Rollins School of Public Health

HHCGA & Emory University Team Up for Community Health Assessment

December 12, 2022

Improving Health Outcomes for the Hispanic/Latino Community

The Hispanic/Latino Community Health Assessment was a result of a partnership between HHCGA and Emory School of Public Health. The assessment was performed by a team of five students who were chosen based on their Spanish speaking ability and interest in the subject matter. The purpose of the assessment was to gather data and feedback from the community to improve and facilitate better health outcomes.

HHCGA Community Health Assessment Presentation

Rollins School of Public Health

The presentation was the result of a partnership between HHCGA and Emory School of Public Health involving a team of students undertaking a broad assessment of the effectiveness of current health strategies in the Hispanic/Latino community.

EMORY UNIVERSITY, ROLLINS SCHOOL of PUBLIC HEALTH, December 6, 2022/name of publication/-- The assessment was performed by five students that were chosen based on their Spanish speaking ability, and equally for their interest in the subject matter. Dr Claudia E. Ordonez began the session with a welcome and by expressing her appreciation of the partnership with the HHCGA, and the hard work of the assessment team. She made this important statement,

“Ongoing efforts to improve and facilitate better health outcomes in the Hispanic/Latino community highlighted the need for care providers to have relevant and accurate knowledge of what is going on in the community, and at the same time ensure and implement programs that results in greater community awareness of what help and services are available. We will gain insight into how our efforts are doing from community members responses as captured by the team. We of course will be very interested to hear the suggested actions for improvements based on the team’s conclusions and recommendations.”


From the very first presenter, there was a sense of genuine passion and pride associated with the strategy and plan for conducting the assessment. The plan involved working with HHCGA performing surveys with volunteers using the La Vaquita Health Care (Feria de la salud) venue. The assessment was conduction over 3 weekends, and involved more than 90 completed surveys. Participants had just received the COVID vaccine, and were asked questions designed to yielded both quantitative data and qualitative data relative to the types of illnesses, ability to access care and health services, and factors that contributed to difficulties and reluctance to seek healthcare.

Each member of the assessment team featured a different aspect of the survey findings including anecdotal comments of things seen and heard that related to the overall experience. Strikingly, the team discovered that in the case of diabetes, the reported rate of either personal, or with family members or friends, was in excess of 50%, in contrast with around 6% reported by the CDC for the Hispanic/Latino community. There was also the rather confusing response to level of satisfaction with getting help and having healthcare needs met which was at a high level; in comparison with the worry about what help was available, and not knowing how to make use of even the services they knew about. There was not an easy explanation for such a paradox, although the team believed that what services were available either because of cost or qualification criteria – including documentation status – was a concern even when not vocalized.

The team indicated that their full report would follow and provide far greater coverage of the methodology, findings, and recommendations resulting from the assessment. In response to the confident and well-articulated presentation by the team, Shirley E. “Bella” Borghi, Executive Director and Vice Chairman of the HHCGA said this,

“The HHCGA values strategic partnerships, and the presentation today validates the need and importance of working together, and ensuring full stakeholder participation in the quest to achieve better health outcomes for the community we serve. To that end, I must thank Dr Ordonez and the entire team for completing what can only be described as an extraordinary assessment at the “grassroot” level among the people directly impacted by the services we seek to provide.” 

There was interest both from Dr Ordonez and the HHCGA that the partnership had more than met expectations, and therefore future projects would be forthcoming. A substantial role was undertaken by HHCGA manager Julian Santiago, to facilitate the assessment team’s work at the La Vaquita venue. Santiago made this point during the QA that followed the presentation: “It is really important for the mission of the HHCGA that we target the right communities, with the right services, and the means to get the message of available help to said communities. The many issues that were carefully considered and presented that so obviously impact our mission, will give further credibility to our current and future efforts. My thanks to the team and it was my pleasure to work with all of you.”


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