Nicholas Acuna: Reconnecting with Culture to Reduce Health Disparities

Nicholas Acuna used to suppress his culture growing up. But Acuna’s Peruvian heritage broke through and shines ever so brightly today, represented by the Llama artifact that sits on his desk to help him reconnect to his parents’ native land and reinforce his drive to reduce health disparities among Latinos. Acuna, a native of Bloomfield, N.J., is already gaining great research experience in promoting smoking cessation and other areas. While currently a master’s of public health candidate studying epidemiology at Rutgers University, Acuna is also involved in research to increase quit-smoking rates among correctional populations. He also helped research plant genetics, as well as mental health among older adults. To further his experience and education, Acuna applied for ...

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Patricia Dionicio: Forging a Path to Better Health for Latinos

Challenged by her sister to keep an open mind, Patricia Dionicio is taking that advice and forging her own path toward improving Latino health. Dionicio, who earned the Gates Millennium Scholarship in high school, is currently a master’s-degree student at California State University, Long Beach. She already is looking for new ways to address cancer and obesity. Whether it means using technology to overcome barriers to care for Latinos, or creating global-level telemedicine programs, all options are possible for her. Dionicio also recently collaborated on a study up for publication in the Journal of Telemedicine and E-Health. To further her experience and education, Dionicio applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led ...

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14 States Are Strengthening ‘Head Start’ for At-Risk Children, Families

Head Start helps at risk children and families

Communities are universally concerned about the rise of poverty, homelessness, trauma, and opioids among children and families. However, few states address these issues by investing money in Head Start programs, which are proven to strengthen families, promote school readiness, and improve child health. The good news is that lawmakers in 14 states are investing over $400 million each budget cycle for local Head Start and Early Head Start programs, according to a new analysis by the National Head Start Association and Voices for Healthy Kids. These investments will help serve more kids─but millions are still left out. Crisis of At-Risk Children and Families Many children and families face difficult situations: persistent childhood poverty the unrelenting opioid crisis; ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 3/3: What You Should Know about Colorectal Cancer


Colorectal cancer, which starts in the colon or rectum, is the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer. It also is the second-leading cause of cancer death in U.S. men and women. Fortunately, if discovered early, it is highly treatable. And you can take steps to lower your risk. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, to discuss colorectal cancer risk, screening, treatment, and survivorship in honor of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March. Altogether, we can show how everyone can get involved to prevent colorectal cancer! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: What You Should Know about Colorectal Cancer TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, March 3, 2020 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: Fight Colorectal ...

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Implicit Bias Against Latinos Creates an Unfair Criminal Justice System, Says Report

implicit bias in the courtroom criminal justice system latino hispanic attorney jury

Implicit bias against Latinos is jeopardizing the fairness of the U.S. criminal justice system, says a recent report. Latinos already comprise 53% of those charged with federal crimes. Now the fate of those defendants is increasingly complicated by the "behavior of defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, jurors, and probation and pre-trial service officers through implicit racial bias and racial stereotyping," according to Walter Gonçalves, a federal public defender in Arizona. Implicit bias can affect juries, bail, and sentencing. "Given this reality, defense attorneys should carefully study and become familiar with racial stereotyping and implicit bias. Only in this way will they be able to educate others in the system," Gonçalves writes in a report published in Seattle ...

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Cristian Garcia Alcaraz: From Picking Berries to Psychology Degrees

Donning a baseball cap, a holey shirt, and speaking mostly Spanish, Cristian Garcia Alcaraz spent his youth picking berries on California farms. At 8 years old, Garcia Alcaraz immigrated to Oxnard, California from Michoacán, Mexico. Garcia Alcaraz was not a very good student in middle and high school, because he had trouble with the English language. But none of that stopped him from pursuing his passion to fight for better health and more resources for farm workers like himself and his parents. Garcia Alcaraz is making strong progress in the English-language and he is excelling in higher education. In 2014, he transferred to Californian State University Channel Islands, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Now, he is working on his master’s in psychology at ...

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Dr. Amelie Ramirez to Host Conference to Tackle 142% Rise of Latino Cancer

Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos Amelie Ramirez UT Health San Antonio

Latinos are expected to see a 142% rise in cancer cases in coming years. To address this pressing health concern, Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of UT Health San Antonio is leading the 2nd Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference Feb. 26-28 at the Marriott Plaza San Antonio hotel. The conference will unite researchers, oncologists, physicians, community leaders, policymakers and students to tackle Latino cancer on many fronts. The conference will build on progress made at the inaugural conference, founded by UT Health San Antonio in 2018, which featured 225 cancer experts from 23 states. The proceedings from this conference were released in fall 2019 in Springer Open Books. “We are looking forward to gathering the brightest scientists, clinicians, advocates and students ...

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6 Ways to Correct Bike Share’s Social Equity Problem

Adaptive bike share

For years, bike share programs have shown sharp divisions along race and class lines. Bike share stations are often located in whiter, wealthier neighborhoods. Whiter, wealthier individuals are far more likely users than those of color. That’s why cities are working to improve equity of bike share programs. In fact, 60% of bike share systems had specific programs to address equity, according to the National Scan of Bike Share Equity Programs from the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). But these systems rarely set or tracked outcomes on equity. Below are six ways to correct bike share’s social equity problem, based on examples from the TREC report to help bike share systems move toward equity and from Shared-Use Mobility Center’s list of efforts to ...

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Latina Communicator Uses Expertise to Advocate for Her Community

NEW Latina Communicator Common Sense Latino one

Finding the right message has always been important to Maria Alvarez. That determination is what led her to become a Vice President of Common Sense Media — a national, nonprofit communications network that is "dedicated to helping kids thrive in a rapidly changing world. Independent data on media and technology use and its impact on children's physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development." Alvarez, founded, designed, and continues to lead Common Sense Latino, the Spanish-language-only program of that organization, which creates content for that community specifically. “I’ve been on the ground and in the trenches with these families for over 10 years,” Alvarez said. “So, I know how willing Latino families are in embracing technology, and you see that in the ...

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