Our Mission

Our initiative believes that as physicians and other health care professionals, our commitment goes beyond the walls of clinics and hospitals. Although we have limitations to improve the social determinants of health of Latinos, a deep understanding of these is critical to better impact people’s health. We can only do this by developing broad and longitudinal programs that bring our services and team members to the community settings, provide health promotion and disease prevention locally while identifying and assisting people in need of health care.

Latinos are the largest minority group in the country and among the most underserved minorities in regard to health literacy, access to care, and health outcomes.  Nationwide, Latinos represent 19.5% of our population and 6% in the Blue Ridge Health District in Central Virginia and are projected to increase to 24% and 23% respectively over the next two decades.  Our program aims to enhance health literacy, identify people at risk of the most common diseases that affect this group, facilitate access to affordable health care and be a partner with the Latino community in addressing their emerging needs.  We hope to narrow the gap between the University of Virginia and minority communities in the Charlottesville area by building bridges of trust, understanding, and collaboration.  By doing this, we hope to contribute to the cultural humility and competence of our institution, faculty, and students as well as to increase the interest of underrepresented minority applicants to UVA that may include students, faculty, and University leaders. We also consider that LHI would lay the groundwork to better prepare the University of Virginia Health System to the demographic changes in the future.

Our success and gained community trust up to now has been based on developing a participatory model with the Latino community and the collaboration of multiple organizations that include:  Sin Barreras, The Women’s Initiative, Creciendo Juntos, the Church of Incarnation, Habitat for Humanity, Albemarle Public Schools, the Blue Ridge Health District, and others.