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Determining the best way to reach Latinos has always been one of the biggest questions that health care workers always ask. Language barriers, trust issues, and cultural differences are just some of the barriers that often create inequities for many Latinos.
At Mercer University in Macon, GA (3.14% Latino population), students launched a community health fair aimed at reaching Latinos in an effort to alleviate some of the lingering health concerns of the community.
“Since the Hispanic population is growing a lot, we need more representation, more people that can help because that affects the whole community,” said Dr. Jose Pino, a professor of foreign languages and literature at Mercer University in an interview with WMAZ. “In some institutions they don’t have bilingual personnel and that’s also a problem.”
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Recognizing the need for Spanish-speaking health care assistance, a group of the university’s pre-med students partnered with Saint Peter Claver Church and dozens of area businesses to launch the first ever Mercer University Hispanic Health Fair on March 18.
The Fair offered services related to diabetes, cholesterol, vision, blood pressure, and dental health needs. There was also information about diet and nutrition and mental health.
“[We’re] working to bring the impact that we made [in our study abroad trips to Honduras] back in to this community, so there are things being done to try and fix the need and see it from as many points of views as possible,” said student Zayna Alhusein.
Dr. Pino cited the chronic underrepresentation of Latinos in health care in the Macon area. The next step for the students will be researching area health providers in an effort to determine additional ways to help the Latino community.
Read more about this story here.
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