The purpose is to increase the access of Spanish-speaking Latinos in the Kansas City area to reliable health information in their language, inform them about existing resources, and develop a sense of trust between them, the medical community and librarians. The goal is to develop and produce quality, evidence-based smartphone-friendly content tailored to the linguistic, literacy and cultural needs of medically underserved Latino subgroups and disseminate it through the online platforms that these communities use to increase their awareness of important health information that can be used to improve their health or the health of their loved ones. Latino immigration trends and variations in geographical occupation shape their access to health information and resources too. In the three counties of the Kansas City metropolitan area with larger immigrant populations, there are 150,000 Latinos and about 54,000 are immigrants. Latino immigrants in this area predominantly belong to underserved subgroups. They have lower English proficiency and levels of education and higher poverty rates. They are also less likely to have health care coverage and a medical home. Developing high quality, smartphone-friendly content tailored to the linguistic, literacy and cultural needs of medically underserved Latino subgroups and disseminating it through the online platforms that they use present health professionals and librarians with a great opportunity to provide Latinos with evidence-based resources to improve their health. This project will further support the partnership between JUNTOS por la SALUD and the A. R. Dykes Library at the University of Kansas Medical Center and the JUNTOS Center for Advancing Latino Health. The project will work with Spanish-speaking health care professionals in the Kansas City area to offer quality health information for Spanish-speaking Latinos in a language that is easy to understand and relevant to their health needs and culture. The project team made up by Latinas with health research, library information science, and community engagement and communication background will capitalize on the trust and reputation of the JUNTOS Center and partnerships of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Mid-Continental Region in Kansas to deliver smartphone-friendly content via Podcast and supported through JUNTOS Facebook and other social media platforms that Latinos commonly use. The long-term vision of this pilot project is to become a national source of reliable health information for Spanish-speaking Latinos across the US. The JUNTOS Center for Advancing Latino Health, based at the Population Health department at the University of Kansas Medical Center, seeks to generate and disseminate knowledge to eliminate health disparities in the under-served Latino communities in Kansas. They focus on building healthier communities through community-based participatory research programs that translate research findings toward the elimination of health disparities.
University of Kansas Medical Center