Older Americans Month: Latinos Accessing Resources

Latina Breast Cancer Agency, a provider/partner of St. Luke’s hospital in San Francisco, helps low-income women in San Francisco to access quality healthcare services and resources, and to receive treatment without barriers. About 90 percent of the women that the agency processes are Latinas, many are over 55, and many also speak only Spanish. The Latina-led and Latina-serving nonprofit didn’t know, so to speak, what it didn’t know. So it used a portion of its Hispanics in Philanthropy grant two years ago to conduct a focus group and to interview 100 women about their knowledge of available resources. It made a difference in the agency’s approach to helping under-served Latinas for the St. Luke’s Campus of California Pacific Medical Center. “We learned that a huge percentage of the women did not know about the programs that they are eligible for,” Olivia Fe, the executive director of Latina Breast Cancer Agency, recalled. For instance, since many are low-income providers of in-home family care-giving, they qualify for San Francisco County in-home support services caretaker payments, under a program administered by counties throughout California. The agency’s participation in the HIP Latino Age Wave Initiative, Fe added, “made us aware of many of the resources that are available to our seniors in San Francisco County, and it enabled us to share those resources with our senior women.” Follow #OlderAmericansMonth on Twitter.