Healthy Hispanic Living Renews Its Mission as CDC Issues Report on State of U.S. Hispanic Health

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In-Culture Platform for Hispanics is also Preparing Health Care Leaders for the Cultural Demographic Shift

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When tackling the most important health issues, we need to remember first and foremost that we don't treat diseases, we help to care for people

As Healthy Hispanic Living (HHL) launches a new education and awareness campaign around the Diabetes and Obesity epidemic that is hitting the Hispanic community especially hard in this country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released results on May 5th of its first national study on the health risks and leading causes of death amongst U.S. Hispanics. The study confirms heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death in the Hispanic population, and higher death rates from diabetes and chronic liver diseases than non-Hispanic whites. As HHL has also written about since it started publishing in 2013, Hispanics are woefully uninsured – almost three times as less as non-Hispanic whites, according to the study.

HHL was launched in response to the health and lifestyle needs of the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic community, which is on track to be the minority-majority population (54%) by 2050, and already represents almost one out of every six people. This demographic cultural shift™ is changing the business of health, from genetic research and the need for more culturally competent patient care to the critical need for Hispanics to become more educated about preventive care, treatment options, and self-advocacy in general.

“When tackling the most important health issues, we need to remember first and foremost that we don't treat diseases, we help to care for people, said Dr. Joseph Alvarnas, Director of Medical Quality at City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. “We can create the best medications and laboratory tests imaginable, but they are of no use unless we understand how to fully engage people at a human level. It is culture that inspires people toward their highest achievements; it is only by listening carefully and engaging people at a cultural level that we can ever impact the diabetes and obesity epidemic.”

The CDC study points out the challenges that Hispanics face in gaining access to health care, especially for those lacking English skills, living in lower socio-economic conditions, or achieving lesser education levels than non-Hispanic whites. It includes a list of recommendations for health care professionals seeking to prepare for the cultural demographic shift – many of which are already being practiced at City of Hope and have been addressed on HHL – such as: accommodating cultural and language preferences with Hispanic and/or Spanish-speaking doctors and clinicians; educating Hispanic patients about their risks and preventative measures they can take; smoking cessation programs; and utilizing “promotores de salud” (Hispanic health workers situated within the community) to provide “in-culture” and language appropriate outreach and communication.

The CDC study shows that Hispanics are high risk for chronic disease, particularly high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. CVS Health has been confronting this challenge head-on with its CVS/pharmacy Project Health free screening events, which bring health care services and insurance education directly to the underserved multicultural communities where their stores are located. The last Project Health campaign, which ran from November 2014 to February 2015,offered more than 1,000 free screening events in 27 cities across the U.S., bringing the number of Hispanic consumers Project Health has served since its inception in 2006 to nearly 500,000. This translates into nearly $50 million worth of free medical services enabling people to know their numbers and how to take preventative action if necessary, whether they needed to start a diet and exercise program, stop smoking, talk to a pharmacist about medications or learn about insurance options, or find a doctor for follow-up consultation and examination.

"The free, comprehensive health screenings offered at our Project Health events can help identify health concerns or risk factors for participants," said David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, for CVS Health. “By addressing health care challenges, such as ethnic disparities and lack of access to preventive care, we can make a difference in the health and well-being of our customers. It's just one more way we are living out our company’s purpose - helping people on their path to better health."

As HHL has maintained and the CDC report confirms, how Hispanics proactively tend to their healthcare needs and that of their families will demand a strategic and highly collaborative effort amongst Hispanic patients, medical institutions, corporations and government leaders that influence the business of healthcare. As such, HHL provides a platform where Hispanic patients and families, medical institutions, retail-healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, STEM educators, financial and insurance service providers and consumer brands can come together, be actively involved in the conversation, and become part of the solution.

For more information, please visit http://www.healthyhispanicliving.com and/or contact Annette Prieto Llopis, Vice President of Client Relations at annette(at)healthyhispanicliving(dot)com or call 949-387-2609.

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Annette Prieto
@HispanicHealthy
since: 08/2013
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Healthy Hispanic Living
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