This week kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual celebration to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success. This month is an excellent time to learn more about Hispanic heritage, continued challenges for this population, and actions steps we can take to address disparities and achieve health equity.
We know that Hispanic Americans have faced many challenges to achieving optimal oral health and overall health. Our recent report, in partnership with La Casita Center, highlighted the barriers to accessing health care and oral health care, including limited cultural relevance and quality language access of materials, and larger systems issues within the immigration laws that govern how individuals access supports including health coverage. Although Hispanic Americans report visiting a dentist regularly is important to their health, they are less likely than White Americans to visit the dentist, resulting in negative impacts on their confidence, ability to get and hold and job, and overall health status.
Everyone plays a role in addressing these disparities and closing the gaps in health outcomes for Hispanic Americans. Consider how you can get involved in the following efforts:
- Learning more about Hispanic heritage from groups dedicated to health equity including the Hispanic Dental Association and CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
- Ensuring materials and campaigns are culturally relevant and offer quality language access
- Partnering with local community organizations that are a trusted voice in the Hispanic community to help spread messages
- Advocating for culturally inclusive policies to eliminate systemic barriers to accessing health coverage and care
Join KOHC as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage from September 15 – October 15, and work to reduce disparities and achieve health equity for all Kentuckians.