Salud America! Members Send 2,214 Emails to Address Childhood Trauma


childhood adversity impacts lifelong mental and physical health

More than 2,000 Salud America! network members emailed public comments urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to address childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences in proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030. Healthy People represents critical public health priorities by focusing on the leading causes of death and disease and driving action at the national, state, and local levels. Since its launch in 1979, the initiative has grown from 15 topics and 226 objectives in 1990 to 42 topics and more than 1,200 objectives in 2020. However, no objectives tackle the rising health issue of childhood trauma. So, with help from Dr. Colleen Bridger of San Antonio Metro Health District and Dr. Joe Hendershott of Hope for the Wounded Student, we ...

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Keylynne Matos-Cunningham: Speaking Up for Health Justice


Cunningham Keylynne exito participant 2018

Keylynne Matos-Cunningham is a force to be reckoned with. The eldest of three younger siblings and a blend of Northern, Southern, African-American and Puerto Rican cultures, Matos-Cunningham stands up and speaks out against injustices experienced by underrepresented minorities. Matos-Cunningham graduated with her master’s degree of public health from Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU). Her research interests are mental health, minority health, sexual health and social determinants of health. She works full-time in substance abuse prevention and is an adjunct health instructor at ECU. There are many things that move her and drive her closer to her purpose. She believes that being a servant of the community is how to best understand the world. To ...

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Call for Help: Mental Health Helpline Launched in South Texas


Hope Famil Health Center mental health warm line

Struggling with behavioral or mental health issues? If you're in the Rio Grande Valley (~90% Latino), there is a phone number you can call to get help. The Hope Family Health Center in McAllen, Texas has launched a new service: A Peer Run Warm Line. This resource is for those in the community who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, or any other non-crisis, non-emergency ailment to their everyday living. The Warm Line launched on January 21, 2019. "There may be somebody that will be going through a crisis or close to a crisis and need somebody to talk to and [they're] isolated and don’t want to call the hospital for help or don’t have the resource," Rebecca Stocker, leader of Hope Family Health Center in McAllen, told The Monitor. "They can ...

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How Your City Can Fund More Active Transportation



Access to walking, bicycling, and other forms of active transportation can benefit Latino and all people’s health, safety, social connectivity, and quality of life. But many communities struggle to pay for sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails. Fortunately, a new report from Safe Routes to School National Partnership explains “active transportation financing” and how it can set the stage for strong health partnerships that can generate healthy, active, equitable communities Active Transportation Matters There is a connection between public health and transportation. People are healthier when they have safe places to walk and bike. However, disparities exist. Low-income populations and Latino and other communities of color have fewer safe places to walk and higher ...

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Joe Padilla: Bust Cultural Barriers to Improve Latino Men’s Health


PadillaJoe Exito 2018 participant

Joe Padilla saw both sides of the coin growing up. His grandmother’s love led her to feed passersby. His uncle never accepted success, and pushed him to do more and more. The result was a goal-driven, yet compassionate person who has a huge head start on his goal of busting cultural barriers and improving the health of Latino men. Padilla earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas at El Paso, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public health with a concentration in community health education at New Mexico State University (NMSU). He is a graduate research assistant for the NMSU’S Cancer Outreach Program. He helps with program evaluation of the Culturally Adapted Colorectal Cancer Educational Program for Hispanics. He hopes to ...

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U.S. Cancer Death Rates Decline, But Less for Those in Poverty


cancer screening

The overall U.S. cancer death rate fell 27% from 1991 to 2016, according to a recent study by the American Cancer Society. Good news, right? Not so fast. The report revealed a disturbing trend: a growing gap in cancer death rates based on wealth. "It was surprising to see that the disparities by socioeconomic status are actually widening," Rebecca Siegel, first author of the study and strategic director of surveillance information at the American Cancer Society, told CNN. "Wealth causes differences in exposure to risk factors and also access to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment." Cancer is the leading cause of death among U.S. Latinos. They are more likely to receive a cancer diagnoses in later, less curable cancer stages. The Bad News This is ...

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Report: Junk Food Advertised More to Latino, Black Kids



Disparities in advertising for unhealthy food continue to target Latino and Black youth, according to a new report from Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, the Council on Black Health at Drexel University, and Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. Eight out of 10 food ads seen by Latino children on Spanish-language TV promote fast food, candy, sugary drinks, and snacks. Unhealthy food marketing aimed at youth is a contributor to poor diets and related diseases, like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Targeting Latino and Black youth with unhealthy marketing contributes to disparities in health. That’s why the UConn Rudd Center first explored food-related TV advertising in 2013. Since then, the 10 companies with the most targeted ...

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Mental Health Treatment Offers New Path for Latino Immigrants


wife comforting latino immigrant husband stress depression

Latinos are more likely than their peers to have mental health issues, which usually go unaddressed and untreated, according to a Salud America! research review. And with today’s anti-immigrant climate, the mental health of Latinos continues to suffer. Fear of deportation, mainly those in immigrant communities, is one of the main reasons mental health goes untreated. But there’s good news! Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital's Disparities Research Unit have tested a novel preventive intervention designed to provide tailored treatment for Latino immigrants with both mental health and substance misuse symptoms, according to a press release. This research is a collaboration between teams in Spain, U.S. and Puerto Rico. "We know that Latino patients benefit when ...

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Nicole Serrant Ayes: Improving Access to Cancer Care Services


Ayes Nicole Exito 2018 participant

Nicole Serrant Ayes is always up for a challenge. In fact, she’s already proven this by taking the challenging trek up Machu Picchu. Serrant Ayes also spent two years as a biologist and a research assistant at a Veteran’s Affairs Hospital collaborating in different cancer projects. With two grandfathers who survived prostate cancer, she is now determined to help others at risk, by improving access to services. She is currently finishing up her master’s degree of public health in epidemiology at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus. To further her experience and education, Serrant Ayes applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from ...

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