Archive for March, 2012
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently launched a Spanish version of its vaccine information website, which aims to answer questions, educate about diseases that vaccines prevent, and connect individuals with resources to keep themselves and their families healthy.
The Spanish version of the site includes the following:
- Easy-to-read vaccine recommendation schedules for all age groups and health conditions;
- Clear information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent;
- Tips on travel immunizations and staying healthy abroad;
- Resources regarding vaccine requirements for school or child care entry;
- Info on where to get vaccinated and programs to make immunizations more affordable, including a community clinic locator; and
- Tools to share content via social media
To visit the English version, click here.
To visit the Spanish version, click here.
Thanks to the Border Health Commission for the tip on the new website.
Community leaders, here are two new tools to help improve access to healthy foods:
Can government agencies prioritize locally grown products when they’re buying food for places like schools, hospitals, jails, and other public facilities? It depends on state and local laws, funding restrictions, and other considerations.
The Buy Fresh, Buy Local report looks at when and how agencies can give preference to locally grown food when they’re using tax dollars to purchase goods.
Debate is heating up on Capitol Hill over the Farm Bill, which is up for renewal this fall. This piece of federal legislation helps determine the types of food we eat and how much it costs — and local community leaders can play an important role in making sure it promotes health and nutrition.
The Growing Change: A Farm Bill Primer for Communities report outlines why the Farm Bill is so important to nutrition, food systems, and the food safety net in cities and towns throughout the country. This guide points local stakeholders to a variety of ways to get involved — before and after Congress passes the new law.
For more info, contact the team behind these new tools, Public Health Law & Policy, a nonpartisan nonprofit working to educate, inform, and assist local and state public health departments on policy strategies addressing nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco control.
The percentage of obese Mexican-American adults has risen from 21% in 1984 to 35% in 2006 to 40% in 2010, according to new government data, USA Today reports.
Mexican-American adults’ obesity rates also were higher than the national average of 36%.
According to the USA Today report:
- The percentage of Mexican-American adults with diabetes was 14% in 2006, higher than the most recent national average of about 11%.
- About 22% of Mexican-American adults had high blood pressure and 20% had high cholesterol in 2006. These rates have remained stable over the last few decades. The prevalence increases with age.
- The average intake of calories for Mexican-American men was 2,521 in 2006; women, 1,827 calories. Those numbers have increased by several hundred calories each since 1984. The percent of calories they ate from carbohydrates increased from about 46% in 1984 to 51% in 2006.
The statistics come from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about health conditions and nutrient intake of Mexican-American adults ages 20-74.
Check out this video featuring Julie St. John of Texas A&M University Health Science Center, who describes her prevention project using promotoras, or community health workers, along the Texas-Mexico border.
St. John is a grantee of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Researchers from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio taught a crowd of more than 30 health professionals and social workers the importance of providing bilingual and culturally sensitive health care at a unique training event March 8, 2012, in San Antonio.
The event, “Cancer Prevention & Women: A Look at Programs that Address Health Disparities Among Medically Underserved Populations,” stemmed from a partnership between the IHPR and the San Antonio College (SAC) Empowerment Center.
IHPR researchers Dr. Daisy Morales-Campos, Christina M. Carmona, Rose A. Treviño, Guadalupe Cornejo and Erika G. Casasola discussed Latino breast, cervical and colorectal cancer rates and cultural factors that impede individuals from preventative care.
They also discussed several of the IHPR’s community-based programs: Entre Madre e Hija, a cervical cancer peer-education program for Latina mothers and daughters; Salud San Antonio!, a program providing free educational presentations on prevention and early detection of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer; and Muévete Más, a community initiative that offers exercise programs for Latina cancer survivors.
Learn more abut the IHPR here.
What’s your excuse?
A new bilingual public service announcement (PSA) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addresses common excuses and misconceptions that lead people to delay or avoid getting screened for colorectal cancer.
The PSA features men and women who voice their personal reasons for not being screened, while an off-camera announcer responds by providing facts about colorectal cancer screening and its importance. Adults ages 50-59, Hispanics, and persons with lower income, less than a high school education, and without health insurance were least likely to have been screened for colorectal cancer, according to CDC statistics.
Watch in English:
Watch in Spanish:
Apply now for a program, “Investing in America’s Future: Mentoring Researchers in Latino Health Disparities,” which aims to mentor junior faculty, scientists and post-doctoral individuals pursuing research in Latino cardiovascular disease to increase this field of research.
The program, led by San Diego State University, will bring together accomplished and aspiring researchers in Latino public health at a two-week summer institute from July 20-Aug. 3, 2012, in San Diego. Additional mentoring will be provided through ongoing communication with an assigned mentor, a mid-year visit to each of the mentee’s research settings, and a second summer institute in San Diego in 2013.
Travel, housing, ground transportation and per diem will be provided.
Rolling admissions now are open. Apply here.
Go here for more details.
Laura Esparza used to be an “exercise avoider.”
She steered clear of physical activities that resembled the P.E. classes of her youth, and had little confidence to work out or try playing any sports.
That changed when Esparza, a parent of three children and community volunteer in San Antonio, Texas, grew increasingly concerned with rising local obesity levels and learned that daily physical activity is an essential element of everyone’s physical and mental health.
Now she exercises regularly and is an avid “exercise promoter” at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she researches ways to increase Latino families’ physical activity.
“Spurred by my own experience, I became interested in promoting exercise and physical activity for those not already active,” said Esparza, who joined the IHPR in 2009 from UT San Antonio, where she earned her master’s degree in health and kinesiology. “I want to help solve the obesity health crisis.”
Esparza is a key player in the IHPR’s Physical Activity Partnership for Girls, a multi-component health behavior-change intervention that uses text messaging and social media to promote physical activity among adolescent Latina Girl Scouts.
She also coordinates Y Living, a healthy lifestyle program for cancer prevention and risk reduction with community partner, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.
“I enjoy working with community partners because they are so committed to improving the lives of their constituents in an increasingly challenging resource environment,” she said. “Community-academic collaboration is not easy work—it takes a lot of time and energy to build on the knowledge and strengths of both sides in order to develop programs that have a chance of success. In the end, everyone involved wants to improve the health and well-being of the community, and I am so pleased to be a part of that.”
Esparza takes her promoter role directly into the community, too.
She is vice-chair of the Active Living Council of San Antonio, a group focused on facilitating change in policy, infrastructure, and attitudes to promote active living throughout the community, and serves on the community board of the Methodist Healthcare System, the city’s largest hospital system.
“Improving health takes a multi-level effort, from lending a hand in the community to figuring out how to get 12-year-old girls excited about trying a new exercise,” Esparza said. “The challenge is to make being physically active the easy choice.”
Find the latest in Latino health—from fighting Latina cervical cancer to innovative ways to tackle Latino childhood obesity—in the new E-newsletter from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The IHPR E-newsletter has these stories:
- Story and Video: Preventing Cervical Cancer in South Texas (Pg 1)
- Story: How an “Exercise Avoider” Became an “Exercise Promoter” (Pg 2)
- Story: The Importance of Latino Biospecimens (Pg 2)
- Story: 20 Studies Tackle Latino Childhood Obesity (Pg 3)
- Story: Who is Promotora of the Year? (Pg 4)
- Videos: “Feeding Minds” Series Addresses Hunger, Obesity in Texas (Pg 6)
The E-newsletter is jam-packed with even more info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events.
The IHPR, led by health disparities research expert Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, investigates the causes and solutions to the unequal impact of cancer and chronic disease among certain populations, including Latinos, in San Antonio, South Texas and the nation. The IHPR, founded in 2006, uses evidence-guided research, training and community outreach to improve the health of those at a disadvantage due to race/ethnicity or social determinants, such as education or income.
Step 1: Innovative cancer education.
Step 2: Cancer screening.
Step 3: Catching cancer at early, treatable stages.
That’s the life-saving idea behind Salud San Antonio!, a new $2 million research project led by Dr. Cynthia Mojica, assistant professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Salud San Antonio! will partner with several community groups and employ community health workers—also known as promotoras—to teach Latinos in low-income, health-problematic areas on the city’s West and South sides about breast, cervical and colorectal cancer and the benefits of cancer screening.
After promotoras teach, they’ll refer Latinos for cancer screening and even help with travel to appointments, interpreting medical forms and more.
“This project can help detect cancer at early, more treatable stages by helping Latinos get screened who otherwise wouldn’t because of lack of money, transportation, health insurance, or knowledge of the health system,” Mojica said.
Read more about this project here.
Watch a video here or below to see Dr. Mojica talk about the pilot study that led up to her newest grant aimed to improve Latino cancer screening rates.