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New Survey Shows Solutions to Improve Latinos' Access to Health Care in California

More than 100 Latino leaders in California participated

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Latinos are expected to become the largest ethnic group by 2011 and the majority of California's population by 2040. One third of the Latino community in California is uninsured, the highest rate among all ethnic groups.

"In an election year when the only thing politicians are discussing with regard to the Latino community is immigration, there seems to be a lack of understanding," said co-author of the survey and MAYA President Luis Vasquez-Ajmac. "Latinos, African-Americans, and other minority groups also care deeply about health and education. Through the U.S. Health Disparities Forum, it is our goal that legislators hear one voice."

The survey's findings, released today by the Latino Issues Forum and MAYA at the U.S. Health Disparities Forum, suggest policy solutions to decrease health disparities among Latinos in California. These solutions include:

1. Require all health care plans to cover preventive screenings, disease management and health assistance programs (such as smoking cessation, nutrition counseling, etc.);

2. Develop a bilingual media campaign about prevalent illnesses among Latinos and prevention strategies;

3. Collect demographic data to ensure health plans deliver quality and equitable health care;

4. Invest in local communities to provide active living environments;

5. Develop clear guidelines for the public to measure the quality of care they receive.

"The input from Latino leaders provides a road map for movement building and policy creation to ensure that the Latino community's health needs are addressed," said co-author Sarah Mercer from the Latino Issues Forum.

Additional solutions include the integration of promotoras (outreach workers in the Hispanic community responsible for raising awareness of health and educational issues); the creation of policies to reduce the consumption of unhealthy food including mandating menu labeling, banning trans fats, and regulating junk food advertising; and the establishment of a certification program for medical interpreters and cultural competency.

About the Latino Leaders Health Care Priorities Survey

Using an online survey, MAYA and the Latino Issues Forum interviewed over 100 Latino leaders across California representing a broad range of interests. These responses include policy priorities, barriers, most effective outreach methods and potential policy solutions to improve the health of Latinos in California. The complete report is available upon request.

MAYA, a brand building agency, has 20 years of experience in thought leadership in minority health care. The firm's clients include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, Johns Hopkins University and the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA), among others. For more information on MAYA, visit

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