DALLAS, October 17, 2022 — Due to longstanding systemic inequities, Hispanic and Black adults are generally less satisfied with their interaction with physicians and may not receive the same quality of care. About 19% of people in the U.S. identify as Hispanic, but fewer than 7% of physicians do[1]. The lack of representation within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields exacerbate health disparities and barriers that impact the Hispanic Latino community.[2] As a champion for equitable health for all, the American Heart Association, the leading global voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke for all --supported by Association volunteers and its Hispanic-Latino staff – has formed the National Hispanic Latino Cardiovascular Collaborative (NHLCC), to help bridge the gap.

The Collaborative will create an opportunity for more Latino representation in clinical, research, and public health communities to, in turn, help further empower the next generation of Hispanic health professionals by providing networking and mentorship opportunities for its members. The goal of the Collaborative is to promote the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke, in support of the Hispanic community, by reducing and eliminating health disparities that prevent people from living a full life. Together, the Collaborative and the Association aim to advance Latino cardiovascular health and Latino cardiovascular professional development for both the Association’s volunteers and its professional members. Scientific studies confirm representation among nurses, physicians, and healthcare teams improves overall patient outcomes and breaks down cultural barriers.[3]

A research study conducted by researchers at Penn State University revealed that patients prefer a doctor who shares their same race and ethnicity.[4] The study emphasized the need for health systems to address issues of implicit biases while working to diversify the overall physician workforce. The Collaborative will become an advisory group to the American Heart Association, with a specific focus on helping the organization meet its 2024 health equity impact goal.

During the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago beginning on November 5, 2022, the Collaborative will make its public debut, providing mentorship, education and empowering experiences to third- and fourth-year Latino medical students located in the Chicagoland area surrounding region. Scientific Sessions is the premier global scientific research event focusing on improving health by championing scientific discovery and practice-changing educational content.

“As the American Heart Association strives for health equity in cardiovascular health, we are excited to support the National Hispanic Latino Cardiovascular Collaborative to uplift the voices and experiences of these communities in an effort to improve health and well-being,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA, the American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for prevention, and the executive sponsor of the National Hispanic Latino Cardiovascular Collaborative.

To learn more about the Collaborative and how to become a member, visit: professional.heart.org/NHLCC

To learn more or register to attend Scientific Sessions 2022, visit: professional.heart.org/en/meetings/scientific-sessions

Additional Resources

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

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For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Elizabeth Nickerson Hill: Elizabeth.nickerson@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org