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Events Promote Health Care for Utah's Latino Communities

Latin American Weeks of Health events in Utah include women's health services, mobile clinics and a free health fair. (thegoldenmonocle/Twenty20)
Latin American Weeks of Health events in Utah include women's health services, mobile clinics and a free health fair. (thegoldenmonocle/Twenty20)
October 17, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY - Cities in Utah and nationwide this month are promoting health care in Latin American communities.

The American health-care system is complicated and can seem even more so for people new to the country or who don't speak English. Yehemy Zavala Orosco, preventive-health manager for Comunidades Unidas, said the Latin American Weeks of Health events are aimed at clearing up some of the confusion around health care and making sure people are getting the services they need.

"What we do is to provide efforts to ensure that our underserved communities have access to different health services, education, and also they have services in regards to civic engagement as well," she said.

Comunidades Unidas will host a free health fair on Friday, Saturday and Oct. 26 at the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City. At a closing event Oct. 27 at the Midvale Senior Center, lawmakers from Mexico and Utah will discuss policies to improve health-care access for Latino communities. More events and information are online at CUUtah.org.

Orosco said these types of events are especially important for families with children. Research from Georgetown University has shown that Latino children nationwide are less likely to have health coverage than other kids, and Utah is among the states with the highest number of uninsured Latino children.

"It's not just because the parents don't want to enroll, or because they don't know they can enroll their children into health care," she said, "but it's because the access to get enrolled sometimes is difficult for our community."

This will be the tenth year of the Latin American Weeks of Health. Orosco said the Salt Lake City events have served thousands of people each year.

An event calendar is online at media.wix.com and the Georgetown study is at ccf.georgetown.edu.

Katherine Davis-Young/Dallas Heltzell, Public News Service - UT