How Health Confianza is Improving Health Literacy in San Antonio



Health literacy is defined by the CDC as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” In today’s world, health literacy is crucial for community members and health professionals, alike, to make everyday decisions and achieve health equity. However, many underserved and racial/ethnic communities around the country face barriers to health equity including access to health care, financial instability, and housing/transportation insecurity endangering their health. That is why Jason Rosenfeld, DrPH, MPH, and Melanie Stone, DrPH (c), MPH, MEd are helping build Health Confianza – a partnership between UT Health San Antonio, The University of Texas San ...

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5 Ways to Practice Healthy Social Media Habits


Latino couple scrolling on phones.

Social media plays a large role in society today. People use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok and many other platforms as daily sources for education, entertainment, work, and more. However, can spending too much time on social media have a negative impact? Researchers have continuously studied how social media affects mental health. While the results are mixed, heavy use of social media can contribute to negative factors including cyberbullying, low self-esteem, and social isolation. This is important for Latinos, 98% of whom own a smartphone and who are the highest-percentage users of Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and WhatsApp among racial/ethnic groups. “Hispanics spent almost two more hours per week watching videos, streaming audio and social networking ...

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Leonel Rodriguez: Helpful Treatment Through a Cancer Clinical Trial


Leonel Rodriguez cancer clinical trial participation

Leonel Rodriguez got some terrible news in November 2019. Doctors diagnosed Rodriguez, a South Texas resident, with mantle cell lymphoma – an aggressive, rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The first medicines he took to treat the cancer actually worsened his condition. He soon learned about a potentially beneficial clinical trial for lymphoma patients at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. Clinical trials help researchers learn how to better slow, manage, and treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. “[Clinical trials were] the best way because, you know, I feel good now with the treatment,” Rodriguez said. “Now I feel I've been feeling well, and well, well.” Rodriguez’s Decision to Participate in a Clinical Trial Rodriguez has come full circle ...

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Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde: Latina Led Push for Diversity in Nursing


murillo rohde

During Hispanic Heritage Month, Salud America! is celebrating Latino trailblazers, historical figures, and inspirational stories. In this article spotlight, we will recognize Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, PhD, RN, FAAN. Dr. Murillo-Rhode was a nurse and professor who strived to serve underrepresented communities and create equal opportunities for Latinos within health professions. Early Life of Murillo-Rohde Dr. Murillo-Rhode was born in on Sept. 26, 1920, in Panama. She immigrated to San Antonio, Texas, in 1945. Born into a family of health physicians, Rohde studied to become a nurse. Dr. Murillo-Rohde earned a nursing diploma from the Medical and Surgical Hospital School of Nursing in San Antonio, Texas, according to the NYAM Center for History. Early on, she realized ...

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Franklin Chang Diaz: The First Latino in Space



In childhood, many of us gazed into the night sky to glimpse a shooting star and make a wish. For Franklin Chang Diaz, he wished to explore the stars. Chang Diaz would go on to do just that after becoming the first Latino American to go to space after he was selected by NASA in 1980. Early Life of Chang Diaz Franklin Chang Diaz was born on April 5, 1950, in San José, Costa Rica. As a child he imagined himself being launched into space to explore the planets. “Growing up in Costa Rica, Franklin Chang Díaz and his friends would put chairs sideways inside a big cardboard box in his backyard and pretend it was a rocket ship. Sitting with their backs to the ground, they would go through the countdown, imitate the launch procedures they’d heard about and, in their minds, ...

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186 People Endorsed Our Comment: Address Policies that Perpetuate ‘Good,’ ‘Bad’ Neighborhoods


Address Policies that Perpetuate ‘Good,’ ‘Bad’ Neighborhoods and Schools

We asked for your help to speak up for equitable policies so that everyone has a fair, just opportunity to be their healthiest, and 186 people responded. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has nominated an ad hoc committee to analyze federal policies that contribute to preventable and unfair health outcomes in America, particularly among Latinos and other racial/ethnic minority populations. The committee wanted personal and/or professional feedback by Sept. 30, 2022, on: Examples of federal policies that create and/or contribute to racial/ethnic health inequities Examples of policies that promote racial/ethnic health equity The most important considerations when prioritizing action regarding federal policies to advance racial and ethnic ...

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What Does Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Mean for Latinos?


student loan forgiveness

Update: On Sept. 29, 2022 the US Department of Education updated its loan forgiveness plan. Privately held federal student loans must have been consolidated before September 29, 2022 to be eligible for debt relief. CNN reports that around 770,000 borrowers will be impacted by this update, which comes the same day six states sued President Biden over the forgiveness plan. President Biden made history in August 2022 when he announced his student loan forgiveness plan. Certain details of the plan are still being ironed out, such as how much the plan will cost the federal government and taxpayers. Nevertheless, college students and graduates across the nation are breathing a sigh of relief, as many of them will qualify for loan forgiveness. What Does the Student Loan Forgiveness ...

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Sgt. Billy Killebrew: Helping Kids Who Deal with Trauma in Brownsville, Texas


billy killebrew of brownsville police handle with care

Brownsville Police Sgt. Billy Killebrew knows a lot of children experience divorce, witness domestic violence, and suffer other trauma at home or in the community. He wants to help those children. So he worked with advocates to start the Handle With Care Program at the newly opened Jubilee Leadership Academy campus in Brownsville, Texas. For the program, Brownsville police notify campus leaders when they encounter children at a traumatic scene, so school personnel can provide support the next day, as needed. “We never know what kids go through at home, they come to school, and sometimes they just don't feel like being there. They're in a bad mood, and just like us, as adults, you know, we have a bad day and not everybody knows a source of that bad day,” said Killebrew, the ...

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Survey: Some Teachers are Told to Not Talk About Racism


Educator teaching students

About 24% of teachers say they have been told to limit classroom conversations about political and social issues, such as racism, according to a recent survey. The nationally representative survey was taken by over 3,800 teachers and principals by the RAND Corporation in January of 2022 to gauge educator’s views on politicized topics in schooling. In the survey, 54% of teachers and principals urged no legal limits on classroom conversations about racism, sexism, and other topics that some people disagree about. “In a time when simply carrying out the essential functions of their jobs is a herculean task, educators have been faced with the additional challenge of addressing contentious, politicized topics in their schools and classrooms,” according to the report. How does ...

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