Programs Provide More Minority Health Care
In response to that problem, community programs are helping improve the health of minorities in mid-Missouri.
Joy Williams, the director of the Puertas a La Salud program, said certain health problems continue to plague minorities. But, she said the solution lies within the community.
"Community programs are the life and blood of minority health," said Williams. "The community itself loves to participate with its own programs. The people that work there know the folks in the community and they love their community."
Puertas a La Salud, or Doorways to Health, helps pregnant Hispanic women get health care. It's a home-visit program where bilingual and Latino workers advise and support new parents.
The Columbia-Boone County Health Department also is trying to reach the Hispanic community through a new program, Comenzando Bien.
But, Non-Hispanics also recognize the importance of health access for minorities.
"It's a great opportunity here," said Columbia resident Melisa Vaughn. "When I got pregnant, I came right here and they helped me with everything."
The Hispanic Community Center, Centro Latino, works with programs like Puertas a La Salud to help improve the health of Hispanics.
Williams believes such outreach will help equalize health care.
"We are expecting to have healthy children born in Missouri, no matter the race and no matter what language they speak," Williams explained. "Because we have that expection and work toward that goal, programs like Puerta a la Salud help assist us in making sure that happens."
For more information on health programs, call Roxana Huaman at the Columbia-Boone County Health Deparment at 573-441-4457.