Sunday, January 07, 2007

LHAL Pittsburgh - Latino Health Advocacy & Leadership

PHOTOVOICES...Phase Two...Please Join Us!!!!

Dear Friends,

Last Winter and Spring we were able to capture hundreds of images of Latinos in the Southwest Pennsylvania are at work and play, with family and friends...we mounted a five week exhibition at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers and conducted several policy lectures thanks to the kind support of our friends at the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Center for Environmental Oncology at UPCI, of the University of Pittsburgh.

We were also able to capture several dozen stories of Latinos regarding their beliefs about health and wellness; what it means to them to be Latino, and what it is like for them as aLatino to live in the greater Pittsburgh area. We also recorded video interviews.

LHAL is now beginning phase two of this project. Our goal is to be able to produce a DVD that can be used to educate our neighbors here and throughout the region about Latino health. Our goal is also to produce a web based "movie" that will tell our story. We desire to have both of these "tools" ready for release by the end of Spring 2007.

Our stories are important. The more our neighbors and policy makers understand us, the better our life will become.

There a few ways in which you can help us.

On January 25,26, February 16, 17 and 18 we will be recording stories by video and audio. Please contact Sue Myers at to schedule an interview. Stories may be told in Spanish, English or a combination...please let us know in advance if you would like a translator to be available.

We will also collect written stories by email. Please also submit them to: by Wednesday February 28.

You will be asked to sign a document called a "release form" that will allow LHAL or Health Equity Associates to publish or make public your images or stories for educational purposes. You can choose to remain anonymous, or to have your first name only or your full name used in the Photovoices projects.

Please join us...we need to continually work with our neightbors, health systems, public health authorities and government to promote a fuller iunderstanding and acceptance of Latino health.

Thank you!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Latino Health Fiesta Erie, PA - On September 16, 2006


For Immediate Release

Latino Health Fiesta in Erie, PA

August 29, 2006, Erie, PA - On September 16, 2006, hundreds of medically underserved Latinos will receive health screening and other medical services- that would have been otherwise unattainable. The "Día de la Mujer" (Day of the Latin American Woman) health fiesta is a unique and cultural intervention focusing on eliminating health disparities that exist in this population at risk.

The local Día de la Mujer Latina event is scheduled for Sept 16th, 2006 from 10am to 2pm at the Hispanic American Council (554 East 10th Street, Erie, PA). Initial partners include:

· Adagio Health, Inc.

· American Cancer Society

· M.H.E.D.S.

· The Regional Cancer Center

· Erie County Department of Health

· Crime Victim Services

· Greater Calvary Full Gospel Baptist Church

· Hispanic American Council

· Erie Center for Health and Aging

· St. Vincent Health Center

· Gateway Health Plan

· Mental Health Assoc. NWPA

· Epilepsy Foundation NWPA

· Erie Weed & Seed

· Gannon Nursing Center

So far we have health screenings for blood sugar, blood pressure, clinical breast exams, cholesterol, body mass index and others. All the screenings will be at no cost to the participant. Of course, there will also be music, prizes, children activities and plenty of food. Finally, transportation will be provided from east 10th street and west 18th street.

Although, initially the health fiesta focused on women's health, it now includes a variety of culturally and linguistically competent health awareness and preventative care for the entire Latino family.

David González
Director Latino Services
Hispanic American Council
554 East 10th Street, Erie, PA 16503
Tel 814-455-0212 Fax 814-453-2363


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Volunteering at the PHCUP Birmingham Free Clinic

As we discussed on 6/7, there is a great need for volunteer MH clinicians at the Birmingham Clinic who can speak Spanish. I spoke with several people personally, and this is how the sub-group list for those interested in MH services sorted: Maribel Rivera MD (children, adolescents, adults); Boris Birmaher MD (children and adults); Michele Feingold LCSW (adults only?); Ada Mezzich PhD (psychologist/researcher --mainly adolescents?); Claudia Ardiles LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor): individual work (children and adults), as well as couples and families; Gloria Rodriguez (counseling --children and adults?); Roberto Ortiz MD (children and adolescents, and adults); Michelle Barwell MD (adults only); M. Horvitz MD (adults).


In order to coordinate those of you who would like to start volunteering at Birmingham to offer MH services, could you please email me back with the following information:

(1) Name, credentials and full professional affiliation (i.e. - are you faculty/staff , and at which UPMC facility or other hospital system, or an independent clinician, etc.) - I will need this to start to verifying malpractice issues associated with volunteering with us. If you are NOT affiliated with a UPMC facility, please indicate if you are willing to be a referral resource for patients, in what capacity and if services are free or sliding scale or insurance only, etc.

(2) What your preference is for volunteer service (i.e. counseling, assessing, adults, children, both, etc.)

(3) Preference for days and times (the Birmingham Clinic operates on Monday eve (6-9pm), Wednesday afternoons (1-4pm) and Saturday mornings 10am-1pm - which is the session that we utilize SALUD interpreters and partner with SALUD Para Ninos for pediatric care). If none of these sessions are good for you, please indicate what days and time would be, and we can consider opening the clinic for additional time specific for MH.

Please add any other info that you think might be helpful and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks so much!

Mary Herbert
Clinical Coordinator, Program for Health Care to Underserved 412-692-4901


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hispanic Physicians Launch Obesity Prevention Campaign

“The nation cannot afford to ignore the obesity crisis and its [health] consequences—especially among Hispanics, a fast-growing population that has a prevalence of being obese. Cheap fast food, a lack of safe areas to exercise in their neighborhoods and fatty diets contribute to Hispanics’ expanding waistlines.” So says Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), a nonprofit association of Hispanic physicians which recently launched a major national public awareness campaign aimed at reducing obesity in this high-risk population.

The campaign, conducted in partnership with the Office of Minority Health, kicks off in Galveston, Texas—a state where one in four Hispanic children is obese, compared to only one in 10 Caucasian kids. Through its member physicians, its Council of Medical Societies and local Hispanic medical students, NHMA will focus on educating patients and the public about diet, nutrition and exercise. The program will then expand to four other locations with sizable Hispanic populations: El Paso, Miami, New York and California.

—compiled by the editors of Minority Nurse magazine


Monday, May 22, 2006

Universal health care hearing report by Patricia Documet

Patricia Documet said: I had the opportunity to testify yesterday (May 21) at a Citizens Hearing on Health Care Reform, at Temple Sinai in Squirrel Hill.

Thirteen different people got to offer their testimony in front of US Representative John Conyers, Jr. and PA Senator Jim Ferlo and an audience of over 250 people.
They wanted testimony from the point of view of citizens (underscore "citizens"). They hearing was organized by the Western PA Coalition for Single-Payer Health Care in support of bill HR 676 (a US house bill).

Below is a copy of what I said.

Thanks for the opportunity to testify at this hearing.

The Census Bureau estimates there are over 42 million Latinos in the U.S. In Allegheny County, in 2006, there are approximately 17,000 Latinos, just under 2% of the population. I have conducted research dealing specifically with health care access for the Latino population in southwestern Pennsylvania and I am involved in several local Latino organizations.

Much has been said about undocumented immigrants. However, over 30 million Latinos in the U.S. are legally here – some have been here for generations. Many Latinos who are uninsured are in this situation pretty much like other working poor in the U.S.

Thirty-eight percent of all Latinos are uninsured in our area, coinciding with national figures. Sometimes, Latinos have health insurance, but health plans exclude preventive care or exclude family members. Others work two or three part time jobs and therefore are not eligible for insurance.

The waiting period for the insurance plan to be operational, plus the high turnover in jobs results in many people being uninsured most of the time, even when they work at jobs with benefits. For example, for Rita, an American citizen and a full time employee in the service sector in Pittsburgh, the waiting period was one year.

Although she complained of pain in her knees and back, she had yet to see a doctor. When I met her, she hoped to be able to continue working eight more months, until she could get covered care. Shortly after her insurance became active, she changed jobs and had to face another waiting period. As other working poor, Latinos alternate between being employed and unemployed, insured and uninsured. It is those who have fewer years of schooling and less marketable skills who are hit the hardest. They are the ones who would most benefit from universal health care access.
Another crucial problem is that Latino citizen children tend not to be enrolled in CHIP. Their parents fear that receiving public assistance may get them into trouble. This happens even when they are legally here. The misconception may be perpetuated by a question asked when applying for permanent residency, that deals with having received public assistance.

Some Latinos in our area say they choose to go without insurance, or without a regular source of care. However, this is not a true choice, because they cannot afford health insurance. To complicate matters further, lack of information means many are unable to use the few resources that are available to them.

A single payer universal health care system would be the fairest way of addressing the needs of all these Americans.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Reminder-- ACS Cancer Survivor Conference-Sat. May 20th-Registrations still being accepted--by phone and at the door!

Are you in cancer treatment? Do you have questions?

American Cancer Society
Cancer Survivors

Taking the Cancer Journey Together

At the Great Hall in Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

Saturday, May 20, 2006
11:30am – 4:30pm
FREE for ALL survivors – those currently in treatment, those who have completed treatment, and long-term survivors.

Workshops with practical information on:
• Managing Cancer-Related Fatigue
• Creating a Survivorship Plan

Guest speakers discussing:
• Cancer & your family – is there a genetic link?
• Cancer & the environment – what do you need to know?

Special support package for the newly diagnosed!
• Track medical appointments, medications & treatments
• Record insurance & financial information

Call 1.800.ACS.2345 to register!


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Insurance Coverage and Health Care Access and Use

“Several studies conducted as part of the Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism project have focused on documenting and explaining racial and ethnic differences in insurance coverage and health care access and use. ANF's National Survey of America's Families has enabled studies of trends in insurance coverage gaps, analyses of under-studied populations, and multivariate decompositions of the factors related to racial and ethnic differences. This paper reviews those studies and highlights their contribution to the large and growing literature regarding racial and ethnic differences.”

For full study:

By Bowen Garrett and Alshadye Yemane, The Urban Insitute (Tuesday, May 09, 2006)

Consumer Health Coalition
650 Smithfield Street
Centre City Tower/Suite 2130
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 456-1877
Fax: (412) 456-1096