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Saint John's Educates Latinos on Prevalent Health Issues

Doctor's Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about the active roles physicians play, March 30

Published on LatinoLA: March 27, 2011


Saint John's  Educates Latinos on Prevalent Health Issues


March 30th marks the annual observance of Doctor's Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about the active roles physicians play in our community where they are facing health crisis affecting Latino families in alarmingly amounts. To celebrate Doctor's Day, Saint John's Health Center and its top Hispanic physicians aim to educate Latinos in LA County by opening up a dialogue between patients and their doctors to help understand and prevent common diseases affecting the Latino Community.

"High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol are the most common diseases why Latinos come to see me," says Dr. Oscar Hern?Ūndez, internal medicine physician from Saint John's. "Lack of information and underutilization of health services are regular problems for early diagnosis in our community. As a physician and as a Latino I have the responsibility to encourage the community to be proactive and learn about their health. Education is key in disease control and prevention."

Genetic is a major factor predisposing Latinos to conditions such as diabetes. Furthermore, obesity is particularly problematic as far as the links between it and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, both of which are prevalent in the Latino Community. Dr. Hern?Ūndez says getting yearly-check ups and practicing a healthy lifestyle are the main line of attack to turn aside these diseases. He recommends three easy ways that can help Latinos to safeguard their health:

‘«ů Eat healthy: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and low-fat dairy can help protect your heart. Avoid foods that are high in fat, cholesterol and salt such as fatty cuts of meat, bacon and butter.

‘«ů Get moving: Make a commitment to be more physically active. Every day, aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity such as walking, dancing, house cleaning or gardening.

‘«ů Talk to your doctor: Increase your knowledge. Ask about your risk factors ‘«Űidentify and take action on those you can control. Nothing replaces a discussion with your doctor.

Saint John's truly respects the leadership role its physicians play in providing high-quality medical care. Doctors are partners in Saint Johns' medical mission to the community. It is the expertise and contributions of doctors that enable this organization to treat more than a million patients since the hospital was opened more than six decades ago. Among other services, the personalized outpatient nutrition and Diabetes Care and the fully digital Imaging Center at Saint John's are staffed with highly experienced physicians that are renowned in the community for their exceptional care and compassion.

For more information on health issues and common diseases affecting the Hispanic community, visit Saint John's Health Center website at www.stjohns.org.

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