Posts tagged health disparities

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.

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.

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.

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