#SaludTues Tweetchat 3/3/15: Celebrating Latina Health: Habits & Heroes

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March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements women throughout history have made that make our world a better place.

In honor of this month, we’re celebrating Latina health and the women who inspire us to live life to the fullest .Reading and drinking coffee

We know Latinas are at a higher risk for developing certain kinds of cancers and illnesses, but we also know that changing a few daily habits can have a huge impact on well-being.

Because salud is more than just being disease-free. It’s having a clear mind, uplifting relationships and an unbreakable spirit.

Join us and our co-hosts as we tweet about Latina health and the women who inspire us at the next #SaludTues Tweetchat.

  • WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Celebrating Latina Health: Habits & Heroes”
  • DATE: Tuesday, March 3, 2015
  • TIME: Noon CST (1:00 PM ET)
  • WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues
  • Co-HOSTS: @SaludToday, @EmpowHER, and @LatinaLista

We’ll open the floor to your stories and experiences as we explore:
• Who inspires you to live out a healthy life?
• What are some of the most pressing health issues for Latinas?
• What good habits can we start today to help us feel better in body, mind and soul?
• What are you doing to make the world better for the next generation of Latinas?

Be sure to use the hashtag #SaludTues to follow the conversation on Twitter, share your stories and resources as we celebrate Latinas and chat about healthy habits.

#SaludTues is a new weekly Tweetchat about Latino health at 12p CST/1p ET every Tuesday and hosted by @SaludToday, the Latino health social media campaign for the team at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

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‘Por Ahí Dicen': Latinas, Discuss Sexual Health with Your Children

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por ahi dicenSome Latina moms are hesitant or withhold certain facts when discussing sex with their children, according to a Mass Live report.

That why a new Spanish-language campaign, “Por Ahí Dicen,” will encourage Puerto Rican mothers in Massachusetts to discuss sex and sexual health with their children.

The campaign, developed by the Mauricio Gastón Institute of Latino Community Development and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Springfield, will air public service announcements on Telemundo and radio stations and place ads on buses and other venues.

Heavily Latino parts of Massachusetts, including Holyoke and Springfield, also have among the state’s highest rates of teen pregnancy.

“We focused on the Puerto Rican community because of the high rate of teen pregnancy, but lessons learned can be applied to all communities,” María Idalí Torres, director of the Gastón Institute and principal investigator, told Mass Live. “We hope that the participation of Puerto Rican mothers in the development of the PSAs serves as inspiration for a community-wide effort to support mother-child conversations about protection against unintended teen pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”

Valerie Quinones-Avita: An Èxito! Grad Puts ‘Salsa’ Passion into Improving Health Services

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Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2014 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply now for the 2015 Èxito! program.

Valerie Quinones-AvilaValerie Quinones-Avita
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Valerie Quinones-Avita learned a passion for Puerto Rican salsa music and dance from her late father, and she keeps his memory alive by incorporating that passion in her research.

She has a strong desire to improve health services and health systems.

Quinones-Avita, who has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and experience with mathematical models, is pursuing her master’s degree in health services research and evaluation from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus.

Interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in health system research, Quinones-Avita applied to Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which offers a five-day summer institute and internships to encourage master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.

She called Éxito! a “memorable experience.”

“I had the opportunity of bonding with fellow participants, sharing our interest, goals, fears, and inspirations,” Quinones-Avita said.

Éxito!, a program funded by the National Cancer Institute and directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will select 20 master’s-level students and health professionals from across the nation to attend a five-day summer institute in June 2015, in San Antonio, offering research information, tools, tips, role models and motivation to encourage participants to pursue a doctoral degree and a career studying how cancer affects Latinos differently. Participants also are eligible to apply for one of several internships. Apply here.

New TV Series: ‘Making Awesome Changes’ in San Antonio to Fight Obesity

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making awesome changesChildhood obesity is a big problem in San Antonio.

That’s why Salud America! and KSAT-TV are teaming up for a new series, “Making Awesome Changes,” which will regularly feature local Salud America! Salud Heroes—people and groups who are pushing for healthy changes—on the evening news.

Salud America!, a Latino childhood obesity research network supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and directed by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, uses research, stories, and resources to empower people to make healthy change in their own communities.

Salud America! tells the stories of many Latino youth, parents, teachers and others are working to improve physical activity and nutrition to help reduce obesity and associated disease.

KSAT-TV will be spotlighting their work to inspire more change across San Antonio.

For example, KSAT-TV‘s inaugural segment of the new series features Cesar Valdillez, a Salud America! Salud Hero who worked with neighbors, the city, and others to seek a community garden that would bring healthier food options for their Southtown community in San Antonio.

“Urban gardening is our grassroots way of making a difference in the world, one preserved green space at a time,” Valdillez said.

Stay tuned for more stories from Salud America! and KSAT-TV!

Benjamin Aceves: An Èxito! Grad Working to Help People Get Healthy

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Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2014 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply now for the 2015 Èxito! program.

Benjamin AcevesBenjamin Aceves
Bloomington, Calif.

Growing up in the mainly low-income, Latino areas of Baja, Calif., and Coahuila Mexico, Benjamin Aceves developed a compassion for his community.

He decided he wanted to help people get healthier.

So, not only did Aceves become his family’s first-ever college graduate with a degree in political science and German, he also earned a master’s degree in health promotion and behavioral science and a master’s degree in Latino America Studies from San Diego State University.

He now works across Southern California to increase awareness in nutrition and physical activity among Latino communities.

To explore how to take his work and educational career to a new level, Aceves found and decided to apply for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which offers a five-day summer institute and internships to encourage master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.

Aceves said he learned a lot about cancer and doctoral programs at the Éxito! Summer Institute, and it has given him “the confidence to succeed.”

Éxito!, a program funded by the National Cancer Institute and directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will select 20 master’s-level students and health professionals from across the nation to attend a five-day summer institute in June 2015, in San Antonio, offering research information, tools, tips, role models and motivation to encourage participants to pursue a doctoral degree and a career studying how cancer affects Latinos differently. Participants also are eligible to apply for one of several internships. Apply here.

Tell Kellogg: Stop Marketing High-Sugar Recipes to Latino Families

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Portrait of young attractive woman holding warning notice card iLatina moms often have final say over family meals—marketers know this.

Kellogg Co., the name behind brands like Fruit Loops, Pop-Tarts, and Eggo Waffles, has a new digital marketing campaign, Días Grandiosos, that targets Latina moms online and on social media like Facebook and Pinterest with recipes they tout as saludable (healthy).

But many of their meals are high in sugar and salt—NOT saludable.

Tell Kellogg to stop pushing Latina moms to give their kids unhealthy, sugary foods, and instead add more healthy options!

Almost all the campaign’s recipes—19 of the 29 recipes on its website—qualify as desserts based on their high sugar content, according to an independent nutritionist. Like:

Five recipes using Rice Krispies and marshmallows;
Cookies made with sugar, butter and crushed Pringles chips; and
Ice cream stuffed in an Eggo waffle “taco shell.”

Even when the campaign website encourages exercise and cultural and family values, kids often are shown eating foods like Frosted Flakes, which is very high in sugar.

Latina moms care about healthy kids and want healthy recipes that celebrate their culture.

Tell Kellogg: Kids don’t need an “ice cream taco” to make life grandioso.

This campaign is directed by Salud America!, a Latino childhood obesity network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Study: Hispanics More Likely To Develop Liver Disease From Alcohol

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Young man sitting drinking alone at a table with two bottles ofHispanics are more likely to get alcoholic liver disease, and get it at younger ages, according to a new study, Inquisitr reports.

The study, by the UC Davis Health System, conducted a retrospective chart review of more than 1,500 patients with alcoholic liver disease—a spectrum of diseases including alcoholic fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis that often result from long duration of high amounts of alcohol.

Not everyone is affected by alcohol the same way.

Even if the same amount of alcohol is consumed, the liver damage from alcohol in some people can be more severe than in others, suggesting that other factors, such as genes and environment, can influence the development of liver damage.

In the study, more Hispanic people get alcoholic liver disease, even when removing other risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and HIV infection.

Also, Hispanics present with the condition 4-10 years younger than whites or blacks.

“The development of ALD in Hispanics several years younger than whites…did not appear to be due to other possible factors such as chronic viral hepatitis C, diabetes or obesity, all of which are can cause liver damage,” said Christopher L. Bowlus, of the UC Davis Health System. “Genetic and environmental factors may play an important role as they can accelerate the onset and progression of [alcoholic liver disease]. There might also be differences in the pattern of drinking and type of alcohol consumed.”

Researchers suggest that physicians screen patients for the presence and extent of alcoholic drinking, and that Hispanics be on alert to their drinking habits.

“Hispanics may find it important to know that heavy drinkers can develop [alcoholic live disease] at a younger age, that obesity contributes to this risk, and that preventive steps should be taken if their relatives or friends engage in risky drinking behavior,” said Valentina Medici of the UC Davis Health System.

Mia Ramirez: An Èxito! Grad Brings a ‘Civil Rights’ Lens to Public Health

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Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2014 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply now for the 2015 Èxito! program.

Mia RamirezMia Ramirez
Colorado Springs, Colo.

With a father who was a Chicano civil rights activist, it’s natural that Colorado native Ramirez and her family grew up with a strong sense of equal rights, equity, and justice.

From a young age, Ramirez was taught the values of servitude, leadership and completing tasks.

She went on to develop a passion for improving her community’s health, reducing health disparities, and addressing the social determinants of health.

With a bachelor’s degree in biology and Spanish from Regis University and a master’s degree in international health and development from Boston University, Ramirez has worked as a public health advisor at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as a community research and policy analyst for Multnomah County Health Department’s Health Equity Initiative. She has also served internationally at the Pan American Health Organization in Chile to address gender equity at the Chol Chol Foundation, providing micro credit loans to the indigenous Mapuche women.

Currently she is a senior community health specialist at Kaiser Permanente, where she currently oversees programs and activities to increase health access, healthy environments, health knowledge and partnerships in Southern Colorado.

Considering whether to pursue a doctoral education, Ramirez applied to Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which offers a five-day summer institute and internships to encourage master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.

Ramirez said the Éxito! Summer Institute inspired and motivated her, with great activities and diverse opportunities to learn, reflect, and network.

“The Summer Institute has given me a confidence booster,” she said.

Éxito!, a program funded by the National Cancer Institute and directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will select 20 master’s-level students and health professionals from across the nation to attend a five-day summer institute in June 2015, in San Antonio, offering research information, tools, tips, role models and motivation to encourage participants to pursue a doctoral degree and a career studying how cancer affects Latinos differently. Participants also are eligible to apply for one of several internships. Apply here.

Spanish Infographic: Safe Places for Kids to Be Active

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infographicssssWhat keeps Latino kids from being active?

A lack of recreational facilities, broken sidewalks, inadequate time for recess, and higher rates of car crashes and crime hinders activity in underserved communities, according to a new Spanish-language infographic from Active Living Research (ALR) and Salud America!, a program of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at he UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The good news is that all of the issues identified in the infographic can be addressed with better policies, infrastructure improvements, and planning that can make neighborhoods safer, cleaner, and better designed for walking, biking, and playing.

Use this infographic, also available in English, to help make the case for improving barriers to physical activity in your community.

Go here and here to find additional resources to improve physical activity among Latino kids.

And enter your address to see what changes are happening in your city!

Kaylee Rivera: An Èxito! Grad Makes Strong Push to Boost Latino Health

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Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2014 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply now for the 2015 Èxito! program.

Kaylee RiveraKaylee Rivera
Long Beach, Calif.

With constant support from her Puerto Rican, police-officer father, Kaylee Rivera had the determination and ambition to succeed in her educational and career goals.

Rivera, who earned a bachelor’s degree in health science from California State University, Long Beach, and is pursuing a master’s degree in public health, has work experience in nutrition, obesity prevention, and behavioral health. She also is a graduate mentor Fellow for the H2OLA program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

After giving her first scientific presentation—“The effects of language acculturation and time in U.S on selected nutrition recommendations”—at the Annual Health Disparities Conference, Rivera wanted to explore a doctoral degree and a career in research.

So Rivera applied to Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which offers a five-day summer institute and internships to encourage master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.

She said the Éxito! Summer Institute gave her encouragement, and she drew inspiration and from her fellow participants and the guest speakers.

“[Éxito!] has motivated me and shown me that it is possible to complete a PhD,” she said. “It has also helped me reduce self-doubt.”

Éxito!, a program funded by the National Cancer Institute and directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will select 20 master’s-level students and health professionals from across the nation to attend a five-day summer institute in June 2015, in San Antonio, offering research information, tools, tips, role models and motivation to encourage participants to pursue a doctoral degree and a career studying how cancer affects Latinos differently. Participants also are eligible to apply for one of several internships. Apply here.

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