The University of Texas at Austin Latino Research Initiative

Latino Research Institute Fellows (2020–2021)

Nelly Salgado de Snyder Headshot

V. Nelly Salgado de Snyder 

Research Topic: Global health for Mexico and the United States and health access for Mexican immigrants in the U.S.

“I am well aware of the hardships that low income and Spanish speaking immigrants face when they are seeking health and mental health services. The lack of information, different conceptions of illness, misunderstanding of mental health problems, language barriers, discrimination, lack of health insurance, and cultural competency in service delivery are just some of the reasons that prevent Mexican immigrants and Latinos in general, from seeking treatment and receiving adequate health care. The topic of access to quality health care for immigrants continues to be an unresolved challenge for the health systems of both countries, as it relates to human rights and social justice issues. During my stay in Austin, I would like to address this topic through a small research project and establishing long-lasting binational academic collaborations in teaching and research.”

Dr. Salgado de Snyder's research will explore the obstacles and facilitators for the implementation of the program Ventanillas de Salud (VDS) in the Mexican Consulate in Austin, Texas. VDS is a program developed and implemented by the Secretariat of Health and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of the Mexican Government. It is managed and operated through the Mexican Consular Network in the United States and in collaboration with local organizations. This program was designed to improve the physical and mental well-being of Mexicans who live in the US and to increase their access to primary services and reduce emergency healthcare use. Also, the VDS promote a culture of prevention among Mexicans living in the US and their families through information, education, counseling and referrals to quality health care in a safe and friendly environment. Some of the specific services provided by VDS include 1) Prevention and health promotion to provide guidance on nutrition, obesity, diabetes, women's health, child health, mental health, addictions, HIV/AIDS, and access to services, among others. 2) Referrals to health care services 3) Information and pre-enrollment to access non-contributory health care programs (currently known as Seguro Popular) and 4) Screenings: blood pressure, glucose, sexually transmitted infections.

Currently there are 49 active VDS operating in the Mexican Consular Network in the US. The purpose of this research project will be to identify barriers and facilitators in implementing the VDS program in the Mexican Consulate in Austin, Texas. The study will analyze the characteristics of the relationship and interactions among all actors involved: the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the consulate, and the fiscal agency (MCN) in the implementation of the program that may be acting as barriers or facilitators to implement the VDS program.

Learn more about Dr. Salgado de Snyder's work with the Migrant Clinicians Network. 

V. Nelly Salgado de Snyder is a professor and senior researcher in medical sciences at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico(INSP). She holds a Doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of California Los Angeles and a B.A. and Master's Degree in Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She is the founder of the Global Health Program of the INSP and the Latin American Global Health Alliance (ALASAG). Her research has focused on the interface of health sciences and social and behavioral sciences in the study of vulnerable populations in contexts of social inequality. Global health and social determinants of health have been central themes in her research work in recent years.

Dr. Salgado maintains international collaborations with colleagues in various parts of the world and has more than 150 publications in scientific journals, book chapters and books. She is a consultant to many national and international organizations and has received numerous funding from various sources for her research and teaching projects. He has taught more over 120 undergraduate and graduate courses, and graduated more than 40 undergraduate, master and doctoral students. She is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences; Academy of Sciences of Morelos; Fellow of the American Psychological Association; Fulbright Fellow; Fulbright New Century Scholar in Global Health; and Balzan Fellow on Social Determinants of Health, among other distinctions. Since 2016 she is the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR) of the Pan American Health Organization /World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO). She is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Latino Research Institute of the University of Texas at Austin.



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