Panel Mulls Health Care Concerns Of Southern Nevada Latinos
Most of Hispanic Heritage Month commemorates Latinos' accomplishments, but a University of Nevada Las Vegas panel assembled for this celebratory month had little to praise.
The Oct. 11 discussion, part of the university's Hispanic Heritage Month Diversity Leadership Forum, addressed the topic of health concerns among Southern Nevada Latinos. Speakers listed challenges like soaring rates of childhood obesity in Southern Nevada, unspoken mental health woes of Latinas in the casino and sex industries, and insufficient translators in medical centers.
Panelists included Dr. Rogelio Machuca of Rogelio Machuca Family Medicine, Nora Luna, Hispanic/Latino program manager at Nathan Adelson Hospice Foundation, Christina Fuentes, ombudsman of consumer affairs for minorities at the Nevada Department of Business and Industry and Elena Espinoza, ombudsman for minority health at the Nevada Office of Consumer Health Assistance.
Rogelio Machuca said more should be done, such as incentives, to retain minority doctors in Nevada.
Elena Espinoza expressed frustration with the lack of Latinos in higher-level positions within the medical industry, adding that "Latinos are over-represented as front-office staff, but more doctors and nurses should look like the people you're servicing."
"Latinos are more likely to live in poverty, to have less green space, grocery stores without fresh fruits and vegetables, more fast food restaurants...," Nora Luna said. Linking cartoon characters with fast food restaurants in marketing should be illegal, she added.