UAMS Receives Funding to Continue Health Program at Mexican Consulate

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., left, speaks at the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock. David Perciado, consul of Mexico, listens, far right. 

Jim Racyznski, Ph.d., dean of the UAMS College of Public Health and Chancellor Rahn receive a ceremonial check from Perciado.

A Kroger pharmacist, left, Lindsay Smart and Moraderke Larracuente, two UAMS pharmacy students, conduct a health screening at the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock.

LITTLE ROCK – Health education and screening programs provided by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health to the more than 30,000 annual visitors to the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock got a $35,000 boost today from the Mexican government.

David Preciado, consul of Mexico, presented a check to UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., and Jim Raczynski, Ph.D., dean of the UAMS College of Public Health, at the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock to continue the program that started in 2010.

“We are proud to be given the opportunity to extend our health services to this swiftly expanding segment of our community,” Rahn said. “Programs and colleges at UAMS are continually finding ways to reach into the community like never before, and this is another prime example of those efforts to ensure that all Arkansans have access to health services.”

Raczynski said the funding is yet another way of fulfilling the college’s mission.

“Our overall charge is to improve the health and well-being of Arkansans and this program is an outstanding opportunity to reach a specific and growing demographic group that allows us to make an immediate difference,” Raczynski said. “I look forward to many more years of successful collaboration.”

The $35,000 will allow continuation of the program that began with a December 2009 award of $80,961 to UAMS from a private foundation to provide basic health care resources such as flu vaccinations and cholesterol screenings at the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock each year. The funds were used to create the Ventanillas de Salud (VDS) program that began in Little Rock in 2010.

The VDS program was first implemented in California in 2002. The “health windows” are located inside Mexican consulates nationwide and is a program to provide on-site assistance and outreach to low-income and Hispanic migrant families unfamiliar with the American health system.

“There are 50 similar programs across the nation like this, and they are being operated with a great degree of success, thanks to programs like the UAMS College of Public Health,” Preciado said. “We are sure that this program is an important step toward the well-being of Mexicans residing in Arkansas and an important addition to the broad range of programs that address health disparities in minority populations. This program provides Mexicans in Arkansas an opportunity to be stakeholders of their own health and we want to be a part of such efforts.”

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