Emory physicians at Grady Hospital will open a General Medical
Clinic for adult Latino patients in March, a first for the hospital,
which services a growing number of Spanish-speaking patients each
Opening the clinic is an effort to eliminate the language, cultural
and health care barriers many Hispanic patients face. The Department
of Multicultural Affairs within the Grady Health System is spearheading
the effort and is patterning the clinic after the Pediatric Latino
Clinic at the Boston Medical Center in Massachusetts.
What were trying to do is carve out a Latino clinic
inside the medical clinic, said Inginia Genao, assistant professor
of medicine and director of multicultural affairs, who is developing
the clinic along with internists Clyde Watkins and Stacy Higgins,
pediatrician Flavia Mercado, multicultural affairs coordinator Elizabeth
Sablon and Jada Bussey-Jones, an Emory physician and associate program
director for the General Medical Clinics.
Higgins, a bilingual physician in the Division of General Medicine,
will provide medical assistance when the clinic opens in March.
The clinic, serving adult patients above age 18, will initially
open three days each week and will be staffed by Higgins and Genao
and six medical residents, all of whom are bilingual. Plans also
include recruiting bilingual staff, including a bilingual nurse.
My hope is that by decreasing the language barrier alone,
the numbers will increase dramatically to the point where we will
move out of the medical clinic and into a different site,
said Genao, a native of the Dominican Republic.
By having a small staff of bilingual healthcare providers,
patients will feel more welcome and comfortable in a setting all
their own, she added. When they come to the [Latino]
medical clinic, there will be a protected environment, where at
least the language is not so much a barrier.
Genao also said patients who receive care from a physician who
speaks the same language are more satisfied, and disease outcomes
often improve. She and other physicians are considering a similar
clinic at Hughes Spalding Childrens Hospital to address the
needs of the Latino pediatric population.