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Fizz Win: Soda Tax Revenue Turns into Emergency Grocery Vouchers amid Coronavirus


soda tax grocery store voucher coronavirus pandemic

A soda tax aims to reduce sugary drink consumption and boost public health. In a new twist, Seattle is using soda tax revenues to give emergency $800 grocery vouchers for 6,250 families amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Next City reports. City leaders mailed a $400 voucher in March 2020 for families to buy groceries at Safeway. They will send a second $400 voucher this month. Mayor Jenny Durkan called this rapid-response to coronavirus "remarkable." “As schools and child care facilities close, we need to do everything we can to support families and ensure they can put food on the table,” Durkan said, Next City reports. Sugary drinks do not contribute to good health, especially among Latinos, according to a Salud America! research review. Let's examine how soda ...

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Dr. Amelie Ramirez Joins New Team to Guide San Antonio in Reopening Economy after Social Distancing


Amelie Ramirez Latino Health Champion 2018

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced the addition of Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, to the COVID-19 Health Transition Team, which is working on a plan to slowly reopen the city economy after social distancing. Nirenberg and Wolff wrote a joint memo that stay-at-home rules have saved lives. Yet they acknowledge social distancing isn't permanent. "Our community needs a local strategy to reenter into everyday life," Nirenberg and Wolff wrote. "These decisions have critical implications on our community – including our ability to avoid subsequent outbreaks, ensure we protect our most vulnerable populations, especially those in high-risk professions, and to identify parameters for transitioning ...

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What the New Coronavirus Law Means for Paid Sick Leave, Family Leave


Paid leave provisions in coronavirus relief bill.

People need to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19. However, for the 27% of the U.S. private workforce with no paid sick leave, staying home isn’t an option, particularly for the full prescribed 14-day quarantine. That’s why a form of paid sick leave and family/childcare leave are part of a new $100 billion relief law, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which also includes nutrition aid, unemployment health insurance, and free COVID-19 testing. Trump signed the new law on March 18, 2020. It goes into effect April 2, 2020. But the new law could leave out up to 19 million workers, roughly 12% of the workforce, including many low-income Latinos, women, and other vulnerable populations, experts say. Moreover, economists estimate that three ...

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Big Win: FDA Approves Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs!


fda graphic warning labels for cigarette packs smoking child

FDA approved listened to public input and approved 11 new anti-smoking graphic warning labels that it will require tobacco companies to add to cigarette packs starting June 18, 2021. The warnings feature written statements with photo-realistic color images depicting some serious health risks of cigarette smoking. These include impact to fetal growth, cardiac disease, diabetes, and more. Last year, over 402 members of the Salud America! network sent emails to FDA to speak in favor of the warning labels for cigarette packages and advertisements. "The 11 finalized cigarette health warnings represent the most significant change to cigarette labels in more than 35 years," said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, in a news release. "[This] will considerably ...

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‘Next-Level’ Patient Navigation Improves Quality of Life for Latino Cancer Survivors


patient navigation latino cancer patient survivor medical forms

Latino cancer survivors who have a "next-level" patient navigator—one who regularly calls to offer support and culturally tailored materials—have better health-related quality of life than survivors with a more passive navigator, according to a new study by UT Health San Antonio, University of Miami, and Northwestern University. The study, published in the journal Cancer, provided patient navigation services to 288 Latino breast, prostate, and colon cancer survivors in San Antonio and Chicago. Half of survivors got access to a typical navigator. They could reach out to their navigator for help with paperwork, transportation, appointment scheduling, translation, accompaniment, and more. The other half got access to a "next-level" patient navigator who offers the same ...

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Somos Neighbors: Using Data Visualization to Connect People, Close the Life Expectancy Gap in San Antonio


Tonika Johnson, center, with “map twins” Carmen Arnold-Stratton, right, and Bridghid O’Shaughnessy, left. (WTTW News)

Where we live plays a big role in how long we live. That’s why racial and economic segregation are so harmful. Unequitable distribution of investment and services results in poor social and health outcomes for some. Tonika Johnson saw this in real time as a teen when she commuted from the less affluent South Side Chicago neighborhood where she lived to the more affluent North Side neighborhood where she attended school. “It’s like there was an invisible line dividing the city,” she said. Johnson started the “Folded Map” project to explore neighborhood differences and discuss solutions. In San Antonio, public health group CI:NOW were intrigued by Johnson’s “Folded Map.” How could they use it as model to create their own data tool to help residents, ...

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14 States Are Strengthening ‘Head Start’ for At-Risk Children, Families


Head Start helps at risk children and families

Communities are increasingly concerned about the rise of poverty, homelessness, trauma, and opioids among children and families. However, few states address these issues by investing money in Head Start programs, which are proven to strengthen families, promote school readiness, and improve child health. The good news is that lawmakers in 14 states are investing over $400 million each budget cycle for local Head Start and Early Head Start programs, according to a new analysis by the National Head Start Association and Voices for Healthy Kids. These investments will help serve more kids─but millions are still left out. Crisis of At-Risk Children and Families Many children and families face difficult situations: persistent childhood poverty the unrelenting opioid ...

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9 Big Questions as California Starts to Screen Kids for Trauma, ACEs


California Starts to Screen Kids for Trauma, ACEs

Early childhood adversity like abuse and divorce is a root cause of many of the greatest public health challenges we face today. But doctors don’t even screen children for exposure to adversity. That’s changing in California, thanks to Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and other child advocates. As of Jan. 1, 2020, almost 100,000 physicians in 8,800 clinics will be reimbursed for routinely screening Medi-Cal patients for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), in an effort California hopes will help prevent ongoing ACEs-related stress and disease. Here are nine big questions surrounding the change. 1. What Is Childhood Adversity (ACEs) and its Impact? Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) include abuse, neglect, divorce, parental incarceration, parental mental illness, etc. These ...

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How to Get 27 Million Americans More Physically Active by 2027


Active people healthy nation

Physical activity, like walking, is one of the best ways a person can improve their health and quality of life, while cutting risk of at least 20 diseases and conditions. Unfortunately, too few communities are designed for walking and physical activity. Intentionally creating communities with safe routes to everyday destinations is a key strategy to increase physical activity─not only to reduce health disparities, healthcare costs, and premature death, but also to increase equitable access to opportunity to build health and wealth. That’s why the CDC launched Active People, Healthy NationSM in January 2020. The initiative will help community leaders use proven strategies to make physical activity safe and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. It specifically ...

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