Dr. Lyft: Free Rides Help Patients Make It to Medical Appointments



Latinos often face hurdles like language, culture, and cost to get proper healthcare, which contributes to heavier disease burdens and health inequities. Transportation is another big hurdle to healthcare access. In fact, 3.6 million patients miss medial appointments each year due to transportation issues, according to the Community Transportation Association of America. A new partnership between ride-sharing service Lyft and major healthcare insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) are forming an unlikely partnership to solve the issue. BCBS will offer free Lyft services to its members as part of a new service delivery model for select companies to reduce missed appointments for nonemergency care in areas that lack adequate transportation options, HealthCare Dive ...

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How a ‘Neighborhood Health Action Center’ Could Solve Latino Health Inequities


health action center lobby rendering

Imagine: You are a 20-year-old Latina new mother in East Harlem, N.Y. You already live in a poor neighborhood that has a higher infant mortality rate than the nearby, wealthy Upper East Side. Now, as you leave the hospital, you need resources to care for yourself and the baby. Where do you get help? What if, blocks from your home, there's a place with workshops on infant safety and bonding? What if it also has a lactation room? What if it also has yoga and dance classes? What if it also offers primary care, mental health care, screenings, and vaccinations? What if you apply there for insurance, and get referrals to other local services, too? In New York, city leaders are creating these "Neighborhood Health Action Centers." Dr. Mary T. Bassett, the city's health ...

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New Program Boosts Latinos’ Personal Health Knowledge



Colorado health leaders have a new answer to help Latinos overcome barriers to proper healthcare, like language, cultural stigmas, and a lack of access... ...a chat series. The new Community Hearth Health Actions for Latinos at Risk (CHARLAR) program, which originated in Denver (30.94%) before coming to Steamboat Springs (8.3% Latino population), arms Latinos with personal health knowledge they may not otherwise have. “Many Latinos have poor dietary and health habits,” said Erick Ocampo, a community connector for Northwest Colorado Health that is running the program, in an interview with Steamboat Today. “Overeating, not exercising, and not getting help for health issues until the issues are very serious … In our culture, we don’t really care.” In the summer of ...

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New Program Looks to Grow California’s Latino Doctor Population



Many health disparities exist for the Latino community. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer are more prevalent among Latinos than in any other racial or ethnic minority group. Barriers (social, cultural, and financial) also exist that keep Latinos from obtaining preventative health services. One barrier that is rapidly becoming a problem in California (38.18% Latino population) is the disturbing lack of Latino healthcare professionals. One program is looking to change that. The University of California – Davis has partnered with the Permanente Medical Group to create the Prep Médico program, which offers health courses, lectures, and shadowing opportunities to low-income freshman and sophomore students from Central and Northern California who can ...

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How Many of Us Really Brush Twice a Day?


dental health brushing teeth

Salud America! Guest Blogger Jefferson Dental Care You've heard it before: Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are two of the best ways to keep your mouth healthy. But do Latinos and others follow this advice? Actually, 30% of Americans do not brush their teeth twice a day, according to figures from the American Dental Association. Skipping brushing can lead to tooth decay—which disproportionately occurs in Latino children—tooth loss and other serious health problems. “Poor oral health has been linked to chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and many others,” said Dr. Leslie Renee Townsend, regional dental director for Jefferson Dental Care. “Moreover, at-home dental care is crucial to keeping plaque and tartar from ...

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Community Connectors Break Down Barriers to Healthy Homes



San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) is a community of about 18,000 residents (67.5% Latino) who face many health disparities driven by socioeconomic inequities in income, education and access to health care. Noemi Villarreal and others at EPN sought ways to improve health care and health equity in the area. To do that, they looked for ways to promote the idea of the “medical home,” in which the patient/family is the center of partnerships with primary care providers, specialists, educational resources, and the entire community. They formed a group of dedicated "Community Connectors" to travel the neighborhood and do whatever was necessary to promote development of a medical home for every home. Addressing issues in San Antonio Noemi Villarreal, health ...

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Community Health Centers Engage Latinos in Mental Health, Nutrition, Fitness



Many Latinos in Minnesota get “left out,” of the healthcare picture. That’s why HealthFinders Collaborative aims to provider healthcare and services to marginalized families in Rice county, nearly 50 miles south of Minneapolis and St. Paul. But HealthFinders leaders like Charlie Mandile continued to identify gaps in local healthcare. Mandile and his team came up with a solution a few years ago: the Pura Vida Healthy Lifestyles Program, an effort to bring free preventive health and fitness classes to the local rapidly growing Latino population. How has the effort paid off? Gaps in Latino health in Minnesota HealthFinders Collaborative, community health centers in Northfield, Minn. (8% Latino population), and Faribault, Minn. (11.74% Latino population) formed to ...

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You Can Quit Flossing, Right?



Salud America! Guest Blogger Jefferson Dental Clinics Fewer than 1 in 3 people floss daily. On top of that, the U.S. federal government recently made a controversial ruling to quietly remove flossing from its list of dietary guidelines, after having supported floss since 1979, due to mixed research results on the benefits of flossing. We can all toss the floss, right? Wrong. Flossing remains an effective method to remove food particles and buildup from between the teeth, and help people reach the plaque where it does form between the teeth, said Dr. Leslie Renee Townsend, regional dental director for Jefferson Dental. "Leaving particles and buildup trapped between the teeth is a quick route to developing decay and disease around the teeth and gums," Townsend ...

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Latinos Face a Digital Divide in Health Care



The Internet is an everyday part of millions of people’s lives. The Internet connects people all over the globe to unlimited amounts of resources and information. However, for many people, access and usability still remain obstacles. Health communicators in particular have struggled with overcoming what is known as “the digital divide,” which is a huge disparity among the Latino community. As more and more of the “analog” world moves online (everything from paying bills to buying groceries to signing up for healthcare), it is becoming critical for healthcare professionals to bridge the gap. Latinos currently represent 17% of the overall population of the United States, and in California, Latinos represent the largest ethnic group in the state and outnumber non-Latino ...

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