Latino USA

Health and the Community / by Maria Hinojosa | February 17, 2011

Health and the Community
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This is the first part in a new series about Latinos and health. We focus on the Betances Community Health Center, an example of how the community health model can work. Along with the implementation of health care reform, the federal government is investing billions of dollars in community health centers. The Betances clinic was founded in 1970 on the principal that everyone, rich or poor, has the right to health care. It started out as a mobile van that went out on the streets testing prostitutes for STDs. Forty years later the Betances clinic has expanded to 6,000 patients and is serving the Puerto Rican, Dominican and Chinese populations that make up the Lower East Side. It’s an under-served community that struggles with drug addiction, obesity, and many chronic illnesses. Maria Hinojosa meets the staff at this clinic, some of the unsung heroes in the health care profession.

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