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Faculty Mentors

Dr. Kelly Massey

Abstract

Latinos are considered the fastest growing and the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. It is estimated that by 2050, 24% of the U.S. population will be Latino. According to Census data, approximately 18% of the U.S. population age five or older speaks a language other than English at home, and current projections continue to show increases in U.S. immigrant and second-language groups nationwide. About half of that population self-reported that they speak English less than “very well.” Members of this population are referred to as individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). As the largest ethnic minority, 28 million of the 35 million Latinos speak Spanish at home. However, the diversity among health providers does not match the diversity of the growing population. Research on racial/ethnic disparities in healthcare access and utilization consistently identifies Latinos as one of the most disadvantaged ethnic groups, using measures such as usual source of care, health insurance coverage, and the quality of care received. It is important for health providers to be aware of the health disparity among the Latino community and their health providers, to understand possible explanations for this disparity, and possible solutions that could be implemented.

 

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