Providing Culturally-Sensitive Health Care for the Hispanic Community

A Presentation in Honor of National Professional Social Work Month - Sponsored by The Department of Social Work Programs

Manny J. Gonzalez, DSW
Associate Professor at Hunter College School of Social Work
City University of New York Graduate Center

The Hispanic population in the United States has more than doubled in size in the last two decades and is now estimated to have reached 45 million. This exponential growth, combined with the increasing heterogeneity of the nationalities composing the Hispanic population, underlines the need for up-to-date, accurate information on Hispanics that takes into account their growing diversity. Health care is one vital domain where such information is especially critical.

This presentation will examine how the diverse characteristics of the Hispanic population influence their health information needs, help-seeking behaviors, access to health services, perceptions of the quality of health care, and level of understanding of illness and treatment. The cultural value base of the Hispanic community—including adherence to specific spiritual beliefs—will also be discussed in the context of enhanced health care outcomes.


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