New Salud Heroes!

Salud Heroes are champions of healthy change.

They are people like you—children, parents, teachers, health workers—who learn of childhood obesity, get an idea to do something about it, mobilize support, and drive policy and system changes in schools and communities.

Salud America! curates the stories of Salud Heroes through a step-by-step process of change to inspire you to make a similar change in your area.

Add your own Salud Heroes stories, news updates, and resources now!

Why be a Salud Leader?

Get free stuff and join with others to reduce Latino obesity.

Map your town!

See what’s happening, meet allies, and add your own healthy changes.

Map of US showing location of changes.

Salud Hero Future Generations Learn Healthy Eating Through Teaching Kitchens

Child eats a handmade tostada with his mother at local event to promote CHEF—a new hospital initiative that teaches families and kids how to cook together and eat nutritious foods. (Photo Source: CHEF Facebook page)

San Antonio, Texas

In the San Antonio, Texas area (69% Latino) families, health care leaders like Dr. Mark Gilger, and philanthropy groups like the Goldsbury Foundation are exploring what healthy and culturally fun Latino meals look like with the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio’s new Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF) program. Aiming to be a new culinary … Read more

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Salud Hero Community Connectors Eliminate Barriers to Healthy Homes


San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) is a community of about 18,000 residents (67.5% Latino) who face many health disparities driven by socioeconomic inequities in income, education and access to health care. Noemi Villarreal and others at EPN sought ways to improve health care and health equity in the area. To do that, they looked … Read more

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Salud Hero MEDA Creates 100% Affordable Housing for San Francisco Residents


San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s Mission District (30% Latino) is one that is steeped in history and has long been the hub for the city’s immigrant population. As the city has evolved as part of the technology boom, many Latino families have found themselves “priced out” of homes they have lived in for decades. Luis Granados, Christopher Gil, … Read more

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Salud Hero Promotoras Create Healthy Change One Resident at a Time

The Promotoras at Vida Sana work to ensure their community members have access to the best health care resources possible. Photo Credit: Vida Sana

Fort Collins, Colorado

Obesity, cancer and related health disparities were increasing in the northern Colorado city of Fort Collins (11.43% Latino). In response, a community advocacy group called Vida Sana formed to find ways to alleviate these disparities and support Latino residents. Dierdre Sullivan, a founding member of Vida Sana, soon recognized the best way to boost health … Read more

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Salud Hero Colorado School’s Apple Orchard Infuses Fresh Fruit into School Cafeterias, Farmer’s Markets

Students plant heritage apple trees as part of a new orchard project for the Cortez Elementary School.
Photo Source: Montezuma School to Farm Project.

Denver, Colorado

Montezuma County (12.2 % Latino) was once well known for its blooming apple orchards. Back in 1904, three Gold Medals were awarded to the county at the St. Louis World’s Fair. But for years, these fresh apples weren’t always available to kids at local schools. Now, with the help of farm-to-school activists like Sarah Syverson … Read more

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Salud Hero Water Promoter Inspires Neighborhood

Gabriela Medina works as a promotora, or health educator, teaching her neighbors that the water is a safe, healthy option in the Westwood area in southwest Denver. (Photo source:

Denver, Colorado

In the neighborhood of Westwood, in Denver, Colo. (79.36%), the pure, fresh mountain tap water is not only the best option for local residents but also the healthiest. But many of the area’s foreign-born population (34.96%) still distrust the safety of drinking tap water in general. However, Gaby Medina, a health educator, works to ensure … Read more

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Salud Hero University of Northern Colorado Adopts Written Policy for Breastfeeding Support for Employees and Students

Lactation Station  at the University of Northern Colorado
Source: Alena Clark, UNC

Greeley, CO

Alena Clark, a Nutrition and Dietetics professor at the University of Northern Colorado and Yvette Lucero-Nguyen, director of the Women’s Resource Center, worried that their campus wasn’t breastfeeding-friendly for employees or students. They worked with faculty, staff, and students to increase awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding. They coordinated with different departments on campus … Read more

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Salud Hero Agency’s Legal Aids Brings Hope, Relieves Stress among Florida’s Immigrant Community

Family at a school graduation.

Broward County, Florida

Many Latino immigrants arrive in Broward County, Fla. (27% Latino) with no community ties, no possessions, no (or little) money, and no prospects for employment. Aside from the everyday challenges of facing this scenario, they also often face legal questions or citizenship matters. That’s why Hispanic Unity of Florida was founded to offer free legal … Read more

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Salud Hero Florida’s Immigrant Community Finds a Partner for Better Health


Broward County, Florida

Health issues disproportionately plague the immigrant community in Broward County, Fla. (27% Latino), as they often lack access to healthcare due to lack of insurance, language barriers, and other obstacles. Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) works to improve the lives of this underserved population—especially in health and wellness. They began conducting special registration events and … Read more

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Salud Hero Growing Healthier Schools

Students show the produce  harvested from their school garden. (Photo Source: Candice Orlando)

Denver, Colorado

UrbiCulture Community Farms are making school lunches look a little more like a garden with their new school garden programs. Teachers plant alongside students, helping them understand what it takes to grow food, and be more open to eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Students harvest the fresh produce from the 6,500 square-foot … Read more

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Salud Hero Teacher Helps Get Free Water Safety Education Classes for Students with Special Needs

Young children learning water safety.
Source: Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County Facebook

Broward County, Florida

Childhood drowning rates in Florida were among the highest in the country. Linda Joseph, a special needs teacher in Broward County, wanted to make sure her students could swim and weren’t afraid of the water. As someone who values whole-child health, Joseph knows that water safety boosts confidence and opens doors to many water-based physical … Read more

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Salud Hero Drowning Prevention Program Expands to Kids Younger than 5 in Florida

Young children learning water safety.
Source: Children’s Services Council of Broward County Florida Facebook

Broward County, Florida

In the past 15 years, the drowning rate of school-age children in Broward County, Fla., has plummeted thanks in part to SWIM Central, a program that provides free water safety education classes and transportation for public school children. However, drowning rates remain the No. 1 cause of death among children younger than 5. SWIM Central’s … Read more

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Salud Hero Urban Designers and Residents Succeed in Getting More Walkable Streetscape from San Antonio City Council

Nicolas Rivard listens to a Dignowity Hill resident explain what she wants to see in her neighborhood during an interactive community meeting at Siclovia in September 2015. (Source: Nicolas Rivard)

San Antonio, Texas

Urban designers in the San Antonio, Texas neighborhood Dignowity Hill (75.16% Latino) learned about an upcoming street construction project that lacks walkable streetscape elements, and decided to act. The urban designers mobilized and empowered community members to get involved and request walkable streetscape elements, and the city responded by adding street trees, separated sidewalks, and … Read more

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Salud Hero Harvesting the Neighborhood for Fresh Fruit

Volunteers help harvest fruit trees in their neighborhood. (Photo source: San Antonio Fruit Tree Project website.

San Antonio, Texas

Two architecture and urban planning graduate students from the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) recognized good fruit from fruit trees were being left to rot in urban areas of San Antonio, Texas, (63.2% Latino), where many Latino families live in need of fresh foods. Working together for a class project, the friends created a … Read more

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Salud Hero San Antonio Clinic Brings Healthcare to the Underserved

The Dr. Frank Bryant Health Center has been a great resource for the residents of the east side of San Antonio. Source: CommuniCare Health Centers

San Antonio, Texas

The east side neighborhood of San Antonio (63.2% Latino) struggles with socioeconomic hardships, health disparities, and a lack of access to quality healthcare. In the past few years, the nonprofit Eastside Promise Neighborhood has sought ways to improve conditions for residents in the city’s east side. To solve the gap in the availability of healthcare … Read more

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Public Hub Hub Tree: Salud America!

Salud America! is a national online network of researchers, community group leaders, decision-makers, and members of the public working together to support healthy policy and environmental changes that can help reverse obesity among Latino children.

The network, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a project of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Policies, comments, external links, and contributed stories and images are not affiliated with Salud America!, RWJF, or The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by these organizations.

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