Posts tagged research
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.
Alyssa De Santiago
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
As a first-generation college student, Alyssa De Santiago experienced many challenges because she had little help navigating her way through her undergraduate education.
But with a father who said she could do anything and a grandmother who would help her talk through any problems as she rolled and made tortillas, she capitalized on a strong support system to become her family’s first college graduate when she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Whittier College in California.
With experience as a pharmacy tech, children’s tutor, and public health intern, she is motivated to address health inequities suffered by Latinos and is working to achieve a master’s degree at Claremont Graduate University in California.
Seeking additional avenues to reach her goals, De Santiago applied for and was accepted into 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.
She learned from respected public health researchers and faculty that there are resources available and many different avenues that can lead to doctoral degree and a career in Latino cancer health disparities research.
“[Éxito!] helped me better understand what is involved with a PhD or DrPH program,” De Santiago said.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series that will highlight the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work in Latino communities across the country.
As a part of its 40th anniversary commemoration, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will honor up to 10 individuals age 40 and under who offer great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all Americans. Each recipient of the Young Leader Award will get $40,000 as acknowledgement of his or her accomplishments in research, direct care, policy, technology, community programs or other areas.
Diversity and inclusion are core values of RWJF, and nominations of young leaders from the widest array of perspectives and experiences are encouraged. RWJF believes that the more its work includes diverse perspectives and experiences, the better it will be able to help all Americans live healthier lives and get the care they need.
The deadline for nominations is July 16 (11:59 p.m. EDT).
Awardees will be notified Sept. 24, and the Young Leaders will be announced publicly at an RWJF conference in Princeton, NJ, on Oct. 25-26.
To be eligible for a Young Leader Award, a candidate must:
- Have been working to improve health or health care for at least three years;
- Have contributed to improving health or health care through innovation and leadership;
- Be 40 years of age or younger as of July 16, 2012; and
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories.
For more information on how to nominate a Young Leader, click here.
The 2012 International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting, set for May 23-26, 2012, in Austin, Texas, is a unique opportunity to learn about behavioral nutrition and physical activity, interact with a broad constituency of leaders, and gain new insight into innovations in research, policy and practice.
Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children, is an event sponsor. Salud America! is led by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
Salud America! Director Dr. Amelie Ramirez is chairing two sessions: Environmental Determinants of Nutrition in Latinos (featuring the menu labeling work of Salud America! grantee Dr. Carmen Nevarez) at 9:30 a.m. CST and Combating Latino Childhood Obesity (featuring IHPR researcher Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina) at 4:30 p.m. CST on May 24. Dr. Parra-Medina also is involved in several other sessions as well.
Salud America! grantee Dr. Nelda Mier is part of a group presenting on personal and cultural influences on healthy behaviors among older Hispanics with diabetes born in the U.S. and Mexico at 2:30 p.m. CST May 24.
Salud America! grantee Dr. Meizi He is part of groups presenting two posters (perception and media-related intervention strategies to address obesity among Hispanic communities; college students’ perception of initiating a farmers’ market on campus) at 12:30 p.m. May 25, and is presenting her work on faith-based childhood obesity prevention at 3 p.m. May 25.
Other sessions involve Salud America! Advisors Drs. Amy Yaroch (food systems as an avenue for health promotion at 10:30 a.m. CST May 24), Elva Arredondo (physical activity promotion and obesity prevention in Latin America at 11 a.m. CST May 25) and James Sallis (perceived neighborhood environmental attributes associated with adults’ transport-related walking and cycling at 9 a.m. May 26).
SaludToday Guest Blogger: Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez
Obesity causes more than 15 percent of this country’s preventable deaths—more than alcohol, toxins, care accidents, gun-related deaths, drug abuse and STDs combined—and it causes a huge financial strain on the health care system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity affects approximately 34 percent of adults and 17 percent of children in the U.S. The agency recently estimated the costs of obesity at almost $150 billion per year.
The obesity statistics for young Latinos are particularly frightening. Mexican-American children ages 2 to 19 are more likely to be obese or overweight (40.8 percent) than white (31.9 percent) and African-American (30 percent) children. Among preschoolers, nearly one out of every four Latinos is overweight. Studies show that Latino children’s diets are less healthy, their access to healthy foods is more limited, they are less active in organized sports and they watch more TV.
But I don’t even need these statistics. All I have to do is visit my grandchild’s school, see Latino families shopping in stores or look outside at empty playgrounds. You and I can “see” the childhood obesity epidemic in predominantly Latino regions.
Across the nation, half of Latinos born today will develop diabetes. This disturbing statistic sometimes causes me to wonder if this will be the first generation where parents outlive their children. We can’t afford to let that happen.
That’s why efforts to reduce and prevent childhood obesity are so critically important, and that’s why Salud America!, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity among Latino Children, created a national network of more than 1,800 researchers, community leaders, policymakers and other stakeholders. The network works to increase the number of researchers and advocates seeking environmental and policy solutions to address Latino childhood obesity.
In December 2011, Salud America! unveiled three major research briefs examining current evidence on Latino childhood obesity issues: the availability of healthy, affordable foods, opportunities for physical activity and the impact of food marketing on diets. These briefs can help policymakers make critical decisions in crafting policies and allocating resources to address the epidemic, and they are designed to have widespread applicability to Latino childhood obesity advocacy organizations.
Also in December, 20 Salud America! pilot research grantees unveiled individual research briefs full of outcomes and implications for policy on Latino childhood obesity. One grantee found that, in examining body image perceptions among Latinos along the Texas-Mexico border, 32 percent of children believed they were overweight, but only 15 percent of parents reported seeing their children as overweight. Another grantee project demonstrated that small, independently owned restaurants in low-income Latino communities can help improve local nutrition environments by using menu labeling. Another project found that school district compliance with physical education policies may be an important determinant of Latino children’s fitness status. These grantees are models of “what’s working” to prevent obesity.
I urge you to join Salud America!. I also urge you to watch the below dramatic Latino childhood obesity video and use it as a “discussion starter” at school board meetings or community meetings about childhood obesity. You can also contact your local, state and federal leaders to encourage actions to reduce Latino childhood obesity and support healthier communities.
New research on this critical health issue will be presented during an expert panel, Mechanisms and Prevention of Obesity and Obesity-Related Diseases, at the annual conference of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas on Jan. 13, 2012, in Houston. This panel is part of a conference session entitled The Obesity Epidemic that will include a keynote presentation by Dr. William H. Dietz, Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the end, it is important to remember just how complicated the issue of childhood obesity is for Latinos and to know that efforts to solve this issue must attack the epidemic on every front; from nutrition to physical activity to media and marketing.
We each need to do our part to ensure that we’re not the first generation of parents to outlive our children.
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio researcher Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez “has impacted the health and lives of thousands of South Texans” through her 30 years of health education, promotion and research in and with Latino communities, according to a health/prevention profile article in the San Antonio Business Journal.
Dr. Ramirez currently targets Latino health issues as director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the Health Science Center. The IHPR is the research team behind SaludToday and national research networks on Latino cancer (Redes En Acción) and Latino child obesity (Salud America!).
Dr. Ramirez, in the article, says prevention is the key to improving health:
“We’re not just doing research for the purpose of doing research,” says Ramirez. “We are doing research that engages the community in order to improve their health and help them make better health choices. We are breaking down barriers so that our community can learn how to properly reduce their risk of developing cancer, helping our community obtain very needed preventative cancer screenings, reducing the fear of knowing that we might have cancer. Prevention is the key.”
Read more here.
Healthcare 411 is a new English or Spanish Web site that offers useful health information for consumers and providers, including the latest health care news and research findings via videos, articles, podcasts, program and feature presentations and more.
Be sure to check out the site, which is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Parents, especially minorities, tend to underreport their children’s weight, meaning estimates of obesity and body mass index (BMI) based on parent-supplied data may miss one in five obese children, according to research presented at the recent 57th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Researchers compared the measured height and weight of 1,430 children at a clinic with the values their parents reported. Almost half of the parents underestimated their child’s weight.
Hispanic/Latino and black parents made larger errors than white parents.
After a decade of success reducing Latino cancer through research, training and education, locally based Redes En Acción: The National Hispanic/Latino Cancer Research Network has received a new $5.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to bolster and expand its cancer-fighting efforts.
Redes En Acción, launched in 2000, is led by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
Redes has regional sites in Miami, New York, San Diego and San Francisco along with its online network of more than 1,800 researchers and advocates from across the U.S.
In 10 years, Redes has successfully tested novel interventions to improve access to cancer care and screening. It’s trained the next generation of Latino cancer researchers. It’s raised public and scientist awareness of Latino cancer challenges and solutions.
The new grant will bolster Redes’ efforts through 2015 and pave way for two new studies—a large-scale study to test novel strategies to improve Latino cancer survivors’ quality of life and a pilot study of an Internet-based tobacco cessation service.
“We’re extremely excited that the NCI continues to support Redes and acknowledges the tremendous strides we’ve made and are making to reduce the Latino cancer burden,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Redes principal investigator and director of the IHPR. “We believe our efforts have and will help Latinos, who suffer higher incidence of some cancers and lower survival rates for most cancers.”
The Love/Avon Army of Women (AOW), a program of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation funded by the Avon Foundation, is an online recruitment resource that partners women (with or without breast cancer) with researchers in an effort to accelerate breast cancer research.
Launched in 2008, the Army of Women (AOW) currently has more than 334,000 members.
Latinas and other women can register with AOW to partner with research scientists to move breast cancer beyond a cure. Registered women will receive email updates from AOW announcing new research studies looking for volunteers with or without breast cancer, just like you.
There are many different types of studies. Some studies might be clinical trials testing a new detection marker or drug. Women can decide which studies you want to take part in. The email will detail the research project and who and what the researchers need.
Researchers should register to work with the AOW to access a novel resource to accelerate accrual, expand the diversity of study populations and to obtain exactly the type of specimens they need when they need it.
Researchers also can submit research proposals online here to be reviewed by the AOW Scientific Advisory Committee. If a study is accepted, a mass e-mail describing the study procedures and inclusion/exclusion criteria is sent to the entire AOW database. If the individual is interested and qualifies, she undergoes a secondary on-line screening and then her contact information is passed on to the principal investigator.
Watch a PSA from the Army of Women here or below: