LATINO HEALTH: MS Group Uses Spanish To Reach Out
Familia Unida, a support group for patients with multiple sclerosis, is reaching out to non-English speaking Latinos who "often feel left out when they look for help with their illness," the Los Angeles Times reports. The group was started by Irma Resendez, herself an MS patient, when she was at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center and found that many patients stayed away from support meetings because the "sessions were all in English, which they did not understand." Familia Unida does not only breach the language barrier to reach Latinos, it also attempts to cross cultural barriers. Latinos are "not that open to just go into" a support group, said Resendez, explaining, "We're brought up to be very proud and to accept who we are and that's the way God made us, and we go within our family for support." The Times reports that the group provides information, emotional support, food and helps members deal with immigration issues and insurance and household expenses. Familia Unida's toll free number is 877/AYUDA-MS (Weiss, 10/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.