Posts tagged health disparities

Alexandra Conde Toro: An Èxito! Grad Who Values Patients’ Health History…and Their Stories

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.

Alexandra Conde ToroAlexandra Conde Toro
Santa Rosa Bay, Puerto Rico

Alexandra Conde Toro has a heart for hearing and understanding people’s stories—characteristics she developed in her native Bayamón, Puerto Rico, a culture infused with the joy and encouragement of families, folk music, and stories.

Conde Toro uses her passion for her community to address health problems they suffer.

Conde Toto, who has a bachelor’s degree in human biology from The University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon Campus, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in research and evaluation of health systems at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus.

She has experience working on health disparities as a graduate research assistant at the Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Her mentor there encouraged Condo Toro 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.

She said the program is motivating her toward a doctoral program.

Éxito! has provided me with the direction and guidance on applying for a doctoral program, and they help answer many of my questions and doubts regarding the process of applying. In addition, Éxito! has given me the confidence and passion to accomplish my goals.”

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.

Angela Gutierrez: An Èxito! Grad Turns Every Barrier into an Opportunity

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.

Angela GutierrezAngela Gutierrez
Baldwin Park, Calif.

Angela Gutierrez learned from her father to turn every barrier into an opportunity, and to acquire knowledge to improve her native community in Baldwin Park, Calif.

Inspired by his words—“If we do not have the knowledge, how can we change?”—Gutierrez earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and public health policy from the University of California, Irvine, and a master’s degree in public health from CSU Fullerton.

She now is a research assistant for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center and teaches in the CSU Fullerton Department of Health Science.

Gutierrez seeks to continually expand her knowledge base, and increase awareness and resources among underserved communities to prevent or manage chronic diseases.

In this pursuit, Gutierrez 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 cites Éxito! as “one of the best academic experiences of my life.”

“I often feel like I am in imposter in academia regardless of my publications and teaching experience,” she said. “The [Éxito!] program has demonstrated people like me have made it and it makes me feel I can too.”

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.

Hena Din: An Èxito! Grad Helping Minority Students Discover Health Careers

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.

Hena DinHena Din
San Diego, Calif.

Born to Pakistanian parents in San Diego, Hena Din cites her dual Muslim and American heritages as what drives her emotions, spirituality, and her passion for learning.

Din has always enjoyed being in school and conducting research.

This led to her earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in public health with an emphasis on health promotion and behavioral sciences from the University of California, San Diego.

She is currently helping minority students discover health career paths.

Driven by her ongoing passion to expand her knowledge through higher education, Din 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.

“The experience I received through the Éxito! Summer Institute gave me confidence and inspiration towards my future career goals,” Din said. “Thank you for the experience!”

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.

Jose Arrezola: An Èxito! Grad Who Wants to Prevent Disease among Latinos

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.

Jose ArrezolaJose Arrezola
Fresno, Calif.

When they moved from Mexico, to Fresno, Calif., in 1997, Jose Arrezola’s parents couldn’t read or write, but they strongly encouraged him to become educated.

Arrazola joined a college assistant migrant program.

There he worked with a mentor who provided additional support, encouragement, and opportunity, and eventually he became his family’s first-ever college grad, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health from California State University, Fresno.

To seek new ways to expand his desire to prevent disease among Mexican Americans, Arrezola 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.

Arrezola said the program helped direct his ongoing career choices.

“Attending the [Éxito! Summer] Institute has given me the tools to pursue my future career in research, cancer, and academia,” he said. “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Éxito!

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.

Vanessa Estrada: An Èxito! Grad Teaches Latinos How to Eat Tasty (and Healthy) Food

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.

Vanessa EstradaVanessa Estrada
San Antonio, Texas

Growing up in Texas with a family that whipped up delicious foods like chili using the stone molcajete, Vanessa Estrada knows the value of food in the Latino culture.

And she knows that food needs to be tasty and nutritious.

She wanted to bring that knowledge to others, so she became a registered dietician and earned a bachelor’s degree in community health education from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of the Incarnate Word.

She now teaches nutrition education seminars San Antonio as an adjunct faculty at UTSA and across South Texas, including her hometown of Carrizo Springs.

At the suggestion of a mentor and to advance her knowledge in her field, Estrada 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 lauds the program for exposing her to quality information from leading scientists and mentors about pursuing a doctoral education.

“After the valuable information provided to us [at Éxito! Summer Institute], I feel more confident about applying to a doctoral program,” Estrada said. “I feel I have the skills and knowledge 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.

Alicia Nunez: An Èxito! Grad’s Whose Bicultural Heritage Helps Her Boost 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.

Alicia NunezAlicia Nunez
San Diego, Calif.

Born in Chula Vista, Calif., and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Alicia Nunez experienced a unique bicultural, mestizo heritage.

Nunez wants to use this cultural experience to help improve Latino health.

With an attitude of “Si, se puede” (“Yes, you can”), Nunez earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in public health from San Diego State University.

She’s gone on to conduct field work and research to examine sociocultural factors relating to Latino health. Her goals are to work with disadvantaged populations to promote healthy lifestyles and well-being.

To expand her academic horizons, Nunez 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.

Armed with new skills and motivation for applying to a doctorate, Nunez now hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology and health disparities.

“The Éxito! Summer Institute has played a significant role in terms of providing me with instrumental support to apply to doctoral-level education,” 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.

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

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.

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

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.

Mia Ramirez: An Èxito! Grad Brings a ‘Civil Rights’ Lens 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.

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.

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

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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