Posts tagged Deborah Parra-Medina
Sandra San Miguel de Majors, a research instructor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the Health Science Center at San Antonio, touted the use of community health workers—called promotores—to improve people’s health at the Latina Health Policy Briefing for Promotores de Salud on Sept. 26, 2012, at the White House in Washington, D.C.
The policy briefing, organized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review the affordable care act, united key Latino health care providers, researchers, stakeholders and promotores to discuss successful evidenced-based Latino research initiatives utilizing promotores.
The briefing featured Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary.
San Miguel participated in a panel featuring promotora research and outreach successes. Representing IHPR director Dr. Amelie Ramirez and IHPR researcher Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, San Miguel gave an overview on IHPR’s obesity research projects:
- Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children is a national network of researchers, community leaders, policymakers, and others who are working together to seek environmental and policy solutions to address Latino childhood obesity.
- Enlace is testing the effectiveness of a culturally appropriate, theory-based intervention to increase moderate to vigorous physical activity among impoverished Latinas in South Texas.
- The SaludToday social media campaign is stimulating an ongoing discussion among Latino families, community leaders, health researchers and others interested in improving the health of U.S. Latinos.
“We are discovering through our research efforts that promotores play a major role in effectively changing our Latino community perspective toward health and physical activity,” San Miguel said. “In addition to helping to navigate the community and connecting them with the appropriate social support resources, promotores are acting as behavioral change agents.”
Also represented on the promotora panel were the Health Disparities Department at the American Cancer Society, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
Julie Chavez Rodrigues, associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and granddaughter of the late Latino rights activist César Chavez, made closing remarks.
“It was an honor for me to represent the IHPR and our team of IHPR promotores, whose passion and dedication enables us to implement successful evidenced based and community based participatory research programs within our Latino communities at a local and national level,” San Miguel said. “It was a wonderful experience; I was humbled to be in such distinguished company.”
Latinas are less physically active than Latino men and are less likely to meet physical activity guidelines than other population groups.
This inactivity may lead to obesity and associated conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
To improve Latinas’ health, a new five-year, $3.48 million study will use promotoras—trained community health workers—to lead culturally appropriate group education and exercise sessions for Latinas in community centers in South Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley, says study leader Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) in the School of Medicine of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Participants also will get newsletters and telephone counseling.
The effort, called Enlace (which means to “connect” or “join” in English) and funded by the National Institutes of Health, aims to increase Latinas’ physical activity rates.
“The idea behind Enlace is that, through this promotora intervention, Latinas will gain an otherwise-unavailable layer of social support to overcome barriers to activity and make positive behavioral changes—namely that Latinas engage in 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on five or more days a week,” Dr. Parra-Medina said.
Dr. Parra-Medina and her colleagues had identified several barriers that influence physical activity behaviors among Latinas in South Texas: the dominance of work and family responsibilities, time, social isolation, lack of social support and personal motivation, access issues (e.g., program costs, lack of childcare and transportation), neighborhood safety and other factors.
For the new Enlace study, Dr. Parra-Medina’s team will recruit 704 Latinas ages 18-64 who do not meet federal physical activity guidelines from eight community resource centers in impoverished areas in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Half the women will be randomly assigned to the Enlace intervention, which includes 16 once-a-week promotora-led group exercise sessions; and 24 weeks of a maintenance intervention with monthly promotora-delivered newsletters and telephone counseling.
The other half will serve as a control group.
Dr. Parra-Medina’s team will compare the two groups based on minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, physical fitness, wand other factors.
“We hypothesize that Latinas in the intervention group will significantly increase their levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, compared to those in the control group,” Dr. Parra-Medina said.
Read more here.
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.
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.
Find the latest in Latino health—from helping underserved Latinos get cancer screening, to exploring reasons why liver cancer is on the rise among Latinos, to helping Latinos pursue doctoral degrees—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: A New Way to Help Underserved Local Latinos Get Cancer Screens (Pg 1)
- Story: How Did an IHPR Employee Get a Coveted Internship Using His Christmas Present? (Pg 2)
- Story: New Research Briefs Examine Obesity in Latino Youths (Pg 3)
- Videos: New Training Videos on Patient Navigation (Pg 4)
- Story: Apply by 3/1/12 for Éxito to Get Help Pursuing a Doctoral Degree (Pg 5)
- Story: Latino Liver Cancer Rates Are on Rise…But Why? (Pg 6)
- Story: Sugary Drinks 101 for Latinos (Pg 9)
Find much more on local and national health disparities-related news, funding, resources and events by visiting the IHPR’s website.
From selling cookies and earning merit badges to helping researchers fight obesity, Girl Scouts are testing out a new fitness program called “Be Fit With Friends” that lets them text and even spend time on Facebook to get them to be more physically active.
How does it work?
Read more in an Ivanhoe news report about the “Be Fit With Friends” project, which is led by Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) recently awarded $265,000 to a researcher from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio who is working with the YMCA of Greater San Antonio to encourage healthy living and cancer prevention.
Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, professor in the Health Science Center’s Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR), is co-directing “Y Living,” a lifestyle program for cancer prevention and risk reduction.
“This collaborative project uses a community-based, family-focused approach. We’ll work with families to promote physical activity, a balanced diet and increased awareness of the impact of a healthy lifestyle on cancer risk reduction,” Dr. Parra-Medina said. “We’ll provide health education, and use text messages to enroll and motivate them.”
IHPR Director Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez stressed the importance of finding new ways to educate people about their cancer risk and how they might lower it.
“We’re really interested in reaching out to our community through new technologies to provide them with the latest information that they can use to reduce risk factors that might predispose them to cancer,” Dr. Ramirez said.
Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2007 establishing CPRIT and authorizing the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas. CPRIT’s goal is to expedite innovation and commercialization in the area of cancer research and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs and services throughout the state.
Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, a professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, is leading a new project to teach Latina moms and daughters in South Texas about the HPV and cervical cancer, which disproportionately affects Latinas.
Conexión, a publication of the San Antonio Express-News, has more:
A new program called Entre Mujeres from the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science center will allow mothers and daughters, ages 11-17, in the lower Rio Grande Valley to come together in a unique setting to educate themselves on HPV and its prevention.
Entre Mujeres will combine community health workers, or “promotoras,” and college students from UT Pan American’s Kappa Delta Chi sorority to present educational material to 1,800 mothers and daughters in Cameron and Hidalgo counties.
The combination of promotoras who know the community and young women…will make this a unique opportunity to reach women and girls who otherwise would not be reached.
Read more here.
The 2nd Annual SALSI Research Forum: Latino Obesity united UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), UT San Antonio (UTSA), and community researchers and advocates to share current Latino health disparities and obesity research and program advancements on May 10, 2011, in San Antonio.
“”It’s important to highlight and learn from these efforts, to gain better knowledge of what works best to encourage healthier lifestyles among Latinos,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UTHSCSA, the team that coordinated the forum with UTSA. The forum was made possible by the San Antonio Life Science Institute (SALSI).
VIDEO: UT San Antonio Researchers: Drs. Zenong Yin, Meizi He, Lesli Biediger-Friedman, and Gayle Nicoll
VIDEO: UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Researchers: Drs. Deborah Parra-Medina, Dan Hughes, Adelita G. Cantu, and Dan Hale
VIDEO: San Antonio Community Leaders: Maggie Thompson (SAMHD), Louis Loprez (YMCA), Dr. Peter Wald (USAA), Kate Rogers (H-E-B)
Also, Mark Erickson, Vice President-Dean of Culinary Education at the Culinary Institute of America, talked about “Healthy Kitchens for Heathy Kids.”
Congrats to Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina!
The researcher at our Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR), the team behind SaludToday, is one of two researchers at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio to get a grant in the new round of prevention research awards from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
Dr. Parra-Medina will receive $297,173 for a peer education and outreach program encouraging use of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer among Latina mothers and daughters living in Texas-Mexico border communities.
The program will train “promotoras,” or community health workers, who will be assisted by female college students to educate Latina mothers and daughters about cervical cancer risk factors and the HPV vaccine, which prevents cervical cancer, she said.
“We really need to promote the use of the vaccine in populations at risk, and in the Rio Grande Valley we have very high rates of cervical cancer,” Dr. Parra-Medina said.
The other awardee was Dr. Stacey Young-McCaughan, professor of psychiatry. She received $890,659 to expand the known benefits of exercise to more cancer survivors.