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October 16, 2013 by Jennifer Brandt
NATHROP, COLO. – Today, prominent Latino religious leaders from Colorado and California joined together to form Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance, which will develop stewards of God’s creations by engaging and educating this generation to leave a legacy for the future. This group seeks to educate other Hispanics and to encourage them to take an active role in supporting the nation’s public lands and protecting our natural resources across the West.
“Pastors can bring common-sense and spiritual guidance to the national discussion about the value of our parks and public lands, and other environmental issues affecting Latinos across the West,” said Maite Arce, president of the nonprofit Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), which helped organize the group. “Their leadership will be instrumental in sparking change that preserves our natural treasures for future generations — bringing balance and fairness to how our nation views conservation in relation to energy development.”
HAF brought the religious leaders together as part of the inaugural summit “Exploring Stewardship in Protecting and Preserving the Environment.” The summit was held in Nathrop, Colo. for three days, and included fly-fishing in Colorado’s famed Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River. The organization believes this new alliance will encourage more religious leaders to speak up for conservation, especially in communities that are on the front lines of energy development.
“We need energy development for our nation’s energy independence,” said Pastor Joseito Velasquez from Healing Waters Family Center in Denver, Colo. “But we also need to protect wildlife and other aspects of God’s creation in our public lands. We can do both.”
Pastor Velasquez was joined in the Alliance formation by Pastor Rigo Magaña from New Hope Christian Fellowship in Greeley, Colo., Pastors Frank Ruiz from Seventh Day Adventist Church in Indio, Calif., and Jesse Villarreal from Templo La Hermosa and Enrique Orellana from Fuente De Vida Christian Center in Coachella, Calif.
At the summit in Colorado, the group identified environmental issues from each home state that are of concern. In Colorado, the group would like to see Browns Canyon’s public lands and waters protected as a National Monument. Similarly, the Alliance would like National Monument designation to be granted for Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks in New Mexico. For California, the collective is paying special attention to the California Desert Protection Act, which would establish two new national monuments, enhance the existing national parks and ensure renewable energy development happens in appropriate public and private lands, and other environmental issues in the Coachella. Additionally, the alliance will explore the need for adequate funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect national parks, and enable communities to build new playgrounds and local parks.
Following the summit, the pastors will return to their communities to educate, engage and empower other religious leaders and community members in advocating for the conservation of God’s creation.
May 28, 2013 by Jennifer Brandt
WASHINGTON, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The 2012 tax return will have major impact for Hispanics, as it can be used in determining eligibility for the Affordable Care Act and immigration reforms will likely require individuals to pay any unpaid taxes. An ongoing project from the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), in partnership with H&R Block, the world’s largest consumer tax services provider, is seeking to educate Hispanics about the U.S. tax system and prepare them for upcoming changes.
“Prepárate Para Un Futuro Mejor” (Prepare Yourself for a Better Future) includes more than 150 free “Tax Talk” seminars across the nation. It emphasizes the importance of building an accurate tax history, provides tools to protect against fraud and misinformation in the tax preparation process, and outlines how to meet the demands of the Affordable Care Act and potential immigration rule changes.
“Hispanics need to have their taxes in order so they don’t miss out on potential benefits,” said Maite Arce, president of HAF. “Since the project’s launch in 2010, we have helped tens of thousands of Hispanics with tax issues, and now they are even more vigilant about building an accurate tax history.”
Starting in 2014, many people who do not have health insurance may be able to receive a subsidy based on their household income and family size to help with the cost. Eligibility for assistance can be determined from an individual’s 2012 tax return, which can also streamline the insurance plan enrollment process with a health insurance exchange. With the individual mandate requiring nearly everyone to have health insurance in 2014, a key component of Affordable Care Act is the health insurance exchange— a marketplace where consumers can shop for a health insurance plan.
As for immigration reform, it is expected that both political parties will support a reconciliation of unpaid taxes as a prerequisite on the path to legal residency or citizenship. While plan details are still being discussed, it will likely require individuals to submit tax documentation for multiple years – an individual will need to provide an accurate tax history as part of the application process.
“With the rapid expansion of the Latino population, it is essential to provide accurate information and access to bilingual tax experts in order to fully integrate Latinos into the tax system,” said Arce. “Our community wants to contribute our fair share. With a better understanding of the process, we can strengthen our families, communities and nation.”
The free “Tax Talk” seminars are scheduled in multiple cities across the country. A complete list of dates and locations is available at www.pormifuturo.org. For more information about HAF visit www.hispanicaccess.org.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/28/5299568/taxes-key-for-hispanics-on-health.html#storylink=cpy
Screening rates lower among Hispanic and Asian Americans.
The percentage of U.S. citizens screened for cancer remains below national targets, with significant disparities among racial and ethnic populations, according to the first federal study to identify cancer screening disparities among Asian and Hispanic groups. The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, was published Jan. 26 in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In 2010, breast cancer screening rates were 72.4 percent, below the Healthy People 2020 target of 81 percent; cervical cancer screening was 83 percent, below the target of 93 percent; and colorectal cancer screening was 58.6 percent, below the target of 70.5 percent, according to the study, “Cancer Screening in the United States – 2010.”
Hispanics were less likely to be screened for cervical and colorectal cancer (78.7 percent and 46.5 percent, respectively) when compared to non-Hispanics (83.8 percent and 59.9 percent, respectively).
“It is troubling to see that not all Americans are getting the recommended cancer screenings and that disparities continue to persist for certain populations. Screening can find breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers at an early stage when treatment is more effective,” said Sallyann Coleman King, M.D., an epidemic intelligence service officer in CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and lead author of the study. “We must continue to monitor cancer screening rates to improve the health of all Americans.”
- Women aged 50-74 years should be screened for breast cancer with a mammogram every two years.
- Women who have been sexually active for three years or are aged 21-65 years should be screened for cervical cancer with a Pap test at least every three years.
- Colorectal cancer screening is recommended for average-risk men and women aged 50-75 years, using high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), done at home every year; sigmoidoscopy every five years, with high-sensitivity FOBT every three years; or colonoscopy every 10 years.
To assess the use of currently recommended cancer screening tests by age, race, ethnicity, education, length of residence in the United States, and the source and financing of health care researchers analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, which tracks progress toward the achievement of Healthy People 2020 objectives. For the ethnic subgroups, Asians were classified as Chinese, Filipino, or other Asian and Hispanics as Puerto Rican, Mexican, Mexican-American, Central or South American, or other Hispanic.
Significant findings include:
- Screening rates for breast cancer remained relatively stable and varied no more than 3 percent over the period 2000-2010.
- From 2000-2010, colorectal cancer screening rates increased markedly for men and women, with the rate for women increasing slightly faster so that rates among both sexes were nearly identical (58.5 percent for men and 58.8 percent for women) in 2010.
- From 2000-2010, a small but statistically significant downward trend of 3.3 percent was observed in the rate of women who reported getting a Pap test within the last three years.
- Considerably lower breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening use was reported by those without any usual source of health care or health insurance.
The authors note that this study reinforces the need to identify and track cancer screening disparities. Additionally, the report provides guidance for the development programs to increase the use of screening tests in order to meet Healthy People 2020 targets and simultaneously reduce cancer morbidity and mortality.
Hispanics were 13.4% less likely to receive colorectal cancer screenings & 5.1% less likely to receive breast cancer screenings than non-Hispanics.
“Healthy People objectives are important for monitoring progress toward reducing the burden of cancer in the United States. Our study points to the particular need for finding ways to increase the use of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening tests among Asians, Hispanics, as well as adults who lack health insurance or a usual source of health care,” said Carrie Klabunde, Ph.D., an epidemiologist inNCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences and a co-author of the study.
According to the authors, the Affordable Care Act is expected to reduce financial barriers to care by expanding insurance coverage. Other efforts are needed such as developing systems that identify individuals eligible for cancer screening tests, actively encouraging the use of screening tests, and monitoring participation to improve screening rates, they say.
Center for Disease Control
Through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, CDC provides low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and 12 American Indian/Alaska Native tribes or tribal organizations. The CDCs Colorectal Cancer Control Program funds 25 states and four tribal organizations to implement population-based approaches to increase screening among men and women aged 50 years and older. Population-based approaches include policy and health systems change, outreach, case management, and selective provision of screening services. For information about CDC efforts to prevent cancer, visit www.cdc.gov/cancer
National Cancer Institute
NCI leads the National Cancer Program and NIH’s effort to dramatically reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new interventions, and the training and mentoring of new researchers. For more information about cancer, visit www.cancer.gov or call NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
“CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money through prevention. Whether these threats are global or domestic, chronic or acute, curable or preventable, natural disaster or deliberate attack, CDC is the nation’s health protection agency.”
For the original CDC press release, click here.
The Hispanic Access Foundation is committed to helping Hispanic Americans live better, healthier lives. We provide a searchable online database of healthcare services for Hispanics in communities across the nation. Search our database for healthcare services near you.
September 17, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
Letter from the Executive Director from 2011 HAF Annual Report
2011 marked the first full-year for Hispanic access Foundation and we have truly been blessed by all of those that have supported us in one-way or another.
Hundreds of leaders in our faith-based and community network took up the torch in transforming information into action. Partners like H&R Block and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recognized the importance of grassroots outreach into Hispanic communities. Thousands of Latino families throughout the country embraced our organization, took advantage of the information in our campaigns and took action to improve their futures.
The bridges that we are building are changing lives.
As you read through this annual Report, it should become apparent that what HAF does in reaching the Hispanic community is unlike any other organization. We’ve developed extensive, trust-filled relationships with Latino churches that provide the access to connect with the community at their level. We’ve gained immediate confidence from large corporations and government branches. We’ve mobilized thousands of individuals through our grassroots outreach. We’ve built community bridges and placed many individuals on the path to a better life.
Our message of responsible citizenship, educational attainment, and active engagement in the improvement of the health, environment, and financial well-being of Latino families is resonating at all levels throughout the United States. and it needs to.
By 2050, the Hispanic population is projected to make up 30 percent of the entire U.S. population. The work that we do now is critical to the long-term prospects of this country as a whole. Hispanics need to understand the U.S. tax system and become responsible taxpayers. Latinos need to become advocates of their health and understand the importance of preventative care. Hispanics need to receive a quality education and gain equal access to higher education opportunities.
But, it’s not just about need. It’s about the future of america and making sure we’re all in position to maximize the potential before us.
Read the complete version of the 2011 Hispanic Access Foundation Annual Report
Hispanics are passionate about their public parks and open spaces. Parks are often the center of family life and activities, used as social settings for picnics and get-togethers with family and friends. As such, their protection ranks high on Hispanics’ priority list.
So, it’s of little surprise to me when I see the results of polls, like the recent 2012 Colorado College Western States Survey, which shows that the protection of parks, clean air and water is a top issue for Latinos. In fact, 87 percent of Latinos surveyed believe we can protect land and water while still having a strong economy – we don’t have to choose one over the other. Even further, 94 percent agree that public lands such as national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife areas are “an essential part” of the economies of western states.
It seemed only natural for the Hispanic Access Foundation to launch an online petition where Latinos can urge President Barack Obama to create news parks and monuments, as well as to continue protections for our land, air and water. Upon signing, the petition delivers an email directly to the White House.
Hispanics need a way to inform their elected officials about their concerns for protection and funding related to the environment and our natural spaces. This petition gives them a megaphone for their voices to be heard.
And Hispanics should receive unprecedented attention.
The U.S. Latino population is now at 50.5 million – 16.3 percent of the total population – according to the 2010 Census. Not only has the population reached new heights, but Latinos are also a growing force in elections. Between 2004 and 2008, the number of Latino voters grew by 28 percent, while the total number of voters increased by only four percent. 2012 should see a record number of Latinos heading to the polls.
To be clear, cultural traditions are not the sole reason these and other Latino voters consistently express strong support for clean air, water and land. The U.S. Hispanic population is disproportionately affected by environmental contamination in many parts of the country.
Latinos are 165 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of air pollution, unsafe drinking water, and lead and mercury contamination – all of which can cause serious health problems – according to the American Lung Association. Hispanics also face higher rates of asthma than whites, and because they account for nearly one-third of those not protected by health insurance, they are less likely to receive specialized care.
In the Colorado College survey, which polled 2,400 register Latino voters in six key western states, 80 percent of the respondents view air pollution as a serious problem in their state, and see the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws as important protections rather than burdensome regulations.
A 2004 study by the Natural Resources Defense Council provides some credence to that belief. Ninety one (91) percent of Hispanics in the country live in metropolitan areas where air pollution is often present. One-third of U.S. Latinos live in western states where arsenic, industrial chemicals and fertilizer residues often contaminate local drinking water supplies. Furthermore, the study found that one and half million U.S. Latinos live in colonias – unincorporated communities with substandard housing – along the U.S.-Mexico border, where a lack of potable water and sewage treatment contributes to waterborne diseases such as hepatitis and cholera.
The environmental concerns make the voices of Latino voters all the more important. And for the sake of this generation and the next, its time for policymakers to finally acknowledge and embrace the will of the nation’s Hispanics.
Read more at HuffingtonPost.com