Read More Salud Heroes Articles

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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. Update 6/19/20: López passed away in June 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Navigating a health crisis María Emilce ...

Read More

Every Little Step Counts for Latino Child Health

Yolanda Konopken knows 1 in 10 people have diabetes in Arizona. Her program to help families manage diabetes has been at full capacity for years at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix (41.3% Latino population). Konopken wanted to do more to prevent unhealthy weight from causing diabetes in younger children. She had an idea to start a new, bilingual education program to provide support and counseling for families with children at risk of diabetes. She worked hard to develop a bilingual curriculum and launch a fun program that involves the whole family in a series of culturally relevant classes to build children’s self-esteem and positive lifestyle behaviors, such as cooking healthier foods and getting active. The Crisis of Obesity in Arizona Arizona has the ...

Read More

How Arizona Clinics Create Amazing Medical Homes for Latinos

For 30 years, a group of small community health centers have provided primary healthcare to residents in Maricopa County, Ariz. (30% Latino population). A few years ago, center leaders Dr. Avein Saaty Tafoya and Lisa Blue recognized that local residents continued to face cultural, language, financial, and other barriers to proper comprehensive healthcare. They felt compelled to change the entire approach of their centers. Adelante Healthcare began to seek grants and partnerships to add personnel to expand beyond their historical focus on primary care. Today their new team—primary care physicians, specialists, bilingual health coaches, mental and behavioral health social workers, and others who connect families to insurance, health education, and more—provides more ...

Read More

Parents Help Save Pool in Low-Income Minneapolis Area

Hannah Lieder, foster mother and founder of Minneapolis Swims, has been working since 2010 to keep open the local Phillips Pool in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minn. Why? Lieder knows that children living in low-income, Latino, or minority neighborhoods have historically lacked convenient access to physical activity spaces, particularly swimming pools, compared to white or high-income neighborhoods. These social and environmental inequalities contribute to disparities in drowning rates, physical activity levels, health outcomes and academic achievement. Phillips Pool was in disrepair and under constant threat to be concreted over. Now, six years later, Lieder’s legacy lives on, through Denny Bennett, as crews will break ground on the Phillips Aquatics ...

Read More

Stephen Lucke Grows Gardens of Wellness in San Antonio

Stephen Lucke's life forever when he took a college nutrition class. Lucke, an aspiring doctor who was studying biochemistry at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas (63% Latino) a few years ago, realized that healthy food could help stop people from getting sick in the first place. He was so motivated to help that he immediately helped start a campus wellness program in 2011. He helped start a fruit and vegetable garden on campus a few months later. “I just really became educated about the obesity epidemic,” Lucke said. “You know San Antonio was the most obese city in 2007.” Food Access Needed in San Antonio As he worked to maintain gardens on the UIW campus, Lucke began to realize a severe lack of community gardens and a lack of garden ...

Read More

School Dietician Uses Student Videos to Give Health a Starring Role

Sierra Middle School 7th Grade Winner for the Best Healthy Eating Film Award in the 2016 Film Fest. Student stands with Barbara Berger to his right and his mother to his left. (Photo Source: Barbara Berger).

Barbara Berger was more than concerned—she was downright worried about the growing weight and health of her students. The school dietitian in Las Cruces, NM (67.1% Latino population), found it hard to promote healthy eating and physical activity to her teenaged students. That was, until she let students do it themselves in a way that would engage students in a fun, creative story-telling experience. Through the use of creative films and videos, Berger found that the students were not only able to help solve real-world health problems, they had fun and gained valuable life-skills while doing it. Opening Credits: A Video Idea to Help Middle-Schoolers Barbara Berger has been involved with health and nutrition education since 2012 for the Las Cruces Public School ...

Read More

Water Champions Push H2O for Latino Kids, Families

Water isn't magic, but it can help you stay hydrated, control calories, and fuel muscles. But Latino kids don't drink enough water. In fact, Latino kids drink less plain water and more sugary drinks than white kids. That is according to research by Salud America!, a national Latino childhood obesity prevention network at UT Health San Antonio. That’s why we are spotlighting heroes who work hard to push water for Latino kids and families! Praxina Guerra: 5th-Grader Gets Hydration Station in School San Antonio fifth-grader Praxina Guerra and her mentor, Cathy Lopez, are true Salud Heroes when it comes to creating a healthy school environment. Praxina, spurred on by Lopez, joined the city's San Antonio Student Ambassador program and created a student club to encourage ...

Read More