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How You Can “Come Home Covered” This Holiday Season

This holiday season, as many of us prepare to celebrate with friends and familia, it is important to do all we can to stay healthy and protect against COVID-19. To prevent severe illness, vaccines are still our best tool. The good news is: You’re covered! Updated COVID-19 vaccines are now available and remain free of cost to you! Let’s explore how you can “Come Home Covered” against COVID-19 during the holidays! Should We Worry about COVID-19? COVID-19 has not gone away. U.S. Latinos also continue to suffer a disproportionate share of cases. Also, CDC data shows that the percentages of positive tests, hospitalizations, and deaths have increased from October 2023 to December 2023. With holiday celebrations upon us, it’s crucial that people and their loved ones ...

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Dr. Veronica Ramirez: Keeping Her Community Health with Infection Control

Dr. Veronica Ramirez is the first physician in her family.   The youngest of four children, Ramirez grew up in Escondido, California, with an interest in service. She watched her parents generously help others and give back to the community.   So, when Ramirez’s aunt, who she was very close to, was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in her late 30s, Ramirez was motivated to take her service orientation to a new level – medical school – to help those like her aunt.   “Seeing her go through that experience inspired me to want to go into medicine to help others,” Ramirez said.   Ramirez has done more than achieve her goal.   As an assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a hospitalist with UCLA Health, and a fellow ...

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Get Help Quitting Smoking for the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16!

quitxt for youtube great american smokeout quit smoking

You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with Day 1. On Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, you can join thousands of people who will begin their smoke-free journey with the Great American Smokeout. This annual event from the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to make a plan to stop smoking. Need help? Enroll in Quitxt, a free English or Spanish text-message service that turns your phone into a personal “quit smoking” coach from UT Health San Antonio. To join Quitxt, text “iquit” (for English) or “lodejo” (for Spanish) to 844-332-2058. “For the Great American Smokeout, we’re excited to share Quitxt to provide real-time help with motivation to quit, setting a quit date, handling stress, and much more, all on your phone,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, ...

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Why are Other Nations Outperforming America on Health Outcomes?

Why are Other Nations Outperforming America on Health Outcomes

Spending on health is rising in America. Yet, ironically, health outcomes are getting worse. In fact, people here experience the worst health outcomes overall of any high-income nation. U.S. residents are more likely to die younger, and from avoidable causes, than residents of peer countries, according to a 2023 report from The Commonwealth Fund. Let’s compare health outcomes with peer countries to provide an important baseline for where we are in health outcomes and set a target for where we could be. The U.S. and 5 Important Domains of Healthcare Systems A 2021 study by The Commonwealth Fund compared five performance domains of health care systems across 11 high-income countries. Researchers found the U.S. ranks last on four of five domains: access to care (last) ...

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Speed the Search for Better Treatments by Joining the GO2 Lung Cancer Registry!

Researchers need your help as they seek to better understand how lung cancer impacts people differently and how to improve treatment and quality of life.  That’s why the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer started its Lung Cancer Registry.   The international Lung Cancer Registry, available to join now, aims to double the 5-year survival rate of lung cancer patients from 20% to 40% by 2025.   “By sharing your lung cancer story, contributing your experiences as a person with lung cancer or a caregiver of someone with lung cancer, you are helping the research community develop new treatments,” according to GO2.  Let’s dive into more about the registry, how you can join, and how it can help Latinos.   Joining the Lung Cancer Registry   Participants interested in ...

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Food Insecurity on the Rise in America, Especially among Latinos

latino man grocery shopping cost food insecurity nutrition

The amount of Americans who are food insecure — without enough food for a healthy life for all family members — is on the rise, according to a new USDA report. 12.8% of Americans struggled with food insecurity in 2022, up from 10.2% in 2021. Latino households experienced the largest spike. “Too many of our neighbors struggle to put healthy food on the table," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "[The data] paint a picture of just how many Americans faced the heartbreaking challenge last year of struggling to meet a basic need for themselves and their children." Let's explore the report and the issue of food insecurity among Latinos. How Many Latinos Experience Food Insecurity? U.S. food insecurity had been in decline for several years. But, after the food ...

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From Fluke to Survivor: How Angelina Vazquez Felsing is Contributing to Latino Cancer Research

“It was kind of a fluke.”  That’s how Angelina Vazquez Felsing describes the events that led to her diagnosis of lung cancer.   Like many, Vazquez Felsing maintained a healthy lifestyle.   She didn’t smoke. She ate healthy, ran regularly, and had no family history of cancer.   Vazquez Felsing, who immigrated from Mazatlán, Mexico, in 1972, grew up in the Floresville area and has lived in San Antonio for many years.   It all started when Vazquez Felsing went to her yearly checkup through the wellness program at her job, where she has worked as a systems analyst for 17 years.  “They found something that was a little bit odd. They said, ‘Well come back in a year, and we'll do another CT scan,’” she said. “And when I went back, they found that ...

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Liver Cancer Resources Latinos Should Know About

Did you know 1 in 5 people with liver cancer in the United States are Latino?   The rise of liver cancer in Latinos is happening for many reasons. Some of the big reasons include excess body weight, alcohol use, smoking, and metabolic disorders. Latinos are often diagnosed at more advanced stages of liver cancer.   With this in mind, let’s explore helpful resources for Latinos on liver cancer.   Liver Cancer Connect  With liver cancer disproportionately impacting Latinos, it’s crucial that they have educational tools and resources to help navigate through their diagnosis.   Liver Cancer Connect is a program by the Hepatitis B Foundation that provides liver cancer patients and their families with information and support.   “Although this is a serious diagnosis, ...

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Many Latino Families Struggle with Child Care Cost, Access

Child care is crucial for Latino and all families, but some face issues with access and cost.   While many Latino households with low incomes used no-cost child care, those who paid out-of-pocket tended to face very high costs, according to a new research brief from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families (Hispanic Research Center).  “Our findings suggest a need for sustained and varied investments to support affordable child care access for Hispanic families with low incomes,” according to the Hispanic Research Center.   Let’s dig deeper into how this impacts Latino families.   Child care Costs for Latinos   The Hispanic Research Center examined data from the 2019 National Survey of Early Care and Education to explore the average weekly hours ...

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