January 2019
Read more to find out NHMA's legislative, program, membership, and future event updates. Preview our content below for more information.
Legislative Update
NHMA focuses advocacy on areas where we can educate the Federal Government representatives on how to change policies and programs to more effectively target the Latino health to increase:

1) access to health and wellness care and protecting the ACA
2) social determinants of health and prevention programs
3) diversity in medical education
4) Hispanic health research; and
5) innovations in health reform.

Nancy Pelosi was appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives as the Democrats take over the leadership of the Committees and Agendas for the 116th Congress (2019 – 2020). NHMA looks forward to working with the Congress and Senate on health care policy development. 

Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act of 2018 – NHMA President and CEO and government affairs staff met with Congressman Tony Cardenas, who is a sponsor of the new law, on expanding the eligibility for non-profit organizations in addition to academic training schools that target Latino communities for new grants that will be available this year for crime related health care training: Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Human Trafficking. We look forward to working on this policy development.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting written comments regarding the Healthy People 2030 objectives. The public comment period will be open from December 3, 2018 through January 17, 2019. Previous public comments on the proposed Healthy People 2030 framework helped shape the vision, mission, foundational principles, plan of action, and overarching goals for Healthy People 2030. In this public comment period, we would like your input on the proposed Core, Developmental, and Research objectives .

NHMA submitted Comments to the Public Charge Regulation being developed by the Trump Administration – 

The National Hispanic Medical Association, representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians, strongly opposes the Public Charge Proposal that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on September 22, 2018. The proposed changes would greatly undermine achievements made in access to preventative services and medical care for Latino legal immigrants by penalizing their participation in nutritional, health care, and housing assistance programs. These programs are essential for millions of families to lead a healthy life, and we fear many immigrants who have been long-term U.S. workers will be deported if these changes are implemented.

Since 1892, federal immigration law has had a “public charge” test that makes immigrants ineligible for entry to the United States or permanent residence (green card), if they depend or may in the future depend on the government as their main resource for living expenses. Under current policy, government support from emergency health care, prevention of infectious disease, disaster relief, nutrition assistance programs, and housing assistance programs are not counted towards public charge. The benefits considered in determining who is likely to become a public charge are cash assistance, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and government-funded institutional long-term care. Furthermore, the Clinton-era welfare reforms already put major social service programs out of reach for most legal immigrants until they’ve been here for five years.

The Trump Administration is now calling for healthcare and other benefits that meet basic needs to be considered in a “public charge” determination such as:
  • Non-emergency Medicaid (with limited exceptions for certain disability services related to education),
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),
  • Low-Income Subsidy for prescription drug costs under Medicare Part D, and
  • Housing assistance such as Section 8 housing vouchers and rental assistance

The proposal has already made immigrant families afraid to use programs that are essential to their health and wellbeing. If the rule is finalized in its proposed form, it would mark a significant and harmful departure from current policy, penalizing working class immigrants who seek the same American Dream that for generations has been a source of strength for our country. It is irresponsible of this administration to make immigrant families choose between their health and their immigration status. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 19 million children in the US have an immigrant parent, and 90 percent of these children are American citizens. Parents should not be punished for accepting help so they can provide food, a home, and healthcare to their children.

Millions of Hispanics in the US are or have family members who are at various stages of the naturalization process, and many already face barriers to housing and medical care. These rules would only exacerbate existing inequities, magnifying the stresses that come with housing insecurity, food insecurity, and lack of health insurance. Forcing these families to forgo medical care will allow preventable illnesses to develop and leave chronic conditions untreated, increasing costs to the healthcare system and for US taxpayers. Addressing the needs of families enables them to lead productive lives, to the betterment of our country. It is in the interest of the Federal government and to the benefit of all Americans that the basic needs of lawfully present immigrants and their children are supported.
The National Hispanic Medical Association urges the Department of Homeland Security to renounce this proposal. Our organization is willing to work with the Trump Administration to develop common sense reforms to our immigration system that respect the health and dignity of all immigrants and their families.

The National Hispanic Medical Association released the following statement this week in response to proposed bills allowing for the importation of foreign drugs and regulatory barriers into the US medical system:

As physicians, we have deep concerns that the recently proposed legislation would not only limit patients’ access to critical treatments but also expose them to potentially unvetted, counterfeit medications. Arbitrary price indexes, such as the one proposed, may tie the hands of providers and leave seniors unable to access treatments for chronic, often complex conditions. Compounding matters, the introduction of imported medications into our system brings additional health concerns as patients may be exposed to ineffective or possibly harmful drugs outside regulators’ control. Patients deserve quality care that they can trust. These bills, unfortunately, undermine both.

House of Representatives Votes to Intervene in ACA Lawsuit in Texas : The House of Representatives authorized its general counsel to intervene to defend the Affordable Care Act in a federal court case in Texas, and in any other cases involving the ACA. The provision was included in a resolution adopting rules for the chamber in the new Congress, which passed by a vote of 235-192. On Dec. 14, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled the entire ACA unconstitutional because Congress repealed the tax penalty enforcing the law's individual mandate. Seventeen attorneys general then appealed the ruling.

The House of Representatives and Senate pass the “Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond to Health and Wellness Act of 2018” which was signed into law by President Trump before the end of the 115th Congress in December.

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, along with other member organizations, is calling for a Congressional investigation into the death of 7-year-old girl Jakelin Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin , who died of dehydration and shock while she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week after traveling from Mexico into the United States. Click here to submit a letter to your Member of Congress to urge them to take action.

Call for Poster Presenters: http://bit.ly/conf2019posters
(Due March 8th)

Register for the Conference: http://bit.ly/NHMA2019
Programs Update
Our Current Programs:

  • NIDDK/NHMA Travel Award Program
  • NHMA College Health Scholars Program
  • NHMA Medical School Liaison Program
  • NIH All of Us Research Program
  • CDC Partnering And Communicating Together (PACT) to Act Against Aids
  • Non-Opioid Pain Therapies Project
  • NHMA 2019 Annual Conference co-hosted with the Hispanic Dental Association
  • National Hispanic Health Foundation 2018 Health Professional Student Scholarship Galas

Membership Update
NHMA Members are hard at work being catalyst for change in their communities. Each serve in many different ways. Click below to see what are members have been up to:

The 4 major values of an NHMA membership are Advocacy, Education, Leadership Development and Networking. Our major benefits for health professionals consist of:

  • Opportunities to be nominated for commissions and advisory boards in the Federal government, private sector, and other national health professional associations.
  • Opportunities to mentor medical students and residents.
  • Discounts at the NHMA Annual Conference (where you can also earn CME credits)
  • Ability to apply for NHMA Leadership Fellowship and Resident Leadership Programs
  • Opportunities to share your research either by being a speaker or poster presenter at our annual conference
  • Network with other healthcare professionals at one of NHMA Regional Events
Oxiris Barbot, MD was appointed the Health Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Read more in "What Are Our Members Up To?"

If you have received an award or attended an event and would like to be featured in our Monthly Membership update, please send to Vanessa Tellez at vtellez@nhmamd.org by the last Friday of every month.
Our major benefits for students:

  • Opportunities to mentor college students
  • Discounts at the NHMA Annual Conference
  • Opportunities to share your research by being a poster presenter at our annual conference
  • Network with healthcare professionals at one of NHMA Regional Events and Annual Conference

Featured Announcements

NHHF Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Program

Every year, NHMA's philanthropic arm, the National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF), holds two Awards Galas where we honor 20 outstanding Hispanic health professional scholars as well as honor the accomplishments of inspirational health leaders who have made key contributions toward improving the health of Hispanic populations and communities. This year, we held our Awards Galas at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York, New York on November 29, 2018 and at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, California on December 13, 2018.   

The following inspirational leaders were awarded the  2018 Hispanic Health Leadership Award :

Oxiris Barbot, MD  , Acting Commissioner, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 
Mitchell Katz, MD  , President and Chief Executive Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals 
Susana Morales, MD  , Director, Diversity Center of Excellence, The Cornell Center for Health Equity, Weill Cornell Medical College
Carlos F. Orta  , Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Carnival Corporation
Yvonne Maldonado, MD  , Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Stanford University School of Medicine
Arturo Ibarra  , DDS, Director, The Queen of Angels Foundation 
Domenika Lynch  , President & CEO, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Arturo Molina, MD, MS  , Chief Medical Officer, Sutro Biopharma, Inc. 
Felix Nunez, MD, MPH  , Medical Director, Molina Healthcare of California
Maria Salinas  , President, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce                     

We congratulate the following accomplished students who were awarded the 2018 Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship at our Galas:

Olivia Buonanno – Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy
Juan Caceres – University of Michigan Medical School 
Noe Cabello – Drexel University College of Medicine
Ariadna Capasso – New York University, College of Global Public Health 
Dennis Dacarett-Galeano – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai/Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health 
Christina Nunez – Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and Mailman School of Public Health 
Veronica Ortiz – Albert Einstein College of Medicine 
Julio Ramos – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 
Ana Saavedra – Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing 
Octavio Viramontes – Harvard Medical School

Diana Albor – Colorado School of Public Health
Yesenia Andrade – Western University Health Sciences Nursing School
Brenda Castillo – Texas Tech University Health Sciences, El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
Brianna Garza – Texas A&M, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy
Laura Hernandez Santiago – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Sofia Iribarren – University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry
Daisy Manzo – University of California, Davis School of Medicine
Vanessa Nunez – David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California Los Angeles
Andrew Rosales – University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
Monica Vergara -Tulane University School of Medicine

Thank you to everyone that attended our Scholarship Galas! A special thank you to all our sponsors and the honorary host committee who helped us have two successful Galas!

We hope that you all join us for the 2019 Scholarship Galas in November.

NIDDK/NHMA Travel Award Program

Thank you to everyone who applied to the 2019 Travel Award Program this week. We will be announcing those who will receive the Travel Award on our social media and on the next newsletter!

NHHF Puerto Rico Relief Campaign

About a year ago, Puerto Rico was devastated by a category 5 hurricane and still remains in a state of crisis due to the lack of appropriate funds and support from the Trump Administration. We invite you to donate to our campaign to assist Puerto Rican Medical Students.

The NHMA and NHHF are committed to supporting the Puerto Rico medical education disaster relief following Hurricane Maria in the fall of 2017. We have raised funds in the NHMA Northeast Region Forum in 2017 and at our 22nd Annual conference with the Deans of four medical schools in Puerto Rico. We have donated $10,000, plus supplies to the effort and hope to be able to donate much more with your help.

Your donation is tax deductible! Donate here .

NMC Alliance

NHMA is a part of the National Minority Cardiovascular alliance (NMC Alliance) and they are conducting a brief survey to understand the experiences and challenges faced by patients in managing their heart health. The perspectives of minority patients and the physicians who treat them are particularly important to the alliance.

The information obtained will help us understand what issues and problems patients share in common and identify actionable solutions to address them.

To complete this survey, please click here

New Data – America’s Health Rankings 29th Annual Report

On Wednesday, December 12th the United Health Foundation released the 29th America’s
Health Rankings Annual Report . The year’s report reveals that the nation is facing concerning
increases in mortality and chronic disease, such as obesity, that continue to impact the nation’s

The Annual Report and the broader suite of America’s Health Rankings data can be used to better
understand the diverse needs of our communities and spark dialogue about how to improve health
equity across populations.

Please refer to the America’s Health Rankings website for additional information.
We ask that you consider making a $25 donation to help NHMA & NHHF touch the lives of health professionals in various stages of their career:

1) NHHF Health Professional Student Scholarship
2) NHMA Resident Leadership Program.
3) NHMA Leadership Fellowship

Join NHMA as a member and participate in our many programs and communications campaigns. Become our supporter!

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