Along with diabetes, heart disease and stroke rank as the leading killers of Hispanics in the United States. The City of Austin and local health organizations acknowledge the fact that the biggest asset in the fight against these diseases is education. By implementing several programs and initiatives throughout the year, these organizations strive to improve the health of the Hispanic community.
There are many organizations serving the Austin Hispanic community, and they ensure access and success in addressing health needs. As an example, the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce created a Health & Wellness Initiative, whose mission is to provide advocacy, leadership and education about health and wellness issues and practices to insure optimal workforce productivity.
The Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department’s mission is to work in partnership with the community by promoting health, safety and well being. In 2008, a Heart and Stroke Task Force was created to develop and promote a prevention and awareness campaign named Austin, Texas: “A Heart and Stroke Healthy City”. Additionally, the City of Austin offers classes on a regular basis to inform Austinites about all they need to know about certain diseases and how to prevent them.
Health organizations such as the American Heart Association have implemented programs addressing the Hispanic community. Conozca Su Corazón is an American Heart Association community-based wellness program aimed at reducing the high rate of cardiovascular diseases among Hispanics. The program contains important education about risk factors, vital numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose), heart healthy eating habits and the benefits of living a more active lifestyle. This program also provides health screenings to participants so they can track their vital numbers throughout the program. Conozca Su Corazón aims to increase knowledge and awareness of cardiovascular disease and stroke as well as to provide participants with relevant and practical ways to improve health. To learn more, please visit: The American Heart Association.
The American Diabetes Association is also aware of the fact that minority groups have the highest incidence of diabetes, and that the complications of diabetes - such as blindness, amputations, end-stage kidney disease and death - also impact minority groups at higher rates. Diabetes is the 4th leading cause among Hispanics.
In Texas, the percentage of Hispanics with Diabetes is 9.3 percent. In their efforts to improve the quality of life for Hispanics/Latinos with diabetes and those at risk of developing the disease, the American Diabetes Association developed a Latino Initiative, which includes information in Spanish, a Latino community program, and Ferias de la Salud (Health Fairs) throughout Texas. To learn more, visit The American Diabetes Association.
In recognition of the many challenges Hispanics face in accessing health care, the majority of the local healthcare institutions offer bilingual assistance programs to ensure that non-English speakers have access to their services: