Minerva Perez’s Free Ride Program Helps Latinos Overcome ‘Transportation Bullies’

Minerva Perez of Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island (New York)

Minerva Perez hates bullies. In elementary school, Perez did not like when bullies picked on her friends. She became their bodyguard. Today, Perez is standing up to a modern bully—transportation barriers. Limited access to public transportation is bullying Latino families into skipping medical appointments, instilling big fears of deportation, and jeopardizing health in Suffolk County, N.Y. (19.5% Latino). Perez is taking action as leader of Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island. She helped create a unique free van ride program that bridges transportation gaps. It also gives her an advocacy platform to improve public transportation at the local level. How did Perez do it? Is it working? A 3-Hour Bus Ride Getting around in Suffolk County isn't ...

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Hospital Treats Neighborhood as Patient, Tries to Cure Unstable Housing

Houses renovated by the redevelopment project lead by Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

In Columbus, Ohio (5.8% Latino), the diverse Southern Orchards neighborhood suffers racism, a lack of affordable housing, economic segregation, violent crime, poverty, and expensive medical use. That’s why the whole neighborhood has become a hospital’s “patient.” Nationwide Children’s Hospital saw “unsafe conditions” as their patient’s top symptom. They diagnosed their patient with “unstable housing,” which is known to cause many economic, social, and health hardships, especially for Latinos and other people of color. The hospital prescribed a “housing intervention” and spent the past 10 years revitalizing Columbus’ South Side and Southern Orchards neighborhood through its Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families (HNHF) partnership with faith, community, ...

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Maternal Healthcare Is Disappearing In Rural America

Pregnant girl dressed on the field

Lengthy drives to hospitals to give birth are becoming more common, The New York Times reports. 85 rural hospitals have shut down since 2010, which is about 5% of the country’s total. Maternal and obstetric care has been hit the hardest due to many factors including the cost of providing round-the-clock delivery services against declining birthrates as well as doctor and nursing shortages and falling revenues. Fewer than half of America’s rural counties still have a hospital that offers obstetric care, specifically labor and delivery wards. Specialists are heading to lucrative settings in bigger cities. Many reproductive healthcare services have been forced to close their doors in rural towns. This causes many tough issues for women and families. Pregnant women go to fewer ...

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Bus Rapid Transit To Connect Latino Mobile Home Park to Opportunity

Bus rapid transit in Bogotá Credit Jason Margolis

Buses don’t run to a Latino mobile home community outside Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Instead, people there are forced to rely on cars─dangerous, expensive, polluting cars─ when they need to get to jobs, food, and healthcare. This isolates them from opportunities for health, jobs, and affordable housing, just like many other suburban and rural parts of our nation. Fortunately, planned public transit improvements will enable more buses across the Twin Cities, including the mobile home community. But how? Will it work for Latinos and all vulnerable neighborhoods? Twin Cities Growing in Population, Traffic The area to the east of the Twin Cities─the Interstate 94 (I-94) corridor─is expected to see a 24% increase in population and a 30% increase in jobs by 2040, according ...

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One Woman’s Epic Fight for Affordable Housing and Better Commutes in California

Sonja Trauss hated her commute. Driving her car a long way from home to her job as a math teacher was unproductive, wasted time. It was expensive. It was stressful, harming her physical and mental health. And it was dangerous. Yet this was Trauss’ reality with no affordable housing near her job. But Trauss grew tired of paying so much time, money, and stress to drive a car because of a shortage of affordable housing in Marin County (16.1% Latino) in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. She decided to make a stand. Trauss formed a group to push for more affordable housing and challenged developers, decision-makers, and opposition to affordable housing in this region. Did it work? Transportation Costs Matter for Affordable Housing Behind housework, the daily car ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat: Why Affordable Housing Matters for Health

Health starts and is sustained in the communities we live, work, and play. However, in many places, affordable housing is not available, subjecting families to unstable, inferior, and crowded housing while isolating them in areas with limited access to education and employment opportunities. This reduces their ability to stay healthy. It increases their risk of physical and mental health issues. Achieving and maintaining good health requires the efforts of urban and transportation planners, housing experts, elected leaders, educators, and many more. UPDATE: View a recap of this Tweetchat on Wakelet. Use #SaludTues on August 21, 2018, to tweet about why affordable housing matters for health, and what you can do to create healthier places to live! WHAT: #SaludTues ...

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Apply Now: $25,000 RWJF Culture of Health Prize

San Pablo, a winner of the 2017 RWJF Culture of Health Prize.

A culture of health is where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Is your community creating a Culture of Health? If so, apply for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize! The contest provides $25,000 to honor communities that bring neighborhood, school, and business partners together to improve health for all residents! In 2017, two majority-Latino communities were among eight prize winners. Chelsea, MA (62% Latino) and San Pablo, CA (55% Latino) were chosen from 200 applicants. Chelsea opened the city’s waterfront, served vulnerable populations, and engaged youth in food justice projects. San Pablo created job training programs, built a community center, and established a youth commission. “San Pablo has ...

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Tell TxDOT: Prioritize the Lives and Physical Wellbeing of Texans

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) wants your input to shape transportation planning and spending across the state for the next 10 years, in what is known as the Unified Transportation Program (UTP). The UTP will guide construction, development, and related activities for 13,000 projects. However, the program prioritizes congestion relief over safety, connectivity, and economic development, says nonprofit Farm & City. You can speak up for transportation that prioritizes Texans’ wellbeing! Copy one of the model public comments drafted by our Salud America! research team, click the “submit” button, and paste the comment on txdot.gov’s comments website by Aug. 20, 2018. Be sure to click “No” in the required field asking if this is a complaint. Model ...

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Poll: 6 in 10 Latinos Struggle to Communicate with Healthcare Providers

Latino gets healthcare information in a local retail store.

More than 60% of U.S. Latinos struggle to communicate with a healthcare provider due to a language or cultural barriers, according to a new poll. In response, these Latinos rely on family or other healthcare providers for help, according to the poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. 1 in 4 of these Latinos even look into translating services to help with health issues. The new poll supports past findings that 83% of Latinos report obtaining some of their health-related information from media sources (TV, Internet, etc.) and that 70% list family, friends, churches, or community groups as their main sources of health information. "The language and cultural barriers in health care for Latinos are something advocates have been pointing out for years," ...

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