Saludify: Hispanic Access Foundation: ‘Together We Can Defeat Cancer’

Posted on May 31, 2013 to By Hope Gillette   The Hispanic Access Foundation Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer workers prepare outreach initiatives. The Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) was founded with the goal in mind of improving opportunities for Hispanics in the United States in all aspects of life, from citizenship and financial stability to the reduction of health disparities. The non-profit organization strives to improve overall quality of life through efforts based on responsibility, respect, integrity, innovation, and diversity. “Hispanic Access Foundation, a national 501c3 nonprofit organization works to promote responsible citizenship, educational attainment, and active engagement in the improvement of the health, environment, and financial well-being of Hispanic families in the United States,” Maite Arce, CEO, told Saludify. Among the many initiatives of the organization, Arce explains the Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer program (Together We Can Defeat Cancer), is one of the Hispanic Access Foundation’s most popular initiatives, and is designed to be a national cancer awareness program for Latinos. “The Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer program is an innovative, evidence-based, scalable, and cost-effective model for changing attitudes and behaviors about colorectal and breast cancer prevention among the Hispanic community,” explained Arce. The project, according to Arce, raises awareness about cancer, provides more detailed information to encourage informed choices, motivates people to action, and connects individuals to resources and services in the community where they live. This project is active in McAllen, TX; Houston, TX; Miami, FL and New York, NY. Among the reasons the Hispanic Access Foundation’s cancer initiative is so critical to the Hispanic community is health is one of their top concerns, Arce told Saludify. HAF has combined the strength of mass media, targeted media, and grassroots partnerships with innovative technology tools that increase efficiency, decrease cost, and improve communications. “True social change happens when multiple supporting factors come together,” said Arce. “Poor health outcomes, unfortunately, are a common reality in the Hispanic community. From lack of health insurance and access to care to high-risk environments, there is a significant need to educate Hispanics on health prevention and to empower them to become advocates for their own well-being.” Since its inception, health has been a priority focus for the Hispanic Access Foundation. The Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer program is a highly collaborative, culturally, and linguistically appropriate project, which has made a positive impact in the lives of many, but there is still much work to be done. An increased understanding of preventative health and improved access to care, absent of language barriers, needs to be the common reality among Hispanics – not the poor health outcomes that pervade our community, Arce said in conclusion. To that end, the Hispanic Access Foundation had continued to bridge the gaps between Hispanics and medical providers, promoting effective health-seeking behavior among the community, and linking Hispanics with important health centers, hospitals, health screening initiatives, migrant health centers, health issue specific hotlines, national organizations, and community-based health promoters across the country.

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