Latino Cities Set to Tackle Obesity, Mental Health

Latino communities are getting help to tackle obesity and mental illness, thanks to $5 million in new grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH). The money is for 15 local groups from across the country. The groups will use the money to drive solutions among Latino and other minority populations that suffer higher burdens of obesity, mental illness, and opioid addiction. “We selected the opioid crisis, childhood obesity and serious mental illness as our top three clinical priorities at HHS because they are three of the country’s most pressing public health concerns,” said Dr. Tom Price, HHS leader, in a news release. Who Will Help Latinos? The 15 groups include several in Latino-populated areas: Mariposa ...

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The Key to a Healthy Life Is Right Under Your Nose

Boy taking toothpaste

Salud America! Guest Blogger Jefferson Dental Care The key to a long, healthy life isn’t fame or fortune. It's right under your's your mouth! Poor dental health—cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease—are a big problem for many Latinos ages 65 and older. In fact, Latino seniors have among the highest rates of no remaining teeth (25%) and untreated tooth decay (40%). And that's not all. Mouth in Bad Health = Body in Bad Health Poor dental health isn't just bad for your teeth as you age. Dental issues are linked to diabetes, cancers and heart disease, which are each more prevalent among Latinos than the overall population. Inflammation in the body also translates in the mouth, and Latino seniors who suffer from diabetes are also likely to heal less rapidly ...

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Special Healthcare Enrollment Period for Hurricane Victims

Did you suffer property damage or home loss from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria? You can partake in a special enrollment period for those in Medicare or who need healthcare, thanks to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This gives hurricane victims the chance to change their Medicare health plans and get health coverage. That includes Texas (38.42% Latino population), Louisiana (4.72%), Florida (23.72%), Georgia (9.15%), South Carolina (5.32%), Puerto Rico (99%), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (17.13%). “The lives of millions of Americans have been disrupted and impacted in some way by recent hurricanes,” said CMS leader Seema Verma in a news release. “Setting up special enrollment periods gives … the opportunity to access health coverage during this ...

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Rocio Muñoz Embeds School Health Navigators for Latino Parents

Latinos face many barriers to health care, including language differences; complex and confusing documents and processes; lack of knowledge of available services; unreliable transportation; and fear of using government services. One way to increase health equity among Latinos is to remove these barriers. Rocio Muñoz, community health navigator at Benton County Health Department (BCHD), in partnership with the school district, worked to embed bilingual, bicultural health navigators into elementary schools in Corvallis, Ore. (7.4% Latino), to address these identified barriers. The partnership resulted in a model where health navigators are placed in schools to coordinate with students, parents and teachers regarding students’ health records in order to boost access to health ...

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New Science Standards Aim to Boost Latinos’ Interest, Test Scores

California is implementing new standards for teaching science to spark Latinos and African American grade-school students' interest and boost test scores, EdSource reports. The new standards have more hands-on science projects, updated scientific and technological research, feature different fields of science, with less rote memorization. They even recently released a parent's guide in Spanish to explain the changes. The new standards, called the Next Generation Science Standards, offer guidelines for teachers on how to reach students who are English language learners, come from economically disadvantaged homes, are racial/ethnic minorities, or who are otherwise from demographic groups “underrepresented in the science fields.” The hope is that in California, where about ...

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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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New Tool Focuses Equity Lens on Local Policies for Latinos

Hey, city leader... Are your policies and programs equitable for Latinos, Blacks, and other minorities? Fortunately, a new tool helps local governments add an "equity lens" to involve the community and create policies and programs that account for racial/ethnic minorities. The tool, Racial Equity: Getting to Results from the Government Alliance on Race and Equality, enhances the Results-Based Accountability (RBA) methodology to empower policymakers to make “good decisions and advance racial equity.” “Currently across the country, regardless of region, racial inequities exist across every indicator for success—including health, criminal justice, education, jobs, housing, and beyond,” according to the new tool. “We know these inequities are incongruent with our ...

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Free Training Helps Early Childcare Providers Grow Healthy Kids

Dr. Kathy Fletcher knows the first three years of a child’s life are critical for preparing kids to grow and mature into healthy and productive students and adults. But what if early childcare providers don’t know how to make it happen? Fletcher, President and CEO of Voices for Children of San Antonio, worried that these providers—who only need a high-school education to be on the job—are eager to help children success, but don’t always have the tools to give local kids the appropriate developmental care and services they need during their formative years to promote healthy development. At least one quarter of children birth to five are in some form of organized out-of-home child care. Investing in professional development for early childhood providers can reduce the ...

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The Unsettling State of Latino Childhood Obesity

Latino toddler kid with sugury drink obesity

Recent reports have shown a leveling off in childhood obesity rates. But, for Latino kids, the crisis of obesity is continuing at significantly higher rates than among their peers, according to new data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Trust for America’s Health, and the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. Across the nation, Latino kids ages 10-17 were more overweight or obese (39.9%) than their black (38.2%) and white (26.3%) peers. “Children as young as 11 from socially and economically disadvantaged families and neighborhoods appear more likely to have thicker carotid artery walls, which in adults may indicate higher risk for heart attack and stroke in later life," said Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO, in a recent statement. "Elected ...

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