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Latino Daily News

Wednesday March 16, 2011

Nat’l Hispanic Medical Assoc. Takes Lead on Health Care Reform Implementation for Hispanics

Nat’l Hispanic Medical Assoc. Takes Lead on Health Care Reform Implementation for Hispanics

Photo: Health care reform and Latinos

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics are now 50 million persons or 18 per cent of the U.S. population, the largest ethnic group in the United States.  Over 30 per cent of Hispanics are uninsured which means the Hispanic population will gain the most from the U.S. Health Care Reform implementation.

The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) will hold its 15th Annual National Conference, “Health Care Reform Implementation for the Hispanic Community,” beginning tomorrow through Sunday, March 20, 2011 in Washington D.C.  This year’s conference brings together health care professionals and experts from across the country to work with NHMA and the Obama Administration on new Health Care Reform.

Future programs need to increase outreach to new affordable health insurance, the quality of health care and prevention programs with cultural competence and language services, and recruiting many more Hispanic medical, nursing, dental and public health students. 

According to NHMA, implementation of Health Care Reform is both an opportunity and a challenge for this country. “As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act signed into law, national policy leaders will address key challenges for Health Care Reform in Hispanic communities that require NHMA guidance,” stated Rios.  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, (CMS) Director, Dr. Donald Berwick, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Director, Dr. Mary Wakefield, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Deputy Director, Judith Monroe, and American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) CEO, Karen Ignani,

National policy leaders will discuss their priorities and vision as to how their agencies can build culturally competent programs to outreach to the growing Hispanic population so more of them enroll in insurance and prevention programs, decrease costs of mental and physical care, and how they can create more jobs.

The Honorable Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas will speak on “Building a National Agenda on Healthy Aging, Eldercare and Healthy Hispanic Communities.  Dan Reyna, General Manager, U.S. Mexico Border Health Commission will discuss “Sustainable Safety Net Care in Hispanic Regions of the U.S.” Dr. Carlos Gonzales will keynote on how our nation needs Hispanic health care professional leaders to care for the expected 30 million new insured in this era of Health Care Reform.