Program Partly Sponsored by Mexican Government Provides Health Assistance to People of Mexican Descent
The Tucson Citizen on Tuesday examined Ventanilla de Salud, or Window of Health, which aims to improve the health of people of Mexican descent who are living in the U.S. The program is sponsored in part by the Mexican government and operates in several states, offering initiatives to help prevent diabetes, obesity and heart disease. It also helps Hispanics obtain medical care, both in the U.S. and in Mexico.
The El Rio Community Center, through its El Rio Foundation, co-sponsors the program in Tucson, Ariz., providing funding of $30,000 annually. The Mexican Consulate in Tucson also provides about $30,000 annually for the local program, and donors, such as Pfizer, also provide financial support to the program.
In Tucson, the program reaches about 1,500 people through its programs, El Rio's eligibility offices and the Mexican Consulate. The program encourages Hispanics to receive health services at the El Rio Community Health Center. Hispanics are eligible for services, such as maternity care, dental care, diagnostic tests and prescription drugs, based on a sliding fee scale, regardless of citizenship or legal residency.
Jill Rodriquez, development coordinator at El Rio, said, "This is not about giving away medical care to people. It's about understanding how medical care works and being humane in how people access medical care" (Kornman, Tucson Citizen, 12/4).