Reporting on the Health of Georgia Latinos

georgia latino health report

Lack of health insurance coverage among the Hispanic population in Georgia is much higher than the national average, according to a report prepared by Karen Andes of the RSPH and the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia (HHCGA).Nearly half of the state's 850,000 ­Latinos are uninsured.

The report, issued during the 2012 Latino Health Summit held in June at Rollins, synthesizes the health status and outcomes of Georgia Hispanics and draws upon a wide range of indicators collected by Rollins and Laney Graduate School students. They also were integral to writing the report and organizing the summit, involving more than 150 providers, academicians, agency representatives, and community grassroots leaders in Georgia. The report encompasses data between 2000 and 2010, during which Georgia's Latino population doubled.

One key finding shows that two-thirds of Hispanic children in the state were born into what researchers called "mixed nativity" households, where they are U.S. born and their parents are foreign born.

"These mixed nativity families face particular challenges in terms of health status as well as health care access," says Andes, assistant professor of global health and faculty director for the project. "Latino children in the state have significantly lower access to health insurance than their black and white peers. While they begin life with relatively good health, a number of indicators suggest that their health status declines by the time they start school."

Another noticeable change in the Hispanic population is their makeup, which largely shifted from working adults to families. In those families, children under age 15 comprise nearly one-third of the state's Hispanic population.

The 2012 Georgia Latino Health Summit covered several key areas, including maternal and child health; cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes; cancer; and behavioral health. The report covers a full range of health topics and provides comparisons between the health of Georgia Hispanics and Hispanics nationwide, as well as differences between Hispanics and non-Hispanic white and black populations in the state. Both the report and the summit were funded by the Georgia Healthcare Foundation.

Rollins and HHCGA are now looking at ways to implement ideas generated during the summit. Possibilities include student projects with community-based organizations to assess needs and improve services in areas such as mental health and collaborating with the National Public Health Institute of Mexico and other international partners to better address the health needs of Georgia's ­Latinos.—Jennifer Johnson and Pam Auchmutey

To download the Georgia Latino Health Report 2012 and a follow-up report on the summit, visit

Table of Contents

Bookmark and Share

Magazine Cover