March 2020 Newsletter
As of today, the NHMA Conference will proceed as planned. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 for any potential impacts. Please see our Statement on Coronavirus Prevention .
** Join over 500 health professionals discussing strategies to improve health care and oral health care for Hispanics/Latinxs. CME provided.
Legislative Update
NHMA recognizes this month is the 10th anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) . Since it was signed into law in 2010, the ACA has expanded insurance coverage to 20 million people, including 10 million low-income, childless adults who gained coverage through the ACA's Medicaid expansion.

Since the law's passage, the uninsured rate in Medicaid expansion states has decreased from 18.4 percent in 2013 to 9.9 percent in 2018. Latinos under 65 years of age have an uninsured rate of 19% at the end of 2018.

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a third major challenge to the ACA, setting up likely arguments this fall in a case that could wipe out President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

The case the justices will hear was brought by Republican state officials, who argued that when Congress zeroed out the penalty for failing to obtain health insurance in 2017, lawmakers rendered the entire law unconstitutional. The Trump administration sided with the state officials, arguing that the rest of the health care law could not survive without a penalty for flouting the requirement that most Americans have health insurance, sometimes called the individual mandate.

A Federal District Court judge in Texas agreed, ruling that the entire law was invalid, but he postponed the effects of his ruling until the case could be appealed. In December the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans agreed that the mandate was unconstitutional but declined to rule on the fate of the remainder of the health law, asking the lower court to reconsider the question in more detail.

The Democratic states and the House, which intervened in the case to defend the health law, asked the Supreme Court to put its consideration of whether to hear the appeal on an unusually fast track. The court turned down that request in January.

Having lost that fight, the states and the House asked the court to hear their appeal in the ordinary course. They said Supreme Court review was warranted because part of a federal law had been held to be unconstitutional, which is often reason enough for the justices to agree to hear a case. They added that the lower courts’ rulings had created doubt about the balance of the law.

The Supreme Court has already ruled in two major cases challenging core provisions of the health law. In both, it left most of the law in place. In 2012,  the court upheld the law’s requirement that most Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty, saying it was authorized by Congress’s power to assess taxes. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. writing the controlling opinion, which was joined in its key section by the court’s four-member liberal wing. In 2015, the court said the federal government can provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance, rejecting an argument that the subsidies were available only in states that had created marketplaces, known as exchanges, to allow people who lack insurance to shop for individual health plans. A contrary ruling would have created havoc in the insurance markets and undermined the law. The vote was 6 to 3, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joining the court’s four more liberal members to form a majority.

Justice Kennedy retired in 2018, but the remaining members of the majorities in the two cases are still on the court. The number of uninsured Americans under 65 decreased by 18.6 million from 2010, when the health law was passed, to 2018. Most of them gained insurance through expanded Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor. Others got coverage through new private insurance options, often with subsidies to help cover the cost, or, for adults under 26, through their parents’ health plans.

NHMA endorsed the Clean Air Sharp Minds Act (S.3364/HR6025) introduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA). The bill aims at improving the air quality in schools by providing grants to schools to purchase, install, and maintain commercial air filters. Dr. Elena Rios made the following statement: “Clean air in our schools is critical to Hispanic and other underserved families. The Clean Air Sharp Minds Act will decrease asthma and other respiratory disease and decrease absenteeism resulting in more productive students.” To read the full press release from Senator Booker, please visit:

The House of Representatives on February 28 approved HR 2339, the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2020, 213-195. The bill was sponsored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) with an intent to curb the rise of youth vaping rates by banning non-tobacco flavors such as mint and mango that public health experts say lure children into smoking. The bill is now at the Senate Finance Committee.

On March 6, President Trump signed a bill providing $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The bill provides $3.1 billion to the Office of the Secretary of HHS, $100 million is directed to community health centers for underserved groups, $950 million for state and local health departments, $300 million to buy vaccines and treatments, and $1.25 billion for international activities. Read the bill here.  

NHMA signed on to the following letters in February 2020:
  • NHMA joined organizations that represent patients, medical researchers, providers, survivors, and their families in sending a letter to Senate and House Leadership to include HR 913, the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, among the healthcare priorities Congress address this spring as some healthcare extenders approach expiration. Read the letter, here.
  • NHMA joined Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other healthcare organizations in sending a letter to the House expressing support for HR 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019. The legislation will address the current youth e-cigarette epidemic. Read the letter here.
  • NHMA and other members of the Family Planning Coalition sent a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education expressing concern about the current administration’s continued attacks on Title X. Read the full letter here.
Programs Update
Please check out and continue to support our Current Programs :

  • NHMA 2020 Annual Hispanic Health Conference
  • NHMA/NIDDK Medical Faculty Development Program
  • NIH All of Us Research Program
  • NHMA Chapters
  • NHMA Medical School Liaison Program
  • NHMA - CDC PACT - Let's Stop HIV Together
  • NHMA Seasonal Influenza Campaign (access our Flu Toolkit, here)
  • NHMA Heart Disease Campaign
  • NHMA College Health Scholars Program
  • NHMA Stop Vaping Campaign
  • NHHF Scholarship Gala Photos
  • NY
  • LA
Membership Update
**NHMA Premier Members have the benefit of joining advisory committees! We are looking for committee members for our new and upcoming Health Literacy and Opioid Safety campaigns. Please reach out to Ruth Rivera to sign up: .

***We are also looking for middle and high school students to serve as ambassadors and help with effective messaging for our new Stop Vaping campaign with CVS Health - Aetna. This group will conduct its first meeting in March 2020. Please reach out to Ruth Rivera with any recommendations: .

NHMA Members are hard at work being catalyst for change in their communities. Each serve in many different ways. 

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).
  • 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.

Our major benefits for health professional 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 health professionals at one of NHMA Regional Events and Annual Conference

Ways You Can Get Involved With NHMA:

Anyone who would like to advance NHMA's mission and goals is welcome to join our network as a Premier or Basic member. Click below to see our membership options:

If you have received an award or attended an event and would like to be featured in our monthly Membership Update, please contact by the first Friday of every month.
Featured Announcements
Corona Virus (Covid-19) is now a Pandemic, announced by the World Health Organization this week - For the latest information about the disease go to

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) ranges from mild disease with symptoms of respiratory illness to severe pneumonia with respiratory failure and septic shock. There have been asymptomatic infection also.

Persons most at risk are those in close contact to a symptomatic infected person or in areas with sustained transmission. Older adults or those with underlying chronic medical conditions are high risk. 

Symptoms include fever, cough and trouble breathing. Incubation period could be from 2 to14 days.

About 80 percent of people infected with the new coronavirus have relatively mild symptoms. But about
20 percent of people become more seriously ill and in about 2 percent of patients in China, which has had the most cases, the disease has been fatal.

If you are a person with a risk of having Covid-19 and start having symptoms, you should go to a physician and get tested. 
Latinas and HIV

The U.S. has seen an overall decrease in HIV infections except for the Hispanic and African American populations. For Latinas in the U.S., HIV/AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death for 14-34-year-olds and Latinas represent 20% of women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. About 64% of the cause is heterosexual intercourse and 34% is from injection drug use. Risk factors for Latinas and HIV include cultural factors, low income, low education, and limited sexual education from parents or schools.

The National Hispanic Medical Association has hosted an social media campaign and educational videos
from Hispanic physicians, as well as testing in New York City for four years. NHMA recognizes that more
knowledge is needed among young Latinas about HIV/AIDS.

On March 10, NHMA co-hosted a Twitter chat with the League of United Latin American Citizens in honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Participants discussed the unique challenges women face in preventing HIV, reasons women may postpone seeking HIV treatment, and the importance of women and girls to become educated about sexual health in school.

NHMA's policy recommendations to decrease HIV include the following:
- Increase access to knowledge in middle and high school education about healthy sexual
behaviors and contraceptive use;
- Expand health literacy among young Latinas;
- Increase access to health insurance;
- Develop community campaigns with Latino physicians and HIV/AIDS providers (Ryan White
Clinics and community health centers that include local events as well as traditional and social

NHMA's HIV campaign is in partnership with CDC. Let's Stop HIV Together!

Source: Zambrana, Latinas and HIV/AIDS Risk Factors, AJPH, July 2004, Vol 94.
Casting Call: Share Your Story with Let's Stop HIV

Are you interested in appearing on-camera and sharing your story as a part of CDC's Let's Stop HIV Together campaign? They are looking for people to be a part of video and photography shoots that may be featured on websites, campaign ads and materials, social media, and at community events across the country. P eople of any HIV status are encouraged to participate, as well as family members, friends, and other loved ones who are supporting those living with HIV and would like to share their experiences. We also encourage those who are interested in sharing their stories in Spanish to apply. Please go here for more information and to sign up.
National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Programs' Application Cycle is Open!
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) opened its application for three loan repayment programs: the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program and the NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program.

Check out NHSC's website for more information and to find which one is right for you!

Accepting applications through April 23, 2020 at 7:30 PM ET.
The University of California, Merced is hiring a tenure-track teaching professor for their Department of Public Health.

The typical course load for teaching professors is 5 courses per year and the focus on evaluation for tenure is on teaching effectiveness. Our campus’ student body is over 60% Latino and two-thirds are first-generation college students. They are especially looking for a candidate who can teach Health Communication and Health Promotion courses in addition to introductory courses in public health. Please consider applying and share widely.

Click here for more information and to apply by March 29.
The  All of Us Research Program is a momentous effort funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all people of backgrounds. The program’s aim is to enroll 1 million or more volunteers and receive sample from communities who have been underrepresented in research, making the program the largest and most diverse resource of its kind. Read more about the program here:

NHMA is looking for providers to share information and promotions materials in their practice or waiting rooms about the  All of Us Research Program. These information will discuss what the  All of Us Research Program is and why it is important to participate in this momentous undertaking. If you are interested in receiving information to give to your patients, please go here to sign up. If you have any questions, please contact Ben Melano at
We are seeking physicians and health care providers that treat Hispanic/Latinx patients to create a short video on the importance of getting the seasonal influenza vaccine, and physicians and providers treating Hispanic/Latinx patients with HIV to create a short video on the importance of HIV prevention/treatment.
**We'd like to send a reminder urging our members and partners to complete a 2020 Census form online or by mail or phone, by April 1. No responses will receive a home visit follow-up from late April to early July 2020.

Upcoming Events
*Please note that our CHSP Conference at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX has been cancelled. A webinar will be held in its place, date TBA.
Other Events:

NHMA 24 th Annual Conference:
Thursday, April 30 - Sunday, May 3, 2020  at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park
Visit our website for more information: Consider being a Speaker, Poster Presenter, participant in our Academic Development Session!

Virtual Events:
Monday, March 30, 2020
Twitter Chat : Precision Medicine: The Way of the Future
Friday, April, 10, 2020
Twitter Chat : National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day
Friday, April 17, 2020
Webinar : National Transgender HIV Testing Day
Monday, May 18, 2020
Twitter Chat : HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
Friday, June 5, 2020
Webinar : HIV Long-Term Survivors Day
Friday, June 26, 2020
Twitter Chat : National HIV Testing Day
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 and Mentoring
2) NHMA Resident Leadership Program.
3) NHMA Leadership Fellowship
4) Special donation requested for Puerto Rico earthquake disaster: .

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

Sign-up for the AmazonSmile Program and 0.5% of your Amazon purchase will be donated to support the NHHF & NHMA mission.