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Temple University Health System

To meet the needs of this rapidly growing consumer base, Temple’s Hablamos Juntos demonstration project will focus on developing more Latino-friendly prenatal/maternity and emergency services. Interventions will include hiring more bilingual staff, the establishment of bilingual/bicultural liaisons to promote access and a welcoming environment for LEP Latinos, and the development of a comprehensive set of bilingual educational materials.

About the Organization

An academic, nonprofit network of hospitals and community-based physician offices, Temple University Health System provides primary, secondary, and tertiary health care services to the Philadelphia region. Temple also has received grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Urgent Matters and Community-Based Dental Education programs.


Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Maria de los Santos Health Clinic.

About the Service Area

The grant will serve the neighborhoods of Kensington, West Kensington, Port Richmond and Fishtown that surround the Episcopal campus of Temple University in North and Lower Northeast Philadelphia.

Click here to view a map of their service area.

Existing Language Services

Currently, most facilities use language lines to interpret for patients and provide incentives for bilingual staff to interpret. To meet growing language needs, Temple has established a Spanish-language unit at its main hospital and has identified several more formal strategies for patient interpreter services. It has begun to collaborate with the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Association to recruit more bilingual and bicultural office staff, providers, residents and students, and is also evaluating certification programs for existing interpreters.

The Latino Population in the Service Area

Latinos in 1990: 2,503
Latinos in 2000: 16,142
% Increase: 545%
Total Population: 59,785

Latinos, in particular Puerto Ricans, have long been attracted to the opportunities present in Philadelphia’s manufacturing sector. In recent years, however, manufacturing jobs have been lost, and a greater number of new jobs have been created in suburban communities, with an increasing number of self-employed Latinos. As a result, immigration has tended to be less motivated by economics than by a desire of families to establish ties on both sides of the geographic divide. With these changes in the economy, the composition and characteristics of Philadelphia’s Latino community have also changed and is now spreading to outlying areas of Philadelphia. The largest sub-population of Latinos in Philadelphia remain Puerto Ricans (71% of all Latinos), having grown by 41% between 1990 and 2000. In addition, Dominican and Mexican communities have experienced tremendous growth between 1990 and 2000 (250% and 110%, respectively).

Characteristics of Philadelphia’s Latino community parallel those of other U.S. Latinos. Half of all Latino households have children, the highest rate of any ethnic group in the city, and twice the rate of White households. Median income for Latinos is the lowest of all groups, and 48% of Latino adults have less than a 12th grade education. The educational attainment of Latinos has perhaps contributed to language barriers, as over 40% of Spanish-speakers report not speaking English well. Finally, the Latino community has, by percentage, the lowest labor force participation and highest reliance on welfare; 35% of Latinos (predominantly Puerto Ricans) receive AFDC assistance, compared to 19.5% of African-Americans, and 6% of whites.

Website: www.health.temple.edu



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