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Play Deserts Common in Southern Areas



Play deserts are common among the Deep South and Southwest areas of the United States, according to a recent study from the University of Georgia (UGA).   You may have heard of food deserts and how healthy eating options are limited or hard to access in many racial/ethnic and low-income neighborhoods.   Play deserts are defined as “areas where parks and other spots to run around and play are nonexistent, hard to access or in less safe locations that make parents second-guess taking their children to play there.”   The UGA study shows that play deserts cover about 7% of the US, but the rates are even higher in the Southern parts of the nation.   “Even if you have the park near where you live, if the environment is not safe or it’s difficult to access, then people ...

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Lack of Men of Color in Health Professions Is a National Crisis



The low number of Latinos and other men of color graduating and entering the health care professions is a national crisis, according to a new consensus statement led by the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP).  The statement calls on local and national educational, health care, governmental, and community leaders to address this issue.    “A continued lack of awareness, marginalization and unconscious bias has led this issue to reach crisis proportions,” according to a FASHP statement. “This crisis is reflected in absolute numbers in academic institutions, in the representation of health professionals, in the elevation to leadership positions, and in health outcomes across the health professions.”   Let’s dive deeper into this ...

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MS in Latinos: What Do We Know?


multiple sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disease that usually affects young adults of various races/ethnicities, including Latinos. However, compared to white people, there is less understanding of how the disease impacts the Latino community. Let’s explore more about MS, why less is known about MS in Latinos, and how Latinos can gain equal access to MS care. What Causes MS? Normally, our body’s immune system protects us from getting sick. But sometimes, our immune system can mistakenly attack parts of our own body. In MS, the immune system attacks myelin, a substance that coats nerve fibers, according to the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke. Myelin can be found in our body’s central nervous system, which includes the brain, optic ...

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What’s Wrong with This Picture? Outpatient Exam Room


What's wrong?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Project Firstline program offers training and educational resources on various infection control topics, including risk recognition and infection control basics related to COVID-19. These training and educational resources are designed for all healthcare workers, no matter their role or educational background. Join us as Salud America! explores Project Firstline’s interactive infection control resources for healthcare workers through a three-part series on, “What’s Wrong with This Picture?” Part 1 tackled the emergency room. Part 2 focused on the nurse’s station. Today, we will address an outpatient exam room. Can You Recognize Infection Control Risks? Healthcare workers must be aware of where germs ...

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Do You Know the CDC’s New COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations?



The CDC recently announced updated COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. The update allows people ages 65 and older or immunocompromised to get an additional updated bivalent vaccine dose at least four months after their initial bivalent dose. “If you’re in this group and have questions about getting an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose, you should consult your healthcare provider,” according to Public Health Communications Collaborative. Read more about the updated vaccine recommendations and why they matter for Latinos. The Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations Other changes made by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices include: Monovalent (original) mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be recommended for use in the United States. CDC ...

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A Simplified Update on Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan


loan forgiveness

It’s been nine months since President Biden announced his student loan forgiveness plan, and a lot has happened since. Whether you’re for or against the forgiveness, information on the plan’s status can be confusing and overwhelming. So, here’s a simplified summary of where our nation stands on student loan forgiveness. Have Any Loans Been Forgiven? So far, only targeted groups have benefitted from loan forgiveness. The billions of dollars awarded to these groups account for just 1% of all federal student loan debt. Most borrowers have yet to benefit from forgiveness, and the current student loan debt amount sits at $1.7 trillion. What’s the Hold Up with Student Loan Forgiveness? Pushback on the loan forgiveness plan has occurred across the nation in many states, ...

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CDC Report: US Tuberculosis Cases Increased in 2022


tuberculosis cough

US tuberculosis (TB) cases increased for the second straight year in 2022, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Certain racial and ethnic groups, including Latinos, saw considerable increases in TB infections. Let’s explore what this data means for Latinos, and why this population is more vulnerable to TB infections than their white counterparts. What is Tuberculosis? TB disease is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, according to the CDC. TB bacteria spreads through the air and usually targets the lungs but can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated, TB disease can be fatal. However, not everyone who becomes infected with TB will develop TB disease. Sometimes, TB ...

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How WIC Can Help Address the Maternal Mortality Crisis


WIC healthy food

Despite the heaviest spending on healthcare, the US has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations. Unfortunately, this historic trend has worsened over time. To help mitigate the maternal mortality crisis, leaders should strengthen the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), according to Dr. Jamila Taylor, president and CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA). “WIC’s targeted support can and should be leveraged to reduce the prevalence of risk factors that contribute to adverse maternal health outcomes,” Dr. Taylor said in an NWA press release. Let’s explore the extent of pregnancy-related deaths in the US, the role of WIC in women’s health, and how you can support the WIC program and health equity in your ...

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