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.
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Peter Kim is a sort of accidental convert to the world of telehealth. Kim was about to start his labor-intensive medical residency—but he also wanted to continue his work as a community health coordinator with Harbor Health Home in Houston. How could he do both? Telehealth. Kim began to further explore how to use telehealth … Read morePosted on .
Noemi Villarreal sees Latinos in San Antonio struggle with disease, and wants to help. That’s why she has helped launch family support connectors, and also developed farmers markets in the Eastside, a heavily Latino section of the city. The farmers markets did not work. How could Villarreal and neighborhood leaders still bring cooking and nutrition … Read morePosted on .
In Arizona, 1 in 10 people have diabetes. Yolanda Konopken of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul knows this first hand. Her program to help families manage diabetes has been at full capacity for years in Phoenix (41.3% Latino). Konopken wanted to do more to prevent unhealthy weight from causing diabetes in younger children. … Read morePosted on .
For 30 years, a group of small clinics have provided primary healthcare to residents in Maricopa County, Ariz. (30% Latino population). A few years ago, the leadership of those clinics—Dr. Avein Saaty Tafoya and Lisa Blue—recognized that local residents continued to face cultural, language, financial, and other barriers to proper comprehensive healthcare. They felt compelled … Read morePosted on .
Film is a creative, impactful way to tell a story—especially when it deals with real-world problems and solutions. In Las Cruces, New Mexico (67.1% Latino), school dietitian Barbara Berger saw the need to increase eating well and physical activity among students. Berger and others worked to get funding to enable students to make creative videos … Read morePosted on .
Stephen Lucke, a student at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio (63% Latino), took a nutrition class early on in college and learned that limited healthy food access can increase the risk of diabetes and obesity among low-income minorities. After helping develop gardens at UIW to grow fresh produce, Lucke went … Read morePosted on .
After Nikki Van Strien delivered her first son in Mesa, Ariz. (30.5% Latino), she realized the discharge package given to all new moms by the hospital could undermine a woman’s breastfeeding goals by pushing formula. She wanted to do something to support breastfeeding moms immediately after delivery. In 2011, Van Strien and some other moms … Read morePosted on .
In the midst of a growing Latino population in Minneapolis, (10.5% Latino), Shannon Gavin and Alma Galvez saw heavy sugary drink consumption and obesity-related heath issues among children through their work with and in St. Mary’s Health Clinics. In 2013, they partnered with the Minneapolis Health Department to help create and spread a bilingual, culturally … Read morePosted on .
Providing a week’s worth of healthy food and toiletries to families in need is the goal of Jessie Fisher and her nonprofit food pantry, the Randolph Area Christian Assistance Program (RACAP), in Schertz, Texas (29.3% Latino). But when food demand grew faster than the supply, Fischer and RACAP had to think quickly. They set up … Read morePosted on .
City parks worker Michael Baldwin saw rampant physical inactivity and disease in San Antonio, Texas (68% Latino). To help, he wanted to attract people to existing health programs and services in city parks. Baldwin and his team, through local collaborations, developed Fit Pass, a city-wide scavenger hunt for wellness and physical activities. People can download … Read morePosted on .
Many people have a favorite magazine that they enjoy reading, whether it is the latest celebrity news, world affairs, or sports stories; but what if there was a magazine that also offered nutritional advice, supplied healthy recipes, and disseminated the latest health information all in a way you could understand? That’s exactly what registered dietitians … Read morePosted on .
Many Latinos in Minnesota get “left out,” of the healthcare picture. That’s why HealthFinders Collaborative aims to provider healthcare and services to marginalized families in Rice county, nearly 50 miles south of Minneapolis and St. Paul. But HealthFinders leaders like Charlie Mandile continued to identify gaps in local healthcare. Mandile and his team came up with a solution … Read morePosted on .
Pete Garcia spent several years as a personal trainer in San Antonio, learning first-hand that many residents in at-risk parts of the city struggled with obesity and related health problems. So when Garcia became the city’s supervisor of athletics and programs, he wanted to develop and implement programs that would increase access to physical activity … Read morePosted on .
Hannah Lieder, foster mother and founder of Minneapolis Swims, has been working since 2010 to keep open the local Phillips Pool in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minn. Why? Lieder knows that children living in low-income, Latino, or minority neighborhoods have historically lacked convenient access to physical activity spaces, particularly swimming pools, compared to white … Read morePosted on .
Registered nurse Derek Dimas learned kids need to eat healthier to help decrease the high rates of obesity in his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas (50.7 % Latino). By starting a program to help kids see fruits and vegetables as delicious works of art, students in schools across the city are having fun learning how … Read morePosted on .