Inova will build on its established organizational
goal of cultural competence by enhancing language access through
the use of “Patient Navigators”, medical interpreters
who ensure language needs are served along the access points in
the health care system at several Inova facilities. In this role
they will help identify specific areas where organizational changes
are needed to make facilities more accessible to LEP Latinos. Inova
will also work closely with its local Area Health Education Center
(AHEC) to expand the training opportunities available for interpreters.
About the Organization
Inova Health System is a not-for-profit health
care system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals
and other health services, including emergency and urgent care
centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor
services, and wellness classes. Fairfax Hospital, a member of Inova
Health System, is also a demonstration site for The Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation’s Urgent Matters program. Inova is governed
by a voluntary board of community members.
Northern Virginia Area Health Education Center,
Hispanic Committee of Virginia.
About the Service Area
Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax,
as well as Arlington and Fairfax counties in Northern Virginia,
and part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
here to view a map of their service area.
Existing Language Services
A community clinic and two hospitals will be
the focus of the Hablamos Juntos project. As part of a community
college teaching network, a community clinic employs a predominantly
bilingual staff, and the facility is viewed as very Spanish-friendly
among patients who turn to the clinic for care. The two hospitals
in the network have Spanish-language signage and telephonic interpreting
but a lower percentage of staff with Spanish-language capacity.
The Latino Population in the Service Area
Latinos in 1990: 97,980
Latinos in 2000: 201,840
% Increase: 106%
Total Population: 1,815,197
Significant and sustained Latino immigration
into the project area began during the 1980’s, mostly from
Central America, especially from El Salvador (due to its prolonged
civil war). Immigration has continued during the 1990’s,
resulting in an increase of more than double in the Latino population.
In addition, the birth rate for Latina women, 23 births per 1,000
mean population, is the highest in the commonwealth of Virginia.
More than 30% of Latinos are under the age of
18, while the median age for Latinos in Northern Virginia is 27
(compared to 35 for the general population). While 94% of Latinos
are employed either full or part-time, per capita income for Latinos
($16,950) is lower than for any other group, including African
Americans ($23,648), Asians ($24,140) and whites ($40,025). However,
the rate of home ownership of Latinos (45.6%) is comparable to
that of all minority groups (49.8%). Foreign-born Latinos are three
times more likely to live in poverty than Latinos born in the United
The most common reasons for hospitalization for
Latinos include childbirth, asthma, appendectomy and pneumonia.
Overall, the greatest demand for health services occurs in the
areas of adult illness, reproductive services, child/family services
and occupational health, for which demand has been steadily increasing.
In general, Latinos are at greater risk for missing immunizations,
late prenatal care, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS infection, diabetes,
asthma and obesity than the general population.
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