Amid National Hispanic American Heritage Month, one Pritzker School of Medicine dean traveled to Washington, D.C. this week to put a spotlight on health inequity in the Latino community and seek help from the federal government to combat it.
As featured by NBC 5 News in Chicago, Sonia Oyola, MD, MPH, Pritzker's Assistant Dean for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, met with Biden Administration officials this week to advocate for more assistance in the effort to close the health equity gap among Latinos, including in neighborhoods like Pilsen and Little Village in Chicago.
"We see our patients every day, they tell us what they're suffering from and managing day to day, so we can bring that forward to our president and to our government," Oyola told NBC 5. Oyola, a family medicine physician, highlighted that more than one in five Latinos in the U.S. are experiencing mental health disorders while only one in 10 or fewer receive any treatment. She also noted the negative health impact industrial operations like coal plants have on Latino youth in Chicago.
Joining Oyola in Washington was Juanita Mora, MD, an allergist and CEO at the Chicago Allergy Center who further emphasized the need to reduce air pollution in Latino communities and the need to foster greater diversity in the health care workforce by increasing the number of Latino students able to pursue careers in medicine. Oyola and Mora are both members of the 2023 cohort of the National Hispanic Medical Association's prestigious Leadership Fellowship Program.