April Celebrates National Minority Health Month

April 12, 2014

Dora Harper manages the volunteer services with VNA of Ohio Hospice and a passionate advocate who reaches out to patient families in our Spanish-speaking communities. She supervises more than 100 volunteers at VNA of Ohio whose responsibilities range from assisting in patient care to administrative tasks.

minority health home care services

Dora is a member of the Hispanic Health Committee, a volunteer with Amigas Unidas (Friends United) and Vice President of the Lake County Salvation Army. Dora immigrated to the United States in her youth from Columbia, so she personally understands how cultures come together. “As a Latina citizen, it is easy for me to communicate and understand the health needs of my community,” she explains.

The Hispanic Health Committee mission is to reduce health disparities, increase access and promote health and wellness to the Hispanic community of Cleveland through education, collaboration and community partnerships. “I believe in the Committee’s work and I have a passion for my role in helping others understand the healthcare options available,” she explains. “Home care can be a natural fit in my community, as long as we take steps to listen, communicate and understand. Family is front in center among many cultures, so services like home care from VNA of Ohio include family members. Once we make sure language barriers are overcome, patients and their families will be successful.”

Dora also volunteers with the Amigas Unidas Program (Friends United), a bilingual peer-to-peer grassroots volunteer program where Latina women educate other women in their communities about breast cancer. “I am privileged to network with great community organizations and diverse volunteers. I learn so much from them! And, in turn, I bring those lessons back to my VNA of Ohio coworkers so we can be more effective in caring for patients of diverse backgrounds.”

VNA of Ohio strives to collaborate with many organizations to better understand our patients’ backgrounds, customs and preferences.

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