Posts tagged health disparities

Beatriz Sosa Prado: An Èxito! Grad Overcomes Immigration Challenges to Advocate for New Immigrants and Their Health

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.

Beatriz Sosa PradoBeatriz Sosa Prado
Los Angeles, Calif.

Born in Mexico City, Beatriz Sosa Prado later immigrated with her family to Los Angeles.

Influenced by the many challenges that immigrants encounter once they come to the United States, Sosa Prado pursued educational degrees with aims of being an advocate for them.

Indeed, with the support of her family and husband, Sosa Prado earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Irvine, and a master’s degree in health science from California State University, Long Beach.

She went on to become a bilingual nutritionist who helps Latina mothers in Los Angeles.

Now ready to become a public health researcher and develop community-based interventions meeting the needs of Latinos in Southern California, she was encouraged by her mentor (America Bracho) to apply for 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.

During the Éxito! Summer Institute, Sosa Prado was exposed to doctoral education resources and networking opportunities with well-established Latino researchers.

“I am convinced I belong in a PhD program because I have what it takes,” she said. “I know I am needed in my community, and I need to represent them.”

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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Brianda Alcazar: An Èxito! Grad Who Uses Her Immigrant Experience to Improve People’s Lives

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.

Brianda AlcazarBrianda Alcazar
Bellflower, Calif.

Brianda Alcazar, a California native who attended kindergarten in Sonora, Mexico, grew up with an immigrant-life experience of dual cultures, languages, and traditions.

Alcazar is using this experience to identify with and help Latino immigrants.

With a passion for social work that capitalizes on her strong motivation and empathy for other people, Alcazar earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from California State University, Long Beach. Her area of concentration is Latino youth and mental health.

To find more ways to embody her favorite Gandhi quote (“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”), Alcazar applied 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.

She relished her time in the program.

“[Éxito!] has definitely motivated me and instilled self-confidence in me,” Alcazar said. “More importantly, Éxito! has empowered me that despite my minority status, I can attain a PhD.”

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.

Mitzy Gonzalez: An Èxito! Grad Wants to Make a Career of Improving the Lives of the Underserved

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.

Mitzy GonzalezMitzy Gonzalez
Carraboro, N.C.

Growing up partaking in conversations and gossip that brewed when her mom served up café con leche for guest in their home in Titusville, Fla., Mitzy Gonzalez learned how to truly appreciate people’s stories and communicate through love.

Now she’s making a career of improving people’s lives.

Encouraged by her parents’ love and dedication, at age 20 Gonzalez earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of South Florida, and at age 21 is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Gonzalez’ areas of interest include health disparities and equity among Latino population, intimate partner violence, human trafficking in the U.S. and access to higher education for minority populations.

To gain knowledge in these areas, Gonzalez applied 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.

She said the Éxito! program “impacted my life and my family forever” and solidified her motto: “Together we can work toward health equity for all Latinos.”

Gonzalez had strong advice to future Éxito! participants.

“Don’t let the words, ‘can’t’ or “I’m not adequate enough,” stand between you and your calling,” she said. “The world needs you.”

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.

Griselda Rubio: An Èxito! Grad, Vegetarian, Kickboxer…and Advocate for Latino Health

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.

Griselda RubioGriselda Rubio
Laredo, Texas

Griselda Rubio is the definition of healthy: A vegetarian who is physically fit and taught yoga and kickboxing.

Rubio, born and raised in Laredo, Texas, has applied this passion for a healthy lifestyle and a love of learning to a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in health administration—and works to manage data, coordinate patients and community relations, and help with clinical research.

She also believes that “you have to be able and willing to do a little bit of everything even if it means learning a new skill.”

That’s why she helps the Laredo community by improving access to oncology screening care and access to clinical trials as a clinical research associate.

That’s also why she 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.

Rubio said the Éxito! Summer Institute is “informative first and foremost, and then motivational, inspirational, and encouraging. I am so grateful for this program.”

She also has a message for future program participants: “You are in for such an enlightening experience that will change you, your dreams and future!”

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.

Atenia Ruiz: An Èxito! Grad Overcomes Cancer, Adversity, to Help Others

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.

Atenia RuizAtenia Ruiz
Las Vegas, Nev.

Seeing how her migrant farm-worker parents labored diligently to improve their family’s lives in Las Vegas, Atenia Ruiz learned the value of hard work and dealing with adversity.

She even overcame a bout with cancer, just like her own mother.

Now Ruiz, a first-generation Mexican-American who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, is pursuing a master’s degree in public health with an emphasis in epidemiology and biostatistics.

Her and her family’s cancer journeys gave her a desire to prevent the disease.

Seeking to gain knowledge about cancer control research, her mentor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas encouraged her to apply 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 Éxito! gave her valuable information about cancer and doctoral programs.

“This program has definitely strengthened my reason to apply to a PhD program,” 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.

Maritza Pulido: An Èxito! Grad Who Advocates for Those Facing Racial/Ethnic Bias

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.

Maritza PulidoMaritza Pulido
San Francisco, Calif.

Growing up in California, Maritza Pulido had a strong-willed father who would object to her being placed into English-as-a-second-language classes just because of her last name.

Now she is an advocate for those who are mislabeled due to their last name and race.

Pulido, who developed a compassion for Latinos through her studies abroad in Chile and her travel throughout Latin America, wants to see educational equity for all people. She also values empowering youth toward education and overall betterment.

To that end, she earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in public health from San Francisco State University.

Pulido wanted to explore new ways to help people, so she took the advice of a mentor and 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 her time in Éxito! gave her “a picture of how academia, culture, and research work and will play into my career.”

“This opportunity was one of a kind, once in a lifetime,” she said. “I will never forget any of you for opening the doors.”

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.

Christina Olson: An Èxito! Grad Goes from Neuroscience to Public Health

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.

Christina OlsonChristina Olson
San Diego, Calif.

With a long-felt desire to study science and encouragement from her family, it was not a shock when Christina Olson earned a neuroscience degree in college.

However, her interest in public health came as a surprise.

When a close supervisor and mentor encouraged her to “sit at that table” and pursue public health, she did just that, moving to Washington, D.C., to work in international and border health policy and finishing a master’s degree in public health from San Diego State University.

To expand her passion for public health and to consider pursuing a doctoral degree, Olson applied 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.

Olson called the guidance and mentoring from Éxito! staff and faculty “amazing.”

“[Éxito!] has made me see that there are so many possibilities with a doctoral degree,” she said. “I think I will pursue higher education.”

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.

Jacquelyn Toledo: An Èxito! Grad Helps Her Family, Others Have Healthier Futures

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.

Jacquelyn ToledoJacquelyn Toledo
Worcester, Mass.

Born in Worcester, Mass., to parents from Puerto Rico, Jacquelyn Toledo and her family have experienced their share of struggles and adversity over the years.

Toledo first had to learn English.

Then Toledo helped her parents and family navigate the health system, which made her resilient and gave her animo (hope) for better future.

Now Toledo, who has a bachelor’s degree in human service and a master’s degree in human service/organizational management and leadership from Springfield College, has spent more than 15 years doing this on a broader scale as a community health worker.

She has worked in many contexts, including patient navigation at a home care agency and her current role as coordinator for the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers.

With aims of implementing policy change for disenfranchised populations she serves, Toledo applied 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.

She called the program “phenomenal” as she explored how a doctoral degree could be instrumental in attaining her educational and careers goals.

“I want to replicate Éxito! and adapt it in my region,” she said. “It has cleared a lot of ambivalence I had about pursuing a doctoral degree. I had really believed obtaining a PhD/DrPh was something untouchable for someone like me.”

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.

Eduardo Santiago-Rodriguez: An Èxito! Grad Gives His Time to Help Others

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.

Eduardo Santiago-RodriguezEduardo Santiago-Rodriguez
Naranjito, Puerto Rico

Despite growing up in poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Naranjito, Puerto Rico, Eduardo Santiago-Rodriguez was able to see the sincerity and beauty of the environments, people and culture—and he learned and important lesson:

“Great things can be done to help others with only giving your time.”

Motivated by his childhood experiences and family support, Santiago-Rodriguez earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus, and a master’s degree public health in epidemiology from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus.

He then interned for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and for an international program sponsored by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. There, he was appointed to Murcia, Spain, to study the local geographic distribution of pediatric cancer.

Santiago-Rodriguez is currently a biostatistician at the Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

With aims of becoming a future independent researcher in the area of cancer health disparities, studying determinants of health and the integration of spatial data to the analysis, Eduardo applied 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.

He said the program was not only inspirational, but helpful and informational.

“Before coming [to the Éxito! Summer Institute], I made a list of questions I wanted to get answered about the application process and how to prepare for that,” Santiago-Rodriguez said. “Now I can say all of them were answered.”

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.

What is Health Equity? (And 3 Main Ways to Achieve it)

What Affects Achieving Health Equity_2What is health equity?

The answer to this question, which has strong implications for Latino and other minority populations, is part of a new series of infographics from the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University.

Infographic 1 defines health equity as “efforts to ensure that all people have full and equal access to opportunities that enable them to lead healthy lives” and identifies a framework to show how social, economic, and environmental conditions affect health and health equity in a number of ways.

To achieve health equity, we must treat everyone equally and eliminate avoidable health inequities and health disparities.

Health inequities (Infographic 2) are health differences “that are avoidable, unfair, and unjust.”

Health disparities (Infographic 3) are health differences in health among groups of people.

For example, Latinos are less likely to receive advice from a health provider to quit smoking than White adults, and smokers have 2-4 times greater odds of developing heart disease.

So what can we do?

Three main actions needed, according to Infographic 4.

1. ACCESS to high quality healthcare.

2. PROVIDE equal social and economic opportunities.

3. INVEST in and revitalize low-income neighborhoods.

Learn more here or watch this video.

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