Posts tagged Houston
Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2012 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply by April 1, 2013, for the 2013 Èxito! program.
Rossy Belle Perales
Rossy Belle Perales pursues opportunities with great confidence and inspiration from the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even If you miss you will land among the stars.”
Identifying herself with the people of Puerto Rico, her native land, and with the Hispanic community of Houston, Ms. Perales has embraced the culture and traditions of both ethnic groups, which have made her the person she is today.
Perales earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health (epidemiology and biostatistics) from the University of South Florida, and she spent time coordinating research to educate migrant farm workers in Florida.
She has since become the program manager for the RECRUIT project, a multi-site intervention to increase minority participation in clinical trials at The University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. Her work involves managing and developing program material for project.
Encouraged by her mentors, Perales applied for Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training, which aims to increase research in Latino cancer disparities by encouraging master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.
The program provided her with useful information to help her decide to pursue a doctoral degree and perhaps a career in cancer research.
“I plan to apply to a PHD program,” Perales said, because “Éxito! gave me the motivation I needed to apply.”
Obesity is a serious health challenge, but what if everyone around you is eating better and moving more?
What if Austin and Houston were shaping up? Would San Antonio shape up, too?
The Healthy at H-E-B Community Challenge pits Texas cities against each other to see which community can demonstrate the greatest commitment to health. Individuals, schools, organizations or business and mayors can all help their communities earn points. Points are earned for cities when community members upload a description and picture of their healthy activities.
The competition runs until Nov. 1. At that time, one winner will be announced from each of the three size categories: small, midsize, and large.
Although San Antonio is winning, many other cities are active and uploading healthy activities. De Zavala Elementary school in Fort Worth, for example, is launching a 16-week lunch reformation pilot plan in January 2013 to prove that a healthy, balanced lunch with fresh ingredients can be served with the same budget.
It’s not to late to register. Click the “Take the Challenge” button here and earn points for your city.
Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, professor and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday, was recognized as a “First Lady” of the Intercultural Cancer Council, which promotes policies, programs and research to eliminate the unequal burden of cancer among racial/ethnic minorities and medically underserved populations.
The council, based at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, chooses “First Lady” honorees for their long-term and outstanding achievements in health and science.
Ramirez participated in a First Ladies award ceremony June 27, a day before the Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Underserved and Health Equity in Houston, hosted by the council, the University of Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
She also served on a panel at the symposium June 28, focusing on mapping the future of science toward health equity.
“I appreciate this peer recognition for my and my team’s work to reduce health inequalities among Latinos,” said Dr. Ramirez, who also is associate director of health disparities at the Health Science Center’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center. “I aim to continue raising awareness and conducting research to improve the lives of the underserved.”
In the past 30 years, Dr. Ramirez has directed dozens of research projects and programs focused on human and organizational communication to reduce Latino cancer and chronic diseases via risk factor studies, clinical trials and healthy lifestyle changes. Her projects have led to unique health communication models and interventions that have contributed to reducing Latino cancer rates and increasing screening and preventive health behaviors. She is frequently recognized for her work to improve Latino health and advance Latinos in medicine, public health, and behavioral sciences across the U.S., including: 2011 White House “Champion of Change”; 2007 election to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies; 2007 Professor of Survivorship from Susan G. Komen For the Cure; and 2003 Humanitarian Award from the American Cancer Society.
Find out more about the Intercultural Cancer Council here.
Check out the new TV series, “Feeding Minds: Texas Takes on Hunger and Obesity,” which premiered on Texas PBS stations Feb. 23, 2012.
The series aims to bring awareness to these overlapping issues and to share what government, community organizations and individuals are doing to combat them. For more information, follow this effort on Facebook.
Different video segments tackle the following issues:
- Hunger in the South Plains
- Statewide Efforts to Help Those in Need
- San Antonio’s Effort to Increase Access to Health Food
- Dallas Combats Obesity
- Combining Education with Good Nutrition
- Growing Healthy in El Paso
- Houston Deals with Hunger, Obesity
A Latina girl and her classmates learn about “veggie cousins.”
These are two storylines from the new ¡Salud, familia! children’s book series, from Houston-based publisher Arte Público Press, in which young protagonists make choices about healthy eating and active lifestyles to reduce Latino childhood obesity and diabetes.
The free books are distributed free through community partners to low-income Hispanic families with school-aged children in both urban and rural areas across the U.S.
“Childhood obesity and diabetes among Latinos are already at pandemic levels; we hope to positively influence Latino attitudes towards healthy lifestyles and nutrition at the grass-roots and policy levels,” said Nicolás Kanellos, director of Arte Público Press. “These books will feature attractive visual imagery that appeals to Latino cultural sensibilities and traditions.”
The series’ first book was I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón by Gwendolyn Zepeda. The series’ new book is Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas by Diane Gonzales Bertrand.
Read more about the book series and other efforts to reduce Latino childhood obesity in our newest Salud America! E-newsletter.
Salud America! aims to prevent Latino childhood obesity. Join here. The network is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, which developed SaludToday.
Once again, here’s more evidence that underscores the importance of breast cancer screening for Latinas:
From the Houston Chronicle:
Mexican-American women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a significantly younger age than Caucasian women, a surprising finding from a new study that raises more questions about the recent push to delay routine screening.
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers surveyed women in Hispanic neighborhoods in Harris County and found nearly half of those with the potentially deadly disease were diagnosed before they turned 50, about 10 years earlier than the national average for all women.
“This study shows the need to consider all populations when developing prevention and screening strategies,” said Melissa Bondy, an M.D. Anderson epidemiologist and the study’s senior corresponding author. “The problem is there simply haven’t been enough studies of minority populations to develop strong risk assessment models necessary for optimal screening strategies.”
The study suggests a huge number of breast cancer cases wouldn’t be caught at early stages under new screening guidelines [screening at age 50, not 40] issued last year.
Latinas, if you need another reason, watch our emotional Latino breast cancer screening PSA:
A few days ago a large group of minority health coalitions, doctors and elected officials celebrated the third anniversary of Houston’s successful smoking ban urging Houstonians “to see their doctors and put down their cigarettes for good.”
“Smoke Free for 3,” a campaign lead by the Hispanic Health Coalition, Asian American Health Coalition, African American Health Coalition, Native American Health Coalition, and Houston Communities for Safe Indoor Air (HCSIA), recognized the City of Houston’s leadership and success in creating more smoke free workplaces and public spaces effective Sept. 1, 2007.
However, despite the success in public policies, smoking continues to be a significant personal health issue for many Houstonians, particularly for minority communities.
According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) of adults ages 18 and older 32.4% of American Indians currently smoke, compared to 22.0% of Whites, 21.3% of African-Americans, 15.8% of Hispanics, and 9.9% of Asian-Americans. About 3.2 million Texans are smokers.
Latinos who are interested in quitting smoking should call 1-877-YES-QUIT and check out the bilingual Buena Vida health magazine, developed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday. The magazine tells the stories of five Latinos and why and how they quit smoking.
The IHPR also conducted a needs assessment and GIS analysis of establishments that contributed to the adoption of San Antonio’s new smoke-free ordinance last month that goes into effect Aug. 19, 2011.
San Antonio had been considered the last major Texas city without a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance.