U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Minority Health
|Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Contact: HHS Press Office
National Hispanic Heritage Month:
The Department of Health and Human Services' Commitment to Latino Health
During National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognizes the achievements of the Latino community to our nation and celebrates the impact HHS programs have on improving the health of the Latino community.
Addressing Health Disparities in Latinos: Implementing the Affordable Care Act
By improving the quality of and access to health care for all Americans, the Affordable Care Act represents the most significant federal effort to improve the health of the Latino community and other underserved populations in the last 40 years. The law will:
- Extend coverage to 34 million Americans who currently have no health insurance, nearly nine million of whom are Latinos.
- Bring more doctors and nurses to Latino communities, with a special focus on training more Latino doctors and nurses.
- Ensure that access to preventive care is easier by eliminating most Americans' co-pays and deductibles for important screenings and helping Latino families so that they no longer face decisions between using $30 for the co-pay of a screening or at the cost of making sure there are enough groceries for the week.
- Support small business owners by providing tax credits for health coverage, and beginning in 2014, there will be a new health insurance marketplace where small businesses can purchase coverage. Latinos are the fastest growing group of small business owners in the country, and too many are facing skyrocketing health insurance costs.
- Expand community programs to improve health and wellness, create linkages between health and social services, and ensure Latinos can make healthy choices.
Improving Latino Representation in the Federal Workforce
A strong federal workforce is most successful and competitive when it represents the diversity of the nation. At HHS, we are committed to greater Latino representation in the ranks of the federal workforce. The Hispanic Council on Federal Employment, an initiative lead by the Office of Personnel Management, provides HHS the opportunity to share initiatives and learn the leading employment practices from other departments in the federal government in an effort to remove any unnecessary barriers to the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of Latinos in the federal workplace. With support from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, utilizing existing pipeline programs like the Presidential Management Fellowship and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program, HHS is committed to diversifying its team.
Helping Latinos Lead Healthier Lives: HHS Programs in Communities
HHS operates many programs to improve the health of Latino families. This year, HHS announced a new HHS-wide initiative to use Promotores de Salud to strengthen outreach and education on the availability of health services and insurance coverage to Latino communities. Promotores, who are sometimes known as community health workers, peer leaders, patient navigators or health advocates, typically work in their own communities to convey information to their neighbors and other community members on health and wellness, the availability of support services and access to health services. This initiative includes: establishing a National Steering Committee for Promotores de Salud; developing a national training curriculum and uniform national recognition for them; creating a national database system to facilitate recruitment and track training of Promotores; and supporting and linking Promotores' networks across the nation.
Keeping Latinos Informed and Updated
In October 2010, the Department launched http://www.CuidadodeSalud.gov, the partner site of http://www.HealthCare.gov, and the first Spanish website of its kind to help Latinos better understand their health care and health insurance options by connecting them to new information and resources in a single, easy-to-use tool. In addition, HHS understands how important these programs are to the health and well-being of Latinos and strives to continue to improve our efforts.
For questions or comments, please email: Latinos@HHS.gov.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.