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Wisconsin Leading the Nation in Trauma-Informed Care

An initiative by the First Lady of Wisconsin to prevent and reduce childhood trauma has grown to become a dynamic collaboration, putting Wisconsin in the lead to be the first trauma-informed state. Trauma during childhood negatively affects development and physical and mental health into adolescence and adulthood. Traumatic events include: physical and emotional neglect; physical, emotional and sexual abuse; parental divorce, separation, incarceration, and substance abuse; and poverty. These are also called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and were first studied in the 1990s. The more ACEs a child experiences, the higher their risk of chronic disease, mental illness, substance abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, incarceration, and dropping out of high school. Since the ...

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Shocking Reasons Why 100,000 San Antonio Adults Haven’t Passed 9th Grade

San Antonio is the nation's seventh-largest city, a dynamic modern powerhouse steeped in Latino culture and history. Yet more than 100,000 adults here haven't passed ninth grade. An in-depth article by Lily Casura of HuffPost recently took a deep dive into the state of education in the city, which noted "exceptionally low" high-school graduation rates in certain parts of the city. Casura's article notes that 300,000 San Antonio adults overall (20% of the city's population) are not high-school graduates. Four San Antonio ZIP Codes (two on its east side and two on its west side) have emerged as “the highest-hardship areas of the city,” she wrote. About 110,000 people live in these four ZIP Codes (78202, 78203, 78207, and 78237) and more than half have not completed ninth ...

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Grad Student Gifts San Antonio with “Geography of Poverty” Map

Some areas of San Antonio (68% Latino) are much harder to live in than others. Latinos in these areas face more hardship, health problems, and die sooner. In fact, everyone living in these areas faces more hardship, health problems, and dies sooner. Lily Casura and other grad students in Social Work at the College of Public Policy at UT San Antonio (UTSA) mapped ZIP-code level data and launched a project to explore life lived in four difficult-to-live ZIP Codes in San Antonio. Their goal is to deepen conversations about equity and investment to improve quality of life. January 2019 UPDATE: Casura continues to gift San Antonio with interactive maps, to include results of the 2018 Community Needs Assessment.  Why ZIP Codes? Everyone can visualize the physical environment of ...

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UT Health San Antonio Adopts More Comprehensive Tobacco-Free Policy

breaking cigarette smoking smokefree

UT Health San Antonio officials recently approved a revised tobacco-free policy that comprehensively defines tobacco-free areas on campus, expands who the policy applies to, and extends the list of prohibited items to cover vaping and e-cigarettes. The university has had a tobacco-free policy since 2000. The revised policy, which is part of the UT Health SA Handbook of Operating Procedures, makes all workplaces smoke- and tobacco-free that are owned, leased, operated, or otherwise controlled by UT Health SA. This includes prohibiting all forms of tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaping, and e-cigarettes inside buildings and on campus grounds, entryways, and parking lots and structures, as well as in vehicles. This revised policy applies to all employees, staff and faculty, ...

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Latino City Creates Task Force to Boost Affordable Housing

The need for affordable housing is rising in many big cities across the United States. That includes San Antonio (68% Latino). The city is facing an affordable housing shortage of 142,000 units, while median sale prices for homes rose above $200,000 for the first time in 2016, The Rivard Report indicates. That's why first-term Mayor Ron Nirenberg created a Housing Policy Task Force to help address the current and future affordable housing need. “We have to face up to the fact that the housing paradigm in San Antonio must change,” said Nirenberg told The Rivard Report. “We need to protect and connect neighborhoods and make incredible growth, and expand housing choices for our residents, no matter what their income.” The Task Force, which held its first public ...

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Group Teaches Therapists ‘Latino Culture’ to Improve Mental Health Care

Liz Franklin made an important discovery about mental healthcare for the Latino population in her years as school therapist at Washburn Center for Children in Hennepin County (6.9% Latino), Minn. Speaking Spanish is good—but it's not enough to understand Latinos' thoughts and situations. "You won’t get everything right if you just translate things literally," Franklin told the MinnPost. "You have to understand the deeper meanings, and to do that takes time and a lot of communication." That's why Franklin decided to help. She created a consortium of more than 80 Spanish-speaking therapists, doctors, and other mental healthcare providers to share more about the Latino culture and the issues that this population faces. Latinos and Mental Health Latinos are less likely ...

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Best of Complete Streets about to Get Better

In light of traffic deaths, traffic jams, and pollution, many U.S. cities are working to make their streets safer. However, street improvements often occur in white, wealthy neighborhoods. This does little to help the people most impacted by disparities in mobility and air quality—low-income people, Latinos and other minorities, and people older than 65. How can we tell if street projects are benefiting everyone equitably? Fortunately, the National Complete Streets Coalition of Smart Growth America grades "Complete Streets" projects—where streets are designed for drivers, transit users, people walking, and people biking, regardless of age or ability—and publishes a Best Complete Streets Policies Report. But they haven't updated their 100-point grading system since ...

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Museum’s Kid-Friendly ‘Body Adventure’ Boosts Health in San Antonio

Visitors explore at the H-E-B Body Adventure at the Witte Museum in San Antonio

The Witte Museum's H-E-B Body Adventure exhibit has made a positive health impact on more than 500,000 children and adults in San Antonio (68% Latino) since its launch in 2014, according to a new report by museum officials. "It's really a safe haven to encourage the community to find out and explore that physical activity, healthy eating and rest and relaxation are fun," Dr. Bryan Bayles, the museum's curator of anthropology and health, told KSAT-TV. The exhibit, now in its third year, works like this, according to the Rivard Report: The H-E-B Body Adventure is a modular interactive, electronic, hands-on experience for both children and adults that involves activities like working off the calories of a soda on a step machine, dissecting the human body at a simulated autopsy ...

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Nation’s Largest ‘Zoo School’ to Open in San Antonio

Imagine you're 4 years old. How would you feel going to preschool with crocodiles, elephants, and butterflies? What about learning letters while on nature walks? That childhood fantasy is reality for kids at the Will Smith Zoo School in San Antonio (68% Latino). The Zoo School, which opened in 2004 and became licensed in 2014 at the San Antonio Zoo, will expand its capacity from about 50 to more than 200 students in 2018 and become the largest nature-based preschool in the nation, SA Current reports. Zoo officials believe that learning can be as much of a serious hands-on experience as it is messy fun. "Children will spend time in nature exploring and discovering the wonders of nature," according to the Zoo School Parent Handbook. "Basic preschool concepts will be ...

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