Posts tagged UTHSCSA
Last week in San Antonio, the 4th Annual Salud America! Summit brought together experts from around the country to discuss the latest advancements to reduce and prevent Latino childhood obesity.
Learn more in this Univision video news report by Monica Navarro about Salud America!, a national research network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The video features Salud America! director Dr. Amelie Ramirez.
A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in the United States, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, according to a New York Times report.
According to the report:
For Hispanics, now the nation’s largest immigrant group, the foreign-born live about three years longer than their American-born counterparts, several studies have found.
Why does life in the United States — despite its sophisticated health care system and high per capita wages — lead to worse health? New research is showing that the immigrant advantage wears off with the adoption of American behaviors — smoking, drinking, high-calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles.
Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Salud America! Latino childhood obesity network based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, was quoted in the report about the problem of Hispanics’ high obesity rates:
“We have a time bomb that’s going to go off. Obesity rates are increasing. Diabetes is exploding. The cultural protection Hispanics had is being eroded.”
Latino students are widely exposed to high-fat, high-sugar snacks and drinks sold in schools, but implementing stronger nutritional standards can yield healthier school snacks for this growing population at high risk of obesity, according to a new package of research materials released today by Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children.
The new Salud America! “Healthier School Snacks & Latino Kids” research materials, which can be found at www.salud-america.org, include:
• A research review with the latest science;
• An issue brief (lay summary of the review);
• An infographic; and
• An animated video
This is the first of six new research material packages to be released over the summer by Salud America!, each of which will focus on a specific topic on Latino childhood obesity and highlight the issue, policy implications and future research areas.
The “Healthier School Snacks & Latino Kids” package, released at the Salud America! Summit, highlights the fact that young people consume a high proportion of their daily calories at school.
“Research shows that access to unhealthy snack foods and beverages in schools has a disproportionately negative health influence among Latino students, and schools with a higher proportion of Latino students tend to have weaker policies regarding access to and nutritional values of these items,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, a national network of stakeholders seeking environmental and policy solutions to Latino obesity based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
“By 2050, 35 percent of young people in the U.S. will be Latino. Providing healthier school snacks and drinks can help make sure this growing population is healthy,” Ramirez said.
To learn more, visit www.salud-america.org.
Latinos, for example, suffer various disparities in cancer, chronic disease, obesity and other conditions.
To learn more, visit the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
You also can check out the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Disparities & Inequalities Report. The report analyzes recent trends and ongoing variations in health disparities and inequalities.
Physical activity is increasingly recognized as a critical way to prevent obesity, chronic disease and other serious health issues.
But nationally, only 1 in 4 adults meet physical activity guidelines.
Even fewer youths do.
A local volunteer group is trying to change that in San Antonio, a Texas city whose residents, most of whom are Latino, don’t engage in enough physical activity.
The Active Living Council of San Antonio, a community coalition formed in 2009 by local health officials using federal grant funds, has created the Active Living Plan for a Healthier San Antonio to identify and implement effective strategies to help people partake in “active living.”
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his Mayor’s Fitness Council have endorsed the plan, which also has broad support from several community groups.
“We hope local leaders use the plan to build a culture of ‘active living,’ a way of life that integrates physical activity into San Antonio residents’ daily routines, such as walking to the grocery store, biking to work, or exercising,” said Laura Esparza, a member of the council and a researcher at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The council spent 18 months collaborating with community, governmental and industry members to create the plan.
The plan shares the vision of the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP): “One day, all Americans will be physically active and they will live, work, and play in environments that facilitate regular physical activity.”
NPAP encourages use of evidence-based strategies to promote active living through policy, environmental and systems changes.
The council is currently reaching out to educate decision-makers, community leaders, and residents about local challenges to active living and how implementing the plan can help increase physical activity.
“We feel like this can help make San Antonio a much healthier place, and contribute to reducing obesity rates,” Esparza said.
In the movie The Killing Strain, Juan “Rick” Carrillo plays a soldier who escapes a helicopter crash to lead a small group of flu-epidemic survivors to safety.
On screen, he was a tough, nothing-can-stop-him hero.
Off screen, though, Carrillo struggled fighting the elements—mountain cedar had him blowing his nose, taking antihistamines and using his inhaler between takes.
“I wasn’t feeling 100%, but the scenes captured during filming were very effective in telling the story of this gutsy soldier,” Carrillo said. “This always reminds me the great power a camera has on creating a world for audiences to absorb and be part of.”
Today, Carrillo is putting his acting and film-making experience to work as a TV producer/director for the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Carrillo has always loved movies and enjoyed acting (his mom used to say, though, he was better at acting up than acting).
After high school, he tried majoring in theatre.
But he ended up getting a more practical degree instead. Nuclear medicine seems like a 360-degree shift from acting, but having a steady hospital job as a technologist and interventional radiology operations manager allowed him participate in bilingual TV commercials, public service announcements, voiceovers, print ads, etc.
Carrillo eventually ingrained himself in the San Antonio film community and became fascinated with the production process of movie-making.
He started developing narrative films promoting health and wellness as a contractor for the video department at the UT Health Science Center. His videos focused on diabetes education, geriatric fall prevention, sex education and more.
One video used a continuous-shot format to follow a nursing student through a simulation lab. He scripted all the action choreography.
“I was able to incorporate unique learning objectives through different mediums and concepts for different video productions,” Carrillo said.
At the IHPR, he currently produces on-camera and animated videos—scripting, concept design, production and more—for Salud America! (LINK = www.salud-america.org, a national network dedicated to reducing and preventing Latino childhood obesity.
Carrillo said he likes knowing that the materials he helps create can help teach children and families to live healthier.
“I enjoy the opportunity to contribute to a genuine and purposeful cause that impacts so many human beings via a creative environment that allows me to try new methods of media production to disseminate information,” he said.
- Amelie Ramirez, DrPH, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
- Elena Rios, MD, MPH, president of the National Hispanic Medical Association
- Rosa Villoch-Santiago, MPA, director of health disparities for the American Cancer Society’s South Atlantic Division
Ramirez indicated that the rising U.S. Latino population faces heightened risks of certain cancer, compared to whites, according to a Saludify news report.
Ramirez also said Latino cancers are expected to rise 142% by 2030.
She also highlighted ways to reduce and prevent cancer, including making lifestyle changes like eating healthier and exercising.
Villoch-Santiago described the “Ventanilla de Salud” program, a national initiative that uses community health workers to reduce cancer disparities.
Rios said that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can provide additional assistance for Hispanics regarding health care.
Read Saludify‘s full recap of the webinar here.
Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2012 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply by April 1, for the 2013 Èxito! program.
Native San Antonio resident Jenny Castillo not only cares about helping Latinos get off the couch and get fit to beat disease, she also knows the value of incorporating culturally infused methods of physical activity.
For example, her passion for flamenco and folklorico dance represent an exciting way to bring Latino families together to get active.
Castillo plans to put her passion for dance and her knowledge of Mexican American culture to good use as she pursues a master’s degree in health and kinesiology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She expects to graduate in 2013.
She also works as a graduate research assistant on a study to prevent obesity and diabetes among low-income Latinas and an obesity intervention in Latina youth.
Castillo, who also has degrees in government and communications (with a specialty in political communications) from The University of Texas at Austin, was encouraged by a mentor to apply 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.
Once accepted into the program, 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! provided me confidence and tools to apply and be successful in a doctorate program,” Castillo said.
Latinos don’t know much about clinical trials, surveys show.
Clinical trials are research studies in which people help doctors find new prevention, screening, and treatment options. New treatments that look promising, and have already been tested extensively in the laboratory, are then tested with patients who volunteer to participate.
It’s especially important for Latinos to participate in research so that doctors can learn more about the types of cancer that affect our community and what treatments are most effective, says Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director and professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
For those who speak Spanish, listen to Dr. Ramirez talk about the importance of clinical trials for Latinos:
Also be sure to check out these informative videos in English and Spanish about the importance of Latino participation in clinical trials.
These videos were produced by the IHPR through its national Latino cancer research network, Redes En Acción, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
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.
Bianca Flores, a third-generation Texan with Mexican ancestry, wanted to learn more about the Mexican American community.
So she studied Spanish and Mexican Studies and, as she earned her undergraduate degree, increasingly identified herself with the many struggles people of color in the U.S. face, and the health inequalities they experience.
Flores wanted to help Mexican Americans make positive changes, so she earned her a master’s degree in public health nursing from the University of Texas at Austin, and worked as a nurse and a nursing instructor.
Now she directs health promotion activities at the People’s Clinic in Austin and strives to ensure that Latinos—and people of all races and ethnicities—live a healthy life.
She’s also taken another step forward in applying for and being 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.
In combination with her educational background, experience, and tools gained from the 2012 Éxito! Summer Institute, Flores is becoming a public health asset.