Amanda Merck: Propelling Civic Engagement in San Antonio and Beyond


Amanda Merck

Amanda Merck isn’t only a content curator for Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, a public health representative for the Active Living Council for a Healthier San Antonio, and a teacher of group fitness classes for Fitness in the Park. She is a fighter for equitable transportation, equitable access to parks and green spaces, and an advocate for children who experience trauma. Merck is a poster child for civic engagement for health equity─and she is dedicating her time and career to help countless others become civically engaged, too. ‘Never Any Talk about Civic Engagement’ Merck grew up in many different places including California, Texas, and Montana. As the daughter of a low-income, high-school dropout, working was meant to pay the bills. “There was never ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 12/17: How to Plan for a Safer and More Active 2020


#SaludTues Tweetchat #SafeRoutes

Much of the disparity we see in traffic deaths and chronic disease is related to how we build roads and communities. Improving safety on our streets, sidewalks, and public spaces can help address decades of disparities. Let’s use #SaludTues on Dec. 17, 2019, to tweet about how you can take time at the end of 2019 to plan for a safer and more active 2020. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “How to Plan for a Safer and More Active 2020” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: America Walks (@americawalks); National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (@NADTCmobility); Safe Routes National Partnership (@SafeRoutesNow); National Complete Streets Coalition (@completestreets) OPTIONAL ...

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This City Ditched its Car-Centric Traditions to Better Serve All Transportation Users


Road Diet on Union Street to include bike lanes

Fred Dock knows that, as cities grow, managing transportation gets tougher. Dock, who headed up transportation for Pasadena, Calif. (34.4% Latino), also knows many cities overly focus on reducing automobile congestion and boosting speed, thus neglect walking, biking, and transit. Two things happen in these cities. Roads become dangerous for people walking and biking, and people are forced to depend on automobiles—the dirtiest, least efficient, and most expensive mode of travel. Dock wanted to help Pasadena out of this trap. Pasadena city leaders hoped to create an integrated, multimodal transportation system with choices and accessibility for everyone. But they wouldn’t achieve this vision using current auto-centric road metrics—that’s when Dock stepped up to ...

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Salud Talks Podcast Episode 10: “Streets Found Wanting”


Streets Ian Thomas Salud Talks

When was the last time you didn't use your car to get around? A lack of transportation options and safe streets make it too difficult for too many Americans to not use personal vehicles, according to Ian Thomas, the State and Local Program Director of America Walks. Check out this discussion on the #SaludTalks Podcast, Episode 10, "Streets Found Wanting"! WHAT: A #SaludTalks discussion on auto-dependence and how that reliance impacts everyone GUESTS: Ian Thomas, the State and Local Program Director of America Walks WHERE: Available wherever fine podcasts are downloaded, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Tune In, and others WHEN: The episode went live at 8:30 a.m., Nov. 13, 2019 In this episode, we explored questions such as: Why is it that ...

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What Health Professionals Need to Know about Transportation and ‘Level of Service’


How Measuring Vehicle Miles Traveled Can Promote Health Equity

Do you know how roadways are graded? Most transportation indicators grade based on the level of motor vehicle traffic on a road, with little consideration for people walking, bike or taking transit, and vehicle travel. This leads planners to design car-focused roads that neglect transit and non-motorized travel, which is counterproductive to social, environmental, and health goals. Using level of service (LOS), for example, to assess road performance tends to expand roadways and increase vehicular speeds to benefit cars and trucks only. This ends up enabling more vehicle travel and reducing feasibility of walking, biking, and busing. That’s why five early-adopter cities in California transitioned away from a narrow focus on moving as many cars as fast as possible, to a more ...

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#SaludTues 11/5/19: Measuring Transportation Impacts for Health, Equity and Sustainability


#SaludTues

The methods used to measure and analyze the impact of transportation projects matter for health, equity and sustainability. Vehicle delay, for example, is a poor measure of transportation impact and incorrectly equates low levels of auto delay with mobility and preservation of the environment. Yet, many regions and states rely on vehicle delay to determine which projects get funded and expedited. Measuring the amount and distance of vehicle travel rather than delay encourages infrastructure for transit and non-motorized travel and facilitates mixed-use, transit-oriented development (TOD) and infill development. Measuring vehicle miles traveled can help cities reach climate, equity, health, and sustainability goals. Let’s use #SaludTues on November 5, 2019, to tweet about ...

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10 Actions to Integrate Social Care into Health Care


Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care: Moving Upstream to Improve the Nation’s Health

Your health depends on the social conditions where you live—like stable housing, safe transportation, and health food. But the health care system often overlooks these social conditions in favor of medical interventions. To improve the nation's health, health care leaders should integrate social care into health care delivery. “Integrating social care into health care delivery holds the potential to achieve better health outcomes for the nation and address major challenges facing the U.S. health care system,” according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). Policymakers, health system leaders, and other stakeholders can achieve this integration through 10 key actions. 5 Goals to Integrate Social Needs into Health ...

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Report: Transit Agencies Can Partner with Community, Advocates to Address Homelessness


transit police homelessness

Although violent crimes on the Los Angeles County (48.6% Latino) Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) are rare, riders complain the high number homeless individuals makes them feel unsafe. In a 2016 survey, 29% of former riders told Metro they stopped taking transit because they felt unsafe, according to the Los Angeles Times. The next year, Metro increased spending on law enforcement and security by 37%. However, police presence alone is not enough to address perceptions of safety. “We cannot and should not arrest our way out of the problem,” said Jennifer Loew, Metro’s director of special projects. That’s why Metro paired law enforcement officers with social workers as part of their homeless outreach program. Transit Agencies and Homelessness Transit systems ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 9/24/2019: How to Use Data to Promote Health Equity


HEalth Equity Report Card

Disparities in chronic disease, injury, and premature death contribute to worse health outcomes, decreased productivity, and increased direct and indirect healthcare costs for minority racial/ethnic populations and people with low socioeconomic status. Inequities in housing, transportation, environmental issues, and access to healthcare, mental health, healthy food and active spaces contribute to these disparities. But we can’t address these inequities if we don’t have local data to show the way. Data like the new Salud America! Health Equity Report Card can identify health inequity issues in your county, compared to the state and nation, and help you build a case toward solutions. Let’s use #SaludTues on September 24, 2019, to tweet about how you can use data to make ...

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