Arkansas Children's Hospital offers interpreter services, allowing families to better engage with medical staff.

 También puedes leer este artículo en español, Ayudando a mejorar la salud de los hispanos.

The health of the Latino community is an important issue in hospitals around Arkansas. Many hospitals and health systems have initiatives in place to reach this community and ensure its families and individuals have a place to go to protect their health and fight illness.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Arkansas Children’s has outreach efforts in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas. In Central Arkansas the ACH Southwest Little Rock Clinic features bilingual staff members.

“We have a very robust interpreter services program so that when families show up for care, we can engage fully trained medical interpreters … to help the family navigate the medical care, but also the health system,” said Rick Barr, an inpatient physician, and Arkansas Children’s chief clinical officer. 

Should a caller need help making appointments, Arkansas Children’s connects them with Spanish-speaking scheduling assistants.

Baptist Health

From bilingual staff and Spanish communication materials to its immunization clinic and mobile health unit, Baptist wants to reach as many people as possible. 

“Baptist Health Community Outreach’s mission is to provide diverse and comprehensive health services to the community,” said Jenny Cisneros, Baptist Health’s senior planner of multicultural marketing and social media. “Community Outreach offerings include annual flu shots, COVID-19 vaccinations, health education, health awareness programs, risk factor identification, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar screenings.”

The hospital also has La Clínica del Pueblo in Fort Smith, featuring a Spanish-speaking doctor and staff.

Mercy NWA

Mercy NWA has two bilingual Community Health Workers who provide information to patients and help them navigate the health care system. Mercy NWA community health manager Corina Huston said the hospital “collaborates with the American Heart Association of NWA to provide health screenings at their annual fall event called Vestido Rojo.” This event provides wellness education. The hospital also hosts the Corazones Fuertes event in which it invites “subject matter experts to present on a specific wellness topic that is relevant to the Hispanic culture,” Huston said.

St. Bernards

“We are very fortunate that we serve a very diverse community,” said Jaime Chavez, an interventional cardiologist at St. Bernards.

St. Bernards works with El Centro Hispano to host community health screenings, such as cholesterol, anemia and diabetes assessments and blood pressure evaluations. They also partner with the center to create promotional materials relating to health care, such as a campaign — in Spanish — to encourage getting the COVID-19 vaccination. St. Bernards also has several Hispanic physicians, able to provide services in their native languages.