Across the state, the health status of Latinos is of great concern to the community. During MCLA's listening sessions in Greater Minnesota in the summers of 2017 and 2018, three major themes that impact the health and well-being of rural Latino communities emerged: immigration status as a barrier to health insurance and affordable health care; language barriers and quality medical interpretation, and level of integration (or sense of belonging) to these towns. Based on our conversations with participants in the seven towns visited, the following main recommendations were validated with them after returning to these localities in the fall:
- Support initiatives aiming at allowing more individuals to opt for health insurance.
- Advocate to support the Affordable Care Act and reforms that will not dismantle recent progress.
- Continue advocating for bill SF875/HF1400 "Spoken Language health care interpreters registry" that will replace the current interpreters' roster.
- Support community health clinics and multicultural centers with state grants.
- Advise on and support programs that provide incentives to Latino youth to enroll in nursing and medical careers so they can reflect and serve Latino patients.
- Support MNsure an culturally relevant MNsure navigators to help individuals and family members access health insurance.
- Promote preventive healthy living initiatives such as access to physical and recreational activities, as well as healthy food in Greater MN.
- Support a health in all policies approach with health equity as a goal.
- Collection of racial and ethnic identification in access to health care data.
- Support initiatives and programs for Latino seniors that allow them to strengthen meaningful connections in the community.
Read stories about how Latinos experience health in Greater Minnesota in MCLA's 2017 Health Section of our Community Engagement report. Read it here.
The Council visited seven rural towns during the summer of 2017, and ten more in 2018. Through these listening sessions we drafted legislative and policy priorities for the next biennium in our four policy focus areas. You can find the report here.
The 2018 will soon be published.