National Hispanic Heritage Month, Part II
National Hispanic Heritage Month provides an opportunity to celebrate the culture, history, and diverse contributions to our society of individuals whose ancestors came from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Spain.
Last week, the Mission Moment scanned across the wide variety of ways in which the Latinx community has contributed to our society and life together in the United States. With more than 60 million Hispanics in the United States, it is no surprise that there are personalities and leaders of note in every aspect and sector of life.
What I couldn’t cover adequately in just one column was the way that Hispanic heritage and culture are so important to our mission and work at Adventist HealthCare, and how the unique character of the Hispanic population in our region has helped shape our practice and the priorities throughout our organization.
There are more than 800,000 Hispanics in the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. It’s not surprising that there are as many restaurants selling pupusas as tacos when you learn that the largest ancestry group of Hispanics in the D.C. area are of Salvadorean descent. About 15% are of Mexican descent, with significant populations from the Caribbean and the many countries of Central and South America.
It is this diversity of culture that we celebrate during Hispanic Heritage Month. Throughout Adventist HealthCare, we are mindful and aware of how this cultural diversity helps shape our response to the needs of our patients and their families. It is so important that our staff have an understanding of the traditions, values, religious beliefs, attitudes, culture, perceptions, and family systems of the individuals we care for. We recognize that these are the factors that shape patient and family response to their physicians and care teams.
I am very proud of the work that is done by the Adventist HealthCare Population Health Division. Their mission is to improve the health of communities served by Adventist HealthCare by raising awareness of community health needs and local disparities. They are persistent in their goal of improving access to culturally appropriate care for all of our patients and their families. A significant part of their work is in providing community wellness outreach and education.
I believe that their team of professionals, including health educators, care coordinators, nurses, researchers, and many others, is absolutely vital to our mission to extend God’s care through a ministry of physical, mental, and spiritual healing. Their work embodies our value of Respect, and they give life to our highest goals and aspirations.
Each of us has a role to fulfill in the delivery of excellent care to the communities we serve. National Hispanic Heritage Month reminds us of the way in which the rich and varied traditions of those we serve enrich each of us, sharpening our focus and understanding of the importance of our mission and our work each day.