Prevention and Culture: Understanding Latino Cultural Health Behaviors and the Role of Women

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The prevention team showcased their work to more than 200 participants from around the world, who entered the webinar room and took part in an hour-long webinar titled: Understanding Latino Cultural Health Behaviors and the Role of Women, hosted by the National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA). Staff shared findings from our focus groups that are informing our prevention strategies that focus on the role of women. Staff aimed to help participants understand the importance of how culture and community context influence risk, availability and consumption of prescription (Rx) and over the counter medication (OTC) in Boyle Heights, a predominately Mexican/Mexican-American community. Special attention was given to the vital role Latina women play in ensuring familial health needs are met, as well as the importance of considering the challenges and richness of this population when developing health promoting strategies. Staff stressed the need to identify cultural factors, in this case to better understand why there is a preference for medicines from the United States vs. those from their native country. The webinar also focused on the prominent role of pharmacies and botanicas, as they play a critical role in access to health care. Moreover, they are an essential element of Latino culture, especially for those that are unable to access Western forms of health care due to lack of health insurance, high cost and/or immigration status.

The opportunity to participate in this webinar came as a result from our recent presentation at the 29th Annual Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, National Leadership Forum. At the conference, staff had the privilege to share findings from our Rx and OTC focus groups and connect with the associate director for NLBHA who invited us to collaborate and participate in this webinar.