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Making the Case for Paid Family Leave


Pregnant Latina at work.

Paid leave reduces the use of public services, boosts employee productivity, and can help families better succeed—yet three in four Latinos are unable to take such time. Despite data that shows its benefits, there is no federal requirement to provide paid family leave. The 1993 federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), legislation most businesses follow, does not cover all workers and leave offers are unpaid. Lack of paid leave and other economic support contributes to health and economic disparities among Latinas, Latinos, and low-income families. Still, paid leave is gaining popular support, including a proposal for universal paid family leave. “If the [corporate officers and directors] gets paid leave, then the factory floor worker should also get paid leave,” ...

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The Shocking Ways the Media Portrays Immigrants


Immigrant march protest Latino media

California media portray immigrants with derogatory descriptions with regularity, while immigrant voices and healthcare are rarely covered, according to a new report by Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG). The BMSG report examined over 2,500 immigration articles in 2017-2018 in California: Monterey (58.8% Latino), Sacramento (23.3% Latino), Kern (53.4% Latino), and San Diego (39.1% Latino). Researchers found neutral descriptors of immigrants—“undocumented” or “unauthorized”—in most media coverage. But they also found potentially dehumanizing terms—“illegal immigrants,” “illegal aliens,” or “illegals”—in nearly every news outlet, and 13% of all articles examined. No coverage focused on the health and well-being of immigrants, either. "The hostile ...

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Opioids: A Surging Crisis in Rural America



In 2017, the CDC revealed that drug overdose fatalities are continually rising in rural communities, even surpassing rates in urban areas. Additionally, the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the American Farm Bureau Federations (AFBF) discovered that the opioid epidemic has directly impacted as many as 74% of farmers. Latinos make up roughly 23% of the agriculture industry, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, and opioid use is on the rise in this demographic. “Opioids have been too easy to come by and too easy to become addicted to,” AFBF president Zippy Duvall said in a statement. “And because opioid addiction is a disease, it’s up to all of us to help people who suffer from it and help them find the treatment they need.” What Are Opioids? These drugs voyage through ...

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Chemical Found in Weed Killer Linked to Sizable Cancer Risk


weed killer and cancer

Exposure to a widely used substance in weed killers is connected to a 41% increase in the likelihood of developing cancer, according to a new study. Researchers found people who regularly interacted with high levels of the chemical, glyphosate, had a higher chance of contracting non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), reported in findings published in Mutation Research. This is important for Latinos and those in poverty, who tend to disproportionately live in regions where glyphosate is sprayed in California (39% Latino). Rachel Shaffer, a study author and a University of Washington doctoral student, told UW News the new study gives a current and in-depth examination of links between NHL and glyphosate. “These findings are aligned with a prior assessment from the International Agency ...

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Amelie Ramirez Wins Health Equity Lifetime Achievement Award


amelie ramirez health equity in 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, on being selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Health Equity Special Interest Group of the Society of Behavioral Medicine! This honor recognizes substantial scholarly contributions to health equity research in behavioral medicine over a career. Ramirez will be formally recognized March 8, 2019, during a Health Equity Special Interest Group gathering at the 40th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in Washington, D.C. “I’m very thankful for this award from such a prestigious group as the Society of Behavioral Medicine, which is a recognition of our ongoing work to promote Latino health equity across the nation,” Ramirez ...

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51% of U.S. Babies are Children of Color, Struggle for Good Health


low income babies state of babies children of color

Today's children are more diverse than at any other time in U.S. history. More than half (50.4%) of babies are Latino and other children of color. These changing demographics have substantial implications for planning policies and services that best meet the increasingly diverse familial, cultural, and language needs of our youngest children, according to the new State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 from ZERO TO THREE and Child Trends. Yet children of color and their families face big barriers to health equity. The states where these children are born and live during their first three years makes a big difference in their chance for a strong start in life. "Opportunities to grow and flourish are not shared equally by the nation’s infants, toddlers, and families," according to the ...

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When a Latino Heart Stops, CPR Often Isn’t There to Save the Day


CPR cardiac arrest first aid training heart

People who experience sudden cardiac arrest in largely Latino neighborhoods are less likely to get CPR from bystanders and 40% more likely to die than their peers in largely White neighborhoods, according to a new study. This is bad news for Latinos. Heart disease already is their No. 2 cause of death. The study points to the need for more CPR training in Latino communities. “Survival is low, but prompt delivery of CPR by a lay bystander can significantly improve outcomes,” said Dr. Audrey L. Blewer, lead study author and researcher at the Center for Resuscitation Science at Penn Medicine, said in a press release. Study Uncovers Grim Cardiac Arrest Disparities A cardiac arrest is when a person's heart stops pumping blood around their body, and they stop breathing normally. ...

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Latinos Sue EPA for Failing to Ban ‘Deadly’ Paint Stripper


toxic paint stripper

A Latino labor agency and environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week for not banning a lethal chemical used in paint removers. Exposure to methylene chloride, the harmful substance, has caused asphyxiation and heart failure. At least 50 people have died from working with the chemical, according to Earthjustice. The short-term side effects should concern the Latino community. Heart disease is common in Latinos (49.0% men/42.6% women), and they are less likely to receive life-saving heart devices. Latinos also are more likely to work jobs that use these “deadly paint strippers,” according to the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement’s (LCLAA), who teamed with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on the lawsuit. “EPA’s ...

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Housing Quality Is Important for Mental Health


mental health and housing

Quality housing can make a surprisingly big difference for your physical and mental health. A new study from the United Kingdom links housing tenure, type, cost burden, and desire to stay in current home to C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker in the bloodstream associated with infection and stress. Higher levels of CRP—meaning more stress and bad health—were found in people who rented homes. "The poorer health of private renters in our study may reflect the average lower quality of homes in the sector," wrote Drs. Amy Clair and Amanda Hughes, the study authors, in an article in The Conversation. "Private rented homes, for example, are more likely to have damp than social rented or owner occupied homes, and less likely to have central heating." Housing Cost Burden & ...

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