Who We Are:
The mission of Latino Health Access is to assist in improving the quality of life and health of uninsured, underserved people through quality preventive services and educational programs, emphasizing responsibility and full participation in decisions affecting health. Two significant approaches to the work at Latino Health Access (LHA) are participation and empowerment. Needs identified through community assessment of conditions impacting the health of residents are addressed through (1) educational, health promotion programs to change individual and family health behaviors and (2) the creation of awareness of the social determinants of health and fostering leadership and advocacy skills to create system change. A standout aspect of LHA and its role in the community is the use of promotores de salud/community health workers. Promotores are LHA employees and community members who are able to teach and engage residents on a peer level. They speak the language of participants and understand challenges facing families served by LHA. As an expert in the field, America Bracho brought the concept of promotores to Orange County—where it has grown and flourished. Moreover, most of the existing promotores groups in Orange County were trained and mentored by LHA. LHA annually reaches thousands of clients with its effective programs. During 2010, LHA: provided 41,126 outreach contacts, served a total of 3,483 unduplicated clients, who received a total of 29,682 services. Based on the totals above, each client received a minimum of 8 services.
What we do:
LHA offers 10 bilingual wellness, prevention and disease management interventions for working Latino families in Orange County, California. Program services support the overall health of the community and decrease societal costs from the mortality and morbidity/illness of longer-term chronic diseases such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Program participants are first and second generation immigrants with limited or no health insurance who face barriers to health care that include: low reading levels, an unfamiliar healthcare system, lack of proficiency in English, and traditional respect for physicians which prevents them from asking questions. LHA embraces the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. In focusing on the WHO vision of health as its overarching goal, LHA succeeds at upholding total health as attainable for working families in Orange County.
LHA focuses on three critical service areas: 1) In Chronic Disease Prevention, we work to reduce the burden of chronic diseases by connecting participants to medical homes, specialty healthcare clinics and preventive exams. Programs focus on diabetes self-management, breast cancer prevention, weight management and obesity prevention, elder care and children’s health. 2) Mental Health programs improve emotional wellness of families by reducing intra-family violence, offering support groups and counseling, through parent coaching and training in early childhood education and family-strengthening programs. 3) Healthy Communities programs address the root causes of disease, working to reduce health disparities through advocacy, community mobilization and policy changes. LHA was the first organization in Orange County devoted to disease prevention, health promotion and development of healthy cities. We focus both on the short term needs of the community as well as the long term changes needed to improve conditions that impact health such as education, housing, safety, open spaces for physical activity, access to fresh food, etc. Using this dual approach, LHA continues to reduce health disparities and create healthy communities alongside community participants.
In 1993, Latino Health Access (LHA) was founded by its soon-to-become its Board of Directors following the completion of a study revealing that linguistically- and culturally-appropriate health services for Spanish-speaking working Latinos in Orange County were virtually non-existent. America Bracho, the organization's founder and CEO, replicated her professional experiences as a doctor in rural Venezuela, where she worked with community health workers or promotores de salud. Programs are developed to address key community health issues. Over the 18 years of its existence, LHA has expanded programs and partnership networks. Prominent health issues within the Latino population, such as Type 2 diabetes, mental health and cardiovascular disease are combated with interventions offered by LHA. Commitment to community health is a cornerstone value of LHA work. We continue to offer needed programs despite funding streams that may be greatly reduced or completely evaporated. Financial recourses to operate under-funded or unfunded programs are obtained through strategic fund development—including actively seeking core support and fundraising events. Over our 18-year tenure, organizational growth has been significant. The first LHA office was a rented 84 square foot room, providing one program service, the Diabetes Self-management program. LHA has successfully invested in its longevity for community service. In March 2011, LHA reached a pinnacle of achievement through the purchase of its own office building in downtown Santa Ana, CA--where we are developing a one-stop center to provide preventive health activities and planning space for the community. The new office building serves as our headquarters and a gathering place for community education and action to create a healthier Santa Ana and a healthier Orange County.
Latino Center for Prevention and Action in Health and Welfare dba Latino Health Access
450 W. 4th Street, Suite 130
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 542-4853 Fax