April is National Minority Health Month.With support from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Esperanza United strives to improve health outcomes for Latin@ patients and survivors of gender-based violence by providing training and technical assistance (TTA) and uplifting positive and innovative work within our community. Our work increases the capacity of health care providers to deliver trauma-informed and culturally responsive approaches to Latin@patients while enhancing their ability to navigate complicated health systems.
Prior to COVID-19, Latin@ patients experienced barriers in accessing culturally responsive healthcare services. COVID-19 and public policies, such as the public charge rule, exacerbated the pre-existing inequities faced in the Latin@ communities. Access to public assistance, health information, education, language access, transportation, and housing-related resources continue to impact the Latin@ community. These barriers, along with mis, dis and mal information, social exclusion and uncertainty in navigating health systems, created distrust and vaccine hesitancy among the Latin@ community. To address these barriers, Esperanza United took action to develop a toolkit for health providers, which offers guidance on trust-building, validating Latin@ patients’ healthcare concerns, establishing trauma-informed care practices, and leveraging strategies to improve health equity for Latin@ patients.
Facets of cultural traditions with the Latin@ community, such as familismo and collectivism, highlight the unique strengths and values that promote health and well-being within the community. Esperanza United co-created the Alcance comunitario guide which shares key points from a panel of community leaders, held in December 2022. This guide talks about how Latin@ community strengths aided in navigating COVID-19.
Esperanza United recognizes that addressing gender based violence begins within the community. Our work centers survivors’ experiences and addresses the needs of the Latin@ community. Health frameworks, such as the promotor@s model and mobile health units, serve to increase equity with the Latin@ community and provide trauma-informed and culturally relevant healthcare services. Our Community provider toolkit promotes effective trauma-informed advocacy strategies for Latin@ survivors and elevates community health centers as one of the most accessible forms of healthcare services. We encourage all community members to learn more about our work with partners, strategies to mobilize Latinas and Latin@s, and request TTA.