(WFSB) – As Hispanic Heritage month winds down, Channel 3 took a closer look at health issues affecting the Hispanic and Latino communities, including those in Connecticut.
According to the 2020 census, people of Hispanic and Latino background made up more than 16 percent of the state’s population.
Health care providers said diabetes has been a growing concern, especially among women.
Communities around the country have been taking steps to combat it.
Research showed that people of Hispanic and Latino backgrounds were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.
The National Hispanic Medical Association has been educating health professionals on different diets and exercise plans that can stop the disease in its tracks.
Inside Tyler Heights Elementary School in Annapolis, MD, women dance to try to lower their risk of developing diabetes.
“Latinos are just genetically more likely to get diabetes,” said Alexa Moran, Community Health Provider, Luminis Health. “You have social determinants of health, which is key, access to healthy foods, access to go and be able to go out and exercise.”
Moran said she runs a diabetes prevention program for Luminis Health. It’s funded by a 2-year grant from her state.
She also educates the group about making healthier food choices.
Moran said the idea for the program came to her while managing a pop-up vaccine clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic
“It created an opportunity to ask those people what, ‘what do you need? What are you looking for?’ And to really see all of that there, we’re struggling with like, no meds, no access to health care, and all of these other social determinants of health that really became apparent,” Moran said.
“For 400 years, we’ve been at this work, right? And disparities still exist,” said Tamiko Stanley, vice president, chief diversity equity and inclusion officer. “We have to be intentional and deliberate and acknowledging those differences and making that a part of the way that we deliver care.”
Like many programs aimed at stopping diabetes, the recent push to curb the disease in Hispanic and Latino populations came with federal dollars for nutrition programs.
The Biden Administration targeted $8 billion toward better nutrition nationwide.
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