Students Aim to Address Mental Health, Suicide in Rural Areas



Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and rates have drastically increased across the country in the last 20 years. Rates are even worse for Latino and all rural residents. From 2001-2015, rural areas have consistently had higher rates of suicide than metropolitan areas. “While we’ve seen many causes of death come down in recent years, suicide rates have increased more than 20 percent from 2001 to 2015. And this is especially concerning in rural areas,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “We need proven prevention efforts to help stop these deaths and the terrible pain and loss they cause.” Students at West Virginia University and the University of South Dakota recognized the problem and wanted to be proactive. Students Making ...

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Salud America! Members Provide 30% of Comments for Texas Transportation Safety!



Salud America! network members submitted 62 public comments urging the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to prioritize safety and wellbeing on state transportation projects. In August 2018, we asked people to submit public comments to TxDOT 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 guides construction, development, and related activities for 13,000 projects. But some say it prioritizes traffic congestion relief over safety and connectivity. Salud America! filed an open records request with TxDOT and discovered 30% of all comments TxDOT got on the UTP were from Salud America! members! That’s 62 of 211 total comments, and a big jump from the 27 comments ...

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Sebastian Garcia-Medina: Leaving Behind Violence for Higher Education


GarciaMSebastian Exito 2018 participant

If something doesn’t work, Sebastian Garcia-Medina finds an alternative way to make it work. It’s this kind of resourcefulness that he learned from his father, who helped his family leave behind violence in Bogota, Columbia, and move to the U.S. in search of higher education. In Wisconsin, as a first-generation immigrant, Garcia-Medina found his passion in the medical sciences and aiding the underserved populations. After taking a year to work at the Mayo Clinic, Garcia-Medina is now continuing his path toward medicine and science by pursuing a master’s degree in Cleveland, Ohio. To further his experience and education, Garcia-Medina applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT ...

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Amelie Ramirez Elected Board President of Top Texas Health Agency


Amelie Ramirez komen scholar

Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, on her election as President of the Board of Directors for The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST)! TAMEST is a premier scientific organization that unites the best and brightest scientists and researchers across Texas. Ramirez will help supervise all TAMEST programs and affairs. She also will serve as representative of the organization. Ramirez will serve a two-year term through January 2021. “I look forward to helping guide TAMEST's efforts to make Texas a premier destination for world-class research in medicine, engineering, science and technology," Ramirez said. "Together we will work to improve the lives of our citizens and grow the economy." Dr. ...

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Pamela Sanchez: Improving Women’s Health


Sanchez Pamela Exito 2018 participant

When she feels lost, Pamela Sanchez can turn to her supportive sister or the doll her Chilean grandmother gave her. Fortunately, Sanchez is already finding her own path and making great progress toward her goal of improving women’s health. Sanchez is entering her second year in the master’s degree of public health program in epidemiology at the University of Florida. Sanchez, born in Miami but maintaining dual citizenship from the United States and Chile, is a first-generation American and the first in her family to seek her master’s degree. Sanchez is currently working on a research project with Dr. Ting-Yuan Cheng, an epidemiology professor at the University of Florida. The project investigates the mTOR pathway activity and its association with breast cancer ...

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CDC Launches Hashtag Campaign for School Health


Children playing with skipping rope in elementary school health

This week, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention launched their social media campaign for healthy schools, #CDCHealthySchools. The CDC’s Healthy Schools social media campaign aims "to increase awareness of the impact school health programs have in schools and school districts across the United States," said Holly Hunt, Chief of School Health at the CDC, in a letter sent to Salud America!. Healthy Schools Social Media Campaign The campaign encourages participants to answer the question, “What does a healthy school look like to you?” and use the hashtag #CDCHealthySchools to answer the question on any or all of your social media channels. Try posting a video, photo, graphic, or text. The campaign runs through Feb. 28, 2019. As part of the campaign, the CDC also ...

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Study: San Antonio’s Pre-K 4 SA Students Exceed Average Math & Reading Scores



The first group of participants in the San Antonio’s full-day public preschool program performed better on state standardized tests than others in public preschools and those who didn’t attend preschool, according to a new study, San Antonio Express-News reports. Voters approved Pre-K 4 SA in 2012. In 2018, the first group of Pre-K 4 SA students reached third grade, when the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam is first given. How do Pre-K 4 SA students (76.3% Latino) compare statewide? Over 11 percentage points higher on reading scores and over 15 percentage points higher on math scores than students who didn’t participate in public pre-K, according to the report by University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) Urban Education Institute! Pre-K 4 ...

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Schools Must Integrate Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning


Social emotional learning

Schools should reshape their environment to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning, according to a new report from the Aspen Institute. In schools with little focus on social and emotional learning, students of color or those who have experienced poverty and other childhood trauma may fall behind in typical measures like grades, attendance, and graduation. They aren’t prepared for success in adulthood. The new report explores the science of learning and makes the case for integrating—rather than separating—students’ social, emotional, and academic development. This would benefit all kids, especially Latinos and others at-risk, for the future of our nation. “Educating the whole student requires rethinking teaching and learning so that academics ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 2/5: Helping Kids Have Healthier Childhoods!


young hispanic latino kids playing clay classroom

“Children are our future.” You’ve heard this old saying before, but it’s never been truer. Childhood experiences set the physical, psychological, and social foundation as a child grows into adulthood. But Latinos and other communities lack support to meet children’s needs in opportunities for good health, education, and more, jeopardizing our nation’s future. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, to share innovative strategies and solutions to help Latino and all children have healthier childhoods and brighter futures: WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: "From Birth to Graduation: Helping Kids Have Healthier Childhoods and Brighter Futures" TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: ...

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