Fixing Healthcare Disparities to Improve the Lives of Latinos and Blacks
“Looking for the telltale signs of illness or chronic conditions during a routine checkup requires a high level of doctor-patient communication, along with comprehensive tests that can detect problems before they worsen and become harder to treat,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, pediatrician and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc.
SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF. Preventive medicine works to reduce poor healthcare outcomes for Latinos and Blacks and the underserved when healthcare providers go the distance to make sure their patients get it. “As a Latino-owned healthcare provider, we use CDC-approved treatment schedules to make sure our patients get the healthcare they need,” says Dr. Albert Arteaga, President and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc.
A 2019 research paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that “Racial/ethnic mortality disparities persist and are widening for some age groups.” The age groups where disparities trended worse included the youngest and oldest. This trend reversed what had been a lessening in disparities from 2009 to 2012.
Latino-owned LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. works to reverse this downward trend and get Latino and Black patients back on track toward parity in improved health and well-being for the very young and seniors and this starts with its annual checkup outreach program.
“We believe that improved healthcare for all of our patients begins with a robust outreach program that contacts people to remind them when it’s time to come in for their checkup, annual for adults and more often for children 1 to 4,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, pediatrician and CEO of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc.
Looking for the telltale signs of illness or chronic conditions during a routine checkup requires a high level of doctor-patient communication, along with comprehensive tests that can detect problems before they worsen and become harder to treat.
“Many of our adult clients, especially Latinos, seem to think that if they feel okay, they don’t need to see a doctor. Conditions like type 2 diabetes, hepatitis C, and some cancers can be ‘hiding out,’ so to speak, and by the time the patient starts to notice symptoms, it can be too late,” says Dr. Arteaga.
Dr. Arteaga adds that this is especially a problem with infants and young children who are not yet able to communicate clearly. Parents might think their child is just being fussy or going through the “terrible twos” and put off taking their little one to the doctor until severe symptoms start showing.
Infants need to get examined even more regularly. Heatlh.gov says children from ages 1 to 4 should see a doctor or nurse at 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30 months, and at 3 and 4 years. Early child development needs to be tracked carefully so that any warning signs of developmental problems can be addressed promptly and effectively.
Children all grow and develop at different rates. Some start talking sooner, some later. What’s required is a good overall assessment to determine if the child is on the right track. Health.gov concludes, “If you’re worried about your child’s health, don’t wait until the next scheduled visit—call the doctor or nurse right away.”
For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-855-349-6019.
LaSalle is also an Independent Practice Association (IPA) of independently contracted doctors, hospitals, and clinics, delivering high-quality patient care to approximately 365,000 patients in Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Tulare counties.
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