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Hispanic Health Council educates and addresses growing problems in community

The Hispanic Health Council has Hurricane Fiona relief efforts that include raising $10,000, that'll go directly to communities impacted in Puerto Rico.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Nearly 50 years ago, an infant died because of a language barrier at a local Connecticut hospital. That baby's death was the catalyst for creating the Hispanic Health Council (HHC).

Now decades later, the non-profit organization's efforts are ongoing as it serves Connecticut and the entire state of Connecticut. The Hispanic Health Council promotes health equity while identifying and addressing health disparities in the Hispanic and Latino communities.

RELATED: The Hartford Neighborhood Center prioritizes school readiness for local children

"We suffer from many health disparity issues, and all the other social determinants of health affect our lives and the quality of life that we live in our city," explained Joan Cruz, HHC Director of Administrative Operations.

Cruz said this is why the HHC believes they must provide culturally competent services.

"We believe that listening to the community is essential for us to plan, prepare and execute the programs and services that we have, the Hispanic health council," said Cruz. 

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The goal is to meet community members where they are to better their research and advocacy along with their many programs and services.

"From prenatal and preconception to old age and the end of life, we provide a range of services to not only Hispanics and Latinos but other diverse communities, " said Cruz.

As an HHC employee and a Latina woman, Cruz said she knows how people of color face disproportionate health and economic impacts. She said seeing organizations like HHC make a difference in addressing these issues helps keeps her going. 

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"I don't come here just to do work, I come here to help someone else to get better to improve their life to live a quality of life," passionately said Cruz.

The Hispanic Health Council also has Hurricane Fiona relief efforts that include raising $10,000, that'll go directly to communities impacted the most in Puerto Rico. They also welcome everyone from PR  who are here because of Hurricane Fiona free of charge wellness services.  CLICK HERE for more information. 

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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