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Salud America! has received a two-year, $1.5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to create new digital content to inspire people to drive community change for health equity for Latino and all U.S. families.
Salud America! was established nationally in 2007 and is based at UT Health San Antonio. The program produces culturally relevant multimedia research, tools, and stories to fuel its online network—more than 200,000 moms and dads, healthcare providers, and community and school leaders—to start healthy changes to policies, systems, and environments where Latino children and families can equitably live, learn, work, and play.
The new funding will extend Salud America! from October 2018 to October 2020.
Salud America! now will engage more people with enhanced advocacy education content. The program also will expand its health equity focus on healthy neighborhoods (transportation, affordable housing, green spaces) and healthy and cohesive cultures (conditions of poverty, immigrant and rural health, social cohesion).
“We want to help everyone work individually and together to achieve health equity, ensuring everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio.
Health inequities are rampant in the United States.
Latinos and other minority groups suffer high rates of poverty and discrimination. They have limited access to healthcare, quality education, and social support. As a result, they often suffer worse health outcomes than other population groups.
Salud America!’s content aims to fuel action to reduce these challenges.
“Exposure to our content correlates with a higher degree of engagement in advocacy actions at the school, local, state, and national levels,” said Dr. Ramirez, citing recent survey data of network members. “It also increases people’s individual confidence to to advocate for healthy change.”
Below are key program objectives:
Increase Focus on Key Health Equity Issues
Salud America! has reorganized its website to focus on three themes for health equity:
Enhance Advocacy Education Content on Health Equity
Under its three new themes, Salud America! will digitally curate content to fuel healthy change. Emphasis will go to informgrassroots community leaders in rural areas and smaller cities.
Content will include:
- Salud Hero stories and videos of healthy change
- In-progress policy and system changes and resources for advocacy education.
- E-communications and social media outreach on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
- #SaludTues Tweetchats on Latino health equity issues at 12 p.m. CT every Tuesday on Twitter.
Create New Action Campaigns
Salud America! will create new campaigns to encourage network members and the public to take action.
Campaigns include opportunities to submit public comments in support of healthy change, partnerships to amplify existing actions, and creating new Action Packs.
Action Packs offer model content, templates, information, and technical support to enable advocates to make a healthy policy or system change in their community or school.
For example, more than 300 school district leaders nationwide have downloaded the Salud America! Trauma-Sensitive School Action Pack This Pack helps people craft a system to identify and support traumatized students.
Salud America! also will recruit a panel of local and national consultants to advise on program sustainability and making further impact on health equity.
“We are dedicated to creating content to connect with and inspire people to get involved and build a healthy, cohesive culture where everyone can live healthy lives,” Ramirez said.