhealthy options, either. De Hoyos is among a growing number of eateries that have joined a city health program, ¡Por Vida!, that unites nutritionists with restaurants to promote healthier menu options. “San Antonio and especially the West Side have a reputation of not having healthy foods and I want to change that by cooking delicious foods that also support a healthy life," de Hoyos said. “It’s my way of giving back to the community." One of those options is his roasted vegetable tacos with remoulade sauce served on a corn tortilla, Kens5 reports. The ...

Read More

Study: How Latina Mothers Navigate a ‘Food Swamp’ to Feed Their Kids



We know “food swamps” are linked to obesity. We also know Latinos often live in food swamps─where people lack access to healthy foods and have lots of nutrition-poor food options. For example, many Latino neighborhoods lack supermarkets but have abundant fast-food, according to a Salud America! Research Review. Now a recent study shows how Latina mothers deal with life in food swamps. Latina Moms & Food Swamps The George Washington University study sought to understand how mothers who lived in Washington, D.C., food swamps feed their children. The mothers were Latina and had been in the Unites States for less than 15 years. Each mother had at least one child younger than 10. Latina mothers valued foods that they considered to be traditional and healthy, ...

Read More