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Amelie Ramirez Elected Board President of Top Texas Health Agency


Amelie Ramirez komen scholar

Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, on being named President of the Board of Directors for The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST)! TAMEST is a premier scientific organization that unites the brightest scientists and researchers across Texas. Ramirez, elected to a two-year term, will help supervise all programs and affairs. She also will serve as representative of the organization. “I look forward to helping guide TAMEST's efforts to make Texas a premier destination for world-class research in medicine, engineering, science and technology," Ramirez said. "Together we will work to improve the lives of our citizens and grow the economy." Dr. Ramirez & Her Work to Improve Latino ...

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Pamela Sanchez: Improving Women’s Health


Sanchez Pamela Exito 2018 participant

When she feels lost, Pamela Sanchez can turn to her supportive sister or the doll her Chilean grandmother gave her. Fortunately, Sanchez is already finding her own path and making great progress toward her goal of improving women’s health. Sanchez is entering her second year in the master’s degree of public health program in epidemiology at the University of Florida. Sanchez, born in Miami but maintaining dual citizenship from the United States and Chile, is a first-generation American and the first in her family to seek her master’s degree. Sanchez is currently working on a research project with Dr. Ting-Yuan Cheng, an epidemiology professor at the University of Florida. The project investigates the mTOR pathway activity and its association with breast cancer ...

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Latinos More Exposed to Harmful Chemicals in Drinking Water


Drinking water in the test tube for chemical and microbiological analysis

More than 5.6 millions Americans are drinking water with increasingly high amounts of nitrates known to cause health problems, according to a new study. Latinos are disproportionately exposed to nitrates in public water systems. "Since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, there's been a real push to document other types of disparities in drinking water quality in the U.S. and understand the factors that drive them," said Dr. Laurel Schaider, lead author of the study in the Journal of Environmental Health and an environmental chemist at Silent Spring Institute, in a statement. "Because at the end of the day, everyone should have access to clean and safe drinking water regardless of your race or where you live." The Shocking Study Results For the study, scientists at the nonprofit ...

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Keylynne Matos-Cunningham: Speaking Up for Health Justice


Cunningham Keylynne exito participant 2018

Keylynne Matos-Cunningham is a force to be reckoned with. The eldest of three younger siblings and a blend of Northern, Southern, African-American and Puerto Rican cultures, Matos-Cunningham stands up and speaks out against injustices experienced by underrepresented minorities. Matos-Cunningham graduated with her master’s degree of public health from Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU). Her research interests are mental health, minority health, sexual health and social determinants of health. She works full-time in substance abuse prevention and is an adjunct health instructor at ECU. There are many things that move her and drive her closer to her purpose. She believes that being a servant of the community is how to best understand the world. To ...

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Joe Padilla: Bust Cultural Barriers to Improve Latino Men’s Health


PadillaJoe Exito 2018 participant

Joe Padilla saw both sides of the coin growing up. His grandmother’s love led her to feed passersby. His uncle never accepted success, and pushed him to do more and more. The result was a goal-driven, yet compassionate person who has a huge head start on his goal of busting cultural barriers and improving the health of Latino men. Padilla earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas at El Paso, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public health with a concentration in community health education at New Mexico State University (NMSU). He is a graduate research assistant for the NMSU’S Cancer Outreach Program. He helps with program evaluation of the Culturally Adapted Colorectal Cancer Educational Program for Hispanics. He hopes to ...

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Nicole Serrant Ayes: Improving Access to Cancer Care Services


Ayes Nicole Exito 2018 participant

Nicole Serrant Ayes is always up for a challenge. In fact, she’s already proven this by taking the challenging trek up Machu Picchu. Serrant Ayes also spent two years as a biologist and a research assistant at a Veteran’s Affairs Hospital collaborating in different cancer projects. With two grandfathers who survived prostate cancer, she is now determined to help others at risk, by improving access to services. She is currently finishing up her master’s degree of public health in epidemiology at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus. To further her experience and education, Serrant Ayes applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from ...

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Ileana Cepeda: Former Rugby Player Now Tackles Health Disparities


CepedaIleana exito participant 2018

Ileana Cepeda, a former rugby player, cares about tackling health disparities from many angles, the same type of caring she learned from her abuelita. Cepeda serves as a research associate for the JUNTOS Against Cancer initiative at the University of Kansas Cancer Center and JUNTOS Center for Advancing Latino Health. She is also part of the new Health Equity Steering Committee for the Cancer Center. Additionally, she supports the PeRson EmPowered Asthma Relief (PREPARE) Study at the American Academy of Family Physicians as the bilingual research associate. Cepeda received her master’s degree of public health from Kansas State University in 2017 and her bachelor’s degree in biology from Newman University- Kansas Catholic College in 2015. To further her experience and ...

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Ruling Against Obamacare Could Seriously Affect Latinos


doctor and patient health care coverage insurance

On the heels of a likely second-straight year of declining healthcare enrollment, a Texas judge has ruled that core elements of Obamacare are unconstitutional and make the entire law invalid, CNN reports. The ruling is expected to be appealed, which could take months. It won't affect 2019 insurance plans. But legal experts say the ruling does cast doubts about the future of health coverage for millions of Americans via Obamacare exchanges (the Affordable Care Act) and in Medicaid expansion. If Obamacare went away, between 61 and 133 million people with some type of pre-existing health condition would lose coverage. As a result, they would be forced to pay much higher insurance premiums, and would be subject to a longer waiting period. Meanwhile, around four million Latinos ...

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Andrea Cruz: Studying Environmental Pollutants and Cancer


Cruz Andrea exito participant 2018

Andrea Cruz, raised in Los Angeles but now living in a Midwest U.S. city where she only knows a few Latinos, keeps a rosary to remind her of her culture and her family. Now she’s doing an excellent job representing Latinos by studying the sciences and actively learning how to apply that knowledge to public health issues like the correlation between environmental pollutants and cancer in women. Cruz recently graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a master’s degree in toxicology. She studied the mechanism in which phthalates can cause neural tube defects in rodent models and looked for correlations between copy number alterations and DNA methylation in colon cancer tissue. To further her experience and education, Cruz applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer ...

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