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Regional Medical Center at Memphis


The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, referred to as "The Med," plans to integrate organizational practices to transform the county public hospital into a more responsive health care environment. Working with other local health providers, The Med will collaborate to recruit more bilingual staff, grow more interpreters and develop strategies to better serve women and children. The Med will also work will local Latino leaders to develop health education outreach strategies and more effective ways of producing Spanish-language materials.

About the Organization

The Med is a county-subsidized, nonprofit teaching institution affiliated with the faculty of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). The hospital is a primary training site for UTHSC medical students, resident physicians in all major specialties, nurses, and other health professionals. The Med provides a continuum of care through its hospital, primary and specialty clinics, and affiliated HMO. The Med has also been awarded a grant under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Urgent Matters initiative.


Memphis Department of Health and Methodist LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center.

About the Service Area

Memphis, Tennessee and a 150-mile radius that encompasses Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Click here to view a map of their service area.

Existing Language Services

Medical facilities have begun to hire bilingual staff and translate written materials. City schools offer classes to LEP adults in English, computer training and job readiness, and many of these programs are also available at community-based organizations in the county. Outreach programs exist at several facilities for tuberculosis screening and HIV/AIDS education and treatment. Bilingual personnel and interpreters are in place at all Memphis hospitals, and recruitment strategies are in place to hire and retain in-house staff to meet the growing demand for interpreter services.

The Latino Population in the Service Area

Latinos in 1990: 7,080
Latinos in 2000: 23,364
% Increase: 230%
Total Population: 193,153

Latinos cite job opportunities in the Memphis region as a primary draw for migration, and most have a desire to remain in Memphis. Most Latinos perform relatively low wage manual labor, such as warehousing, nursing home care and construction (where Latinos comprise 25% of the total work force, a percentage nearly 10 times higher than the percentage of Latinos in the local population). Latinos in this area maintain a median household income of $36,319, despite their concentration in low-wage employment. Latinos have the highest rate of participation in the labor force among residents 16 and older, with 80% of men and 55% of women employed. In Shelby County, 64% of all Latinos older than 5 speak Spanish at home.

Individuals of Mexican origin or ancestry comprise nearly 70% of Shelby County Latinos. About half of all Latinos in Memphis are foreign-born. Latinos have tended to rely on emergency and trauma services at The Med. The Med is a public hospital and admits higher numbers of patients without health insurance or workers’ compensation benefits. Beside workplace injuries, the health services utilized by Latinos in Memphis parallel those of Latinos across the country. Demand for prenatal care, already high for Latinos, is projected to increase 60% from 2000 to 2005 in Memphis; in addition, HIV/AIDS, asthma, respiratory illness, diabetes and hypertension are significant problems.

Website: www.the-med.org



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