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Baby It’s COVID Outside


latino hispanic couple mask cold winter coronavirus covid-19

What’s the deal with COVID-19? Is the pandemic really over? Or should we brace for another wave of the coronavirus as winter approaches? While the number of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations from the virus are currently trending downward, there are still more than 100,00 new cases being reported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on some days. There are also days where more than 700 people have died from the virus. So, it’s still “COVID” out there, even though the “weather” has generally improved since the initial outbreak, which took a heavy toll on Latinos. There’s no crystal ball that can tell us the future, but public health leaders and data provide some insight as to just how “COVID” it will be this winter. Yes, There Could Be ...

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What Makes Health Promotion Programs Successful?


health promotion book featuring dr amelie ramirez cover

Cancer health disparities. COVID-19. Climate change. These challenges require public health leaders to create programs and policy solutions that address a complex web of factors that influence health status, from biology to social determinants and systemic inequities. In a new book, Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation, public health education specialist Dr. Lawrence W. Green and his team of editors and chapter authors combine their expertise to offer a high-level guide to public health promotion and programming. The book has a chapter, "Applications in Community Settings," written by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez and Dr. Patricia Chalela of UT Health San Antonio. "Program and policy solutions to population health challenges require systematic planning, ...

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US Government Invests Heavily in Community, Public Health Workforce


CHWs

With the emergence of COVID-19, which continues to disproportionately impact Latinos, the world saw first-hand why public health is so important. To help Americans recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden Administration passed the American Rescue Plan in 2021. Since then, funds have been allocated to improve the health and wellbeing of Americans, including more than $226M to grow the community and public health workforce. Announced on Sept. 30, 2022, this large sum will specifically help train community health workers (CHWs) who connect people to healthcare, build trust within communities, and facilitate communication between patients and healthcare providers, according to a US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) press release. "Patients depend on community and ...

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Positive Study Results Give New Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients


Older Latina and family member

Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones have new reason for hope after positive results from clinical trial of a new treatment called lecanemab. Lecanemab – a drug designed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by targeting amyloid plaque buildup in the brain – reduced the progression of cognitive decline among trial participants by 27% over 18 months, compared to placebo, according to UsAgainstAlzheimers. “This is very important and quite positive news that gives our nation’s 6 million Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones reason to hope again. In fact, the data is a reminder that each drug in this class of therapies is quite different,” said George Vradenburg, chair and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimers. What do the results show, and how will ...

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Good News: Biden’s Public Charge Ruling Will Benefit Latino Immigrant Families


public charge

The Biden Administration has reversed the 2019 public charge policy changes implemented by the Trump Administration, according to the US Department of Homeland Security.  The final rule was published on Sept. 9, 2022 and will go into effect on Dec. 23, 2022. The 2022 “fair and humane” public charge rule will benefit Latino immigrant families, as it will help address the “chilling effects” of the 2019 rule. Here’s what you need to know. What is Public Charge? A person is considered a “public charge” if they would be reliant on certain public benefits upon entry into the US. If someone is considered a public charge, officials can deny their entry into the US or modifications to their citizenship status. What Changed Under the 2019 Public Charge Rule? Before ...

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How Do Germs Spread?


where germs live

“Reservoirs” are where germs live, like a habitat. Things we do in healthcare can be pathways for germs to be carried from one reservoir to another, or into spaces that are not supposed to have any germs. Too Touchy Hands, for instance, touch almost everything. Your hands and skin can pick up germs in the environment, from multiple reservoirs, and spread germs to other surfaces or people if not properly disinfected. Germs from the skin and gastrointestinal reservoirs spread easily through touch. Pathways for Germs to Invade Germs can also spread when they’re breathed in or through splashes or sprays to the eyes, nose, and mouth, or to broken or unhealthy skin. For example, urine and snot can get into breaks in the skin, or be splashed or sprayed into the eyes, nose, and ...

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Reframing Childhood Obesity Through a Cultural Lens


Latino family eating dinner.

In the last few years, childhood obesity has become a global epidemic. The effort to change individual choices – like diet and physical activity – hasn’t solved the problem, and also contributes to weight discrimination. That is why we need to use cultural insights, nutritional science, and a systemic focus to improve child health, according to a new report from the Vanderbilt University Cultural Context of Health and Wellbeing Initiative. “What we label ‘obesity’ is produced by interrelated systems in which human biology interacts with environments, social norms, economic structures, and historical legacies,” according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation blog post about the report, Reframing Childhood Obesity: Cultural Insights on Nutrition, Weight and Food ...

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Advancing Health Equity for Latinos Through WIC


wic program health equity hispanic heritage month

By Deputy Under Secretary Stacy Dean, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Dr. Amelie Ramirez, DrPH, MPH, Director, Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio is excited to partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to discuss the importance of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for the Hispanic/Latino Community. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the important contributions the Hispanic/Latino community has made across the country. We also acknowledge the vital food and nutrition programs that impact the community every day at school, at home, and in the community, including WIC. More than 6.2 million women, infants, and ...

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Analyzing the Cancer Moonshot’s Impact on Latinos


latino cancer moonshot

Created in 2016 by President Joe Biden, the Cancer Moonshot initiative aims to accelerate the rate of progress against cancer. Since then, the government program has accomplished a lot, including more than 2,000 scientific publications and 49 clinical trials – all to better understand how to treat and prevent cancer. President Biden has now reignited the Cancer Moonshot program and set a new national goal: cutting the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years, and improving the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer. But how will the Cancer Moonshot impact Latinos? The Latino Cancer Crisis Cancer is the #1 cause of death in Latinos. Latino cancer cases are expected to rise 142% in coming years. There are higher rates ...

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