Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula Hosts 1st of Three Roundtable Discussions on Advancing Latino Health

Monday, August 1, 2016

SACRAMENTO Today, Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) held the first of a three-part roundtable discussion titled, “Advancing Latino Health: Are California Medical Schools Meeting the Needs of the Latino Community?”

The discussion focused on issues related to health disparities in the Latino community and the roles that certain barriers play into Latinos’ lack of health insurance including language, religion, and fear of exposing immigration status.

"I have witnessed the shortage of primary care doctors and the challenges faced by underserved communities in areas like the Central Valley," said Assemblymember Arambula. "The Valley has about half the number of doctors per 100,000 people compared to places like the Bay Area. I believe it is important to begin addressing the growing shortage of primary care doctors and I hope these roundtables will result in some concrete solutions.”

Panelists discussed how to combat the shortage of primary care doctors in underserved areas of California, the possibility of bringing a medical school to the Central Valley to alleviate health disparities, and how to improve the cultural competency of doctors to improve health outcomes.

The goal of the roundtable discussions is to establish a comprehensive holistic effort between legislators, health systems, insurance providers, and key community stakeholders to identify the gaps and disparities of access to health care among Latinos and creating real-world solutions to improve Latino health.

The first of the three roundtables was held in the Governor's Conference Room in the State Capitol.

Today's participants included:

Senator Ed Hernandez (D- San Gabriel)
Dr. Hieu T. Tran (Dean, California Northstate University)
Dr. José Arévalo (Latino Physicians of California)
Dustin Corcoran (CEO, California Medical Association)
Dr. Tino Bernadett (Board Member, UCSF Medical School)
Dr. Stephen Lockhart (Chief Medical Officer, Sutter Health)
Dr. Patrick Courneya (Executive Vice President, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals)
Dr. Joseph Martel (CEO, Martel Eye Medical Group)
Dr. Hector Flores (Board Member, Blue Shield of California)
Dr. Cathryn L. Nation, M.D, (Associate Vice President UC Health)

The next roundtable panel will be held in Fresno in September.