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Emily Reyes: Finding Ways to Reduce Latino Health Disparities



Having worked firsthand with promotoras de salud, Emily Reyes understands the important role community health workers play in addressing Latino health disparities. Reyes, who has a master’s degree in public health from California State University, Fullerton, specializes in health promotion and regularly works with underserved communities to bring health equity and sustainable change through education, services and civic participation. Her interests include improving rural health, public policy, and infectious diseases research─all done with the same resilience and grit as her mother, who earned a master’s degree while raising a family as a single mom. To further her experience and education, Reyes applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training ...

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Jennifer Valdivieso: True Grit for Improving Life for the Homeless



Jennifer Valdivieso has a lot of grit. In fact, she left a job she felt was morally wrong and did a complete 180. Today you will find Valdivieso speaking up for human rights, stable housing, and transportation to improve health among individuals experiencing homelessness. Valdivieso is currently pursuing a dual-master’s-degree in social work and public health at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She works as the program specialist for the homeless outreach program with the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health. Valdivieso hopes to blend her dual degree to help reduce health disparities for individual experiencing homelessness with chronic disease. To further her experience and education, Valdivieso applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training ...

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Ursula Garcia: What Breast Cancer Cannot Do


ursula garcia breast cancer survivor bff

By Ursula Garcia Texas Cancer Survivor I was a young, healthy 27-year-old, who had just recently moved to Grapevine, Texas, with my fiancé. Around that time I noticed a lot of bloody nipple discharge from my left side. Being young and healthy and with no family history, I kept going on with life as if nothing could be wrong. The following month it was time for my annual exam. I mentioned it to my doctor. A swab of the discharge was done. But nothing abnormal came back. So again I went on as if there was nothing to be concerned about. About a month later the symptoms became worse. I was bleeding a lot easier and the amount seemed to be getting worse. My fiancé noticed and said something didn't seem right and I should probably see a doctor. I immediately called my doctor ...

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Jeslie Ramos Cartagena: Taking Aim at Latino Cancer, One Flat Tire at a Time



When many people get a flat tire, they call Triple-A for help. Well, Jeslie Ramos Cartagena can change her own flat tire, thanks to her single mom, who raised her and taught her many practical skills, none more important than “independence.” Ramos Cartagena, born and raised in Cayey, Puerto Rico, is turning her independent nature into perseverance as she works non-stop toward her goal to reduce cancer health disparities. In 2016, she completed a bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Cayey. She earned her master’s in epidemiology from UPR’s Medical Science Campus in 2018. To further her experience and education, Ramos Cartagena applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, ...

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Stacy Cantu-Pawlik: Shining Brightly for Latino Health Equity



Like the bright velas (candles) her grandmother lit as a sign of her strong Catholic faith, Stacy Cantu-Pawlik is shining as a researcher and advocate for Latino health equity. Cantu-Pawlik is a senior research area specialist at the Institute of Health Promotion at UT Health San Antonio, where she serves as a digital content curator for the Salud America! program. She creates content that promotes healthy change, such as stories about mental health heroes and campaigns to improve healthcare. Read Cantu-Pawlik’s stories! Cantu-Pawlik, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, focused graduate research on environmental factors and elevated cancer incidence in South Texas. Her experiences growing up in the Rio ...

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Researchers Identify Top Ways to Stop Projected 142% Rise in Latino Cancer


Latino cancer patient smiling with doctor nurse clinic

As U.S. Latinos face a staggering 142% projected rise in cancer cases by 2030, UT Health San Antonio leaders gathered international cancer experts to publish a new book with innovative research and recommendations to reduce Latino cancer. The book, Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos in Springer Open Books, showcases results of the same-named conference that brought 300 researchers to San Antonio in 2018. A follow-up conference, set for Feb. 26-28, 2020, in San Antonio, is open for registration. Included in the new book are promising research findings on Latino cancer and strategies for new research covering the entire cancer continuum, from advances in risk assessment, prevention, screening, detection, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and policy. “Our book, ...

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The Shocking Rise in Anti-Latino Hate Crimes


latino boy stress sad teen bias hate crimes violence

The number of victims from anti-Latino hate crimes rose by over 21% last year, according to new FBI data. While the total number of hate crimes fell slightly to 7,120 from 2017 to 2018, the amount of hate crimes involving physical violence — intimidation, assault, and homicide — reached a 16-year high. The number of hate crime homicides hit its highest number ever: 24 murder victims. This, coupled with the rise in anti-Latino hate crimes, is alarming, experts say. "We're seeing a leaner and meaner type of hate crime going on," Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said in a statement. The Politics of Hate: Anti-Latino Biases Some experts are connecting the hate crime data and current political ...

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Annie Guardado: Big, Optimistic Plans for Boosting Population Health



Optimism has always kept Annie Guardado moving forward. She kept her optimism even seeing her parents and family struggle as U.S. immigrants from Honduras and Nicaragua. And Guardado continues to display optimism as she works as a research assistant in population health at UT Southwestern Medical Center, after earning her master’s degree in public health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Guardado also worked and volunteered in healthcare settings to better understand her local community needs and culture. She wants to research how to improve health literacy and communication between hospitals, health care providers, and Latino patients. She even wants to one day start her own nonprofit. To further her experience and education, Guardado applied for ...

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How Wealth Impacts Health for Latinos


hispanic latina mom mother with child at doctor wealth healthcare

People with wealth often enjoy good health. People who live in poverty often suffer worse health. This income inequity is simple on the surface. But it has layers of complexity that unfold differently for different people, especially Latinos who face large wage gaps and health issues and warrants action from across sectors to promote health equity. Here is a deep dive into income inequity and Latino health. Why Do Wealth Gaps & Income Inequity Occur? The reasons for wealth gaps are complex. Systemic under-investment is a contributing factor, some experts say. "The 'neo-materialist' hypothesis suggests there is systematic under-investment in social infrastructure and services in more unequal societies," writes Sharon Friel for The Conversation. "Social ...

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