Latino Health Collaborative: A Collective Effort to Make Healthier Lives

BELEN CHACON
EL NUEVO SOL—SALUD

Photo by: Latino Health Collaborative Facebook page

Cynthia Luna, 38, has always been interested in supporting the health of the Latino communities in different ways and is one of the reasons she decided to join Latino Health Collaborative (LHC), first as a consultant and then as a director.

“The main mission of LHC is to improve access to health and reduce health disparities,” said Luna. According to the Census Bureau website, almost half of the population in San Bernardino is Hispanic or of Latino origin, making them one of the primary victims of health disparities in the region.

Several community members would like to practice a healthier lifestyle, but it’s hard to accomplish this when crime is high and access to good quality produce is scarce. The Office of Attorney General website has reported more than 9,000 violent crimes in San Bernardino for the year of 2010. Over 34,000 were property crimes, more than 31,000 involved larceny theft, and 405 crimes were attributed to arson.

“Community members shop for their fruits and vegetables in liquor stores, where they actually don’t have fruits and vegetables or what they have is spoiled. So you can tell the community to eat healthy, but how are they going to, if they can’t?” said Luna.

One of the things that always inspires Luna about LHC is the people who are willing to give their time. The San Bernardino Striders kick off event—an event geared towards involving San Bernardino residents in health education and physical activities—earlier in October this year, is just one example of how Latino Health Collaborative tries to reach out to its community members.

Located in Speicher Park, the San Bernardino Striders event included: smoothies, zumba fitness, fresh fruits, as well as health education sources. After a walk around the park, participants mingled and took advantage of all of these helpful resources.

According to the San Bernardino County Healthy Communities website, San Bernardino county is the fourth most obese region in the United States, seventy one percent of children who are in school are not fit, and two thirds of adults lack physical activity.

“I think that we need to focus all in collaboration,” Luna said. “In difficult times like this, collaborating with one another and sharing resources, that would be better for the region. If we could coordinate as a region, that would be very powerful.”

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Acerca de belenchacon

Belen is a recent journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge. She's covered a myriad of topics including: women in underserved communities, health, education equality, consumer issues, politics, career and job search. Belen is currently looking for any freelance or permanent writing opportunities. Follow her @journobelen.

Publicado el noviembre 29, 2012 en Audio, Entrevistas, Nutrición /Nutrition, Obesidad, Obesidad infantil, Salud / Health, Salud y educación y etiquetado en , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Guarda el enlace permanente. 3 comentarios.

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  1. Pingback: 5K Latino Walk – Stay Healthy « Gilda (Gigi) Pedraza

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