Archive for June, 2012
The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) has new animated videos demonstrating how to navigate NCCOR’s online tools—the Catalogue of Surveillance Systems and Measures Registry—which help researchers more easily investigate childhood obesity in America.
The Catalogue of Surveillance Systems provides one-stop access for users to review, sort, and compare more than 85 surveillance systems relevant to childhood obesity research and the evaluation of policy and environmental interventions.
The Measures Registry is a portfolio of more than 800 measures related to diet and physical activity. The tool allows researchers to more efficiently find and select measures that are critical to accelerating obesity prevention research.
Or watch the videos at NCCOR’s website.
Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, professor and researcher at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, was elected to The Obesity Society’s Pediatric Obesity Section, which supports scientific efforts to understand child obesity and inform its treatment and prevention.
The Obesity Society aims to advance the science-based understanding of the causes, consequences, prevention and treatment of obesity to improve the lives of those affected by creating the leading professional society in the field.
The Society’s Pediatric Obesity Section aims to:
- promote networking and collaboration among pediatric obesity researchers and practitioners;
- promote pediatric obesity clinical practice; and
- increase the national visibility of the pediatric obesity section as a leading resource in research, practice, and advocacy.
“I am excited to contribute to this group and bring attention to the rising obesity epidemic among Latino children,” Dr. Parra-Medina said. “Latino children are part of the largest, fastest-growing racial/ethnic minority groups, but they struggle with disproportionately high obesity rates and related health problems that could endanger the nation’s future health.”
Parra-Medina will serve a two-year term from 2012-14. She will attend The Obesity Society’s annual scientific meetings and engage in group communications.
Parra-Medina has vast experience in health promotion, public health epidemiology, health disparities in cardiovascular and chronic disease, and community-based interventions among under-served and minority populations. At the IHPR, she leads several research projects, including a project that teamed researchers, community leaders and parent to design and implement a text-messaging-infused intervention to boost activity and reduce sedentary behaviors among Latina Girl Scouts ages 11-14 in San Antonio.
She has authored many peer-reviewed articles, is frequently invited to speak at scientific meetings, and is a member of various health groups and coalitions.
Find out more about The Obesity Society here.
Armida Flores was a professional abuela—babysitting her granddaughters, volunteering at their schools, etc.—until they moved to California a few years ago.
Then Flores wasn’t sure what to do with her newfound spare time.
So the Mexico native, who was 30 years removed from school, didn’t know much English and had no career training, decided to enroll in bilingual nursing classes at Palo Alto College in San Antonio and simultaneously earned her GED in Spanish in 2008.
She also took beginner and advanced English to polish her language skills, and in May 2012 earned an associate’s degree in social work, psychology and Spanish.
“The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was to accept that I am not too old to start a new process in my life,” said Flores. “Now that I have overcome this obstacle, I continue working to improve my language and computer skills.”
She’s kick-started her career as a health educator at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
She serves as a patient navigator to help cancer survivors navigate the complex health care system, get emotional support, and access needed care services.
She also is a promotora—a community health worker for Latinos—on an IHPR-LIVESTRONG partnership to identify Latino cancer patients and refer them to LIVESTRONG’s cancer survivor services.
LIVESTRONG recently lauded Flores for having the highest number of referrals, and invited her to a national conference in July 2012.
Flores also coordinates workshops, member recruitment and record-keeping for the San Antonio Community Health Association, and she co-founded the Cuenta Conmigo cancer support group for Spanish speakers.
“Armida is the perfect bridge between our Latino community and our health care providers/system,” said IHPR researcher Sandra San Miguel de Majors. “Latino cancer survivors are able to relate to her because she’s from their own community, she speaks their same language and she understands their culture and barriers.
“I admire her positive attitude and willingness to help everyone. She’s got a quiet approach, but makes a very strong impact in our community.”
Flores hopes to eventually earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling.
“My motivations to accomplish my goals are my family, myself, and my desire to learn how to be able to help people in my community,” she said.
Improving Latinos’ health is certainly rewarding enough.
But we’re especially honored today that SaludToday, the Latino health website, blog and social media campaign directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, was recognized by the 14th annual Web Health Awards, which laud honors the nation’s best digital health resources.
SaludToday earned a “silver” award for its blog and a “merit” award for its Twitter feed.
The IHPR also earned a “merit” award for its quarterly E-newsletter, IHPR Noticias, which trumpets the latest advancements in Latino health disparities news and research.
For the Web Health Awards competition, which is held twice yearly, a panel of 32 experts in digital health media served as judges and selected gold, silver, bronze, and merit winners from nearly 600 entries.
“We’re humbled by the recognition of our efforts to heighten the awareness of Latino health issues and promote research and methods to prevent and/or eliminate those issues,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, who directs the IHPR and its SaludToday campaign. “We’re going to keep pushing the envelope to better all facets of Latino health.”
See the complete list of winners here.
Find the latest in Latino health—from fighting Latino liver cancer to innovative ways to improve life for Latino cancer survivors—in the new E-newsletter from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The IHPR E-newsletter has these stories:
- Story and Video: Study Links Diabetes, Obesity to Liver Cancer in Latinos (Pg 1)
- Story: How a Professional Abuela Spawned a Health Career (Pg 2)
- Story: Clinical Trials & You (Pg 2)
- Story: Join Study Motivating Cancer Survivors to Get Fit (Pg 3)
- Story and Video: Closing Health Gaps for Latino Cancer Survivors (Pg 4)
- Videos: Health Novelas, Stories of Latino Diabetics, & More (Pg 10)
The E-newsletter is jam-packed with even more info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events.
Visit us here.
The report, Minorities, Mobile Broadband, and the Management of Chronic Diseases, summarizes key issues raised during a roundtable discussion among leaders from the government, health care, technology and health policy sectors. The report was prepared by the Joint Center Media and Technology Institute and the Health Policy Institute with support from the UnitedHealth Group Foundation.
The report indicates that mobile devices, telemedicine and health applications can bolster preventive and follow-up care for minority mobile users, thereby improving their health outcomes. Mobile technology also has the potential to reduce administrative expenses and inefficiencies that contribute to rising healthcare costs and reduce access to affordable care.
About 63% of Latinos are wireless Internet users, and they are more likely to own a cell phone (87%) than whites (80%), according to the report.
“In effect, by increasing the ability of some people to manage their own care on an outpatient basis, doctors and hospitals will have more opportunities to devote their time and energies to serving patients with more urgent needs,” the report states.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series that will highlight the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work in Latino communities across the country.
As a part of its 40th anniversary commemoration, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will honor up to 10 individuals age 40 and under who offer great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all Americans. Each recipient of the Young Leader Award will get $40,000 as acknowledgement of his or her accomplishments in research, direct care, policy, technology, community programs or other areas.
Diversity and inclusion are core values of RWJF, and nominations of young leaders from the widest array of perspectives and experiences are encouraged. RWJF believes that the more its work includes diverse perspectives and experiences, the better it will be able to help all Americans live healthier lives and get the care they need.
The deadline for nominations is July 16 (11:59 p.m. EDT).
Awardees will be notified Sept. 24, and the Young Leaders will be announced publicly at an RWJF conference in Princeton, NJ, on Oct. 25-26.
To be eligible for a Young Leader Award, a candidate must:
- Have been working to improve health or health care for at least three years;
- Have contributed to improving health or health care through innovation and leadership;
- Be 40 years of age or younger as of July 16, 2012; and
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories.
For more information on how to nominate a Young Leader, click here.