Hispanic Health Initiative
Collaborating with the community to decrease health disparities in the Latino population
South Carolina has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the nation. The increase in the number of Spanish-speaking residents has been recent enough that the cultural norms and health beliefs of the Spanish-speaking population are not well understood by health care providers. This lack of understanding has contributed to significant health disparities among this population. Recognizing these needs and collaborating with the community to build on their existing assets, The MUSC College of Nursing established the Office of Hispanic Health Initiatives. Funding has been received from federal agencies, national and local foundations, and private donors to support innovative programming that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
The following are HHI’s four main purposes:
- Expand the knowledge and skills of health care providers to deliver culturally sensitive and effective care to the Hispanic community in South Carolina and improve access and quality of care for this population
- Implement and coordinate educational and clinical programs to reduce health disparities in the growing Hispanic community in South Carolina
- Promote interdisciplinary and interagency state-wide collaboration as a strategy for the development of multicultural resources to serve the Hispanic community
- Increase recruitment and retention of Hispanic students and faculty in nursing and other health professional fields
Language barriers, poverty, and cultural differences are associated with utilization of fewer preventive services, increased use of hospital emergency rooms, and less satisfaction with care among Hispanics. The growing Hispanic community in the Low Country mandates creative approaches that address issues of access, quality, and satisfaction with health services.
Get Involved With HHI
There are many ways to get involved with the Hispanic Health Initiatives and make a difference in the lives of others. Whether it is volunteering with one of our programs, assisting us at health fairs, writing grants, or even volunteering your interpreting services and/or translating skills, we are always happy to have dedicated volunteers join our HHI team. If you are a student and interested in interning with us, we do have 1-2 spaces each semester available.