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GACLA, Department of Health Hosts PA Latino Health Care Forum

Sharing Progress and Promoting Future Strategies

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs' today opened the PA Latino Health Care Forum, "Sharing Progress and Promoting Future Strategies."

The forum, held at the State Museum, is a follow up to the commission's 2005 Latino Health Summit's call to action to address health disparities in Pennsylvania. That summit was the first part of a larger strategy to develop and implement meaningful policy-driven recommendations to address issues impacting Latino health in Pennsylvania.

"The forum shows our health initiatives are having a measurable, positive impact on the state of Latino health in our communities," said GACLA Executive Director Norman Bristol Colon. "I am confident that through these efforts, our commitment to understand and address the critical health issues of our communities will foster policies and programs that eliminate health disparities and promote healthy behaviors."

Today's forum included overviews of different initiatives from around Pennsylvania that are designed to improve access to culturally competent care, improve the delivery of health care services and enhance health outreach and education services for Latinos.

"We have made progress. However, it is critical that we continue to work diligently and collaboratively to achieve further progress and sustain it for the long term," said Department of Health Deputy Secretary Robert Torres.

The forum was a collaborative effort between the Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. For more information on GACLA, visit For more information on the Department of Health, visit

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following panelists and speakers participated in the forum:

-- Debra E. Bill, Ph.D, associate professor, West Chester University

-- Jamahal C. Boyd Sr., director of office of health equity, PA Department

of Health

-- Alberto Cardelle, Ph.D, interim vice-provost and interim dean of

graduate studies and research, East Stroudsburg University

-- Diego Chaves-Gnecco, M.D., M.P.H. Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

-- Lillian Escobar-Haskins, policy office director, PA Department of Health

-- Robert Himmelsbach, program manager - Philadelphia Department of Health

-- Renu Joshi, M.D., chief of endocrinology at Pinnacle Health System

-- Lissette Lahoz, program director, Latinos for Healthy Communities

-- Orlando Lozada, director of interpretive services, The Reading Hospital

and Medical Center

-- Robert Torres, deputy secretary, PA Department of Health

-- Michael Usino, director of cultural health initiatives, American Heart

Association - Bethlehem

CONTACT: Norman Bristol Colon

(717) 783-3877

SOURCE PA Department of Latino Affairs
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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