The Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio has developed a new website and blog devoted to Latino health, SaludToday.
“SaludToday” – New Latino Health Website and Blog
“Wellness Information Zone” – Disponible en Español
$390,000 Appropriated for Hispanic Health Research Center
A $390,000 federal appropriation will support the UT School of Public Health – Brownsville’s Hispanic Health Research Center and its Cameron County Hispanic Health Cohort of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. A press release from UT School of Public Health notes: “These vital funds will allow us to continue this important program dedicated to obtaining accurate information on the health status of people in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, particularly with regard to obesity, diabetes and mental health. It allows us to measure the impact accurately and to gain support for development and implementation of effective community-wide interventions” (Joseph B. McCormick, M.D., regional dean and James H. Steele Professor at the UT School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus).
21st Annual San Fernando Health & Safety Fair
The weather was beautiful but an early morning fire in downtown San Antonio caused a delay and some relocation of exhibit tables at the 21st Annual San Fernando Health & Safety Fair. The UT Health Science Center Briscoe library has exhibited at this fair for many years and this year was no exception. In spite of difficult circumstances due to smoke and emergency equipment, over 100 fair attendees visited the library exhibit table to learn about the health information resources provided through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Fair attendees learned how to look up medications and medical conditions on MedlinePlus® and many children were introduced to ToxMystery.
3 pilot sites for the Hispanic Aging Initiative in South Texas
Three areas of South Texas — the San Antonio, McAllen, and Houston metropolitan areas — are among eight areas nationwide to be selected as pilot sites in the US Department of Health and Human Service’s new Hispanic Aging Initiative.
The pilot project is designed “to help communities work together to develop coordinated strategies for improving Hispanic elders’ access to important benefits, including the new Medicare prescription drug and prevention benefits as well as low-cost evidence-based prevention programs . . . and other initiatives that can reduce health disparities”, according to a HHS’s press release.
The year-long “learning network” gets underway at a three-day workshop in Houston later this month. For more information about the Initiative, check out http://www.academyhealth.org/ahrq/elders/
Abriendo las Cajas: Experiences with Domestic Violence
Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Abriendo las Cajas (Opening Boxes) provides an opportunity for recent immigrants in the Oakland/Bay Area to share their experiences with domestic violence. From the project’s summary:
“The digital storytelling campaign… take(s) family members through a progression of self-expression, peer sharing, and family healing to community empowerment and change. Participants… produce tangible products (digital stories) that will be put to immediate use by a statewide network of health educators as well as be distributed via local radio and the Web.”
Thanks to Siobhan Champ-Blackwell’s Bringing Health Information to the Community.
“Acceso Hispano’s fundamental goal is to improve the quality of life of the Hispanic population living in the United States. There are close to 47 million Latinos currently living in the U.S., and by 2050 this number is expected to reach 140 million, according to recent projections by the Pew Hispanic Center. By 2050 Hispanics will make up 29% of the U.S. population in 2050, compared with 14% in 2005. A little over half of this new Hispanic population will be recent immigrants, who need access to information and support services to effectively integrate into the broader society. We seek to empower members of the Hispanic community to improve their lives by linking them to the support services or information they may need.”
Adolescent substance use may be mediated by family, school, and individual factors
Several research studies have found major racial and ethnic differences among adolescents and adults who use alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana, and there have been a number of hypotheses that attempt to explain these differences. A recent study, with results published in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, examines individual, peer, and family factors that may be associated with substance use and assesses whether these factors differ by racial and ethnic groups. More than 10,000 seventh and eighth grade students participated in the study, which found that Hispanic students reported significantly higher rates of lifetime and past-month use of the substances studied compared to African American, Asian, and Caucasian students. For Hispanic students, individual factors such as perceived peer use were important in affecting substance use, while family and school factors affected use less directly.
Shih, R, Miles JN, Tucker, JS, Zhou, AJ, D’Amico, EJ. Racial/Ethnic Differences in Adolescent Substance Use: Mediation by Individual, Family, and School Factors. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2010 Sep: 71(5): 640-51.
Alzheimer’s in Hispanics to be Studied
The Texas Alzheimer’s Research Consortium has announced it will begin a study focusing on the impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on Hispanics. The group, consisting of five medical schools including the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, believes it is vital to study this disease as the Hispanic population has high rates of heart disease and diabetes, which are two health problems recently linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s. Researchers will recruit volunteers from a heart and aging study in San Antonio that first began in 1979.
America’s Other Drug Problem
October is “Talk about Prescriptions” month. This is the National Council on Patient Information and Education’s (NCPIE) 22nd annual observance. In August 2007, the NCPIE released Enhancing Prescription Medicine Adherence: A National Action Plan. This report provides a “comprehensive review of the extent and nature of poor medicine adherence, its health and economic costs, and its underlying factors”. Its goal is to provide a blueprint for action for research funding and educational initiatives to impact and improve medication adherence. According to its report, lack of medication adherence is America’s other drug problem and leads to unnecessary disease progression, disease complications, reduced functional abilities, a lower quality of life, and even death. The NCPIE provides many educational resources (available for purchase or free download) at its website, http://www.talkaboutrx.org/educational_resources.jsp. Some are also available in Spanish.