State invests $500,000 in first Latino center for health in WA

Critical funds to be used to advance research and improve health practices

There is a scarcity of bilingual and bicultural providers to meet the health needs of the Latino population. They often experience multiple chronic diseases and stressors which further complicate their health. Latinos account for 12% of the overall population in Washington State yet lack access to health services that meet their unique needs. The Center is staunchly committed to impactful research, practice and policy that enhance the delivery of culturally responsive services to diverse Latino communities.

“We are delighted that the Latino Center for Health has received state funding,” notes University of Washington Interim President Ana Mari Cauce. “The Center provides invaluable leadership to improve access and utilization of health care services including preventive health care and mental health services across the life span.  We are especially proud that Latino Center for Health is the first research center in the state to focus on the health needs of our Latino population. The Center is a vibrant example of the University’s staunch commitment to partner with community organizations and stakeholders across Eastern, Central and Western Washington for the good of all Washingtonians.”

The Center has created a vast network of Latinos across the state. “We are partnering with local communities to identify research needs to promote the health and well-being of Latino communities,” states Gino Aisenberg, Co-Director of the Center. Key areas of research include physical health, mental health, environmental and occupational health, and violence and injury prevention. Center Co-Director Leo Morales states “by bringing together faculty from a variety of backgrounds to conduct community-engaged research we aim to develop evidence based practices to improve the conditions and delivery of healthcare for Latino patients.”

“Funding for the Latino Center for Health is about more than research—it is an important investment in the well-being of a rapidly growing and often underserved community in our state,” said Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, a Democrat from Seattle and a Cuban American.  “As many parts of our state benefit from economic growth and prosperity, the Center will work to curb health disparities facing the Latino community, and ultimately our state as a whole.”

The Latino Center for Health was launched in April 2014 to promote the health and well-being of Washington State’s growing Latino communities through innovative community engaged research, student and faculty training, and policy analysis. The Center received seed funding from the School of Social Work the Graduate School and the School of Medicine. 

Contact Information | Latino Center for Health | ginoa@uw.edu | lsm2010@uw.edu | 206-616-9365