A new survey recently released further demonstrates the need to provide the Hispanic community with effective health promotion interventions. Funded by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the report, Hispanics and Health Care in the United States: Access, Information and Knowledge
, published on August 13, 2008 (By: Livingston G, Minushkin S, Cohn D, Pew Hispanic Center and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) examines the results of a telephone survey of 4,013 Hispanic adults. The survey was designed to explore how the diverse characteristics of the Latino population affect their health care needs, their sources of health care information, and their knowledge about chronic disease.
More than one-fourth of Hispanic adults in the United States lack a usual health care provider, and a similar proportion say they obtained no health care information from medical professionals in the past year. At the same time, the report finds that more than eight in ten receive health information from alternative sources, such as television and radio, rather than medical professionals.
Recognizing the vast growth and the increasing diversity of the Hispanic population in the United States, RWJF and the Pew Hispanic Center designed this survey to provide up-to-date, accurate information on Hispanics and health care to help address improvements in public health interventions and medical care to reduce disparities.
The National Nursing Network Organization sees this report as additional support for having Hispanic nurses, guided by the Office of the National Nurse, become involved in health promotion activities in Latino communities. Bi-lingual, bi-cultural nurses could be major players and key to successful National Nurse activity at the local level. Their active involvement in Medical Reserve Corp units would be especially valuable in disaster response situations. Efforts to reduce health disparities could focus on reducing obesity and diabetes. In collaboration with local public health leaders and key community stakeholders, Latino nurses could advocate for increased community facilities for physical activity, as well as promote healthier nutritional practices in schools and workplaces.
Creating an Office of the National Nurse for prevention is the initial step in the plan to engage nurses, especially those from communities with higher health disparities, in local prevention efforts. The many nursing organizations that now support this initiative, would welcome the addition of the Latino Nurses organizations and feel their efforts could make a significant difference for Latino communities throughout America. We encourage you to contact organizations you belong to and encourage them to revisit this important issue, review the updated information and decide to join the growing list of endorsements.
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Wednesday, September 03, 2008