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Zo Mpofu & Dakisha Wesley: Forging Alliances to Declare Racism a Public Health and Safety Crisis


Zo Mpofu and DK Wesley Forge Alliances to Declare Racism a Public Health and Safety Crisis

Zo Mpofu believes protecting the health of mothers and babies in childbirth is a moral responsibility. That is why it alarmed Mpofu, a human services program consultant for Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina, that local black women are 3.8 times more likely to lose their baby in the first year of life than white women. Also, Dakisha “DK” Wesley, assistant county manager in Buncombe County, worried that black people accounted for 25% of the jailed population, despite being 6.3% of the local population. Mpofu and Wesley believe these are the results of structural racism. That is why these government employees collaborated with cross-sector partners to urge Buncombe County leaders to pass three resolutions declaring racism a public ...

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Emelina Asto-Flores: Participant in a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial to Help Latinos!


Vaccine Clinical Trial Latinos

Why did Emelina Asto-Flores volunteer for a clinical trial to test a COVID-19 vaccine? Asto-Flores, a community health educator in Florida, saw how the pandemic devastated Latinos, and she decided to enroll in the trial to help her people. Not only did she help researchers make sure the vaccine is safe for Latinos, but the trial also gave her the knowledge and confidence to encourage others to get their shot. “Representation is important in a clinical trial,” Asto-Flores said. “You wouldn't want a clinical trial to be just consisted of one group. These results need to be proportionate to our diverse communities. It's so important for us as members of the [Latino] community to take that leadership role that could save lives. So those that are a part of that can say, ...

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Giselle Rincon: A Venezuelan Immigrant Sending Help to her Home Country


Giselle Rincon: A Venezuelan Immigrant Sending Help to her Home Country

When Giselle Rincon decided to start a nonprofit to help immigrants and offer humanitarian aid to her home country, she had no idea where to start with her background in teaching. “None of us have a nonprofit background, no clue how to begin a nonprofit, how to manage it. We have been learning every day, how to do it and talking to people, asking for consultants, asking for advice,” Rincon said. In 2014, Rincon started Venezuela’s Voice in Oregon along with a group of Venezuelan immigrants in the Portland, Oregon area. She and her team of eight team members work entirely pro-bono and volunteer their time outside of their full-time jobs. Through connecting with other nonprofit leaders and members in the Latino community, Rincon has taught herself how to run her growing ...

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Chris David: Get the Vaccine So Business Can Go Back to Normal!


Chris Bykowski: Get the Vaccine So Business Can Go Back to Normal!

Chris David is ready for the pandemic to be over. It’s dramatically hurt his business and taken friends and family away from him. Even though he had heard heard folks say the shots will make your skin shed, damage your DNA, and are part of a secret conspiracy to get people to accept government control, he decided to get his vaccine so that he can keep his family, friends, and customers safe, and so that we can put an end to COVID once and for all. “To me, it's no big deal to get vaccinated. Help the rest of the planet out. Let's do it together,” Chris said. Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you with Salud.to/findvaccine! How COVID-19 Hurt His Business Chris is a Navy combat veteran who is originally from Michigan. He’s lived outside of Austin in a rural area of ...

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Nelly Jiménez: Get the COVID-19 Vaccine to Protect Your Family, Community!



Nelly Jiménez knows how difficult it is to suffer from severe COVID-19 illness. Her husband was hospitalized with COVID after getting pneumonia in both lungs. She wanted to protect herself and her family, so she did her research about the vaccine and decided to get it early on. Jiménez also wanted to set the example because Latinos in her local community look up to her. She’s relieved she got her shot. “I feel safe. I feel much better and I’m more comfortable,” Jiménez said. Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you with Salud.to/findvaccine! A Venezuelan Immigrant Active in Pennsylvania’s Latino Community Jiménez emigrated from Venezuela 23 years ago to Chester County, Pennsylvania. She is the Executive Director and CEO of ACLAMO, a nonprofit that ...

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Alfred Lee: Get the Vaccine So You Can Go Fishing!


Alfred Lee: Get the Vaccine So You Can Go Fishing!

Alfred Lee has heard just about every COVID-19 vaccine myth out there. He’s seen YouTube videos about how “dangerous” the vaccine is, how it’ll track people, how it’ll make people’s skin fall off. His friends and neighbors believed these myths and kept telling Lee not to get vaccinated. But Lee was tired of COVID-19 safety precautions interfering with his life. He wanted to go fishing with his family. He decided to get vaccinated, and he’s glad he did. “Oh yeah, I feel much safer now, are you kidding?” Lee said. Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you with Salud.to/findvaccine! A Military Brat from Blanco County Although Lee would describe himself a military brat, he’s a Texan through and through. He lives and works in Blanco County. Throughout ...

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Dorothy Long Parma: Finding Her Career in Gastric Cancer Research While Navigating Mental Health


Dorothy Long Parma

Dr. Dorothy Long Parma hasn’t had the easiest career path. She’s struggled with depression throughout her time in medical school, residency, and her current work as an assistant professor at the Institute of Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. Although her depression made it very difficult at times, Long Parma successfully completed her degree and is now an expert health disparities researcher focusing on risk factors for gastric cancer. “I really like working at IHPR. I've worked here as a student, and then as faculty and it's been a great supportive environment. Amelie [Ramirez, the director of IHPR] has always been very understanding about me working at the level that I can work,” Long Parma said. From the Philippines to Texas for ...

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Maria Hernandez: Fighting for Health Equity in Healthcare Organizations



For Maria Hernandez, fighting for health equity hits close to home. When her dad was in the hospital fighting cancer, Hernandez had a realization. “He’s being wheeled into the surgical unit, and he's with me and my mom and my two brothers, and we're all speaking Spanish, wishing him well. And all of a sudden, he puts up his hand and says, ‘Stop, don't speak Spanish, they're going to think I'm stupid, and they're not going to help me.’ And that just took my breath away,” Hernandez said. It made her realize that healthcare organizations must do more to address implicit bias. “Here I was, working on diversity and inclusion issues in major corporations. And I thought, what is healthcare doing about this? And so I started looking into this,” Hernandez ...

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Luz Garcini: Helping Latino Immigrants Heal from Grief


Luz Garcini

Luz Garcini wants to help Latinos heal from the loss of a loved one. “One of the biggest needs that we see in the community right now is that there has been a lot of loss and grief, particularly associated to the loss of loved ones over the current [COVID-19] pandemic, that has not been addressed,” Garcini said. Garcini is a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist. She works as an assistant professor at the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) at UT Health San Antonio. To further the study of loss and grief among Latino immigrants, Garcini and her team at ReACH created a monthly webinar series, “Paths: Building Strength in the Face of Loss,” to help Latinos understand grief and build coping skills and strength. She hopes the series will help Latinos ...

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