Member Spotlight | Scholarly Research | Commentary | Announcements
BFA will begin celebrating several heritage months through themed newsletters to illuminate the current interprofessional efforts to improve the care for our diverse populations! We begin our celebration with the National Hispanic/Latinx* Heritage Month.
The National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, which is observed from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, is a time to appreciate the culture of our Hispanic/Latinx (H/L) population. This group is the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority group in our nation. According to the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau, this group makes up 17.6% (56.5 million people) of the total U.S. population and is expected to grow to 28.6% by 2060. However, as of 2014, only 7.7 percent of all healthcare practitioners and technicians were H/L (U.S. Department of Labor, 2015).
With this degree of population growth, there are staggering health disparities that demand collaborative and comprehensive efforts. One recognized approach to addressing health disparities is to increase the number of H/L in health professions able to provide culturally competent care and increase access to care. Organizations, such as the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), recognize that reducing current health disparities will require an increase in H/L representation. This article discusses NAHN’s recent efforts to increase H/L nurses and urges healthcare leaders to also take action.
We understand that populations such as the H/L community are incredibly diverse. Below we have showcased a small sampling of the varying H/L experiences as it relates to health equity. We look forward to kick-starting the conversation and appreciate everyone’s on-going contributions to improving health equity and health professions education!
*Latinx: While most pre-existing research uses the term 'Latino,' we use the term Latinx as a gender-inclusive alternative. The H/L ethnic group is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau (2016) as those from “Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.”