Mr. Victor Oliveros, who was Chief of Environmental Health Services for the City of Laredo Health Department, retired in 2005 after a career that spanned over 45 years in public health. Mr. Oliveros is considered a pioneer in border health due to his recognition of the important health issues and concerns along the Laredo/Nuevo Laredo border. After his retirement, Mr. Oliveros donated a collection of slides used in presentations, as well as documents and other print materials, to the UT Health Science Center Library. The print resources have been catalogued are located in the Laredo Regional Campus Library, while many of the slides were digitized. A short biography of Mr. Oliveros and links to the slides and an oral history are available at http://library.uthscsa.edu/exhibits/oliveros.cfm.
Staying Well. Connected.
Victor Oliveros, Border Health pioneer
Mexicans Migrating to U.S. Face Greater Mental Health Problems
Are there greater mental health problems awaiting those who emigrate from Mexico to the United States compared to those who stay in Mexico? A recent study involving 550 Mexican-born migrants and 2,500 Mexicans who lived in their home country, points to that conclusion. According to Associate Professor Joshua Breslau, of the UC Davis School of Medicine and researcher with the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, “The results suggest that after migrating from Mexico to the U.S., migrants are more likely to develop significant mental-health problems than individuals who remained in Mexico.” The greatest risk seems to be to those individuals 18-25 years of age, who migrate to the United States. They are four-and-a-half times more likely to suffer depression and three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer anxiety than those who remained in Mexico. Previous studies have shown that acculturation into American society is the cause of the deteriorating mental health.
MedlinePlus Featured at 2011 San Antonio Community Health Worker/Promotor(a) Summit
On Friday, April 1st, the UT Health Science Center Briscoe Library exhibited at the 2011 San Antonio Community Health Worker/Promotor(a) Summit held at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa. Linda Levy and Peg Seger were there to demonstrate MedlinePlus for the Community Health Workers (CHWs) and other area health organizations in attendance. This year’s summit drew approximately 135 attendees, doubling the total for the previous year.
According to a 2010 Annual Report from the Texas Department of State Health Services:
As of December 31, 2010, there were 1,153 community health workers, an increase of 84% as compared to 625 community health workeers at the end of 2009.
The number of Texas counties with at least one certified community health worker grew form 49 counties at the end of 2009 to 82 counties as of December 31, 2010, an increase of 67%.
Community health workers must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education every two years to renew their certificate, including at least ten (10) DSHS-certified contact hours.
CHWs reach out to members of the community through school, church and home visits in order to provide health information to patient groups who are contending with chronic diseases or conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. By increasing the level of health literacy in at-risk populations, health outcomes and disease management show improvement by utilizing individuals who are drawn from the community in which patients live. The level of trust built through these efforts facilitate the communication necessary for meaningful change and health improvement.
The summit was sponsored by the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Patient Navigator Research Program, Northwest Vista College, Community Resources LLC, South Central Area Health Education Center and the San Antonio CHW/Promotor@ Association.
HHS Launches Action Plan to Reduce Ethnic and Racial Health Disparities
From the announcement: “Goals of the HHS Action Plan include transforming health care and expanding access, building on the provisions of the Affordable Care Act related to expanded insurance coverage and increased access to care. The plan also calls for more opportunities to increase the number of students from populations underrepresented in the health professions, train more people in medical interpretation to help serve patients with a limited command of English, and train community workers to help people navigate the system.”
DFPS renews campaign to prevent infant sleeping deaths
(DFPS News Release)
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is renewing a three-month broadcast and social media campaign to educate parents and caregivers on lowering the risk of infants dying in their sleep.
Hundreds of Texas babies die in their sleep each year – suddenly and without a clear explanation. Still more die in their sleep from accidental suffocation or strangulation. Last year, DFPS’ Child Protective Services program investigated 177 infant deaths that occurred as infants slept with adults or older children.
For more information, visit BabyRoomToBreathe.org.
Emergency response preparedness: emergency response coordinators learn about WISER
On Friday, March 18, UTHSC Librarians Linda Levy and Peg Seger introduced WISER and WebWISER to a group of emergency response coordinators from San Antonio’s Metro Health Department. WISER, produced by the Specialized Information Services Division of the National Library of Medicine, is a free system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER (http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/) provides a wide range of information on hazardous chemicals, biologicals, and radiologicals, such as substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. WISER, which is updated regularly, can be downloaded to a variety of wireless devices including iPhones and Blackberries. The WebWISER interface provides the same information when Internet access is available. WISER represents a compilation of information from tools like the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, the POISINDEX® System from Micromedex, the ACGID Guidelines for the Selection of Chemical Protective Clothing, the Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials, and the Emergency Response Guidebook into a single, readily available resource.
The class was very well received as the coordinators appreciated how easy it was to learn and to use WISER, and they recognized the value of having the information from multiple sources literally at their fingertips. One of those attending the class commented, “I can really see using this…having it available all the time (on a handheld device)…getting used to looking things up and finding something and saying ‘I didn’t know that!’” As a result of this class, a second class is planned for additional responders and coordinators from Metro Health.
National Public Health Week, April 4-10
National Public Health Week will be from April 4-10 this year. The theme is “Safety is NO Accident,” and the focus of the week will be on educating citizens about preventing injuries at home, at work and in the community.
The American Public Health Association (APHA, http://www.apha.org) serves as the organizer of NPHW and develops a national campaign to educate the public, policy-makers and practitioners about issues related to each year’s theme. APHA creates comprehensive planning, organizing and outreach materials that can be used during and after the week to raise awareness.
The National Public Health Week website encourages us to assess our home, workplace and community for easily-remedied hazards such as:
• Maintaining fire alarms
• Changing burnt-out light bulbs
• Covering electrical outlets in homes with small children
• Understanding national and state laws on workplace safety
• Joining the neighborhood watch association.
At the UTHSC Libraries, we will be featuring a display during the time before and after National Public Health Week to promote awareness of what public health is and the programs offered at the UT Health Science Center to study public health. The display is currently open outside the Briscoe Library on the Long campus.
Muevete USA: combatting obesity among Hispanic youth
Hispanic nursing students from San Antonio, Edinburg, Brownsville, Phoenix, and Chicago, all member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) are participating in the Muevete USA training curriculum. Through the curriculum, they will develop the skills necessary to become trainer-influencers to their communities, educating Hispanic youth and their families on the lifelong effects of childhood and adult obesity and to spread the message of benefitting from healthy choices in diet and exercise.
Norma Martinez Rogers, a professor of family and community health systems at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UTHSC), is the project director. The training curriculum will use a program called “Healthy Choices for Kids,” which is a summer camp run by medical and nursing students from UTHSC as a model of outreach in the five cities. Student interaction with children and their families may be part of afterschool programs, church programs, or outdoor meetings. The program will be implemented wherever there are children determined to be at risk for obesity. Thirty-five students from the participating cities and from Los Angeles gathered in San Antonio on March 5-6 to learn about Muevete USA. This program is funded through a generous grant from The Coca Cola Foundation, and Dr. Rogers said that this is the first time that the foundation has partnered with Hispanic nurses in their effects to combat obesity in Latino youth.
4th Annual Community Service Learning Conference
Better Together: Academic-Community Partnerships to Improve Health
Online registration is now open for the UT Health Science Center’s 4th Annual Community Service Learning Conference. The conference will take place April 7, 2011, 9 am to 6: 30 pm in the School of Nursing’s Hurd Auditorium and the Parman Auditorium Foyer. Free CEU credits are available for Certified Health Education Specialists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, nurses, physicians, physician’s assistants, pharmacists, and social workers.
This conference is free and open to the public. Lunch is provided for those who register online by March 25, 2011. Limited funds are also available for student travel from the San Antonio extension campuses.
- To share best practices and scholarship in community service learning across the disciplines of the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center with a focus on effective academic-community partnerships.
- To bring together an inter-professional group of UT Health Science Center students, faculty, and staff from across the state with community partners to foster service learning collaborations.
- To highlight existing UT Health Science System community service learning projects and future opportunities with community partners.
- To recognize and reward excellence in community service learning within the UT Health Science System.
For complete information, including the full agenda and registration, visit the conference website.
UTHSC Libraries and SAPL Team Up for Metro Health Staff
On March 8 UTHSC Libraries staff Lydia Fletcher and Keith Cogdill joined staff from San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) to promote library services for Metro Health, San Antonio’s local health department. This event was coordinated by Jac Peery, working with Metro Health on a fellowship sponsored by the Sewell Fund. Pictured by SAPL’s bookmobile are Ramona Lucius from SAPL, Jac Peery and Lydia Fletcher from UTHSC.