Atrium Health Increases Ongoing Commitment to Charlotte’s Hispanic Community Amid COVID-19

  

“Para Tu Salud” to further educate and inform Hispanic communities on how to stay safe and healthy

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 29, 2020 – Throughout the greater Charlotte region, there has been an increase in positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases directly affecting the Hispanic population. The latest data indicates the pandemic is largely affecting young Hispanic people ages 20 to 40, including several clusters at construction sites in Charlotte. As part of its mission to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, Atrium Health is focusing its commitment by launching a new initiative, “Para Tu Salud” – simply translated to “For Your Health” – to further educate and inform Hispanic communities on how to stay safe and healthy.

“We are incredibly proud to be a national leader in how we’re improving access to coronavirus testing and have eliminated the testing disparity among African American and Hispanic patient populations in the communities we serve, but our commitment doesn’t stop there,” said Kinneil Coltman, DHA, senior vice president, chief community and external affairs officer at Atrium Health. “We’re opening our hearts in new, innovative and thoughtful ways to ensure all members of all our communities receive the care and support they need to stay safe and healthy during these uncertain times.”

Committed to caring for all, Atrium Health understands where one lives, works and plays can have a meaningful impact on health outcomes. Since the initial COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Mecklenburg County and surrounding areas, Atrium Health is protecting the health and well-being of all our minority and underserved communities through existing and new efforts:

  • Initiated a nationally-leading innovative mobile COVID-19 testing model designed to accommodate schedules for essential workers, ensure the ability to pay is not an inhibiting factor for those who need to be screened and tested, and eliminate barriers to care by not requiring an appointment or referral.
  • Started a grassroots communication outreach to trusted community leaders, organizations and clergy to help share critical COVID-19-related health information, care, and testing options.
  • Convened roundtable discussions with service providers to bridge services and resources to meet the needs of our Hispanic community.
  • Introduced virtual technology support to connect our patients with their families and loved ones as part of their care.
  • Continued language assistance in over 200 languages to communicate in a way our patients are most comfortable.
  • Established a dedicated Spanish-translated Coronavirus webpage with information, resources and a free risk-assessment.
  • Continued protecting our patients’ information, including immigration status, to ensure nothing prevents our patients from getting the care they need to get better and stay safe.
  • Built a robust data infrastructure to track and monitor for health disparities among the underserved and communities of color.
  • Formed a Multicultural Communications Taskforce to provide culturally responsive communications and a Disparities Work Group comprised of teammates across the system to identify ways to further address disparities and access to testing.

“As representatives and supporters of the Latino business community in our region, we are incredibly thankful to have our partners at Atrium Health so deeply involved in the safety and health of our community,” said Rocio Gonzalez-Zornosa, executive director of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte. “We applaud that they are not waiting for individuals to come to them, but they are going out into the communities they serve and offer their services ‘for all.’  We appreciate having access to Atrium Health’s in-language information, their 24/7 hotline, website resources, and their constant involvement in the many community groups. It is clear that Atrium Health truly wants to ensure they are meeting the needs of our businesses, workforce and families.”

Experts believe there are several prominent reasons why the Hispanic community may be at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, including the fact that many are still working in essential jobs. Additionally, these communities face obstacles to care including socioeconomic challenges, language barriers, cultural differences and concerns seeking timely healthcare due to underlying fears based on their immigration status.

In the wake of even the most difficult times, quality care should never discriminate – and at Atrium Health, it doesn’t. No matter one’s age, race or socioeconomic status – regardless of where someone comes from or their personal history – Atrium Health is the leader throughout the region providing compassionate care now and always.