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University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health, Forth Worth, Texas

UNTHSC plans to develop a Health Interpreting and Health Applied Linguistics graduate-level program. There are no graduate-level programs in the U.S. that focus on health applied linguistics, including interpretation and translation services. The school will work with partners to provide Spanish-English interpretation services at selected health care sites through the placement of student interpreters. UNTHSC also plans on developing quality health-related Spanish print materials and distributing them to selected health care sites and to increase awareness of the need for language products and services; these materials and linguistic testing/consulting will provide income for the project to achieve self-sustainability.

About the Organization

UNTHSC at Fort Worth is a distinguished public academic medical center that focuses on research, education, and patient care. The 15-acre, $107 million complex contains the School of Public Health, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Physician Assistant Studies Program. The School of Public Health provides leadership to the Texas Institute for Hispanic Health.


Local community colleges and universities, University of North Texas Denton; in addition, a number of health organizations will provide student placement opportunities.

About the Service Area

The demonstration project “Hablenos de su Salud” will cover 864 square miles where 21% of the population is Latino in the Fort Worth and Arlington communities of Tarrant County.

Click here to view a map of their service area.

Existing Language Services

UNTHSC provider sites have minimal bilingual staff despite a large Latino population. Also, a limited amount of written materials have been translated from English to Spanish. Provider sites do not have readily available interpreter services, but under Hablenos de su Salud, UNTHSC will supply interpreters as interns through its training program.

The Latino Population in the Service Area

Latinos in 1990: 139,879
Latinos in 2000: 285,290
% Increase: 104%
Total Population: 1,446,21

Because of immigration and a high birth rate, Latinos are expected to comprise 30% of the county population by the year 2020. Latinos in North Texas are mostly of Mexican descent (79.8%) who immigrated seeking employment opportunities. The average age is 24, and males are over-represented. Males tend to immigrate to Texas first, and once they’ve acquired a job and housing, their family follows. English literacy among Latinos is often low, but many Latinos are Spanish-literate. Less than a third of Latinos are enrolled in some level of academic instruction, mostly elementary school or secondary school (75%) and college (10%). Less than half of Latinos are high school graduates and less than 10% are college graduates, lower than other ethnic groups. Cattle stockyards, agriculture, construction, and the service industry (restaurant and hotel) are the most common employers of Latinos.

Website: www.hsc.unt.edu



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