The National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) has formed a new organization, the National Hispanic Pharmacists Association (NHPA), to increase access to care for Hispanic communities across the country. Announced this month, the NHPA was launched in collaboration with public and private sector partners including CVS Health, Walmart and PhRMA, according to the NHHF.

The NHPA’s goal is to empower Hispanic pharmacists and other members of the health care community. The organization plans to lead efforts that will improve the health of Hispanic populations, which are currently underrepresented among health professionals, according to a press release. As of 2016, Hispanics make up the largest ethnic or racial minority in the United States and yet, Hispanic pharmacists make up only 4.5% of the 342,000 employed pharmacists across the country.
 
"Given that by 2042, 1 out of 4 people living in the United States will be Latino, NHHF is excited to launch NHPA so that Hispanic pharmacists can develop programs and opportunities that can directly impact the health of Americans," said NHHF President Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, FACP, in a prepared statement.
 
Some of the efforts NHPA will take on include a scholarship program, developing professional and continuing education opportunities, and expanding the organization through new corporate partners.  NHPA also looks to create a mentorship program and regional student chapters to increase the number of Hispanic pharmacists in the future and further the organization's outreach.
 
"Through my experiences in clinical practice and in working with Spanish-speaking patients, I'm confident that the NHPA will help address the health disparities that Hispanics face in the United States," said NHPA Board of Directors President Maria M. Hearns-Rivas, PharmD, APh, BCGP, CDE, in a prepared statement.
 
The NHPA has also received strong support from its corporate founders. "CVS Health has a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, and for our company to thrive, we need a highly trained, culturally diverse health care workforce that is reflective of the communities we serve," said Lisa Bisaccia, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, CVS Health, in a prepared statement. "We are proud to be one of the founding corporate partners of the National Hispanic Pharmacists Association, and we look forward to working together to improve the health of Hispanic populations in the United States."
 
Mike Ybarra, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Strategic Alliances, PhRMA, said the trade group is committed to partnering with organizations in an effort to improve the health of all communities. "The work of the National Hispanic Pharmacists Association will go a long way toward improving health equity and access to needed treatments," said Ybarra, in a prepared statement.


Reference

Public and Private Organizations Convene to Improve Health of Hispanic Population in U.S. [news release]. Washington, DC; December 12, 2018: National Hispanic Health Foundation. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/public-and-private-organizations-convene-to-improve-health-of-hispanic-population-in-us-300763951.html?rel=0" . Accessed December 18, 2018.