IHPR unveils new PSAs and ‘SaludToday’ blog to improve Latino health

See the PSAs and read the blog at www.SaludToday.com

SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 4, 2009)—The Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio today unveiled six new public service announcements and a new Latino health blog and Web site, SaludToday, all geared to promoting healthier lifestyles among Latinos.

The site, www.SaludToday.com, features a blog about Latino cancer, obesity and other health topics, as well as videos, resources and the capability for people to share their own success stories, from beating cancer to losing weight to quitting smoking.

The blog also feeds social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The six PSAs, which can be viewed via the SaludToday Web site, inform Latinos about the importance of early screening in detecting cancer.

The IHPR outreach effort aims to catalyze Latino families, community leaders and health researchers to reduce and prevent health disparities – differences in Latinos’ disproportionate burden of disease compared to non-Hispanic whites.

“Latinos are at a disadvantage when it comes to being in good health, so we wanted to raise awareness about disparities and prompt behavioral changes to improve Latino health in South Texas and beyond,” said IHPR Director Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., who also co-leads a research program of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at the UT Health Science Center, the university’s National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center.

SaludToday elements include:

Latino Health Blog: The SaludToday blog gathers the latest news, videos and research on many Latino health topics, such as cancer, obesity and cultural issues. The blog simultaneously feeds Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages to feature stories about Latino life and health, from Latino cancer research to exercise interventions for Latino youths to unique stories of Latinos who’ve quit smoking.

PSA Videos. SaludToday also features six new public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish. The culturally relevant PSAs show the benefits of preventative screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer among Latinos. The PSAs were produced through Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network, an NCI -funded initiative to combat cancer among Latinos. In the coming weeks, the new PSAs also will be distributed to TV stations across the country.

Sharing Stories. SaludToday offers a variety of stories on Latinos who have overcome obstacles to beat disease or improve their health. These stories are featured on our Web site and blog. SaludToday also offers people the capacity to post their own photos and stories, receive our blog feeds and vote in health polls.

Latino Health Resources. SaludToday also aims to link Latinos with the latest information and resources on health. For example, a person can find out how to get local or national cancer information in Spanish, find out the best steps to take to quit tobacco or find a cancer clinical trial near them. Resources include the NCI, American Cancer Society, Redes En Acción, Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children and the CTRC at the Health Science Center.

“By bringing Latinos the latest stories, news and events regarding Latino health through a blog and social media and encouraging them to contribute their own insight and stories, we hope we can make huge leaps in improving Latino health,” Dr. Ramirez said.

To find out more about the team behind SaludToday and the PSAs, e-mail the IHPR at ihpr@uthscsa.edu or visit its Web site at http://ihpr.uthscsa.edu.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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