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Central Nebraska Area Health Education Center, Inc.

Central Nebraska Area Health Education Center (CNAHEC) plans to develop and implement a distance learning health care interpreter training program using interactive video and on-line instruction. The goal is to provide bilingual individuals living in rural areas with access to training so they may become professional health care interpreters without having to travel to a metropolitan area. The training will consist of 240 hours based on the Hablamos Juntos curriculum.

About the Organization

Central Nebraska Area Health Education Center (CNAHEC) improves the supply and distribution of health care professionals through partnerships among health care, academic, and community providers.


Central Nebraska Area Health Education Center is partnering with area hospitals, primary care clinics, educational institutions and community agencies throughout 28 Central Nebraska counties to address the language barriers and other health care access issues faced by Latinos in rural Nebraska.

About the Service Area

The Hablamos Juntos program that CNAHEC is proposing will serve six rural counties, which contain six hospitals, six primary care clinics, two public health departments, two educational institutions, and various community agencies.

Click here to view a map of the service area

Existing Language Services

Central Nebraska offers “Bridging the Gap" interpreter training in two of the six counties. Forty individuals have completed this 40-hour training. Twelve heritage speakers have created a volunteer group to serve as interpreters when possible. There are some dedicated, full-time interpreters as well as dual-role interpreters who interpret on an as-needed basis.

The Latino Population in the Service Area

Latinos in 1990: 4,584
Latinos in 2000: 21,877
% Increase: 377%
Total Population: 193,153

Latinos have been in the Central Nebraska area since the early 20th Century, primarily immigrating from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, and Cuba. Immigrants from Central and South America tend to live in other US cities before arriving in Central Nebraska. The Latino community has an over-representation of males, who often immigrate and find employment and send for family members. Almost half of Central Nebraska Latinos have less than a 9th grade education.

Latinos have been attracted to the Central Nebraska area for better employment opportunities, higher wages, a higher quality of life, and a safe environment. The most common areas of employment are meat processing, construction, manufacturing, and farm labor. Latinos have little political representation, with only one state senator who is Latino, but the number of Latino businesses, including radio stations and newspapers, is on the rise. A number of services for Latinos already exist in the community: churches provide services in Spanish and ESL classes, while community colleges offer English classes for native Spanish speakers. Several agencies are addressing Latino issues, including the Mexican American Commission and the Nebraska Association of Farm Workers’ Multicultural Development Corporation. Head Start programs are working with Latina mothers to ensure that children’s immunizations are complete and up-to-date and that they are receiving well-baby check-ups. The Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska has set up two clinics to serve minorities’ health needs.

Website: www.cn-ahec.org



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