Margarita Alegría: Engaging Minority Communities in Mental Health Research


Margarita Alegría: Engaging Minority Communities in Mental Health Research

With over 30 years of working in mental health and disparities research, Margarita Alegría is what you might call an expert in the field. Alegría is the Chief of the Disparities Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor in Harvard Medical School’s departments of medicine and psychiatry. Last summer, she was named Harry G. Lehnert, Jr. and Lucille F. Cyr Lehnert Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair. Alegría has decades worth of experience in studying public health, mental health, substance abuse, and the social determinants of health. She’s conducted countless studies on how to improve the lives of ethnic and racial minority groups and people with disabilities. Now she wants to make her research more accessible to the general public. Alegría ...

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5 Key Barriers to Health Opportunities for Latinos


5 barriers for latino health opportunities

Everyone should have a fair and just opportunity for the best possible health and well-being. That’s health equity. And that’s the mission of the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative. The HOPE Initiative is led by the National Collaborative for Health Equity and Texas Health Institute in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides funding. The HOPE Initiative tracks data on 27 indicators related to social and economic factors, community & safety, physical environment, access to healthcare, and health outcomes. “Our unique analyses use an opportunity framework to set aspirational but achievable goals to improve life outcomes—especially populations of color most affected ...

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2021 County Health Rankings Show Gaps & Health Disparities for Latinos



Have you ever wondered how your county compares to others in healthcare, education, and opportunities? County Health Rankings & Roadmaps is a program by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that measures health disparities in different counties based on local data to help improve health and quality of life. The 2021 update of the County Health Rankings reflect the inequities worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and shines a brighter lens on racial equity and justice. “And while the Rankings do not measure COVID-19 risk, they do help to show the root causes that contribute to poor health. Creating conditions for everyone to thrive requires looking to multi-layered social, economic, and structural factors that run much longer ...

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Bobby Marines: Using Art to Spark Difficult Conversations Within the Latino Community



Art can convey a story or a message. So what if you could use art to spark a conversation about issues in your community? That’s the question that Bobby Marines asked himself when realizing he could use his talent to lead important conversations in the Latino community. To find the answer, Marines launched Voces y Visiones, a web series that features Marines’ art to lead a conversation about hot topic issues within the Latino community, with the help of the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) and Alliance of Chicanos, Hispanics and Latin Americans (ACHLA). “The overall goal is to use arts as catalysts for social and community discourse,” Marines said. From Eighth Grade Dropout to Successful Visual Artist It took hitting rock bottom for Marines to find his ...

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Resolving Microaggressions: A New Diversity Training from UT Health San Antonio


Resolving Microaggressions

The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio is launching a new diversity training called Resolving Microaggressions. This training aims to empower faculty members to recognize and speak out against acts of racism and discrimination. “The goal of this training is to turn spectators into active peacemakers in tense situations, where someone is being attacked, even subtly on the basis of their gender, race, age, training or socioeconomic status,” wrote Robert Hromas, dean of the Long School of Medicine, in an email to faculty members. The training is focused on microaggressions. These are typically more subtler forms of racism, within implicit bias, that can be overlooked. “Microaggressions are the extent to which individuals who are ...

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Survey: Latino Parents Are Hopeful for Their Children’s Opportunities


Latino parent RWJF survey

Latino parents are hopeful that their children will have more opportunities to succeed in life than they did, but recognize that inequities may limit them, according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). To create the Raising the Next Generation study, RWJF, together with the research firm PerryUndem, interviewed over 2,000 parents and caregivers (400 of which were Latino) on their perceptions of inequity and discrimination in the U.S. They also asked about optimism about the future and challenges their children might experience. The survey revealed many interesting findings about how Latino parents perceive inequities and how income and immigration affect their perceptions. Findings from the Raising the Next Generation Study When it comes to future ...

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5 Upstream Ways You Can Take Action to Address Toxic Stress



Toxic stress is endangering the current and future health of our society. Amid the mental, physical, and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is even greater need to prevent the risk factors for toxic stress, which are severe, intense, or prolonged stress, trauma, or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) like physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The new Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health is the nation’s first guide to address toxic stress by cutting ACEs in half in a generation. We at Salud America! are exploring the roadmap in an 11-part series. This is the final post in the series, with five upstream ways you can take action to address toxic stress. “To enable ...

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UPDATE: Deadline to Endorse Dr. Amelie Ramirez’s Comment on Racial Equity and Diversity in Research is Extended


ndorse Dr. Amelie Ramirez’s Comment on Racial Equity and Diversity in Research!

As a part of its UNITE initiative to address systemic racism in healthcare, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is looking for feedback on how to advance racial equity and diversity within the biomedical research workforce, as well as advancing research on health inequities. At Salud America!, we believe that increasing diversity among research leaders and clinical trial participants will help achieve true health equity, especially for populations disproportionately impacted by health issues and COVID-19, like the Latino population. If you agree, you can endorse our leader’s comment to NIH. Responses will be accepted through Friday, April 23, 2021. UPDATE: NIH extended the deadline for submitting feedback from April 9 to April 23. 500+ members of the Salud America! ...

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California’s Epic Response to Toxic Stress and ACEs


California’s Epic Response to Toxic Stress and ACEs

California is leading the nation in addressing toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as neglect, divorce and exposure to violence, which can harm long-term health. Guided by evidence and a public health approach, California developed a series of legal and conceptual frameworks to support statewide screening for ACEs, coordinate within and outside state government, and assess best practices in trauma-informed care across the state. This progress ramped up when Gov. Gavin Newsom created the Office of the California Surgeon General  in 2019 and appointed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris to the position. In December 2020, Burke Harris released her Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and ...

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