Health Care for Hispanic Kids Initiative
Immigrant children have always represented one of this country’s most promising yet vulnerable populations. Today, at 24% of all U.S. kids, Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing group of immigrant children. Unfortunately, this increasing segment of our nation’s future workforce and leaders is more likely to live in poverty, lack health insurance and suffer health problems (like asthma, obesity and mental health challenges) than other groups of kids. At the same time, Hispanic children tend to live in neighborhoods where doctors are in short supply while they are less able to afford transportation to far-off medical care.
Every child deserves a healthy start. Moreover, with 30% of the total U.S. population projected to be of Hispanic origin by 2050, we can ill-afford to allow such a large group of children to begin life with high health risks and receive inadequate medical care. Through our Health Care for Hispanic Kids Initiative, Children’s Health Fund works with programs throughout the country to make sure these children, individually and collectively, get the health care they need.
We help programs provide added, often bilingual, outreach services, so Spanish-speaking families know they can come to us for care, regardless of ability to pay. We support case managers who communicate with and help people who might not understand the language or the way health care generally works in the United States. We develop Spanish-language health education materials so Hispanic children and families can learn how to stay healthy or treat specific conditions. Finally, we help programs support bilingual social workers and medical providers who deliver exemplary care.
One of the wonderful bilingual outreach coordinators who works on our mobile units is Carlos Naranjo, who received an Angel Award in 2013 from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. When Carlos joined the mobile clinic team, just 4% of its patients were immigrant children. Today 46% of the children who step onto the mobile clinic are Hispanic.
The Health Care for Hispanic Kids Initiative plays a large role in the following Children’s Health Fund locations: