Melawhy Garcia: Éxito! Connected Me to Other Latino Professionals


melawhy garcia exito latino cancer research leadership training

Dr. Melawhy Garcia wanted to elevate her work to improve health among Latinos in California by applying for PhD programs, but she wasn’t sure about it. She wanted to hear from experienced faculty and scholars about what the process would be like. That’s why she attended the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio. “I actually knew some of the faculty presenting at [Éxito!], so I definitely wanted to hear from them and see what their journey was like going through a PhD program,” Garcia said. Éxito! helped Garcia apply to PhD programs and get accepted to a joint Doctoral Program in Public Health from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. Now, Garcia is an assistant professor in the Department of ...

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Comment Now: Tell HHS How to Improve Healthcare for Latinos!


Comment Now: Tell HHS How to Improve Healthcare for Latinos!

As part of its draft Strategic Plan for 2022-2026, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is looking for feedback from the public. The plan has five strategic goals for how the department will achieve its mission: Protect and Strengthen Equitable Access to High Quality and Affordable Health Care Safeguard and Improve National and Global Health Conditions and Outcomes Strengthen Social Well-being, Equity, and Economic Resilience Restore Trust and Accelerate Advancements in Science and Research for All Advance Strategic Management to Build Trust, Transparency, and Accountability At Salud America!, we believe that improving healthcare by making it more accessible and culturally tailored for people of color will help build health equity. This means ...

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Natalicio Serrano: What Éxito! Taught Me About Latino Representation in Academia


Natalicio Serrano: What Éxito! Taught Me About Latino Representation in Academia

Natalicio Serrano wasn’t sure he wanted to get a PhD. He knew the journey would be difficult, especially as a Latino going into a field with little representation. However, the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio changed that. “For me, Éxito! painted a clearer picture of what I could do with a PhD. It gave me the energy to want to apply and continue on with this academic journey,” Serrano said. Participating in Éxito! motivated Serrano to apply and get accepted to a PhD program in Public Health with the Prevention Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Serrano is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Education and Career Development program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on ...

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Dr. Martha Bernal: The First Latina with a PhD in Psychology


Dr. Martha Bernal: The First Latina with a PhD in Psychology

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor Dr. Martha Bernal, the first Latina to receive a PhD in psychology in the U.S. Bernal contributed greatly to the field of ethnic minority psychology and inspired many generations to follow her. “Dr. Martha Bernal demonstrated outstanding initiative and dedication to promoting the presence of ethnic minority psychologists in the profession. She provided guidance and inspiration to a wide range and large number of psychologists of color, men and women,” according to Society for the Psychology of Women. In addition to her contributions to the field, Bernal was a fierce advocate for justice and equity. “She was passionate about her ideas, she spoke out effectively against injustice, she maintained high standards of scholarship ...

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5 Key Moments in Modern History for Latinos


Key Moments Modern History

Latinos have played a major role in the development of the United States. This diverse demographic, today the nation’s largest racial/ethnic minority, has helped make the country the great melting pot it is. And despite an ongoing battle against discrimination and health disparities, Latino leaders continue to push their community to keep up hope and fight for what Cesar Chavez called La Causa, a term used to describe the struggle for equity. “In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay,” said Julian Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. “Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor.” For Hispanic Heritage ...

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Latino Health Champions for Hispanic Heritage Month


Latino Health Champions Healthier Generation

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Alliance for a Healthier Generation is sharing a series of stories about Latino health champions. These champions—Bianca De León, Alejandro Diasgranados, Mario Reyna, and Pia Escudero—have different backgrounds and interests. But they share a passion for creating health equity and a more just, equitable, inclusive, and healthy future for children and families. Read their stories! Bianca De León: Community-Building to Connect Kids to Positive Experiences Bianca De León grew up speaking both English and Spanish with her single mother in their community along the U.S.-Mexico border. She had a loving network of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great grandparents. Now, as a mother, she continues to forge these ...

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Ellen Ochoa: The First Latina Astronaut to Go into Space


Ellen Ochoa NASA Latino Astronaut

In 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Latino person in space. She logged nearly 1,000 hours in orbit across four space missions, studying the Earth's ozone layer. She would later become the NASA Johnson Space Center’s first Latina director and only its second female director. "At the time, it was really a personal thing," Ochoa told TODAY. "It was something I was very excited to participate in, and I loved working with the team and with my crew and doing work that was important to understanding changes in the atmosphere." "I realized the mission had repercussions well beyond that. I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of student groups, I was featured in children's books, textbooks – I'm just really grateful there was this whole extra dimension to that flight beyond the ...

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Report: Labor Unions Preserved Latino Jobs During COVID-19 Pandemic


Latino labor union workers

Workforce inequities are nothing new for people of color, specifically Latinos.  Long before COVID-19, many Latinos had unstable jobs with little-to-no benefits and lower wages than their white non-Latino coworkers. The pandemic made things worse.  But one thing saved many Latino jobs—a labor union contract, according to a comparison of unionized and non-unionized Latino workers by UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative.  Labor unions are organizations of workers that come together to negotiate better working conditions or other benefits as a collective bargaining. “Our analysis suggests that unionization—even within the same industry and occupation—preserved employment and wages for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for variations in ...

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Ángela Gutiérrez: What Éxito! Means to Me, a Latina PhD and Researcher


Ángela Gutiérrez: What Éxito! Means to Me, a Latina PhD and Researcher

Dr. Ángela Gutiérrez has always been passionate about health disparities research. “I had previously worked on health disparities research focusing on diabetes, fibromyalgia among Latinx communities, and I've done a lot of community-based research,” Gutiérrez said. So when the opportunity arose to apply to Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio, Gutiérrez was thrilled to learn more. “It was through Éxito! that I realized the prevalence and importance of focusing on cancer disparities as well, not just focusing on diabetes and fibromyalgia,” Gutiérrez said. Participating in Éxito! helped Gutiérrez apply and get accepted to a PhD program in Community Health Sciences at the Fielding School of Public Health of the University of ...

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