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Mom’s Homecoming Mums Raise Awareness for Youth Mental Health



Everything is bigger in Texas. Especially “mums”—those big, flashy, expensive corsages of colorful streamers, bells, and trinkets that students wear for homecoming high-school football games. Dawn Lee, a parent in Hickory Creek, Texas, has made and sold mums for years. “God gives us all a unique talent and apparently, mine is knowing how and where to put the bling on an oversized corsage,” Lee said. Lee recently decided to put her mum-making talent toward a good cause. She had a question after seeing students and family members struggle with mental health issues: How could mums really help students talk about mental health? Her answer: “Mindful Mums.” Addressing Youth Mental Health Stigma Lee has become increasingly aware of youth mental health ...

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Artist’s Fake Ads Save Historic Streetcars in Border City



The streetcar is back along the Texas-Mexico border, thanks to a Latino man's brilliant "fake" ad campaign. Peter Svarzbein, an El Paso native, loved how a historic international streetcar system used to connect downtown El Paso, Texas (82.2% Latino) to downtown Cuidad Juárez, Mexico. But it closed in 1974. Today many in El Paso lack public transportation to reach places they need to go, which harms their health, educational, and employment opportunities, and the economy. So Svarzbein created a fictional, yet powerful ad campaign to simulate the return of El Paso's border-crossing streetcar for his graduate thesis project at New York's School for Visual Arts. Svarzbein's El Paso Transnational Trolley Project sparked enough curiosity and enthusiasm to create a real ...

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Rocio Muñoz Embeds School Health Navigators for Latino Parents



Latinos face many barriers to health care, including language differences; complex and confusing documents and processes; lack of knowledge of available services; unreliable transportation; and fear of using government services. One way to increase health equity among Latinos is to remove these barriers. Rocio Muñoz, community health navigator at Benton County Health Department (BCHD), in partnership with the school district, worked to embed bilingual, bicultural health navigators into elementary schools in Corvallis, Ore. (7.4% Latino), to address these identified barriers. The partnership resulted in a model where health navigators are placed in schools to coordinate with students, parents and teachers regarding students’ health records in order to boost access to health ...

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Health Worker Alma Galvez Helps Families ‘Rethink’ Their Sugary Drink



Alma Galvez was sick of seeing a growing number of overweight Latino child patients at her clinic in Minneapolis, Minn. (10.5% Latino population). In her job as a community health worker for St. Mary’s Health Clinics in Minnesota, Galvez was able to pinpoint a big culprit—sugary drinks. Galvez and Shannon Gavin, the organization’s coordinator of family health programs, wanted to reduce sugary drink consumption among Latino child patient and families. So they jumped head-first at the chance to work with state health officials to create a bilingual, culturally relevant campaign to urge Latino families to rethink their drink. Sugar’s Stranglehold on Latino Health Galvez and Gavin are big players in how St Mary’s Health Clinics serves its large minority and ...

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Free Training Helps Early Childcare Providers Grow Healthy Kids



Dr. Kathy Fletcher knows the first three years of a child’s life are critical for preparing kids to grow and mature into healthy and productive students and adults. But what if early childcare providers don’t know how to make it happen? Fletcher, President and CEO of Voices for Children of San Antonio, worried that these providers—who only need a high-school education to be on the job—are eager to help children success, but don’t always have the tools to give local kids the appropriate developmental care and services they need during their formative years to promote healthy development. At least one quarter of children birth to five are in some form of organized out-of-home child care. Investing in professional development for early childhood providers can reduce the ...

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Health Workers Start Mega Baby Showers for Moms in Need



Kori Eberle calls early and steady prenatal care the “best gift a baby can receive” for healthy early childhood development. That’s why Eberle coordinates home visits, screenings, and parenting and health education for vulnerable women from pregnancy to their baby’s second birthday as part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) Healthy Start program in San Antonio (63.2% Latino population). Eberle and Metro Health’s Healthy Start program want most of all to reduce disparities in the local infant death rate, which is higher for low-income, Latino, and African American families. Sadly, Eberle found that not enough moms-to-be know about their resources or get the help they need to ensure a healthy delivery and proper early brain ...

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Tech Guru Brings Healthcare to Latinos in Houston


Dr. Peter Kim

Peter Kim is a sort of accidental convert to the world of telehealth. Kim was about to start his labor-intensive medical residency—but he also wanted to continue his work as a community health coordinator with Harbor Health Home in Houston. How could he do both? Telehealth. Kim began to further explore how to use telehealth to better support low-income Latino families in accessing healthcare to treat and prevent illnesses across Houston and beyond. Peter Kim already knew that a lack of access is one of the main inequities that keep many Latinos from obtaining the best quality healthcare possible. Technology as a healthcare tool In Houston, Texas (43.86% Latino population), the nation’s fourth-largest city, many Latino, Asian, and low-income families struggle to manage ...

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Minnesota Sr. Teaching Specialist Educates on Language and Life



A brain aneurysm changed the life of María Emilce López forever—for the better. While a grad student at the University of Minnesota in the 1990s, the Argentine native’s severe headaches led her to be rushed into surgery to treat what turned out to be a brain aneurysm. This was her first, very scary brush with the American medical system. After her ordeal, she decided it was time to help others who might be in a similar position. López, now a senior teaching specialist at the University of Minnesota, helped create new medical Spanish classes that not only teach cultural competency, but also had a unique requirement of students. Navigating a health crisis María Emilce López learned first-hand how language barriers can make it hard for Latinos to get the healthcare ...

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At-Risk Residents Get a Cooking Class You Can Take Home for Dinner



Noemi Villarreal sees Latinos in San Antonio struggle with disease, and wants to help. That’s why she has helped launch family support connectors, and also developed farmers markets in the Eastside, a heavily Latino section of the city. The farmers markets did not work. How could Villarreal and neighborhood leaders still bring cooking and nutrition education to families to help prevent disease? Thinking outside the box, they created a series of classes that include a chef demonstration—and take-home bags so families can replicate nutritious food recipes at home. Encouraging Healthy Eating for Latinos San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) is home to 18,000 residents (67.5% Latino) who face health issues due to inequities in income, education, access to health ...

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