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SUCCESSFUL FIRST VIRTUAL PUERTO RICAN/LATINX HEALTH SUMMIT

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The Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago, in partnership with several organizations from across the nation, and with financial sponsorship of public and private organizations held the first virtual Puerto Rican/Latinx Health Summit on April 21-22 from.  Many of its sessions were mainstream live through Facebook.

The purpose of this health summit is to examine and disseminate the latest data and information concerning the state of Latinx Health. The summit offered engaging discussions on the many social, economic, educational, and political determinants of healthcare that impacts the social-well-being of Puerto Ricans and other Latinx communities. 

The rationale for the Puerto Rican/Latinx Health Summit, has to do with the fact that over the past year, public attention has been solely focused on COVID-19 infections, testing, deaths, and vaccinations… for all the right reasons. “Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the significant increase in deaths among minorities and other vulnerable groups beyond the pandemic.  Latinx and other minority communities have been experiencing poor access to quality medical care and poor management of chronic conditions such as: type 2 diabetes, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular conditions. 

Furthermore, we stress the focus on Puerto Ricans living in the US mainstream as data indicate that Puerto Ricans compared to White non-Hispanics and other Latino groups, are most likely to have: high obesity, high type 2 diabetes, higher CVD risk factors, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, higher infant mortality, high depression and serious psychological distress, Dementia/Alzheimer (AD), Hispanics/Latinos have more severe symptoms associated with AD than any other ethnic group studied. About 87% Puerto Rican had a significant lower age of onset (68 years of age), high alcohol and substance abuse, including opioids, high cancer rates, particularly among poor Puerto Rican and Latinx communities in Chicago, poor sleeping patterns, poor sleep quality, and sleep disorders (e.g., sleep apnea) poor access to health and medical care due to linguistic, cultural, and financial barriers.

The Health Summit included health and human services professionals, community leaders and news media and other interested parties were encouraged to attend the virtual summit that was free-of-charge.

The Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago is grateful for the sponsorship and financial support of companies and organizations, that included: The National Network of Library of Medicine-Midwest Region with the NIH All of Us Program; Blue Cross and Blue Shields of IL, Cigna Health Insurance, Walmart of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Association of Retailers, Cabrera Capital, Markets, Inc. In addition, we appreciate the collaboration of academic institutions, including: the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Institute for Minority Health Research, Northwestern University, Dept of Preventive Medicine’s research on Disparities In Sleep and Cognition among Older Adults (DISCO), the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative; the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, El Rincón community services, Pilsen Wellness,  HAS, Inc., ASI NE Healthcare Services, Humboldt Park Health, and Healthy Communities Foundation, among many others.

Many of the recorded videos of most of the sessions will be available shortly on our website at puertoricanhealthsummit.com. We are now planning a series of upcoming educational webinar that will be announced in our website and on our social Media: https://twitter.com/prhealthsummit , https://www.facebook.com/Puerto-Rican-Health-Summit-109963021144735 , https://www.instagram.com/puertoricanhealthsummit/

The Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago is a nonprofit policy and advocacy organization that addresses issues of social and economic inequities in the areas of housing, education, health/mental health, economic development, and many other critical issues that impact Puerto Ricans and other Latinx communities. The Puerto Rican Agenda leadership include many Puerto Rican Leadership under the leadership of Jessica Fuentes and Mariana Osoria.

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