Health education and screening programs provided by the
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of
Public Health to the more than 30,000 annual visitors to the Mexican Consulate
in Little Rock got a $35,000 boost today from the Mexican government.
David Preciado, consul of Mexico, presented a check to UAMS
Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., and Jim Raczynski, Ph.D., dean of the UAMS College
of Public Health, at the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock to continue the program
that started in 2010.
“We are proud to be given the opportunity to extend our
health services to this swiftly expanding segment of our community,” Rahn said.
“Programs and colleges at UAMS are continually finding ways to reach into the
community like never before, and this is another prime example of those efforts
to ensure that all Arkansans have access to health services.”
Raczynski said the funding is yet another way of fulfilling
the college’s mission.
“Our overall charge is to improve the health and well-being
of Arkansans and this program is an outstanding opportunity to reach a specific
and growing demographic group that allows us to make an immediate difference,”
Raczynski said. “I look forward to many more years of successful collaboration.”
The $35,000 will allow continuation of the program that began with a December 2009 award of $80,961 to UAMS from a private foundation to provide basic health care resources such as flu vaccinations and cholesterol screenings at the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock each year. The funds were used to create the Ventanillas de Salud (VDS) program that began in Little Rock
The VDS program was first implemented in California in 2002. The “health windows” are located inside Mexican consulates nationwide and is a program to provide on-site assistance and outreach to low-income and Hispanic migrant families unfamiliar with the American health system.
“There are 50 similar programs across the nation like this,
and they are being operated with a great degree of success, thanks to programs
like the UAMS College of Public Health,” Preciado said. “We are sure that this
program is an important step toward the well-being of Mexicans residing in
Arkansas and an important addition to the broad range of programs that address
health disparities in minority populations. This program provides Mexicans in
Arkansas an opportunity to be stakeholders of their own health and we want to
be a part of such efforts.”