The recent 2012 Latino Health Summit in Atlanta attracted 155 attendees and brought together health providers, legislators, government officials, non profit organizations and businesses for two days of discussion and information sharing. Held at the Rollins School of Public Health on the Emory University campus, the objectives of the event were to serve as a platform for the release of the report “Status of Latino Health in Georgia,” and to discuss and develop an action plan to address disparities and issues in the health areas of maternal child health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes and obesity and behavioral health.
According to the “Status of Latino Health in Georgia, which was released at the summit by the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia, Inc., 47 percent of Hispanics in the state are uninsured. Georgia’s Latinos now number more than 850,000 – nearly double the number a decade ago.
“What I hope is that participants in the summit will walk out with a very strong and good action plan for the next three years,” said Heidy Guzman, executive director of the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia, adding that she hopes the plan will “affect policy, education, and ultimately, family health in Georgia.”
The summit was funded by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation and co-hosted by Emory University and the Rollins School of Public Health. Sponsors included: Presenting Sponsor American Cancer Society; Platinum Sponsors Univision, Lilly and the Coca-Cola Company; Gold Sponsors United Healthcare, Salud and Padres & Hijos Atlanta; Media Partner Mundo Hispanico; and Patron Sponsors Corporate Image Solutions; Aetna, Grady, AstraZeneca; Kaiser Permanente, and CEPTA.
The American Cancer Society was well represented in the summit. Rosa Villoch-Santiago, director of health disparities for the American Cancer Society’s South Atlantic Division, moderated the panel, “Promotores de Salud.” Bernadette Chang, the Society’ Manager, Hispanic/Latino Health Equity Initiatives, served on the planning committee for the summit; Angelina Esparza, director of health equity for ACS, was the subject expert for the cancer track; Kelly Drevitch, ACS Health Systems Director, and Olga Lucia Jimenez, community outreach director, were facilitators for the cancer track; John Daniel, vice president for federal and emerging issues, served as a scribe for the cancer track; and David Simpkins, the Society’s Senior Vice President for Market Strategy and Health Equity, gave the welcoming remarks for the “Promotores de Salud” panel.