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1 in 5 People on Transplant Waiting List are Latino



More than 100,000 people are waiting for a life-changing organ transplant in the US, according to the American Heart Association.  The stark reality is that nearly 23% of those on the transplant candidate waiting list are Latino — that’s one out of every five people.   In fact, 59% of all transplant candidates on the waiting list are Black, Latino, or Asian. These populations are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases, leading to the need for a transplant.   In 2023, Latinos received 8,540 of the over 46,000 transplants performed, including 580 hearts, according to the American Heart Association.   Despite the number of transplants performed and Latinos on the waiting list, organ donation remains low in the Latino community.  Latino Organ ...

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5 Big Accomplishments for the All of Us Research Program



For the last several years, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) All of Us Research Program has endeavored to collect the health data of over 1 million Americans to ensure healthcare works for all of us.  Are they close to 1 million participants?  How has it helped boost research?  Let’s look at five notable milestones the program has reached in its mission to build a health data network that looks like all of us.  1. Increasing the Diversity of Research Participation With help from local community partnerships, including UT Health San Antonio, across the country, over 790,000 people nationwide have decided to join the program’s expansive and inclusive research network, the program announced in a recent news release.  In addition, over 540,000 ...

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USDA Limits Added Sugar and Sodium in School Meals!



School meals are getting healthier! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published its final rule to improve school food nutrition standards based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The changes – supported by 438 Salud America! members and 74,000 people overall via public comments – include limiting added sugars (for the first time), reducing sodium, and emphasizing locally sourced fruits and vegetables. The updated rules will take effect starting July 1, 2024, but most changes will occur incrementally between fall 2025 and fall 2027. “The new standards build on the great progress that school meals have made already and address remaining challenges – including reducing sugar in school breakfasts. These updates also make it easier for schools to access ...

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Court: Graphic Health Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs Are OK



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently unanimously upheld the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s mandate for graphic health warning labels on cigarette packs and advertising. The graphic health warning labels show written statements with photo-realistic color images depicting some serious health risks of cigarette smoking. Risks include impact to fetal growth, cardiac disease, diabetes, and more. In recent years, Salud America! members sent emails to FDA in favor of the labels. Now, the appeals court upheld the FDA requirement for the labels and rejected “arguments from R.J. Reynolds that the labels violate the First Amendment or take up too much space on packages,” according to the Public Health Law Center (PHLC). “In upholding the graphic ...

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Buckle Up! The All of Us Research Program is Hitting the Road with National Tour



Sit down and buckle up because the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program could be pulling into a town near you! On April 16, 2024, the All of Us Research Program announced its annual nationwide tour focused on engaging historically underrepresented communities in medical research, according to a recent news release. The national mobile tour, dubbed “the All of Us Journey,” kicked off its route with stops on the East Coast in Ohio before eventually making its way to the New York area in early May. Other East Coast stops include Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia along with first-time destinations of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The program plans to visit more than 80 communities, including central regions like Texas, Colorado, and New ...

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Meet the Researchers Translating Science to Benefit Public Health in San Antonio



After careful consideration, the Institute for Integration of Medicine & Science (IIMS) at UT Health San Antonio and UTSA College for Health, Community, and Policy (HCaP) have announced the recipients of new Community Engagement Small Project Grants. Five grantees were chosen to lead projects covering HIV/AIDS, faith’s impact on criminal rehabilitation, artistic influence on young brain development, and more, according to a recent university news release. The grants, for one year and up to $5,000, aim to promote, develop, and expand community and scholarly research partnerships that benefit science and clinicians. Each project will meet local needs through community-engaged research or assessment, education, and distributing research results or policy implications. This ...

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USDA Approves Big Changes to Improve Nutrition in WIC Food Packages



USDA has approved a final rule to improve nutrition and support breastfeeding in food packages in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The final rule includes these changes: Require WIC-eligible whole grain breakfast cereals contain a whole grain as the first ingredient. Increase access to whole grains in breakfast cereal, bread, and grains, including "tortillas made with folic acid-fortified corn masa flour (once available in the marketplace)." Expand whole grain options to include foods like quinoa, blue cornmeal, and teff to reflect dietary guidance and accommodate individual or cultural preferences. Provide more convenience and options in the dairy category, including flexibility on package sizes and non-dairy substitution ...

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