IT Group Reaches Out to Latinos

A major nonprofit health IT advocacy group is reaching out to Latino medical providers in hopes of reducing health care disparities in the underserved community.

The Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society launched its Latino Initiative on Friday, noting that the Hispanic population is the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority. Latinos will constitute 30 percent of the U.S. population by 2050, up from 16 percent today, HIMSS says.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for HIMSS to share its resources and knowledge with the Hispanic community," says H. Stephen Lieber, president and chief executive of HIMSS, in a news release. "I look forward to working with the HIMSS Latino Initiative on its efforts to identify information technology solutions to improve the quality of care, increase access to care, and reduce the cost of care among the United States' Latino population."

Leading the HIMSS Latino Workgroup are co-chairmen Luis Belén, president and CEO of VWCGlobal, a business technology solutions provider, and Danny Vargas, president of VARCom Solutions, a marketing, PR and management consulting firm.

"I have seen first-hand the need to improve the delivery of health-related services to the Hispanic population," Vargas says in the HIMSS release. "Health IT will play a vital role in bridging the gap in health disparities."

The Latino Initiative will host a program Feb. 20, during the national HIMSS conference in Orlando, Fla. Former U.S. Surgeon General Antonio Novello will be the keynote speaker. Panel discussions will focus on the state of Latino health and health disparities and on overcoming barriers to adopting health IT in the community, among other topics.

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