Keeping Community Healthy
One look at data from the Centers for Disease Control and it’s easy to understand the scope of the health care crisis confronting Latinos in the United States. High rates of obesity and diabetes, disproportionately high rates of HIV infection among our young people, and climbing low-birthweight numbers, are just some of the challenges Latinos face.
Over the past decade, we’ve been working with a number of stakeholders to conduct community health fairs in cities across the country. The events are bringing together schools, health care providers, hospitals, free clinics, local health departments, and companies in the private sector to provide free medical screenings, immunizations and other health-related services for members of the community. Through our family health fairs we are serving thousands of families each year. This year the health fairs have already been held in Miami and Orlando, Florida; Perth Amboy, New Jersey; Bronx, New York and Boston, Massachusetts. Two additional health fairs are being planned now to take place in Chicago, Illinois and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“We have a record of success with our health fairs because we can meet people right in their own communities,” said Hispanic Federation’s Senior Director for Health Initiatives Bethsy Morales. “We know that people are much more likely to access health care information when they see it in their neighborhoods and when it’s delivered by institutions they trust. Thankfully we have partners in this project who understand what works and are committed to supporting us.”
In addition to the health fairs, Hispanic Federation is also supporting healthy living though our Get Up! Get Moving! Health Expo, which takes place each year in New York City, Central Florida, and Puerto Rico. Get Up! Get Moving! (GUGM) provides free screenings, physical fitness regimens, and health information and referrals, serving over 15,000 individuals since its inception. GUGM boasts activities that promote a healthy lifestyle for all ages, offering alternatives to mainstream exercise.
“The ‘Get Up! Get Moving!’ program is one of our most enjoyable events of the year,” Morales said. “It’s really great to see people having fun and getting fit. It’s a really important way for people to understand that getting and staying healthy does not have to be difficult or boring.” To learn more about our health initiatives, please contact Bethsy Morales-Reid.