Latino health care symposium set for Feb. 24 at TTU

Think about the greatest challenges facing health care, and a severe language barrier might not be the first thing that comes to mind — unless you’re among the area’s growing Latino population in need of quality health services.

A symposium to be held at Tennessee Tech University later this month, though, could help local health care providers bridge that gap with their Latino patients.

The Latino Patients and Health Care Symposium is set for 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, in TTU’s Bruner Hall Auditorium.

Targeted specifically for health care providers but free and open to anyone who’s interested, the symposium is meant to be a platform for learning key words and phrases to help improve communication with Latino patients, learning about Latino patients’ cultural nuances and challenges to receiving proper health care, and providing an opportunity for questions and discussion.

The event will include Spanish interpreters presenting role-playing situations of various common scenarios between Latino patients and health care providers.

It will also include three guest speakers on Mexican and Guatemalan cultures who will discuss specific cultural topics related to health-care.

“ The native language of one of the Guatemalan speakers is the dialect of Chuj, which sounds much different from standard Spanish and for which no language dictionary exists,” said Mark Groundland, assistant professor of Spanish at TTU and symposium organizer.

For more information about the event, call or e-mail Groundland at 931/372-3158 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .