St. Louis Health Clinics Address Hispanic Health Disparities, Offer Free, Low-Cost Services
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday featured La Clinica Latino Community Health Centers of Acción Social Comunitaria, which for 14 years has provided health and social services to the Hispanic immigrant community of St. Louis and has become the "cornerstone of health care for the region's Hispanic population." According to the Post-Dispatch, Hispanics, compared to the rest of the population, are more likely to use alcohol and illicit drugs and have diabetes and hypertension; have three times the rate of death from HIV and homicide; have 20% more infant deaths; are 50% more likely to die from diabetes or complications of diabetes; and have more than double the death rate from liver disease. In addition, many Hispanics do not see a physician until they seek care at an emergency department, in part because of language and financial barriers, according to the Post-Dispatch. In response to such data, C. William Chignoli, a physician and minister from South America, founded ASC, a group of agencies for the Hispanic community. Through grant money -- some of which comes from federal agencies -- and volunteers, ACS provides medical care, mental health care and vision care to Hispanic immigrants for a voluntarily donation of $15. Medications cost $2 to $6 per prescription. ACS also provides Hispanics health counseling, tutoring and guidance on how to navigate the U.S. health care system (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.