Latino Health Council: Addressing community well-being in Madison, WI

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Latino Health Council providing health educationThe Latino Health Council was founded in 1996 as a result of a committee formed to survey the health needs of Latinos in Dane County.  It is now a non-profit made up of over 40 organizations and agencies that has become an integral part of the healthcare ecosystem for Latinos in Madison, Wisconsin and Dane County.

As the only multi-agency health related organization for Latinos in the area, the Latino Health Council has become the premiere resource for people and experts interested in the health of Latinos.

Founding

The Southern District of the American Cancer Society launched a diversity committee in 1994. It was created to research cancer service needs among under-served communities in the Dane County area. After a year, a group from the committee formed around Latino health.  They surveyed the health needs of Latinos and developed programs as a response to their cancer concerns.  In 1996, the Council on Latino Health was established due to the efforts of this group and was created to specifically address health-related issues facing the Latino community.

It was formed to explore the cancer service needs of the under-served population in Dane County. A year later a Latino health issue group was formed and began to survey the health needs of the Latino population. It also developed training programs to respond to cancer concerns. The Council on Latino Health was established in 1996 as a result of this group and was created to address specific cancer and health-related issues facing the Latino community.  It is currently known as the Latino Health Council.

Goals

  1. Provide leadership and guidance to community based organizations planning to reach the Latino community.

  2. Assist in providing and promoting education, screening and early detection programs to the Latino community.

  3. Promote access to quality and affordable health care that is culturally and language appropriate.

  4. Strengthen partnerships among community organizations to address health needs in the Latino community.

Latino Health Council initiatives

Latino Health Fair/ Latino Chronic Disease Summit

Started in 1998, the  LHC Latino Health Fair is the only one in Dane County and in Wisconsin. Attendees get a number of free screenings to detect diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders, cateracts and HIV, among others. The health fair includes resource booths, sessions discussing disease prevention and workshops on nutrition, exercise, and navigating the health care system.  The event hosted over 150 people last year.

Nuestra Salud

Dr. Patricia Tellez-Giron on Nuestra Salud
Photo Courtesy: Latino Health Council Facebook page

Nuestra Salud is the Spanish-language educational radio show focused on Latino health.  It’s been on the air since 2008.  It’s a two-hour show that brings on health professionals and medical experts to talk about health topics important to Latinos in Madison.  The program is a joint partnership with UW Health and Quartz.

“Every year when we think our mission is done, we realize that we have populations that are very transient, and they may not know all the information,” said Dr. Tellez-Giron, Latino Health Council chair, in an interview with Madison365.com.

The show airs every month on the first Monday from 9 am – 11 am. You can listen to past episodes here.

Other initiatives 

The Latino Health Council also coordinates other events such as annual conferences on chronic diseases, mental health and Latino teen health.  Their services include breast cancer education and more.

Follow them on Facebook.

 

 

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