Keylynne Matos-Cunningham: Speaking Up for Health Justice


Cunningham Keylynne exito participant 2018

Keylynne Matos-Cunningham is a force to be reckoned with. The eldest of three younger siblings and a blend of Northern, Southern, African-American and Puerto Rican cultures, Matos-Cunningham stands up and speaks out against injustices experienced by underrepresented minorities. Matos-Cunningham graduated with her master’s degree of public health from Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU). Her research interests are mental health, minority health, sexual health and social determinants of health. She works full-time in substance abuse prevention and is an adjunct health instructor at ECU. There are many things that move her and drive her closer to her purpose. She believes that being a servant of the community is how to best understand the world. To ...

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Call for Help: Mental Health Helpline Launched in South Texas


Hope Famil Health Center mental health warm line

Struggling with behavioral or mental health issues? If you're in the Rio Grande Valley (~90% Latino), there is a phone number you can call to get help. The Hope Family Health Center in McAllen, Texas has launched a new service: A Peer Run Warm Line. This resource is for those in the community who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, or any other non-crisis, non-emergency ailment to their everyday living. The Warm Line launched on January 21, 2019. "There may be somebody that will be going through a crisis or close to a crisis and need somebody to talk to and [they're] isolated and don’t want to call the hospital for help or don’t have the resource," Rebecca Stocker, leader of Hope Family Health Center in McAllen, told The Monitor. "They can ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 1/29: The Future of Affordable Housing Advocacy for Latinos


Family on home porch steps affordable housing

U.S. housing is at its least affordable in 10 years, according to a recent report. Lack of affordable housing has strong implications for many Latinos and greatly impacts their quality of life. Not enough attention is given to the impact of the low Latino homeownership rate on America’s ongoing economic recovery, and in turn, the future of the nation’s housing market and related issues. Let’s tweet with #SaludTues on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, to share how to shape and improve the future of affordable housing advocacy for Latino health and education. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: "The Future of Affordable Housing Advocacy for Latino Health & Education" TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: ...

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Water, Milk Now the Default Drinks on Kid’s Menus in California


sugary drinks in schools

Water and milk are now the "default beverage" on kid's menus in California, thanks to a new law that experts say is a public health win against the devastating effects of sugary drinks. The Healthy-By-Default Kids’ Meal Beverages Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, makes California (39.1% Latino) the first state to require water or milk as the beverage automatically offered with kids’ meals at restaurants, according to Voices For Healthy Kids. The change also bans the display of sugary drinks on kid's menus and ads. A Win For California Parents The new law is the first of its kind. Bipartisan legislators and health advocates supported the law, including Public Health Advocates, a Voices For Healthy Kids grantee. Latino Coalition for a Healthy California also showed ...

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How Your City Can Fund More Active Transportation



Access to walking, bicycling, and other forms of active transportation can benefit Latino and all people’s health, safety, social connectivity, and quality of life. But many communities struggle to pay for sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails. Fortunately, a new report from Safe Routes to School National Partnership explains “active transportation financing” and how it can set the stage for strong health partnerships that can generate healthy, active, equitable communities Active Transportation Matters There is a connection between public health and transportation. People are healthier when they have safe places to walk and bike. However, disparities exist. Low-income populations and Latino and other communities of color have fewer safe places to walk and higher ...

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Joe Padilla: Bust Cultural Barriers to Improve Latino Men’s Health


PadillaJoe Exito 2018 participant

Joe Padilla saw both sides of the coin growing up. His grandmother’s love led her to feed passersby. His uncle never accepted success, and pushed him to do more and more. The result was a goal-driven, yet compassionate person who has a huge head start on his goal of busting cultural barriers and improving the health of Latino men. Padilla earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas at El Paso, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public health with a concentration in community health education at New Mexico State University (NMSU). He is a graduate research assistant for the NMSU’S Cancer Outreach Program. He helps with program evaluation of the Culturally Adapted Colorectal Cancer Educational Program for Hispanics. He hopes to ...

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U.S. Cancer Death Rates Decline, But Less for Those in Poverty


cancer screening

The overall U.S. cancer death rate fell 27% from 1991 to 2016, according to a recent study by the American Cancer Society. Good news, right? Not so fast. The report revealed a disturbing trend: a growing gap in cancer death rates based on wealth. "It was surprising to see that the disparities by socioeconomic status are actually widening," Rebecca Siegel, first author of the study and strategic director of surveillance information at the American Cancer Society, told CNN. "Wealth causes differences in exposure to risk factors and also access to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment." Cancer is the leading cause of death among U.S. Latinos. They are more likely to receive a cancer diagnoses in later, less curable cancer stages. The Bad News This is ...

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How the Government Shutdown is Affecting Affordable Housing, Eviction


Frustrated wife shocked by bad news reading letter with husband, housing affordable

As the longest U.S. government shutdown in history marches on, Latinos and the most vulnerable people face losing federal support for their very homes. Tax credits are the U.S. government’s primary tool to encourage the development of affordable housing. The government grants the credits to developers, who then sell the credits to banks and other investors, who in turn use those credits to lower their own tax bills. According to CNN, the shutdown, which started Dec. 22, 2018, is creating uncertainty for tens of thousands of low-income tenants who rely on the federal government to help pay their rent. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hasn’t been able to renew about 1,650 contracts with private building owners who rent to low-income Americans and an ...

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