San Antonio researcher finds programs that help close the gap for Latino families

New research collected by Salud America! has found promising community solutions to gaps in Latino education, health and income.

The study, “Building for Latino Families,” was conducted by Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. Read her full article:

Ramirez' study showed that Latino children don’t develop intellectual skills as quickly as white children, and are behind by 15 to 25 percentage points when they enter school.
That cognitive skills gap makes it harder for Latino children to achieve socially, academically and physically, her study showed.

Ramirez found five success stories - including one in San Antonio - where community-led efforts aimed at the whole family are helping close the cognitive gap.

In San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood, parent facilitators helped raise awareness in the neighborhood about community job and health resources and opportunities for families with very young children. Read more and see a video here:

In Oregon, health navigators came to children's’ schools and created a welcome center to help provide parents with different opportunities. The health navigators helped parents with health issues throughout the school year and followed up with the whole family. Read more:

In San Francisco, the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) was created to provide free financial services to lower income Latino families, supporting them as they were being priced out of their neighborhoods by Silicon Valley tech workers. Need to support the community and work not catering to what is going to pay the most. Read more:

At the University of Minnesota, a teacher developed medical Spanish classes for students who then volunteer their time using those skills to help Latino-serving organizations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul community, such as clinics, neighborhood outreach groups and churches. Read more:

The fifth program, “Telehealth” was created from lack of access. The program uses technology to keep low-income patients in consistent communication with health professionals. Voice-enabled tablets monitor a patient's heart rate, blood glucose levels, blood pressure, oxygen levels and even weight. The devices are automated and connect to an on-call nurse if any alerts are triggered. Read more:

The programs Ramirez highlighted show how small opportunities can create a big difference in a child's life. These programs help the children and the entire family and community, and provide new education opportunities for Latinos.

Salud America! is a national Latino-focused organization that creates culturally relevant and research-based stories, videos, and tools to inspire people to start and support healthy changes to policies and systems.