A Program to Watch: Exito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training

Participants gather for a group photo at a past Exito Summer Institute.

Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training has been named a "Program to Watch" in a new report by Excelencia in Education. Éxito!, led by Salud America! director Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of UT Health San Antonio, recruits 25 Latino students and health professionals annually for a culturally tailored curriculum to promote pursuit of a doctoral degree and cancer research career. Excelencia, which promotes Latinos in higher education, created its "Programs to Watch" report to highlight innovative or up-and-coming programs. The report features Éxito! and 18 other programs from multiple states. The report lauded Éxito! for its cultural competency, service to Latino students, concrete metrics, and elements of a strong story. "Excelencia hopes that by bringing ...

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Leah Carrillo: From Ranching to Preventing Disease in San Antonio

Carrillo Leah

Leah Carrillo knows the value of hard work, thanks to diligent parents and plenty of sweat and tears on her family ranch in Leakey, Texas. Carrillo is working hard today to prevent disease in San Antonio. Currently a master’s-degree student at UT San Antonio, Carrillo already is actively supporting research projects to prevent cancer, obesity, and manage diabetes. She wants to continue working hard to increase the health of her community by translating her growing knowledge and skills into effective, accessible health programs. To further her training and education, Carrillo applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, recruits 25 ...

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Alejandra Mendez: Overcoming Hurdles to Boost Latino Health

Mendez Alejandra

Discrimination. Micro-aggressions. Going back to college with kids. With a mother who overcame these hurdles as an immigrant to the U.S. from Honduras, Alejandra Mendez learned resilience. Now Mendez always looks for opportunities for success, rather than possible barriers. Her optimism has enabled her to help people similar to her mother, conducting research on the impact of racial discrimination, and volunteering to help uninsured clinic patients. Mendez recently earned her master’s degree in public health in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Under the guidance of her preceptor, Mendez conducted research on how racial discrimination affects health throughout the life course and adverse birth outcomes. Prior to her ...

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Where Are Latinos at the Oscars?

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No Latinos actors are nominated for 2018 Oscars, Variety reports. In 2017, actor/composer/poet Lin-Manuel Miranda's original song for “Moana” was one a very few Oscar-nominated performances by a Latino. Why don't Latino performers in Hollywood get more recognition? First, data show there are not a lot of Latino roles to begin with. Latinos had less than 5% of speaking roles in the top-grossing films, according to USC. Second, when they are available, they're often filled by non-Latinos. Ben Affleck played Mexican American CIA operative Antonio Mendez in 2012's Argo and Jon Favreau played a Cuban food truck entrepreneur in 2014's Chef, according to an L.A. Weekly op-ed. "The dearth of Latino storytelling and overlooking of Latino talent is especially remarkable when you ...

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Claudia Chavez: Pushing for Culturally Competent Healthcare for All

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If you need someone with a variety of experience in health fields, Claudia Chavez has it. Neuroscience? Check. Healthcare administration? Check. Delivering a baby (as part of EMT training)?! Check. Today, Chavez is growing her already strong health-promotion skills as a second-year student in the master’s program in healthcare administration at UT Southwestern in Dallas, where she also works as a research assistant. Chavez, a Dallas native, wants to make culturally competent healthcare a right—not a privilege—for all people. To further her training and education, Chavez applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, ...

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Adrianna Acevedo-Fontanez: Boosting Health in Puerto Rico

Acevedo-Fontavez Adrianna-Edit

Adrianna Acevedo-Fontanez celebrates her Puerto Rican heritage through music and food, such as using “el castero” to stew rice or fighting for “el pegao.” But she also knows that Puerto Ricans face dire health issues. That is why, when she sees people in need, she helps them. Her empathetic spirit and hard work as a community health educator is helping her address issues like lack of healthcare and lack of cancer screening among women. Fontanez is currently in the final phase of her master’s degree in epidemiology and is a community health educator at the University of Puerto Rico / MD Anderson Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research at the UPR Comprehensive Cancer Center. To further her training and education, Fontanez applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer ...

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Sonia Fragoso: Giving Back and Helping Latinos

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Sonia Fragoso developed a passion to help other people thanks to her parents, who gave up their own desires and worked hard to give her and her siblings a better life. Now Fragoso gives back and helps out every chance she gets. For example, she spent her high school and college careers tutoring and mentoring underprivileged students, as well as the homeless. This also sparked her interest in STEM and pursuing public health as a career. Fragoso now works as a research assistant in analytical research and pathogen laboratories at UT Health San Antonio. She aims to bridge gaps in personalized medicine, and tailor medications to benefit the Latino population. To further her training and education, Fragoso applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. ...

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State Child Care Facts Sheets

States are not keeping up with shifting demographics to meet family's child care needs. Every year since 2006, Child Care Aware® of America has published a set of state fact sheets to illustrate how states measure up on areas of quality, affordability, and access to child care. Across all 50 states, the cost of center-based infant care averaged more than 40% of the median income for single mothers, far higher than the 7% threshold established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to Child Care Aware® of America. In 2015, 42% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. Latina mothers are more likely than white mothers to be the breadwinners, but they make lower ...

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Iris Guzman: Caring Nature Drives a Desire to Boost Public Health

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What’s better than waking up to an encouraging text message? Iris Guzman, thanks in part to supportive texts each morning from her father and her experiences as a first-generation Mexican-American, has developed a similar caring nature for the health and welfare of Latinos. Guzman, who is from Nayarit, Mexico, is currently a second-year master’s-degree student in public health at UCLA’s Department of Community Health Sciences. She has a consistent desire to research the social, cultural, and environmental determinants of health. Particularly, she wants to study these determinants in order to reduce and eliminate health inequities in the Latino population. To further her training and education, Guzman applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training ...

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