Posts tagged health disparities

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

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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.

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

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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

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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)

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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.

Latino Health in Focus: Taking Aim vs. Breast Cancer, Obesity, Disparities

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IHPR-EN-Fall-2014 COVERFind the latest advances in Latino health—from cancer survival to solving park access to how to improve mental health—in the IHPR Noticias E-newsletter.

IHPR Noticias has lots of info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events:

  • Story: Latinas—10 Years after Breast Cancer Survival (Pg. 1)
  • Profile: Mentees Promote Healthier Lifestyles in San Antonio (Pg. 2)
  • Story: Latino Researchers among Recipients of $8 Million in Grants to Study Cancer (Pg. 3)
  • Scholarships: How to Fight Health Disparities in Your Area & Get a Scholarship for It! (Pg. 4)
  • Story: How to Solve San Antonio’s Low Park Access Score (Pg. 6)
  • Story: White Students Now a Minority in School; Hispanic Numbers Surge (Pg. 8)
  • Resources: Tackling Mental Health, COPD, Skin Cancer among Latinos (Pg. 9)

IHPR Noticias is a quarterly publication from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.

Email us at ihpr@uthscsa.edu if you have story ideas.

Webinar 10/29/14: The State of Obesity and Health Disparities

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bike kidYou’re invited to join a webinar exploring the current state of U.S. obesity and related health disparities, and the latest efforts to combat the problem.

Register here for the webinar at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014.

The webinar, hosted by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and Voices for Healthy Kids, will discuss a summary, key findings, and the latest research on obesity’s toll related to health disparities from a recent report, The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America.

The report found that adult obesity rates increased in six states over the past year and did not decrease in any. Furthermore, significant geographic, income, racial, and ethnic disparities persist, with obesity rates highest in the South and among Blacks, Latinos, and lower-income, less-educated Americans.

Speakers:

  • Ginny Ehrlich, Director and Senior Program Officer, Childhood Obesity Team, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director, Trust for America’s Health
  • Amelie Ramirez, DrPH, Director, Salud America! (based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday)
  • Jill Birnbaum, Vice President, State Advocacy & Public Health, American Heart Association & Executive Director, Voices for Healthy Kids
  • Debbie Hornor, Senior Manager Field Consultation, Voices for Healthy Kids

Please direct inquiries to Tim Hughes at thughes@tfah.org.

Infographic: Latinos Suffer More Diabetes, Obesity, Certain Cancers, and Other Conditions

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health dis infographic smallDid you know Latinos suffer more from certain diseases?

For example, Latinos are 45% more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer, 65% more likely to be diabetic, and six times as likely to have tuberculosis than Whites.

These health disparities are captured in a new infographic.

The infographic, from Families USA, which works to heighten health care for all Americans, urges people to “work together to improve our health care system to make it high-quality, comprehensive, affordable, and accessible for everyone.”

Study: Many Overweight Children Have Inaccurate Ideas about their Weight

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CDCAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48% of obese boys and 36% of obese girls think their weight is “about right.” Among kids and teens who were merely overweight, 81% of boys and 71% of girls also judged their weight to be “about right.”

This information comes from the CDC’s recently released, “Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012,” which survey’d youth about how they perceive their own weight.

Some of their key finding include:

  • About one-third of Mexican-American (34.0%) and non-Hispanic black (34.4%) children and adolescents misperceive their weight status compared with non-Hispanic white children and adolescents (27.7%).
  • Approximately 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls believe they are about the right weight.
  • About 30% of children and adolescents aged 8–15 years in the United States misperceive their weight status. Weight status misperception is more common among boys (32.3%) than girls (28.0%).

Accurate self-perception of weight status has been linked to appropriate weight control behaviors in youth. Understanding the prevalence of weight status misperception among U.S. children and adolescents may help inform public health interventions.

Find the study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here. 

A Candid Conversation About Childhood Obesity with TEDMED

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TedMedThe national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, but rates are still far too high – and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities persist with more than 39% of Latino kids overweight or obese. What needs to happen to show bigger results, faster?

Join leaders from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American Heart Association, City of Philadelphia Government, UCSF School of Medicine, & AcademyHealth for a TEDMED Great Challenges Hangout about childhood obesity, and how we can all make sure ALL children can grow up at a healthy weight.

How do we make sure all children can grow up at a healthy weight? What are some of the underlying environmental and societal causes that must be addressed? What could corporate, community and policy leaders do to further address this critical public health issue?

Join health & research leaders from across the country for a TEDMED Great Challenges Hangout about childhood obesity.

On July 22, some of the nation’s top health and research leaders will take measure of the progress and challenges in our ongoing struggle with childhood obesity.

Join them here for “TEDMED Great Challenges: A Candid Conversation About Childhood Obesity.”

Study: A Look into Chronic Disease and Hispanics in the U.S.

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July15NCLRNational Council of La Raza (NCLR) has released a new report on July 15, 2014 on Latnio Health. The report, “An Inside Look at Chronic Disease and Health Care among Hispanics in the United States,” examines the challenges in preventing and managing chronic diseases in the Latino community.

With support from Boehringer Ingelheim and in partnership with public health consulting firm John Snow, Inc.(JSI), NCLR gathered information about the rates of chronic disease among the Hispanic community, the challenges and motivators faced in prevention and management efforts and the roles of health care providers and community resources in helping Latinos handle health issues and chronic conditions.

The report is based on written surveys and focus groups of patients at community-based health centers across the country that belong to the NCLR Affiliate Network.

The study boasts three major findings; there is high prevalence of chronic disease in Hispanic communities, there is often inadequate chronic disease management available to those who need it, and surveyed participants reported many challenges to receiving proper care.

To read more about the study and it’s finding, visit NCLR’s website and download the report.

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