health (44)

A year after outbreak, Latinos optimistic


Latinos in the U.S. were hard hit by the pandemic both financially and personally, but many feel generally optimistic that the worst is behind them, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

The study published on Thursday surveyed 3,375 Latinos in the U.S. in March. It comes as coronavirus infections are on the upswing in the U.S. again. READ MORE AT U.S. WORLD & NEWS REPORT

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Many Latino men haven’t gotten vaccinated



Nationally, a third of unvaccinated Latinos say they want to get the shot as soon as possible — a much higher share than unvaccinated Black or white people, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But many are concerned about missing work because of side effects, have transportation difficulties or mistakenly believe they might have to pay for the vaccine, the Kaiser survey showed. READ MORE AT LOS ANGELES TIMES

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With positive coronavirus cases rising in the city even as vaccine doses become more readily available, some residents have questions.

On Wednesday, a virtual event designed for the Latino community will be held to address questions regarding the novel coronavirus and the vaccines for it. The Illinois Department of Public Health has partnered with community entities such as Rock Valley College to create a safe space for people to ask their questions.

The hourlong event will include panelists Juana Ballesteros, manager of community public health outreach for the Illinois Department of Public Health, and Dr. Mellisa Simon of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. READ MORE AT ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR

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At least 361 Latino men ages 18 to 49 have died from Covid-19 complications in the state of New Jersey. Hispanic men account for nearly half (43 percent) of all confirmed coronavirus deaths among adults under 50, even though they make up just 12 percent of that segment of the population, according to a WNYC/Gothamist analysis.

The analysis found that Latino men in New Jersey died at seven times the rate of white men, twice the rate of Black men and 4.5 times the rate of Latina women. READ MORE AT NBC NEWS

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The Capstone College of Nursing recently received a $1.7 million grant for the purpose of increasing the number of Latino nurses with bachelor's degrees. The grant is aimed at recruiting 80 Latino registered nurses with associate degrees and getting them on the track to receiving a bachelor's degree in nursing from The University of Alabama.

The College of Nursing will admit 20 students over a four-year period to meet the desired goal. The Health Resources and Services Administration Nursing Workforce Diversity program is funding the grant and efforts to recruit the nurses. READ MORE AT THE CRIMSON WHITE

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The nation's Hispanic aging boom


"We are witnessing an Hispanic Aging boom," said Jane L. Delgado, PhD, MS, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation's leading Hispanic health advocacy group. "Hispanics are one of the fastest growing segments of older adults; however, community resources are not meeting the needs of our population. The partnership announced today seeks to change that by supporting new PACE programs in Hispanic communities so that all have access to quality care," added Dr. Delgado.

PACE is an innovative model of care for persons 55+, often bringing together Medicare and Medicaid funding, and centered on the belief that it is better for the well-being of people with chronic care needs to live and be served in the community whenever possible. READ MORE AT PR NEWSWIRE

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8602426701?profile=originalHispanic and Latino people in the U.S. have a high risk of heart pumping problems that can lead to heart failure, but most who have these disorders don't know it, a recent study suggests.

Researchers examined heart ultrasounds for more than 1,800 Hispanic/latino adults in four U.S. cities and found about half of them had cardiac dysfunction that put them at increased risk for heart failure, a chronic disease that happens when the heart can't pump enough blood to keep the body healthy.

But fewer than 1 in 20 of these patients with cardiac dysfunction knew they had a problem, the authors report in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. READ MORE AT FOX NEWS LATINO

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Heart disease remains the No.1 killer of Latinas

8602425078?profile=originalFebruary is American Heart Month. Heart disease continues to be the No. 1 killer of Hispanic women in the U.S. In fact, more women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. Unfortunately, the killer is not as easy to see, and may be difficult to identify for Latinas and their families.

¡Help break the barrier of heart disease by making heart healthy choices for you and your family!

Latina women play a very important role in the family. They are the gatekeepers for their families’ well-being and health and often put the needs of others before their own. Let’s empower women to take care of their health first so they can be there for their loved ones.

As women, they are at greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Currently, some eight million women in the U.S. are living with heart disease, yet only one in six women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat. READ MORE AT HOLA ARKANSAS

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By Frank A. Diaz

   It’s interesting to see the state and federal unemployment rates announced each month.  The rate inches upward or downward by fractions of a percent, but that movement makes a big difference.  I wouldn’t claim that NLEI makes such a big dent in the unemployment numbers, but we are trying to help people get ready for good jobs in allied health. 

    We’ve scheduled two of our professional training programs in April and May.   If you or someone you know is exploring new career options or looking for a mid-career switch, you should consider NLEI, the National Latino Education Institute.

    NLEI (formerly Spanish Coalition for Jobs) is Chicagoland’s leader in educational, vocational and employment services for Latinos, with an emphasis on training for medical support and administration. The Institute also provides preparation for the GED test and English as a Second Language.   NLEI also has several satellite centers, including west suburban Aurora. 

   Our Phlebotomy Program opens two sessions, on April 30th during daytime and on May 7th in the evening.  Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing blood samples for laboratory testing, blood donations and analysis.  Phlebotomists work as part of a medical team at hospitals, clinics, commercial labs and blood banks.  Following an externship with hands-on practice, students are then eligible to test for the NCCT certification exam. 

   Medical Assistants are in high demand in today’s health care market, and demand is expected to continue rising. Our program begins on May 13th and includes hands-on training in lab procedures, health sciences and medical law and ethics. Graduates are eligible to earn Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification by taking the national certification exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

  Veterans of the Armed Forces are strongly encouraged to enroll in NLEI’s Medical Assistant program using their Montgomery GI Bill education benefits.  Our Employment Services staff is available to help graduates (upon completion of their requirements) find job vacancies and prepare for interviews, with a placement rate above 80 percent. 

   Space in these programs is limited and registration closes soon.  Whether you’re exploring new career options or looking for a mid-career switch, consider NLEI and discover your future now! 

   For more information, call NLEI at 773-247-0707, extension 257.                             #

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Latinos outlive non-Hispanic whites in the United States by four years on average, and the disparity is even more striking in some states, according to a new report from Measure of America, a project of the Social Science Research Council.

In the Washington, D.C. metro area, for example, a Latino baby born today can expect to outlive a non-Hispanic white baby born on the same day by eight years. (That same baby will outlive an African-American baby by an incredible 13 years.)

Latinos live longer despite being less likely to have health insurance than whites, facing higher barriers in access to medical care, and experiencing higher poverty rates – a contradiction that has led researchers to dub it the "Hispanic mortality paradox." READ MORE

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Childhood cancer in Hispanics on the rise


This year an estimated 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 580,000 will die from it.
However, there is an even more alarming statistic.
Among Hispanics, cancer has now overtaken heart disease as the leading killer. This also includes a rise among kids with cancer.
“The number is rising and it is not going away, well as we are the Rio Grande Valley is primarily Hispanic and unfortunately we have continued to see the level of childhood cancer in Hispanics rise,” says Victoria Guerra of the Vannie E. Cook JR. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic in McAllen, Texas. READ MORE

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The National Latino Education Institute (NLEI) will begin three professional training programs during March at its main campus, 2011 West Pershing Road in Chicago. These training programs can lead to careers in allied health and medical office management.  

The Electronic Medical Records program begins on March 12th; the Medical Office Specialist and Medical Assistant programs begin on March 25th.

 If you or someone you know is seeking a new career path or is undecided on a career, please share this note with them.  They might discover their future now!

 For more information, visit or call NLEI at (773) 247-0707, ext. 257.  Please mention


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Soda tax would boost health of Latinos, blacks

8602380276?profile=originalA tax on soda would carry the greatest health benefits for black and Latino Californians, who face the highest risks of diabetes and heart disease, according to recent research findings.

The study found that if a penny-per-ounce tax was applied to soda, cuts in consumption would result in an 8 percent decline in diabetes cases among blacks and Latinos. The statewide reduction in new diabetes cases is projected at 3 to 5.6 percent, according to researchers from UC San Francisco, Columbia University and Oregon State University, who released their findings at last week's American Public Health Association annual meeting in San Francisco.

The study was unveiled as a sugar-sweetened beverage tax faces votes in El Monte, in Los Angeles County, and Richmond, in the Bay Area. A statewide excise tax was proposed but died in the California Legislature in 2010.

Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, said he has visited Richmond to urge support for the measure. He said he heard residents speak of loved ones who’ve been affected by diabetes complications – such as limb amputations and blindness – during a recent town hall meeting at a Richmond church. READ MORE

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) has named Jessica González-Rojas as the organization’s new Executive Director.

González-Rojas has been a leader in progressive movements for 15 years and has been a prominent national voice in the reproductive health and rights movement for five years, most recently as NLIRH’s deputy director. She has played a pivotal role in establishing the organization as a leading voice for Latinas in national policy discussions at the White House, on Capitol Hill and in target states, and in spearheading groundbreaking research on the Latina experience. She has forged new partnerships with allied movements such as immigration, sexual health and rights, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) liberation.

“We are thrilled to have Jessica Gonzålez-Rojas serve as our Executive Director", said Berta Colón, NLIRH Board Chair. "Jessica is a strong leader with a proven track record and deep understanding of reproductive justice issues. She will, without doubt, ensure that Latinas' voices are heard loud and clear in the halls of statehouses, in the White House and on Capitol Hill, and in communities nationwide.”

As the Latina population has surged in the United States, NLIRH has built a national network of Latinas who are engaged, mobilized, and ready to take action on pressing reproductive health and justice issues. The organization hosts the most-read national blog on Latina reproductive health issues, Nuestra Vida/Nuestra Voz, and produces the informative Latina reproductive health e-alert, Instantes, that brings national and state policy and social concerns to thousands of supporters nationwide. The organization is the most prolific media voice about Latinas and sexual health. Increasingly, NLIRH has spearheaded social media initiatives in response to the growing online communication preferences among Latino/as, including hosting a robust annual Latina Week of Action that most recently featured a blog carnival with prominent contributors such as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"Latinas' health and rights have been particularly under fire in recent years, with families torn apart, safety nets eroding, rigorous scapegoating campaigns, and tenuous access to healthcare. At the same time we are growing in numbers, we are organized, and now is the time for Latinas' voices, perspectives and experiences to take center stage," said Jessica Gonzålez-Rojas. "I am thrilled to be in a position to work hand in hand with Latinas and our allies nationwide at this critical moment in the community to raise our voices for dignity, justice, and health".

González-Rojas is a regular presence in national and local media outlets. She was honored by El Diario/La Prensa, the nation’s oldest and largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, as one of 2009’s “Mujeres Destacadas” (Women of Honor). She is a regular contributor to El Diario/La Prensa on pressing reproductive health issues in the Latina community, as well as a regular media voice in local and national outlets such as National Public Radio, the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC-FM), the Boston Globe and the New York Times. READ MORE

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“Living with Schizophrenia: A Call for Hope and Recovery” is a half-hour documentary film that tells the story of three people who are living meaningful lives with schizophrenia, a chronic and potentially disabling brain disorder.  Visit to view the documentary trailer.  The film sets out to increase understanding and to reduce the fear and stigma often associated with this mental health condition. About one percent of the US adult population, or 2 million, and approximately 24 million people globally are living with schizophrenia.


“‘Living with Schizophrenia’ highlights the stories that don’t make the headlines – the stories of hope and promise,” said Emily Abt, award-winning filmmaker and director of the film. “My grandmother struggled with schizophrenia, and making this documentary gave me new insights about what it is like to have this illness and overcome the obstacles in life that it presents.”


In the film, viewers journey with three individuals with schizophrenia to experience their daily struggles, personal insights, paths to the mental health recovery process, and the impact their illness has had on those who love them. “Living with Schizophrenia” delves into the lives of Ashley, who after finding effective treatment for her schizophrenia, returned to school and created a blog to share her story with others; Joshua, who was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for six years and now, following his path of mental health recovery, is dedicated to helping others living with the illness; and Rebecca, who spent a decade blaming herself for her diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and is now actively involved in her treatment process.


Ashley, Joshua, and Rebecca are joined in the film by their families and experts in schizophrenia, including community-based psychiatrist Rebecca Roma, MD, medical director of the Community Treatment Team at Mercy Behavioral Health in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Xavier Amador, PhD, clinical psychologist and founder and director of the LEAP Institute; and, Dave, president of the Georgia chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Throughout the film, they share their perspectives and reinforce the message of hope and self-acceptance for people living with schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder whose cause eludes experts to this day.  Researchers have identified various risk factors for schizophrenia, including heredity, brain damage, and environmental factors such as social stress, isolation, and drug use.  The disease typically manifests as abnormal psychological functioning and disturbed behavior. There are currently no physical or lab tests that diagnose the disease; therefore, schizophrenia is diagnosed by the presence of symptom types.


“By sharing the powerful stories of Ashley, Joshua, and Rebecca, we can work to reduce the fear and reduce the stigma, just like we’ve done with so many other issues over the years,” said Dr. Roma. “Deep down inside, we’re all people with different struggles and I learn from my patients every day about the power of perseverance and hope.”


“Living with Schizophrenia” was funded and produced by Janssen, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  The people featured in the film present their own stories and ideas and were not compensated by Janssen to appear in the film. Janssen products are not named or promoted in the film.


For more information about “Living with Schizophrenia” visit


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Cancer now No. 1 killer of U.S. Hispanics


Cancer has surpassed heart disease to become the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the United States, according to an American Cancer Society report released Monday.

Every three years since 2000, scientists at the cancer society have published Cancer Facts and Figures for Hispanics/Latinos. Such studies provide data that help develop an efficient science-based cancer control plan.

Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in the United States. Approximately 16.3% of America's population (50.5 million out of 310 million people) is Hispanic. It is estimated that 112,800 people of Hispanic ethnicity will be diagnosed with cancer and 33,200 will die of the disease in 2012.

The finding is due in part to the younger age distribution of Hispanics. Approximately one in 10 Hispanics is age 55 or over, compared to one in three non-Hispanics.

Among non-Hispanic whites and African-Americans, heart disease remains the leading cause of death, according to Monday's American Cancer Society report, the fifth. READ MORE

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Striking number of obesity risks hit minority kids

The odds of obesity appear stacked against black and Hispanic children starting even before birth, provocative new research suggests.

The findings help explain disproportionately high obesity rates in minority children. Family income is often a factor, but so are cultural customs and beliefs, the study authors said. They examined more than a dozen circumstances that can increase chances of obesity, and almost every one was more common in black and Hispanic children than in whites.

Factors included eating and sleeping habits in infancy and early childhood and mothers smoking during pregnancy. In a separate, equally troubling study, researchers found signs of inflammation in obese children as young as 3 years old. High levels were more common in blacks and Hispanics.

These inflammatory markers have been linked with obesity in adults and are thought to increase chances for developing heart disease. Their significance in early childhood is uncertain, but the study's lead author says she never thought they'd be found in children so young. READ FULL STORY
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Milk board pours out more Latino-aimed ads

California milk processors have renewed a campaign aimed at Latinos, who traditionally have been big consumers.

The campaign is called "Toma Leche," which is Spanish for "drink milk." It is from the California Milk Processor Board, which created the "Got Milk?" campaign in 1983.

The latest version of the campaign launched Thursday on Spanish-language television with a commercial describing how milk can enhance dental health. It will be followed in the spring by TV spots on how milk can promote shiny hair and strong muscles.

The campaign will use print, radio and online advertising as well.

A study by the board, based in San Clemente, found that 94 percent of the state's 13.5 million Latinos always have milk in their homes, more than the population at large.
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Latinas Prone to Baby Blues

8602371652?profile=originalThe statistics for Latinas suffering from child birth related depression continue to climb.

From socio-economics to cultural beliefs, many suffer in silence mainly because they are reluctant to admit something is wrong.

San Ysidro Health Center physician Dr. James Cevallos says it is typical for any mother to get the blues when dealing with a new baby.

"Sadness, guilt, just not feeling pleasure, if it's beyond two weeks that's when we're really concerned," said Cevallos.

He says around 10% of the mothers he treats at the center have postpartum depression.

According to a recent study by Postpartum Support International, Latinas are 37% more likely to suffer from the disorder - compared to 25% for the general population.

"Some have thought that there's a hormonal factor involved in postpartum depression but the truth is there are multiple areas that it could be involved in causing depression," said Cevallos.

For Latinas, he says, it is not so much biological as it is cultural.

"It's something that might be shameful to the culture and we know that mental disease in the Latino culture is something that's looked at as something that you should be able to handle on your own," said Cevallos.

A lack of proper health care also plays a factor when it comes to early detection. READ MORE

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