UAMS, Mexican Consulate Continue Community Health Partnership

By Kelly Gardner

Consul David Preciado presented the check at UAMS to Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., in support of the Ventanilla de Salud, or Health Window Program, which includes ongoing funding support from the Mexican government for UAMS to conduct education and health screenings for Mexicans in Arkansas.

“Recent research by our own UAMS College of Public Health indicates there are more than $100 million in direct excess medial costs in Arkansas due to health inequalities for our Hispanic population. We hope that by continuing this partnership we are working to reduce those disparities by addressing two essential points in the college’s mission: promoting health and reducing disease,” said Rahn.

Preciado praised the program for its accessibility to the Mexican community.

“The Ventanilla de Salud program is an invaluable resource to immigrant Mexican and Latino families throughout the country, including here in Arkansas,” said Preciado. “It provides culturally appropriate health information and serves as a referral into other health care programs, as well as performing outreach to schools and community events.”

The Ventanilla de Salud program, founded in 2003, has expanded into every state in which the Mexican government has a consulate. The Arkansas extension of the program has received continued support from the Mexican government, as well as from the Blue & You and Susan G. Komen foundations.

Jim Raczynski, Ph.D., dean of the UAMS College of Public Health, said he’s pleased with the program’s success so far and is looking forward to continuing the collaboration.

“Although the funding may appear modest, this program accomplishes a great deal to address health and health disparities within a specific demographic in a very real and immediate way,” Raczynski said. “The work we’ve done over the last five years with volunteer faculty and students from all UAMS colleges and many other partners has been very beneficial, and we look forward to continuing it for many more years.”