Claudia Sanchez Lucas: Curiosity to Improve Latino Minds

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Claudia Sanchez Lucas is described by many as humble, a trait learned from her mom and dad. Lucas is also strong and resilient, with a passion for helping people. Lucas has powerful curiosity that can one day help her push science in brave new directions. She’s growing her passion and curiosity as a master’s degree student in public health epidemiology at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, where she also earned a bachelor’s degree in health studies. She is excited to learn more about cancer epidemiology and neuroepidemiology, perhaps envisioning new interventions to stimulate brain health to help talented people maximize their mental capabilities even further. To further her training and education, Lucas applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership ...

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Paulina Monteon-Garcia: Teaching Health for a Better Life

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As a mother to her beautiful son, Paulina Monteon-Garcia realizes how far her parents went to help her have a better life. She wants to do the same for her son. Monteon-Garcia is well on her way, because she has a giving spirit and a desire to promote health for her family and the local population, through her work as outreach coordinator for the COACH for Kids and Their Families program in Los Angeles. The program uses mobile units to provide free medical services to underserved children and families across the city. Growing up in Riverside, Calif., Monteon-Garcia saw the need for culturally appropriate programs, and better health education and resources for low-income communities. That’s why she is a part of the COACH for Kids program, and why she has also worked with ...

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Cynthia Ortiz: Taking a Closer Look at the Causes of Disease

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Like the focus and dedication her grandmother put into delicately crafting her beautiful hand stitched napkin, Cynthia Ortiz has what it takes to excel as a researcher. Ortiz, a Dallas native, is a population science research assistant at UT Southwestern Medical Center and an MPH candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at the UT Health Science Center School of Public Health in Dallas. Having worked as a laboratory researcher and a high school biology teacher, this future epidemiologist is determined to find answers to the underlying causes of chronic disease. Ortiz has seen firsthand the effects that working night shifts can have on one’s health and hopes to study the relationship that this has to chronic disease. To further her training and education, Ortiz applied for the ...

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Filiberto Leon: Helping Latinos toward Healthier Lifestyles

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Following in the footsteps of his selfless parents, Filiberto Leon is always there with advice or help whenever you need him. He wants to help so badly, in fact, he’s seeking a master’s degree is to help more people. Leon, originally born in Mexico, came to the United States when he was 1 year old. He worked hard and became not only the first in his family to attend college, but also the first to get a degree when he earned his bachelor’s degree in health at UT San Antonio (UTSA) in Health May 2016. He then applied to the graduate school at UTSA, got accepted, and started in fall 2017. Leon, who loves playing basketball, soccer, tennis, and anything outdoors, wants to create an environment where physical activity is part of the Latino culture. He wants to reduce the Latino ...

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Geraldine Massuh: An Emerging Leader for Latino Health

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A great leader must have tremendous understanding, and a keen ability to see from other people’s perspectives. Geraldine Massuh is such a leader. Massuh, spurred to reduce public health disparities by her experiences as a first-generation bilingual daughter growing up in Queens, New York, has taken big leadership roles in improving healthcare quality for Latinos and all people by promoting cultural competence, workforce diversity, and mentoring. Massuh, who earned her master’s degree in public health in health policy and management from Columbia University in 2016, is currently a healthcare management and diversity strategist, currently consulting on nationwide projects for CulturaLink on linguistic and cultural competence and diversity and inclusion in the workforce in ...

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7 Big Childcare Changes that Are Making Kids Healthier

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Childcare centers are serving healthier food and pushing more physical activity than they did five years ago. But it's less clear that these changes are promoting health equity for Latinos and other minority children, according to a new report. The report, Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time, reviews policy and system changes in food service, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education (ECE) settings from 2011 to 2016. ECE settings include childcare centers, day care homes, Head Start programs, and preschools. The report was led by Healthy Eating Research. "The early childhood years are critical to the prevention of obesity," according to the report. "The role of ...

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Sheila Mota: Transforming Healthcare Delivery for the Underserved

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Sheila Mota is the embodiment of resiliency. The Utah native has overcome a debilitating illness and the loss of her father to cancer, and is now committed to improving the delivery of healthcare and increasing the quality of life of those who “grew up on the wrong side of the train tracks.” She is a master’s-degree student in public health and healthcare administration at the University of Utah. She also is a health educator at the Health Advocate and Interactive Health, Inc., and is a certified medical assistant at Granger Medical Clinic in West Valley, Utah. She already has experience in front-line patient care and the design and implementation of programs to address health promotion and wellness, especially among the underserved. To further her training and ...

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Araceli Guzman: Making a Difference for Latino Health

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Araceli Guzman wants to make a difference for the Latino community. The California native is off to a good start. Guzman recently became her family’s first college graduate after earning a bachelor’s degree in public health promotion at California State University of Northridge. Now she is working on a master’s degree in public health, and gaining valuable research experience helping Latinos with disaster preparedness and working with Latinos in a reproductive health clinic. To further her training and education, Guzman 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 master’s-level students and professionals each ...

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Elena Martinez: Bringing a Caring Touch to Improve People’s Health

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Thanks to her spiritual “Lita” who was a friend to all, Elena Martinez was taught to love all. And Martinez has already applied her caring attitude to the benefit of many people here in San Antonio, having actively participated in programs on obesity and cancer prevention, immunization education, health literacy, and youth mental health awareness. Martinez, a Dallas native, is currently a master’s-degree student in health and kinesiology at UT San Antonio. She earned a Certified Health Education Specialist status in 2013 and has helped plan and evaluate health initiatives and programs for all age groups in San Antonio. She also has played an active role in Building a Healthy Temple, a chronic disease prevention program at UTSA under Dr. Meizi He, since 2015. To further ...

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