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Hispanic Health Information Is Just a Phone Call Away
by Pam Chwedyk Minority Nurse Writer
According to the most recent U.S. Census, Hispanics are the nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority group, accounting for 13% of the total population. Moreover, that figure is expected to rise to more than 25% by 2050. Yet in many parts of the country, Hispanics continue to face substantial health disparities, including underinsurance, a lack of linguistically and culturally competent health care providers, and disproportionately high rates of serious chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
In a nationwide effort to reduce these gaps, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the “Su Familia” National Hispanic Family Health Helpline (866-783-2645/866-SU-FAMILIA), a toll-free bilingual information center for Hispanic health consumers. Open to callers from 9 am to 6 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, the helpline provides free, confidential health information in English and Spanish, as well as referrals to local health care providers and to federal assistance programs like the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Su Familia (Spanish for “your family”) is designed to give Hispanic individuals and families basic health information to help them prevent, manage and receive treatment for chronic health conditions. The helpline is staffed by bilingual health information specialists who can answer callers’ questions, refer them to one of over 16,000 local health providers (including community and migrant health centers) and provide bilingual fact sheets on a variety of health topics, including asthma, cancer screening, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, immunizations, HIV/AIDS and domestic violence.
Supported by HHS’ Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Office of Minority Health, Su Familia was developed and is operated by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. The Alliance also provides two other bilingual helpline services: the National Hispanic Prenatal Helpline (800-504-7081) and the National Hispanic Indoor Air Quality Helpline (800-SALUD-12).