Liliana Martinez: Determined to Improve Latino Health


MartinezLiliana Exito 2018 participant

Determination is what Liliana Martinez is all about. She found a model for determination in her brother who, despite spending time incarcerated, went back to school and became a successful teacher. Martinez proved her own determination when, as a native of Mexico who immigrated with her family to the United States at age 6, she worked with undocumented students to pursue passage of the DREAM Act and mentored high school students to pursue higher education. And, perhaps most impressively, she will be passing her determination on to the next generation, too, as she is resolute in wanting to teach her first child the indigenous Nahuatl language spoken by her Mexican grandmother. Martinez is a current graduate student in the master’s degree of public health program at the ...

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Cynthia Cervantes: Community Health Education for Latinos


CervantesCynthia exito participant 2018

Just like the beautiful handmade Mexican huipil shirt she proudly wore during her undergrad years at UCLA, Cynthia Cervantes has become the embodiment of resilience. Cervantes is a first-generation student currently working on her master’s degree of public health with an emphasis on community health education. She’s gained valuable experiences through working as a health advocate for an HIV risk reduction program and as a research coordinator for a stroke study. She also has participating in grassroots efforts that showed her the differences Latino communities face to access care. To further her experience and education, Cervantes applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San ...

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How a Children’s Museum Morphed into a Latino Community Hub



Steve Long knows the mission of the Children's Museum of the East End is to spark imagination, play, and learning for all children in Bridgehampton, N.Y. (21% Latino). But the museum has risen to a new level under Long's leadership as executive director. It has become a Latino community hub. Long and the museum leaders host an afterschool science program for Spanish-speaking students. They partnered to host "safe space" workshops for Latino immigrants. They helped start an eight-week music program to enhance Spanish-speakers' literacy skills. They even added a mini-golf course with science-based facts in English and Spanish. "[The museum] is having a lifelong impact on the development of Latino children and their families through these programs," Long said. The ...

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Students Aim to Address Mental Health, Suicide in Rural Areas


Young people with problems having a discussion while sitting together on special group therapy training implicit bias

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 being named 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 brightest scientists and researchers across Texas. Ramirez, elected to a two-year term, will help supervise all programs and affairs. She also will serve as representative of the organization. “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. Ramirez & Her Work to Improve Latino ...

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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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