#SaludTues Tweetchat 6/4: Moving Beyond Social Needs to Address Social Determinants of Health



Inequities in health arise from social and structural inequities and the policies, laws, and culture that keep them in place. To address inequities that affect health, it is important to make the distinction between individual-level (midstream) interventions to address “social needs,” and community-level (upstream) interventions to address “social determinants.” Individual-level efforts to address social needs are necessary, but not enough. Characterizing these interventions as efforts to address social determinants of health conveys a false sense of progress. "If we, even inadvertently, imply that the social determinants of health can be solved by offering Uber rides to individual patients or by deploying community health navigators, it will be challenging, if not ...

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How Takoma Park is Addressing Institutionalized Racism



In 2017, Takoma Park adopted a racial equity initiative to begin addressing institutionalized racism. Latinos and people of color face numerous obstacles to opportunity across the lifespan due to racial bias in policies, institutions, and systems, which further contribute to health inequity. Housing instability, for example is linked to poor health outcomes. More Latinos (56.9%) are burdened by housing costs than Whites (46.8%), meaning they have little money left over for health- and wealth-promoting assets, accord to a Salud America! research review. Leaders in Takoma Park, Maryland (14% Latino) wanted to determine whether policies—even those that are seemingly neutral—were contributing to racial inequities. Like fiscal and environmental impact statements, the city began ...

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3 Big Reasons Skin Cancer is Skyrocketing among Latinos


latina applying sunscreen on beach shore sand to prevent skin cancer

Warning: This may send you running for sunscreen. The rate of melanoma—the most dangerous form of skin cancer—has risen 20% among Latinos in the past 20 years. Latino adults and kids also are more likely than their white peers to be diagnosed at an advanced stage of skin cancer. But, sadly, many Latinos don't run for sunscreen. “The belief that Hispanic people don’t have to worry about skin cancer has existed among Latinos for generations,” said Dr. Maritza Perez, a dermatologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “They hear it from their parents and grandparents, and then they pass this belief on to their children.” Why is skin cancer rising in this darker-skinned group? What can we do about it? What Is Melanoma? Melanomas are ...

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Honoring Latino Military Heroes on Memorial Day


latino military hero rocky versace for memorial day

Memorial Day is May 27, 2019. We at Salud America! are excited to honor all U.S. military personnel, including the Latinos, who have served and died for our country. Latinos in the Military: History Latinos have a “proud and indeed enviable” record of military service that dates back all the way to the Civil War, according to a U.S. Army historical website. About 20,000 Latino serviceman and women participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, 80,000 in the Vietnam War in 1959-1973, and more than 400,000 in World War II in 1939-1945. More than 40 Medals of Honor have been awarded to Latinos, according to the Department of Defense. “Whether their heritage can be traced to Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, or one of dozens of other Spanish-speaking ...

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How Affordable Housing Influences and is Influenced by Climate Change


Affordable Housing and Climate Change

The threats posed by climate change are growing every day, and they threaten severe impacts on public health, society, and housing. As climate change causes more powerful storms like Hurricane Harvey with increased frequency and intensity, housing developers are increasingly interested in disaster resilience. How Climate change affect housing? Some of America's most significant cities face the highest risks, as most are near a coast. Worse, these urban hubs contain high populations, capital assets, and ports that influence the national economy. Protecting the nation and the world's most populated areas should be at the forefront of every government official's mind in the immediate future. Recently published assessments of Califonia cities' carbon footprint found that, for ...

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Latino & Rural Americans Struggle With Financial Insecurity, Access To Health Care


rural health

Most Americans living in rural communities say they are content with most aspects of their lives; however, two significant concerns stand out: Financial insecurity and the high medical costs. Two surveys, conducted through a partnership between NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that 40% of that demographic struggle with healthcare, housing, and food expenses. Healthcare Access, or Lack There Of The surveys also found that 26% of rural Americans said they had not received desperately needed medical attention due to their limited budget. However, nine in 10 respondents did report having health insurance. An increase that is attributed to the implementation Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion. A decade ago, this was ...

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Toledo Mom Fights for Clean Drinking Water for Her Own, All Children


Toledo Safe Water Action

Crystal Jankowski ran the faucet in her hospital room for 12 hours straight the day she gave birth — all in hopes that the tap water would come out clean for Amelia, her newborn girl. Just days before her delivery in August 2014, the city of Toledo, Ohio (8.3% Latino) told residents not to drink the municipal water. High levels of health-threatening toxins contaminated the public water supply sourced from Lake Erie. Jankowski, a Toledo-native, wanted to do something for her two children and all kids. So, she became an organizer for Toledoans for Safe Water (TSW), a group with an idea for a controversial Lake Erie Bill of Rights to enable residents to sue lake polluters. “When you fight for clean water you are fighting for people of the reservations, you’re fighting for ...

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What’s that Weird Smell on Your Airplane Flight?


airplane scents harm

Fragrance sprays are used to diffuse scents across the country in public bathrooms, office buildings, private residences, and now airline carriers. While in-flight air fresheners can reduce strong smells, they also can trigger problematic side effects in people who are sensitive to certain chemicals found in those products. Individuals who undergo symptoms from fragrance exposure could be experiencing Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT). Worse, those who are TILTed could experience a range of health effects during their flights now that more planes will use air fresheners. “Fragrances are to varying degrees toxic, and they are in fact one of the biggest triggers of irritability, mental confusion, and difficulties with concentration or learning,” writes Dr. Claudia ...

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San Antonio Researcher to Study Why Gastric Cancer Is Rising in Latinos


young man having a stomachache gastric cancer

Gastric cancer, which forms in the lining of the stomach, is more likely to afflict Latinos than whites, and in Texas is diagnosed at younger ages and less curable stages. Dorothy Long Parma wants to find out why. Long Parma, a researcher at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, the team behind Salud America!, recently received a three-year, $360,000 "Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program Career Development Award" from the U.S. Department of Defense to study the risk factors for gastric cancer in Latinos. The study will look closely at H. pylori bacterial infection, which increases risk of gastric cancer, and is common among Latinos, according to a prior study led by Long Parma. Long Parma also will examine other factors like behaviors, ...

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