This is the English translation of a post that was originally published in Spanish on Thursday, August 4, 2022.
Alce su voz’s inaugural workshop series was a great success! We offered a series of educational workshops for Wichita’s Spanish-speaking community, with topics that were chosen based on ideas from members and the advisory board. The workshops were funded by a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.
In March, Francisco (Paco) Martínez, the culture and language coach at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, presented the first workshop Su derecho a los servicios profesionales de interpretación médica (Your right to professional medical interpreting services). In this workshop, Paco offered us the tools and information needed for Spanish-speaking patients to demand qualified interpreting services when they go to the doctor.
The second workshop, La navegación del sistema de salud de EE.UU. (Navigating the U.S. healthcare system), was presented by Juventino Nava and Diego Romero of GraceMed Clinic’s Department of Community Extension and Eligibility. Their workshop covered health services navigation, including Medicaid/KanCare access and how to use health insurance to pay for care. Grace Med’s health insurance navigators are available to answer your questions about health insurance and KanCare.
In May, Maricel Santos, Professor and Chair of the English Department at San Francisco State University, collaborated with promotoras de salud (community health workers) Denise Romero and Catalina García of Salud + Bienestar to plan our third workshop La comprensión de la información de salud pública (Understanding public health information). The workshop included a visit from Daisy Urbina of the Sedgwick County Health Department, who summarized all of the services that the county offers. Afterward, the participants reflected about how they receive and evaluate health information and how this information is disseminated in their communities.
Finally, in June, we learned from Audé Negrete, the Executive Director of the Kansa Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission, and Catalina Velarde, an immigration lawyer and educator, about how to make our voices heard in the political arena. The workshop participants wrote testimonios (testimonies) about their experiences with language barriers in health care, and in each testimonio they included a call to action to make a greater impact with their voices. Some of these testimonios were recorded afterward, and we are going to share them here over the next few months.
Since the workshops were so successful and the participants suggested many more topics, we are currently raising funds to offer more workshops in Wichita and in other parts of Kansas. If you would like to donate money for this project, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can donate here.