Laura Gonzalez, Ph.D.

This workshop will address the demographic characteristics of the Mexican immigrant women in the United States and the health care usage of this population. Included will be the many barriers to health care access that women encounter, especially access to mental health care. Strategies for reaching out to immigrant women and improving health care use will also be discussed.

Goals and Objectives

By the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. describe the characteristics of Mexican immigrant women, especially in Pennsylvania;
  2. discuss effective strategies and methods to reach and better serve Mexican immigrant women and their families.

Presentation Outline

  1. Why it is important to reach Mexican Immigrant Women in the United States:
    1. How many are they?
    2. Where are they geographically distributed and concentrated?
    3. What are their work outside the family and what are their social roles within their families, within their communities, schools and churches?
  2. How is it that I know them?
    1. Remex , Red de Mujeres Mexicanas en el Exterior (Network of Mexican Women Abroad)
  3. What are the health care needs of Mexican Immigrant women? - What is the Latino health paradox?
    1. Which are their principal health problems and illnesses?
    2. How do they tend to their health needs?
    3. Which are other limitations, obstacles, and barriers to access health services?
  4. Examples of what others have done to attend the health needs of this population
    1. Mujeres Latinas en Accion in Chicago
    2. Health Initiative of the Americas - a national and international strategy
    3. Ventanillas de Salud - bi-national health program in each of the 50 Mexican Consulates
    4. Hundreds of Radio and TV Programs
    5. Local non-profit organizations, hospitals, and private doctors
  5. Recommendations to better serve the health needs of Mexican immigrant women and their families
    1. Understand immigration issues and fears
    2. Use their language and understand their culture
    3. Become familiar with them -- Visit their homes
    4. Consider the successful programs of others