Emory partners with Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia for 2012 Latino Health Summit

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | June 6, 2012

Contact

Juliette Merchant
404-778-1503
jmmerch@emory.edu

Jennifer Johnson
404-727-5696
jennifer.johnson@emory.edu

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The 2010 U.S. Census report shows Georgia's Hispanic population nearly doubled over the last 10 years, from 435,227 to 865,689 people who identify themselves as Hispanic.

The Latino population in Georgia has changed considerably over the past few years and so has its healthcare needs. Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, in partnership with the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia, will unveil the findings of a study on the status of the health of the state's Latinos on June 7 during the much-anticipated 2012 Latino Health Summit.

The special report will address four key health areas; maternal child health, obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and behavioral health. 

The 2012 Latino Health Summit will bring together a coalition of community health advocates, government officials, local and national non-profit leaders, health providers, students and researchers.

The 2010 U.S. Census report shows Georgia's Hispanic population nearly doubled over the last 10 years, from 435,227 to 865,689 people who identify themselves as Hispanic. Growing research indicates this rapidly growing population is highly disadvantaged in terms of its health status. According to census data, 32.4 percent of Hispanics are uninsured, as compared to 21 percent of blacks, 17.2 percent of Asians and 12 percent of whites. Over 40 percent of Latino children in Georgia rely on Medicaid programs for health care according to a report by La Raza: "The Meaning of Medicaid: A State-by-State Breakdown." La Raza is the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

To address the impact of these population increases, gaps in medical insurance and other health concerns, Emory University's Urban Health Initiative, Office of University-Community Partnerships and Rollins School of Public Health partnered with the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia in the project, "The Health Status of Latinos in Georgia: Issues, Findings and Considerations." Information shared at the summit is part of the comprehensive research project aimed at improving health for Georgia Latinos.

"The rapid growth of the Latino population in Georgia makes it a moving target - we hope to build partnerships that will allow us to move and grow with the Latino community," says Karen Andes, PhD, assistant professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health and faculty director for the project.

A 2007 study on the health status of Latinos in Georgia showed health disparities consistent with national levels. Since the completion of the 2007 report, two major environmental changes have affected how Georgia's Latinos access and utilize healthcare: the economic recession and Georgia's strict immigration law, both of which are reported to have had negative health consequences for the state's Latino population. "We are at a critical juncture locally and nationally in determining how healthcare needs can be met," says Heidy Guzman, executive director of the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia. "The findings from this major study will enable healthcare professionals and others to better serve Georgia's Latino population."

"This is an important summit that will bring a wealth of knowledge to help identify the critical health issues for Latinos in Georgia and how they should be addressed. Keeping our Latino community healthy is an important strategy for the state of Georgia,"says Flavia Mercado, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics in Emory School of Medicine and chair of the board of the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia. 

The comprehensive research study and summit are funded by a grant from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation. Created in 1999 as an independent private foundation, the Foundation's mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities. 

WHO:

Hosted by Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and The Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia, Inc. Sponsors include the American Cancer Society, Univision 34 Atlanta, United Healthcare, Mundo Hispanico, Lilly, Padres & Hijos and Mundo Salud 

WHAT:

The 2012 Latino Health Summit. A unique think tank event that brings together high-level community leaders, health providers, government representatives, community educators and advocates in Georgia to develop an action plan to improve access to healthcare services for the Latino community in Georgia. It will focus on four healthcare trends: maternal child health, cancer, cardiovascular-obesity-diabetes, and behavioral health.  View the full program (PDF).

WHEN:

Thursday, June 7 and Friday, June 8

WHERE:

Rollins School of Public Health, Claudia Nance Rollins Building, 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta 30322 

MORE:

A special report on the status of the health of Latinos in Georgia will be issued during the summit. It is based on the findings of a study conducted in partnership with the Rollins School of Public Health for The Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia.  The changing demographics of the Latino community will be addressed in the opening session on Thursday, June 7, from 8:30-11:00 a.m.   

HOW:  Register online. Presentations will be delivered in English.