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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 To Know The HHI Scholars Program

HHI Scholars Program


Get Involved With HHI

The Hispanic Health Initiative (HHI) Scholars Program received funding from The Duke Endowment and Health Research and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services to build cultural competency in the nursing work force and to improve the ability of nurses to tailor care to special populations. The program was designed to increase sensitivity to community needs and provide the leadership skills necessary for nursing graduates to address the social determinants of health in order to reduce health disparities. These scholars receive unique opportunities to explore the impact of culture on health, immigrant health issues, and social and environmental justice. Such opportunities include on-campus seminars with community members, clinical experiences in neighborhoods with diverse populations and opportunities to participate with faculty in community-based research identifying innovative strategies to reduce health disparities.

Eligibility: ABSN students in NURSU-409 course who are in good academic standing.

Selection Process: During the second semester, interested students will submit an application to participate in the Hispanic Health Initiative Scholars Program. Applicants will be selected based on interest in learning about diverse cultures and experience working with community based initiatives.

To apply click here: (Application Form)

* Completed applications must be emailed to Maria Toler by February 14, 2016 11:59pm

* Or hard copy dropped off to Room 401 by Friday, February 12, 2016 at 4pm

* Applications must also have an updated resume attached