On Thursday, North Carolina State University announced that they are constructing a project titled ProSalud (ProHealth) which is aimed to assist healthcare professionals and students communicate with Latino patients. This initiative is concentrated on the idea that communication between health professionals and their patients is vital and both language and cultural differences keep Latinos from reaching out to their health benefactors.
“What we [need] is to integrate ourselves, the hospitals, the universities and the rest of those involved in the sector, since we’re working separately. Our desire is to provide support and that very necessary connection,” said Ana Gray, a Spanish instructor at NC State.
According to Cheryl Block, a Spanish instructor at NC State, the crucial and necessary part about this initiative is having professionals who know the medical terms and understand the cultural aspect. In the United states, three-quarters of the 52 million Latinos nationwide speak Spanish at home. and one of the the coordinators of the project.
“El Mundo Hispano y la Salud” (The Spanish World and Health), a bilingual book written by Block, Gray, and Patricia Willoughby, includes a review of Spanish grammar and health care terminology, and offers a view of cultural differences.
Universities are not the only entities understanding the importance of providing resources for the Latino community. With the recent enrollment roll-out of Obamacare, the healthcare.gov website has been translated in Spanish to assist the estimated 10 million Latinos eligible for health coverage.
This article originally appeared in Latinovations.