Bethesda Clinic Hosts Dia De Las Madres Clinic - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Bethesda Clinic Hosts Dia De Las Madres Clinic

With the Hispanic population in East Texas continuing to grow, the ability for Latinos to access medical care can be a challenge because of the language barrier.  Today, hundreds of Hispanic women were given medical information in Spanish and were able to get free medical care.  For some of the women, it's been years since they've had a physical exam.

Olga Vasquez, 31, was one of hundreds of women who waited in long lines to get free medical exams today.  "I got information to get a glucose test and I'm also getting my cholesterol done," said Vasquez.

The second annual Dia de las Madres clinic or Mother's Day clinic, was held at the Bethesda Health Clinic in downtown Tyler.  Among the services offered: pap smears, glucose screenings, cholesterol tests and mammograms.  "They brought pamphlets in Spanish and it's easier for us," said Vasquez.

Vasquez cleans homes for a living.  She has no medical insurance and with two young children, she says she has not gone to the doctor in three years.  Nearly 30 organizations were on hand to let women know about services in the community.  "We have of course the East Texas Food Bank offering nutrition information and also helping the woman apply for medicaid, CHIP and food stamps," said event organizer Flor Jones.

Jones says she started the event because when her sister, a non- English speaker, battled cancer, she could not find any information packets in Spanish for her.  "I tried to find information for her in Spanish so we can learn together about the other options that we have.  And when I went out in the community, I couldn't find anything that she could read because everything was in English," said Jones.

Alba Navas, Jones' sister, says she's glad to see that Hispanic women in the East Texas community have an event such as this to educate them.  She says it's heart-warming to see her struggle with cancer was worth something.  "I think that we go through times in life that you have to go through so that those who come after you have a shorter road," said Navas. 

At least 800 participants took part in today's event. There were 75 volunteers, half of them Hispanic.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.


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