Breaking the Invisibility: Our Health, Our Future

National Hispanic/Latinx Health Policy Agenda 2020-2024

Hispanics/Latinx represent the nation’s fastest-growing minority and ethnic population, as well as the fastest-growing aging population in the U.S. Despite the growing population, Hispanics/Latinx are disproportionately affected by health disparities. Hispanics/Latinx experience a lack of access to health services, fueled by high uninsured rates, as well as stigma, structural and social barriers, and lack of income and education, in addition to other risk factors such as racial, cultural, linguistic, and immigration status. These health disparities are often invisible and need to be addressed by sound federal policy and a comprehensive health policy agenda designed for the Hispanic/Latinx population through an inclusive process and participation of Hispanic/Latinx leaders.

Throughout a two-year process, national Hispanic/Latinx steering and planning committees convened work groups charged with communicating their perspectives on national issues, analyzing challenges, and providing recommendations on topics such as prevention, access to health care, stigma, and immigration and migration.

In March of 2020, The Hispanic/Latinx Health Leadership Network, which is a collaborative effort of health community leaders, held a two-day National Hispanic/Latinx Leadership Summit focused on HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs, stigma, and other health disparities impacting Hispanics/Latinx. This was the first ever community driven health policy agenda-setting summit of the National Hispanic/Latinx Health Leadership Network, convening over 150 Hispanic/Latinx serving organizations, public health leaders, elected and appointed officials, researchers, and community members. Summit participants included:

  • Maria Roman, VP, Translatin@ Coalition, Los Angeles, CA
  • Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, U.S. House of Representatives, 26th District
  • Harold J. Phillips, Senior HIV Advisor and Chief Operating Office of Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. Eugene McCray, Director, Division on HIV/AIDS Prevention, (DHAP), Centers for Disease Control
  • Dr. Elena Rios, President, National Hispanic Medical Association
  • Arianna Lint, CEO & Founder, Arianna’s Center/Translatina FL

The summit was a call to action for unity to develop a national health policy agenda and community actions to address the health challenges of Hispanic/Latinx communities. The agenda focused on health policy and encouraged broad community engagement to address national health issues affecting Hispanic/Latinx communities. The process of setting the national health policy agenda and identifying national key issues consisted of providing summit participants the opportunity to take part in roundtable conversations focused on issues impacting Hispanics/Latinx such as HIV, viral hepatitis, substance use, social stigma, and other health disparities. One of the overarching goals is to create visibility during the U.S. Presidential election process and in the nation.

In September of 2020, after approximately 2-years of work from over 200 organizations and about 400 community leaders from throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, the National Hispanic/Latinx Health Leadership Network announced the release of the first ever community driven federal health policy agenda titled Breaking the Invisibility: Our Health, Our Future.

Breaking the Invisibility: Our Health, Our Future, outlines federal recommendations focused on eleven national issues impacting Hispanic/Latinx communities:

  1. Prevention
  2. Research and Data
  3. Access to Care
  4. Migration/Immigration
  5. Puerto Rico
  6. Stigma
  7. Substance Use
  8. Mental Health
  9. Plan to End HIV in America by 2030
  10. Challenges in the South of the United States
  11. Leadership

In order to break the invisibility of the health challenges faced by Hispanic/Latinx communities, an action plan must be developed and implemented at the federal level. In addition, the summit leadership encourages the development of local level agendas (state, county, city-level) and action steps that increase awareness, improve access to services, improve equity in resources, and improve the overall health of the Hispanic/Latinx community.

For more information on Breaking the Invisibility: Our Health, Our Future:

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