News Column

Su Familia: Answering the Call for Help

1/4/2005

--(HISPANIC PR WIRE - CONTEXTO LATINO)--Today, almost 50 million people speak a language other than English at home, making the need for bilingual healthcare workers ever more apparent. Bilingualism in the healthcare industry is critical to maintaining good communication and quality care. People generally prefer speaking to others who understand their native language as well as customs and beliefs. Having someone close by who understands you can be very soothing in stressful situations.

This philosophy is at the heart of the Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline. The bilingual helpline is a confidential and free service of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation's leading Hispanic health advocacy group. Each year the service fields thousands of calls to their toll-free phone number (866) SU-FAMILIA.

"My daughter is sick. I have just moved to New Orleans and I don't know where to go for help." So began one of the many calls recently received by Su Familia. Immediately the helpline staff went into action. Using a database of more than 20,000 community health providers across the United States and Puerto Rico, a Su Familia information specialist was able to identify a local clinic that could provide the care the caller's daughter needed. The specialist also visited the city's local transit Web site, figured out the best bus route for the caller, and contacted the clinic to confirm the availability of care.

"We're here to help," says Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. "By calling Su Familia our bilingual health information specialists can provide you with the name of a health care provider or clinic in your area as well as basic health information on a wide range of issues for you and your family."

The specialist, who took the call from New Orleans, reports that the mother called back later in the week. "She wanted to let me know that her daughter was improving with antibiotics and she had a follow-up appointment for her daughter's vaccinations. She also said that with her daughter being so ill she would have not have been able to report for her new job. Now with her daughter's health improving and a clinic to go to for care, she was looking forward to her new job and a new life in New Orleans."

Su Familia helpline information specialists are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, to answer your calls.



Source: Hispanic PR Wire


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