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Can Texts Help Latino Young Adults to Quit Smoking?


quitxt quit smoking service new grant evluation text texting

Dr. Patricia Chalela of UT Health San Antonio has received a new five-year, $2 million research grant to test the impact of Quitxt, a bilingual text messaging program that helps Latino young adults in South Texas to quit smoking. The grant is among $90 million for new cancer prevention and research projects from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For the grant, Dr. Chalela and her team will recruit 1,200 Latino smokers ages 18-29 who agree to try to quit smoking. Half will receive Quitxt, a free texting service with culturally appropriate visual, video, and audio content fueled with evidence-based techniques to prompt and sustain smoking cessation. The other half will get abbreviated text messages and referral to the "Yes Quit" smoking cessation ...

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Watch Webinar: Busting the Myths and Cultural Barriers to Clinical Trials



Some Latinos fear becoming a guinea pig. Others worry about cost or trust. But clinical trials can provide volunteers potentially life-saving treatments and help researchers learn how to manage and treat different diseases for their family and communities. UT Health San Antonio held a Zoom webinar — “Busting the Myths and Cultural Barriers to Clinical Trials” — at 11 a.m. CT on March 9, 2023. This webinar features health experts and real Latino clinical trial volunteers to help define clinical trials, bust several common cultural, social, and logistical myths about clinical trials, and share testimonials of trial participation. Panelists will also connect audience members with culturally relevant resources and available opportunities to participate in clinical trials ...

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Construction Sites: Not Just Dirty and Dusty – Germy, Too


germs in construction site

Germs are everywhere, including in dirt and dust! When we think of dirt in our daily lives, we usually think of potted plants and gardens. When we think of dust, we think of the kind that we clean in our house and workplaces. But fine dust can also be present at construction and maintenance projects inside a building, like taking out parts of a wall or renovating a room. Also, when construction and maintenance projects that move a lot of dirt and dust around happen in or near a healthcare facility, it can send germs that are in the dirt and dust into the air. These germs can harm certain patients with weakened immune systems. What Kind of Germs Are in Dirt and Dust? Dirt and dust contain many germs, including a fungus called Aspergillus. Aspergillus and other fungi ...

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February is American Heart Month


American Heart Month Announcement

Ah, February. The month dedicated to celebrating love and relationships. But before you take a deep dive down the Valentine’s Day candy aisle, consider a healthier way to show yourself and loved ones some love. February is American Heart Month, a time for Latinos and all people to focus on their cardiovascular health. Join us in raising awareness of heart disease, the driving forces behind it, and how to address it throughout the month of February and beyond. What is Heart Disease? Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions, according to the CDC. The most common type of heart disease in the US is coronary artery disease, which can restrict blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack. Other forms of heart disease include irregular heartbeats, ...

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As Texans Lose Pandemic SNAP Benefits, Food Banks Brace for ‘Wave’ of Hunger


Losing SNAP benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps one in eight Americans put food on the table. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, millions of Americans lost their jobs and experienced reduced incomes – causing Congress to make temporary emergency changes to SNAP. As a result, SNAP recipients experienced a boost in benefits, either receiving an additional $95 in benefits or an additional benefit valued up to the maximum benefit for their household size, whichever value was greater, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. While these emergency allotments have ended in many states, the Lone Star State has continued providing eligible households with an increased food budget. However, Texans may feel the pinch in the next few weeks, as Congress ...

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Latinos, Help Researchers Understand How Social Factors Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis!


RA doc

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be debilitating and place a significant burden on patients, their families, employers, and the government. While genetics and health inequities do play a role in the development and progression of RA, social issues, such as lack of family and friend support, can also play a role in the progression of the disease. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center want to learn more about how social and genetic factors affect RA in Latinos, who often face social issues when it comes to health. You can help by participating in a clinical trial no matter where you live in the US! Rheumatoid Arthritis Study Qualifications To be eligible for this clinical trial, you must be age 18 or older and of Hispanic/Latino heritage. You may ...

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When Sharing Isn’t Caring


Sharing isn't caring germs

We use a lot of shared devices and equipment in healthcare. But these devices and equipment are all surfaces that can have germs on them. Because healthcare workers use and share devices and equipment many times a day and for many different tasks, it’s important to understand the role that these devices can play in the spread of germs. Medical Devices Medical devices are used on a patient’s body, such as a stethoscope or blood pressure cuff. They’re also used in a patient’s body, such as an IV needle, an endoscope, or an artificial hip. When devices are used on or in a patient’s body to provide care, any germs on those devices can spread to places in or on the patient’s body. That’s how devices can be the germ’s entryway into the body. Devices that are ...

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Go Fish! Study Connects Omega-3s to Brain Health Improvement at Midlife


Omega-3 options

Consuming cold-water fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids could preserve brain health and enhance cognition in middle age, according to a recent study led by researchers at UT Health San Antonio and the Framingham Heart Study. “Our results, albeit exploratory, suggest that higher omega-3 fatty acid concentrations are related to better brain structure and cognitive function in a predominantly middle-aged cohort free of clinical dementia,” according to the study. What Are Omega-3s? Omega-3s are a family of essential fatty acids that play an important role in the human body. “Although evidence is mixed, studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids can protect against all sorts of illnesses, including breast cancer, depression, ADHD, and various inflammatory diseases,” ...

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$3 Million Grant to Improve Public Health in the Lone Star State


community health worker

Good news for Texans! A $3 million grant will help UT Health San Antonio train 275 new community health workers (CHWs) and support an additional 75 CHWs in maintaining state certification. The grant, issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will train CHWs across 38 South Texas counties from Brownsville to Laredo, including the area’s rural communities. The grant is part of the federal government’s $226.5 million investment in the nation’s community and public health workforce, announced in September 2022. The Importance of CHWs Also known as promotoras de salud and patient navigators, CHWs connect patients to healthcare and facilitate communication between healthcare providers and patients, including ...

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