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INTEGRIS Community Health Improvement
INTEGRIS Health began the Hispanic Initiative in 2003 to improve the quality of life in the Hispanic community through education, resources, and health-related services. The objective of the Hispanic Initiative is to educate and understand cultural differences within the Hispanic communities. Hispanics in Oklahoma are at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer due to language, cultural, and financial barriers. Approximately one-third of Hispanics in Oklahoma do not have health care coverage, and as a result, Hispanic patients are typically sicker when they do access care. Hispanic women have lower rates of breast cancer survival because they are diagnosed later. Approximately 25 percent of Hispanics in Oklahoma are smokers, contributing to their higher rate of lung cancer.
The INTEGRIS Health Hispanic Initiative provides a proactive approach to community development. Hispanics are the nation’s largest minority segment. The Hispanic population more than doubled in Oklahoma in the last fifteen years, from 86,160 in 1990 to 207,862 in 2005. This increase anticipates that the Hispanic community will comprise one-fifth of the population in Oklahoma by 2020, making it the largest and also the dominant minority group.
The Hispanic Initiative includes various components. The Initiative targets citizens interested in becoming more effective civic leaders. Educational seminars are another component that includes community partnerships offering an array of opportunities for the community.