Dear Friends and Colleagues:
It is with a great sense of pride that we announce the launch of our Latino Health and Business E-News, a publication of the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives (AHHE) and the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Health (NHCCH). The audiences for our E-News are health professionals interested in news on current issues impacting Hispanic healthcare consumers and employers/employees seeking information on health insurance coverage as well as business owners seeking contracting opportunities in the hospital, pharmaceutical, managed care and medical sectors. At our 2007 Annual Healthcare Diversity Awards Gala last week at the United Nations, attended by a sold-out audience of over 300 Hispanic providers, business leaders and members of the diplomatic community, we had the unique opportunity to recognize our distinguished honorees and hospital middle managers. We could not imagine a more suitable location to celebrate the diversity of our country?s patients, providers, and health executives than the United Nations!
The past year has been an exciting one for us and we are equally looking forward to the next twelve months and the initiatives we are launching. As emerging national organizations, we have been building relationships with other national Hispanic health professional organizations and consumer advocacy groups, such as the U.S. Hispanic Advocacy Association, and today, with AARP, as a member of our first organizational State Delegate Network. These groups will constitute the core of our newly-created National Hispanic Provider/Employer Roundtable on Health Insurance to develop policy statements on health insurance access for Hispanic businesses and address the role of corporate social responsibility in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
In September 2006, at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Convention, we implemented the first Healthcare Pavilion and provided free health screenings, health education and advice to parents seeking information on admission requirements for students seeking careers in health care. It was also an honor to meet with President Lionel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic to discuss health issues and resources available to his citizens in the U.S. Our Chamber also participated in legislative conferences, conducted healthcare supplier diversity forums, and met with leaders of the Latin Business Association and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to discuss avenues of collaboration.
Building on the success of our 2005 Annual Healthcare Diversity Awards Gala, we served on the Greater New York Hospital Association?s Task Force on Diversity in Health Care Leadership, resulting in the formation of the Leadership Academy and an initiative to increase the presence of Latinos on hospital boards. Our own Hospital Trustee Council, co-chaired by Henry Calderon of Mt. Sinai Hospital Center and Shirley Rodriguez-Remenenski of Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, have discussed the recruitment of qualified Latinos to boards and will work to establish a stronger partnership with influential stakeholders in the health care delivery system.
We have valued the support of our national and regional partners, Prudential Financial, Health Corporation of American, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. This year, we are encouraged by the participation of our new national partner, Aetna. Our growing participation in United Nations activities and the Public-Private Alliance Foundation are unique for a chamber of commerce and professional membership organization.
Our country faces critical health manpower shortages that can only be addressed by training a diverse workforce that is both culturally and linguistically competent. It is no surprise that NYC?s Mayor Michael Bloomberg anticipated this need by emphasizing the health care sector and establishing the Workforce Investment Board. And, who is ready, willing and able to mentor the next generation of leaders? We are! This is why your support of our mission is pivotal to our success.
During the next 12 months, we will continue our programs, collaborations and outreach to the foundation and government sectors for support as well as encourage greater participation by health executives and facilities. We are equally committed to increasing supplier diversity opportunities in the health and pharmaceutical industries.
This year, in addition to inaugurating a new award category to recognize middle managers for excellence in front-line leadership, we are introducing two new communication vehicles, the Latino Health and Business E-News and AHHE?s new website (www.AHHE.org), designed to better serve our individual and affiliate members. Thank you for taking this journey with us. I am grateful to our boards and the Gala Planning Committee for contributing their time and talent in making our 7th Annual Gala a wonderful success and helping us launch our e-news and website. We also hope that other national advocacy organizations will follow the lead of AARP and join our State Delegate Network.
George A. Zeppenfeldt-Cestero
Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives
President & CEO
National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Health