4 Powerful Tools Governors Can Use to Build Up Public Health


State government

Governors have the opportunity to use state resources and create partnerships to improve the social and economic inequities that cause poor health outcomes, especially among communities of color. But not all governors have the tools to boost public health. That’s why the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and the de Beaumont Foundation released four big tools to help governors understand what influences public health and how to embed upstream health- and prevention-related plans into the structure of government. “We’re the state that’s going to tear down the systemic barriers to work and education faced by people of color, people with disabilities, veterans and women,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in his inaugural address, according to an NASHP blog ...

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New Study: Latinas in Texas Have the Worst C-section Outcomes


pregnant hispanic latina at the doctor for prenatal care

Latinas who live on the U.S. Southwest border have more surgical infant delivery rates than their peers in the rest of the country. Not only do those who reside on the border experience cesarean section, or C-section, more often, but Latinas have overall higher rates than white women, according to a New Mexico State University study. This was not the case six years ago. Jill McDonald, who serves as the director of the Southwest Institute for Health Disparities Research in the College of Health and Social Services at NMSU, told the Santa Fe New Mexican before 2013, Latinas had lower numbers than white women. “Now, Hispanic women are more likely to have a cesarean birth than non-Hispanic white women,” McDonald said. Maternal Disparities Latinas already suffer from ...

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Alarming Toxins in Children Connected to Noxious Furniture, Vinyl Floors


Children furniture safety

Homes that have vinyl flooring or certain kinds of furniture are now known to raise the levels of potentially harmful compounds in children, according to recently presented research. Flame retardant chemicals and cushioning in sofas raised children’s concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) six times in comparison to children not exposed to these chemicals. Worse, kids who live in homes with vinyl flooring showed concentration levels up to 15 times greater than their peers. “[These chemcials] are widely used in electronics, furniture, and building materials and can be detected in nearly all indoor environments,” said Heather Stapleton, a Duke professor and environmental chemist, who led the study. “Nonetheless, there has been little research on the ...

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Ohio: Speak Up for More Social and Emotional Learning in Schools


Latina student learning about social and emotional skills.

The Ohio Department of Education wants your comment on its plans to expand Social and Emotional Learning standards in schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. This is a big deal because Ohio would join only eight states with K-12 social and emotional learning standards, which help students gain life skills, such as emotional awareness, respect for each other, strong relationships, and responsible decision-making. But we think Ohio’s standards can get even better. The standards do not clearly define support for children who deal with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The standards also need a stronger application of implicit bias—people’s unconscious prejudice—to better support racial/ethnic students and those in poverty. If you agree, email the following model ...

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Sesame Street Offers Hundreds of Bilingual Activities for Parents, Providers


Eating Colorful Fruits and Vegetables video from Sesame Street

Big Bird, Elmo, and friends have connected with children on TV for years—now Sesame Street is helping parents and community providers help kids and families grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Sesame Street in Communities provides hundreds of bilingual, multi-media tools to help parents and community providers engage kids and families in everyday activities to boost early childhood development.  All content is available for free in English and Spanish. Parents and Caregivers Parents and caregivers can find activities and videos for all age ranges on 28 topics. These go from healthy eating to traumatic experiences. Eating Well: Food insecurity can make things seem hopeless. But programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School ...

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Diana Ballesteros-Gonzalez: Moving Cross-Country for Latino Public Health


GonzalezBDiana Exito 2018 participant

Diana Ballesteros-Gonzalez is motivated to work to prevent chronic disease among Latinos by her family’s health history, her work in the community, and her passion for public health. In fact, with the support of her husband, Ballesteros-Gonzalez bravely packed up and moved from the West Coast of her native California to the East Coast of New York to study public health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences with a certificate in Epidemiology of Chronic Disease. Ballesteros-Gonzalez’s ultimate career goal in public health is to not only become a professor, but also serve her hometown community to improve chronic disease outcomes. To further her potential to reach her goal, Ballesteros-Gonzalez applied for the ...

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Making the Case for Paid Family Leave


Pregnant Latina at work.

Paid leave reduces the use of public services, boosts employee productivity, and can help families better succeed—yet three in four Latinos are unable to take such time. Despite data that shows its benefits, there is no federal requirement to provide paid family leave. The 1993 federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), legislation most businesses follow, does not cover all workers and leave offers are unpaid. Lack of paid leave and other economic support contributes to health and economic disparities among Latinas, Latinos, and low-income families. Still, paid leave is gaining popular support, including a proposal for universal paid family leave. “If the [corporate officers and directors] gets paid leave, then the factory floor worker should also get paid leave,” ...

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Sandra Garcia Camacho: Taking Aim to Boost Latino Health


CamachoGSandra Exito 2018 participant

Thanks to her mother’s hard work, independence, and resilience, Sandra Garcia Camacho is poised to make an impact for Latino health. Garcia Camacho grew up in Yauco "The City of Coffee" in Puerto Rico. She completed her bachelor’s degree in natural sciences with a concentration in biomedicine at the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce. She then pursued her master’s degree in public health with an emphasis in biostatistics at the Medical Sciences Campus in Puerto Rico. She wants to conduct research in chronic disease, and looks forward to addressing research gaps in the study of polycystic kidney disease. To further her experience and education, Garcia Camacho applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. ...

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Erika Bonilla: Working to Help Latino Families Thrive


BonillaErika Exito 2018 participant

Like the beautiful photo of Erika Bonilla’s tia and father that serve as a reminder of her El Salvadorean roots, Bonilla is on a mission to see Latino families thrive. Bonilla holds bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s of public health degree from California State University, Long Beach. Bonilla is a Research Associate at the CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training. Her research focus includes: maternal and child health, adolescent health, women’s health, cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS prevention, childhood obesity prevention, community-based participatory research, education, and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students of multiple disciplines in health science and human services majors. Having already gained valuable ...

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