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This content was published: April 19, 2013. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Latino health conference to address health crisis

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The numbers are compelling. Washington County is the most culturally diverse area in Oregon with approximately 16 percent of residents self-identified as Latino or Hispanic. Approximately 15 percent of students enrolled in classes at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus are Hispanic. Yet, Hispanic students at PCC comprise less than six percent of students enrolled in the college’s health program. The numbers reflect a national crisis in health care with long-term implications for the Hispanic community.

To address this issue, PCC, Kaiser Permanente and Familias en Acción are sponsoring the Seventh Annual Latino Health Equity Conference at the Rock Creek Campus (17705 NW Springville Rd.) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday, May 10 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 11. The registration fee for the May 10 event is $125 for the general public. Tickets for students are $45 and the first 100 that register will have their entrance fee paid for by Kaiser Permanente. The May 11 program, free and open to the community, will focus on health promotion and chronic disease self-management.

The conference keynote speaker on May 10 is Margarita Alegria, director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at the Cambridge Health Alliance and professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. Her work focuses on the improvement of health care services for diverse racial and ethnic populations. The title of her talk is “Re-Engineering Behavioral Health Care as Part of the Affordable Care Act to Respond to Minority Communities.” Continuing medical education credit is available to physicians and the conference will offer tracked sessions in research, policy and clinical care.

Participants can register at the conference website. PCC offers free parking at the Event Center lot behind Building 9. All proceeds from the event will benefit Familias en Acción.

In addition to the keynote, the May 10 event will offer session topics such as diabetes management for Latinos, immigration and healthcare reform, anger management, mental health services for the uninsured, effective medication management, the Oregon Latino Health Coalition and case management, cultural elements in treating Hispanics, alcohol and drug treatment services for youth, and fighting obesity, to name a few.