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Health in the Latino Community
Description: This seminar will introduce students to health issues in the Latino community. The Latino community is the fastest growing community in New Brunswick, in New Jersey and in the United States. It is also an incredibly diverse community. While most Latinos in the U.S. speak a combination of Spanish and English, a growing number of new immigrants also speak indigenous languages. Latinos come from a wide range of Caribbean, Central and South American countries and bring with them diverse experiences with different health care and healing systems. The course will examine health issues in the Latino community through reviews of recent research on Latino health and presentations from staff at local health facilities and community organizations. Through my growing involvement in health research and health action in both New Brunswick and in Oaxaca, Mexico, where many Latinos in New Brunswick come from, students will get first hand exposure to emerging health issues in the Latino community. We will read and discuss the various chapters in Ilan Stavans’ Health Care [part of the Ilan Stavans Library of Latino Civilization] to get an overview of the core concerns of the course. Students are expected to be active participants in the seminar, to present the readings to the class, and to follow the media and the scientific literature to keep up with new developments over the semester. Students will regularly work in small groups to come up with ideas for how to more effectively address health issues in the Latino community.
This junior/senior seminar is particularly relevant for Health Option students in the Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior major at SEBS and the Public Health major at Bloustein, as well as the Latino and Caribbean Studies major at SAS. It is of relevance to any students interested in health and medicine from a wide range of majors, including biology, biotechnology, genetics, and nutritional sciences, as well as pre-med students. There are no prerequisites for the seminar.
The goal of this junior/senior seminar is for all students to leave with a deeper understanding of the health issues in the Latino community, of the social and environmental factors that affect the health of Latinos in the U.S., and of how cultural competence efforts can improve health care for Latinos.
Historic Course Instructors: