The mission of Hispanocare is to provide affordable, quality, bilingual healthcare to Chicago’s Latino Community in a culturally sensitive manner.
Latinos without health insurance are the largest of any racial group. Meanwhile, their rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are very high. In addition, this minority population commonly faces language and cultural barriers as they attempt to access the health care system. Hispanocare’s approach places culture within the context of an interwoven network of community relationships–between language and traditions. As the diversity of populations continues to grow, the importance of cultural competency or “cultural and linguistic appropriateness” in the effective delivery of health services is undeniable.
An important component of this organization’s work, therefore, is to ensure the education of bilingual, bicultural health care professionals. The Hispanocare Student Scholarship fund supports Latino-American students entering the health field. These scholarships are unrestricted, allowing students to fill the financial gaps between tuition and a degree, like housing, books, food, clothing.
The main component of Hispanocare’s work, however, is not scholarships – it’s health care delivery and education of the Chicago Latino community. Therefore, in 2010, the organization formed a relationship with Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation to help expand the number of scholars they are able to support.
The Foundation shares Hispanocare’s recognition of the imperative to train health practitioners capable of cultural sensitivity within diverse populations. With the Foundation’s financial support, more Latino American students are completing their medical education and filling the need in their communities.