When I was invited to a recent gathering for a Latino Health Policy Day I thought I was reading some script from the 1980’s that read, “In order to reach the Hispanic community invite a group of Hispanics to meet with you one day.” Are we so out of touch with each other that we need Latino Day to hear from Hispanics? I wondered if there was an Anglo Day, and only on that day would the effort be made to include Anglos in policy.
In health to make good policy we need to understand the entire community we serve, and it needs to be a part of how we do our work every day. Today about 1 out of every 6 persons in the United States is Hispanic. Also consider that the combined total population of Canada and Australia is 57 million which is about the size of the population of Hispanics in the U.S (54 million*).
Just not on Cinco de Mayo, but everyday our policies need to take everyone into account and make it possible to tailor what we do to meet individual needs. To have good policy it means that every day is Hispanic Policy day, African American Policy Day, Anglo Policy Day, Women’s Policy Day, and so on. If we do not include all communities we make policies that are bound to miss the mark.
*Unlike Census and others when I give the population of Hispanic persons in the United States I include the 4 million citizens who live in Puerto Rico.