The Latino Center at Wright State University is partnering with the Latino Medical Student Association at the university’s Boonshoft School of Medicine, the College of Health, Education and Human Services and the El Puente Learning Center to offer free bilingual mobile health clinics for Latinos near Dayton, Ohio, according to a Wright State University article.

About 30 medical student volunteers operate the Latino Wellness Clinics. Two clinics serving more than 200 community members have been held already. The third clinic will be offered December 9 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton.

A survey conducted by Aflac Incorporated earlier this year found that one in four Americans skip regular checkups because they feel healthy. Among Latino respondents, 31% indicated language as a barrier to preventive care; indeed, 72% of Latinos avoided a wellness screening for this reason, compared with 46% of those who did not feel language was a barrier. About 61% of respondents agreed that health care providers and organizations must work harder to engage and educate the Latino community about the importance of regular wellness visits.

“Many of our Latino medical students were inspired to become doctors based on their own experience growing up and having to translate for family members and doctors at a young age,” said Catherine Hernandez Hogan, MEd, assistant director of the Latino Center.

A UCLA report uncovered a significant underrepresentation of Latino physicians in the United States. Although Latinos account for almost 18% of the U.S. population, the report found that Latinos made up only 6.3% of the physician population. Latinas, specifically, made up a mere 2.4%. What’s more, in California, where Latinos account for 39% of the population, only 6% of physicians are Latino.

“The reality is it can be difficult for Latino/Hispanic community members to find health care professionals who speak Spanish in our area,” Hernandez Hogan said. “When there is a language barrier, it can lead to frustration and lack of trust with the health care system. And so, it is incredibly impactful and transformational for our clinic to connect Latino community members with health care professionals who speak their heart language and understand their cultural background.”

To read more, click #Diversity. There, you’ll find headlines such as “Improving Clinical Trial Participation for Latino Pediatric Cancer Patients,” “$7M Grant to Support Latino Students in STEM” and “Report Highlights Need for Latino Physicians.”