Latino health programs are critical to the positive health outcomes for our community. There are a large number of nonprofits, universities and government agencies that offer high-quality wellness initiatives around the country, but unfortunately many are not well-known. Because health education is a major part of why I went into medicine, I am aggregating a list of Hispanic health programs across the country to help connect the community to initiatives that will enhance their quality of life.
How do we benefit from Latino health programs?
Health programs can be educational or community-based. They reach people in a way that I can’t in the ER or clinic. Programs are typically offered in schools, community centers, worksites, nonprofits or government facilities.
Most programs try to make participation as easy and convenient as possible by integrating themselves into existing community institutions or social structures. This allows maximum funding to go towards program services. The majority of public health program aimed at Latinos focus on chronic diseases like diabetes, injury / violence prevention, women’s health, nutrition and behavioral health. There are a small number of programs specializing in mental health.
These programs don’t get the media coverage they deserve, but they are critical to improving the overall health of our community. By seeking to make changes within the social institutions our community uses daily, these programs can improve the health of many.
Latino health programs are also more adept at addressing the cultural nuances and obstacles people in our community face. By being more culturally relevant, the education will more likely lead to positive health outcomes.
Latino Health Promoters Program: Bilingual health professionals work with schools, churches, health clinics and nonprofits in San Fernando Valley. They help people in need find services and raise awareness to health issues. The program is open to all ages and conducts free health fairs and other special events.
La Clínica: What started as a single storefront in 1971, has become a large provider of primary health care across Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties. La Clínica provides health care services in a culturally sensitive manner. Programs include:
- Youth Peer Education– Students learn leaderships under mentorship of a health educator.
- Day Laborer Outreach– The Jornaleros Program addresses the challenges faced by day laborers when accessing health services by providing care management and registration to La Clínica services.
- Casa en Las Escuelas– Health educators work with elementary, middle, and high schools for up to an academic year to cover topics such as pregnancy prevention, HIV and cultural identity.
- ALMAS (Alianza Latina en Marcha Contra el SIDA)- Meets the needs of Latinas who are coping with HIV.
- Promotores Program– Supports the community by helping providing education and skills to Latinos so that they can make informed health decisions and decide on a plan of action.
- De Colores– La Clínica’s effort to mobilize young people, 17-29, that are gay, bisexual men and trans women of color to ensure a safer community.
- Senior Health Care Delivery Initiative– Bolsters partnerships to ensure more coordinated senior-friendly services and improve the health of seniors.
Healthy Family Initiative: Funded by $792,000 grant from the CDC, Hartford’s health department is looking to provide access to healthy food, give support to breastfeeding mothers and encourage exercise among the community’s Hispanic and African American residents. The program will be house at the Parker Memorial Community Center. Questions can be directed to: 860-757-9897
Latino Health Initiative– Established in 2000, LHI improves the life of Latinos in Montgomery County by offering culturally relevant and linguistically competent health and wellness system that respects the value of Latino families. Programs include Ama tu Vida campaign and a Latino Youth Wellness program.
Mental Health Collaborative– Casa de Salud opened to increase access to healthcare for the immigrant community in the St. Louis region. They amplify access to mental health services by leveraging their clinical care operations. The goal of the Mental Health Collaborative is to increase the capacity of the mental health system to include services to underserved Latino and foreign-born communities.
BOUNCE– Founded by Dr. Norma Olvera, BOUNCE is focused on reducing obesity among Latino and African American kids and families. The program encourages kids and their families to live a heathy lifestyle by educating them on nutrition and providing opportunities for exercise. Based out of the University of Houston, they have reached over 10,000 families and volunteers have logged over 20,000 hours.
Dia de la Mujer Latina– Founded by Venus Ginés, DML provides health education and facilitates early detection screening through “health fiestas” not only in Houston, but around the country. Venus also created a bilingual curriculum to become a certified community health worker.
Please send me a Latino health program that’s not on this list. This page is a living document that will be updated as resources are found or others cease operations. There are so many wonderful programs that don’t get the attention they deserve. Let’s give the Latino community a chance to participate by making this the most robust resource list on the internet.