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Tech Entrepreneur Erik Cardenas Brings Affordable Healthcare to Latinos


Erik Cardenas healthcare

A young Erik Cardenas sat quietly in his chair, gently swinging his legs back and forth. He clasped his hands together and observed the clinic waiting room. He could hear some patients chattering with family members in Spanish. Others looked like they could doze off any minute. “Cardenas?” called out a nurse holding a clipboard. Erik sprung from his chair and followed his parents and the nurse into the doctor’s office. He was glad the waiting game was over. “As Mexican immigrants living in Houston, my parents didn't have the best access to healthcare,” a grown Cardenas recalled. “I have a lot of memories of waiting hours at community safety net clinics, and after a multiple hour wait, you were lucky to see the doctor for five minutes.” Cardenas also recalls ...

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Celebrating Galentine’s Day with Drs. Amelie Ramirez and Patricia Chalela


Galentine's Day

You’re probably familiar with Valentine’s Day on February 14. Every year, couples dote on each other and exchange candy, roses, and other gifts. But have you heard of Galentine’s Day? On February 13, Galentine’s Day is a time for women to celebrate their friendships with their gal pals, or lady friends. In honor of Galentine’s Day 2023, Salud America! is highlighting the incredible work and friendship of Drs. Amelie Ramirez and Patricia Chalela, two Latina researchers at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. The duo has a 30-year history working together to mitigate health inequities and disparities in the Latino community through public health research. Their contributions to Latino health equity are immeasurable. Let’s take ...

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Dr. Trinidad Solis: Harvesting Infection Control Solutions for Farmworkers



In the small rural Central California town of Selma, a young Trinidad Solis watched long stretches of farmland float by through the car window. She listened to her parents in the front seat discuss their upcoming doctor’s appointment in Spanish. As Mexican immigrant farmworkers, Solis’ parents faced hardships accessing healthcare, including a language barrier. Since her parents were monolingual Spanish-speakers, Solis often served as translator during her parents’ health appointments and helped them navigate the complex healthcare system. These childhood interactions spurred Solis’ desire to become a bilingual, culturally sensitive family physician who could provide healthcare, including infection prevention and control services, to vulnerable patients like her ...

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How Health Confianza is Improving Health Literacy in San Antonio



Health literacy is defined by the CDC as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” In today’s world, health literacy is crucial for community members and health professionals, alike, to make everyday decisions and achieve health equity. However, many underserved and racial/ethnic communities around the country face barriers to health equity including access to health care, financial instability, and housing/transportation insecurity endangering their health. That is why Jason Rosenfeld, DrPH, MPH, and Melanie Stone, DrPH (c), MPH, MEd are helping build Health Confianza – a partnership between UT Health San Antonio, The University of Texas San ...

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Latina Physician Collaborates with Promotoras in Sustainable Infection Control Efforts



In a modest house in Los Angeles, California, a young girl buried her nose in a book. She focused on the book’s colorful graphics of doctors helping sick patients. Closing her eyes, she pictured herself in this role. Her mother’s words echoed in her mind, “Education is the key to opening doors in life.” The young girl wasn’t sure how, but she decided she was going to go to medical school, and she was going to become a doctor. Decades later, the young girl — now a grown woman – has a successful career in medicine. Dr. Marlene Martin is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a hospitalist at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). In these roles, Marlene combines her passion for clinical care ...

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Isabella Jimenez Brings ‘My Fun Food’ to Your Phone, Kitchen



Isabella Jimenez is a Latina on a mission for health. At age 12, she had an idea for an app that serves as a digital cookbook where young people can learn to cook easy, healthy recipes and find tips in trivia games. She worked hard preparing recipes, creating and testing an app, and securing funding. At age 16, she launched the My Fun Food app. Now age 18, Isabella is an entrepreneur studying business at UT Austin and taking the My Fun Food app – which has a 5.0 rating in the Apple Store – to new levels. “The main purpose of the app is to provide a resource to the community,” Isabella said. “All the recipes are cost efficient, fast and quick, and easy to make.” Let’s explore what’s new since the last time Salud America! caught up with Isabella! Isabella: ...

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‘It Helped Me Because I’m Here’: Why Diana Lopez Chose a Clinical Trial


Diana Lopez

When asked about achievements in her life, Diana Lopez of San Antonio, Texas, didn’t have to think long about her answer. Surviving cancer. Lopez was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42. Like many of those who are diagnosed, it was a shock to Lopez and her loved ones. “At the time I was scared because you think, they tell you, ‘You have cancer’ and you are like, ‘I’m going to die,’” Lopez said. With the help of a clinical trial – a study with volunteers that helps researchers learn how to slow, manage, and treat diseases like cancer –Lopez stayed strong and continued to fight, no matter the obstacle. A Cancer Diagnosis and its Impact Lopez discovered a lump on her breast. At first, she thought nothing of it. “I wasn’t hurting or anything. It ...

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‘Siento Que Me Ayudó, Porque Estoy Aquí’: Por qué Diana López Decidió Participar en un Estudio Clínico


Diana Lopez

Cuando se le preguntó sobre los logros en su vida, Diana López de San Antonio, Texas, no tuvo que pensar mucho en su respuesta. Sobrevivir al cáncer. López fue diagnosticada con cáncer de seno a los 42 años. Al igual que muchos de las personas que son diagnosticadas, fue un shock para López y sus seres queridos. "En ese momento tenía miedo porque piensas, te dicen: 'Tienes cáncer' y dices: 'Voy a morir'", dijo López. Con la ayuda de un estudio clínico – un estudio con pacientes que voluntariamente participan y que ayuda a los investigadores a aprender cómo reducir el progreso, controlar y tratar enfermedades como el cáncer – López se mantuvo fuerte y continuó luchando, sin importar el obstáculo. Un Diagnóstico de Cáncer y su Impacto López descubrió un ...

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