MORE Health@UTPA to address health care challenges among immigrants at presentation

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The University of Texas-Pan American’s College of Health Sciences and Human Services is hosting its Critical Issues in Health Care Event Thursday, Oct. 2 to discuss the health care challenges immigrants and medical providers face.

The panel discussion will be held from 3-5 p.m. at UTPA’s Ballroom, and the topic, “Health Care Challenges Along the Border: What New Immigrants Face,” will address the health care issues of the immigrants being treated by local medical providers.  The main goal of the presentation is to provide an overview and insight into the health challenges and needs of the recent immigrant surge by reporting on the numbers and status of immigrants involved, describing the major healthcare issues encountered, dispelling myths and rumors related to the surge, presenting perspectives of front-line health care providers and describing the challenges of organizing the physical and emotional needs of the immigrants.

Panelists include Eduardo Olivarez, chief administrative officer of the Hidalgo County Health Department; Dr. Audrey Jones, clinical assistant professor of UTPA’s Physician Assistant Program; Dr. Brian Smith, regional director, Texas Department of State Health Services Region 11; and Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions after the discussion.

The presentation is part of UTPA’s College of Health Sciences and Human Services’ MORE (Maximizing Opportunities for Research and Education) Health@UTPA initiative.  The goal of MORE Health@UTPA is to help increase the quality of life and decrease health disparities in the Rio Grande Valley by providing a culturally relevant forum in which critical issues impacting the community are presented and possible solutions are discussed throughout the year.

“It is very important that UTPA and the College of Health Sciences and Human Services be ‘front and center’ in providing opportunities for dialogue and problem-solving on issues that affect our community,” said Dr. John Ronnau, dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services.

College officials said the college created MORE Health@UTPA to address health concerns that affect the community-at-large, such as obesity and diabetes, so that people can learn more about these issues from the experts at the college and other experts in health care.

For more information, call (956) 665-2291.