Hispanic Heritage Month - Connecticut Multicultural Health Partnership

Hispanic Heritage Month

As you may already know, September 15 begins Hispanic Heritage Month. All year, but particularly during this month, CMHP urges you to think about, raise awareness around, and search for solutions for racial and ethnic health disparities particularly as they pertain out Latino brothers and sisters. Brad Plebani, Esq, past Chair of CMHP, has prepared the following information for us to review. Be well / ser asi.

Stacey L. Brown

Hispanic Heritage Month – Message from Chair

September 15th marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to remember the contributions made to this country and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States. It’s also a time to celebrate the rich heritage and culture of the Hispanic community and the many countries that they represent. But while we celebrate, let’s also remember that there is much to do to improve the health of the Latino community in Connecticut and to end the health disparities experienced by Latinos. In Connecticut, Latinos represent 14.7% of the general population and are the fastest growing demographic group in the state.

Some statistics:  In Connecticut, Latinos have twice the rate of diabetes as whites in Connecticut. Latinos have one and half times the death rate from diabetes as whites in Connecticut. About 26.4% of Latinos experience hypertension, as compared with 23.1% of white residents.  Although national statistics show that whites have higher rates of arthritis (27%) than blacks, Latinos, or Asians (19.4 %, 11.1% and 8.4% respectively), according to the federal government the disabling effects of arthritis (arthritis-attributable activity limitations, work limitations, and severe pain) affect racial/ethnic minorities more frequently. Latinos are one and on-half times more likely than whites to develop Alzheimer’s, but have a lower probability that they will be specifically diagnosed with it.

Health disparities exist for a variety of reasons, such as poor access to health care; language barriers that are encountered when seeking health care and other health-related services; inadequate access to food; poor housing conditions; and even still no access to comprehensive health insurance. Undocumented persons, some of whom are Latino, are specifically excluded from coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Yet they live in our communities, do work that supports our communities from which we all benefit, and share health and illness with all of us.

The Connecticut Multicultural Health Partnership’s mission is to end racial and ethnic health disparities. To honor and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s all work together to create equity in health for Connecticut’s Latinos – and all people- in our state.  You can follow us on Facebook, start a conversation on Twitter or join the Partnership.

Una vida saludable para todos! A healthy life for all!

Footnotes:

1  Stratton, Alison, Margaret M. Hynes, and Ava N. Nepaul, 2009. “The 2009 Connecticut Health Disparities Report”.  Hartford, CT: Connecticut Department of Public Health, p. 49. http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/hisr/pdf/2009ct_healthdisparitiesreport.pdf

Id., p. 51

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Arthritis: Racial/Ethnic Differences”, http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/race.htm  It should also be remembered that racial and ethnic minorities with basic or complex activity limitations receive a lower quality of care in about one-third of quality standards used in a study by the  federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  See, fn. 3, supra.

4 Connecticut Alzheimer’s Association, “Latinos y el Alzheimer”, http://www.alz.org/espanol/about/latinos_y_el_alzheimer.asp (in Spanish)

Posted: Monday, September 22, 2014

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