New Haven is home to a large and diverse Hispanic population. In 2010, the United States Census counted 27% of New Haven’s population as Hispanic, up from 21% in 2000 and this percentage will likely only increase. Of the approximately 16,000 residents who live in the neighborhood sharing the Yale-New Haven Hospital NHH’s zip code, 45.8% are Hispanic. New Haven’s Hispanic population increased by 9,148 between 2000 and 2010, a 34.6 percent increase in the Hispanic population. We can certainly say that New Haven is more Hispanic than it was 10 years ago. (http://zipatlas.com/us/ct/new-haven/zip-code-comparison/percentage-hispanic-population.htm).
As a city, New Haven is known for its pro-immigrant status. New Haven issues city ID cards regardless of immigration status, offers bilingual education K-8, has notable Hispanic representation in city government, and since 2008 is home to the Ecuadorian consulate. These policies have resulted in multiple vibrant and growing Hispanic neighborhoods most especially, as it happens, our neighborhood. We believe that culturally competent and linguistic fluency with this population is invaluable in providing quality healthcare as a pediatric resident at Yale.
Data have shown that language problems are a major access barrier to health care for Latino children. Language problems can result in adverse health consequences for some children, including poor medical care, misdiagnosis, and inappropriate medication and hospitalization. [Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998 Nov; 152(11):1119-25.Access barriers to health care for Latino children. Flores G, Abreu M, Olivar MA, Kastner B.] Many Hispanic families face the multiple social stresses of poverty and day–to-day hardship, such as housing inadequacy and food insecurity. Language and availability of language services are an important issue in the experiences of providers and families.
In the fall of 2013, the first pediatric Hispanic clinic in Connecticut was created at Yale New Haven Hospital by Dr. Marietta Vázquez and 3 pediatric residents. This clinic (Y-CHiC-- acronym for the Yale-Clinic for Hispanic Children or Yale- Clínica Hispana para Chicos) is a culturally and linguistically competent primary care for children ages 0-12 months and their families. This new program integrates language and cultural competency into residency training while at the same time providing high quality pediatric clinical care to children and their families completely in Spanish.
Y-CHiC is open to all residents at Yale who are proficient in Spanish and to members of the Yale and New Haven community – we currently have several Yale medical students and graduate students who are Spanish speakers and who are interested in a longitudinal continuity experience (following Hispanics families for one year and learning about their community, culture, life struggles, successes and medical issues) and Spanish speaking volunteers.
Y-CHiC aims to promote health, encourage prevention and empower Hispanic families about their own health.