Veronica Landa: Following a Dream to Prevent Cancer Health Disparities


LandaVeronica Exito 2018 participant

With boundless encouragement from her mother, Veronica Landa displays bold determination and curiosity to explore and follow her dreams. Landa is already turning dreams into reality in her work as a research coordinator for clinical trials and as a specialist to refine family health services programs in California. Originally from San Antonio, Landa attended Stanford University and earned an MPH from the UT School of Public Health. Her work has centered on health disparities, with particular interest in Latinos and cancer. She also was the research coordinator for a minority clinical trials project at UT School of Public Health. Landa knows the critical value of prevention when it comes to cancer health disparities. To further her experience and education, Landa applied for ...

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Fernando Juarez: Overcoming the Odds to Promote Health


GarciaIsela Exito 2018 participant

Like Han Solo, never tell Fernando Juarez the odds. Juarez grew up playing the Loteria, but real life isn’t a game of chance for him. He’s certain he will overcome any challenge and achieve success in anything he puts his mind to. He is one who will take on any challenge, no matter how daunting, using a fantastic blend of his mother’s compassion and his father’s stubbornness. Juarez is taking on the challenge of studying for his master’s degree in health and kinesiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. And he puts into practice what he learns. When Jaurez participates in class courses and research projects, he implements his findings to his life. As a health advocate, Juarez aims to inspire and teach people how to make lifestyle modifications to improve ...

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Minority Kids Face Harsh Discipline in School, Trauma Out of School


school discipline practices trauma childhood

Children of color who are disproportionately targeted by harsh school discipline policies are also more likely to face adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) out of school, according to a new report. ACEs—such as poverty, neglect, and parental divorce—can impair healthy development and education. But little is known about how exclusionary school discipline practices—suspensions, expulsions, referrals to law enforcement, and corporal punishment—affect children with ACEs. So, ChangeLab Solutions created an issue brief, School Discipline Practices: A Public Health Crisis and an Opportunity for Reform, that shows how widespread use of exclusionary school discipline aggravates pre-existing ACEs and robs students of opportunities for learning and growth. “These practices ...

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Isela Garcia: Passion for Improving Health on the Border


Garcia Isela exito participant 2018

Isela Garcia has a passion for dancing folklorico. But she has an even stronger passion for solving health issues that affect the Latino population on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. As an undergraduate, Garcia worked on border health research projects in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. As a first-year MPH candidate at New Mexico State University, she is committed to research in Latino health disparities. She currently works on cancer education programs for the border community, and continues to gain experience in cancer education and prevention programs. To further her experience and education, Garcia 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 the ...

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Game Changer: San Antonio Police to Notify Schools if Kids Exposed to Trauma



Diana Centeno knows kids exposed to traumatic events don’t get extra support they need at school. Doug Greene knows police come across kids at crime scenes but feel unable to help them cope. So, they teamed up to start a project where patrol officers send a notification to the district if a child was present at a traumatic incident, enabling monitoring and support for the child. Centeno, a student support leader at San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), is passionate about providing wrap-around, social-emotional services, particularly for children facing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Kids exposed to ACEs often act out in class, miss school, and fall behind, increasing their risk of dropping out, getting into criminal activities, and suffering from poor ...

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The Scary Reason Cancer is on the Rise in Young Adults


young latina stress depression

If you are between ages 25 and 49, your risk of getting obesity-related cancer is rising, according to new research by the American Cancer Society. The cancer-obesity threat isn't going away any time soon, either. "The fact that increases were mostly in obesity-related cancers is due to the obesity epidemic, and we would expect that the incidence would increases as this younger population ages," lead researcher Dr. Ahmedin Jemal told U.S. & World News. These findings have big implications for Latinos, who often struggle with weight and cancer already. Study Findings In the United States, the rate of obesity more than doubled between 1984 and 2014. To study the link between obesity and cancer among young adults, the American Cancer Society scientists examined data from 25 ...

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Alejandra Ochoa: Chocolate, French, and Public Health


OchoaAlejandra Exito 2018 participant

A writer once said: “Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.” That is spot-on for Alejandra Ochoa. Because, just as chocolate fits well in any recipe, Ochoa is adaptable and driven to help people get healthy. Ochoa, who was born in Mexico City and immigrated to Phoenix at age 6, earned her bachelor’s degree in French with a minor in public health at the University of Arizona in 2014. She moved to Normandy, France, to participate in a teaching assistant program. She moved to Tucson, Ariz., to pursue a master’s degree in public health in 2017. Ochoa is continually learning and already is helping our youngest population as an injury prevention specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. To further her experience and education, Ochoa ...

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#SaludTues 2/19: Eye Health & Low Vision Awareness Month


Eye exam, low vision awareness

By 2040, Latinos are projected to have the highest rates of visual impairment compared to other U.S. minority groups. An increased risk for developing type II diabetes, combined with a rapid growth in the aging population are two key drivers increasing the risk for visual impairment and diabetic eye diseases , like diabetic retinopathy, among this population. What can we do to help prevent and address this in the Latino community? On Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2019, let’s tweet with #SaludTues  to learn more as we discuss how to promote eye health and low vision awareness during #LowVisionAwareness month! TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: Prevent Blindness Texas (@PBTEXAS), ...

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Maria Guzman: The Long Journey after Breast Cancer



By Maria Teresa Guzman San Antonio Cancer Survivor Sometimes it seems like it was yesterday that I first heard the word "Breast Cancer." But the reality is it has already been 3 years since I was all alone spending a Valentine’s Day in the midst of needles and nurses. You see, at 38 years old I started with a sudden stabbing pain in my breast that would not go away. I had it for a month, not really wanting to pay attention to the signals my body was giving me until I felt a lump. It would have been easy to let fear win, but I took the hardest road and picked up the phone to call my doctor. Within two days I had an exam, and a biopsy it was at that moment that the doctor said, “It is Valentine’s Day and I’m sorry you have to spend your day here in pain but I ...

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