March of Dimes ‘Celebrando La Mujer Latina’ Succeeds in Reaching Latinas

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthAbout 300 Latina women from youth to seniors attended the annual March of Dimes Celebrando La Mujer Latina event, which celebrates Latinas while increasing awareness of health issues like pregnancy, premature birth and overall wellness. Held Nov. 19, at Hilton Oak Lawn, the event attracted young people from the city and suburbs, and many middle and high schools. In the past, this event has been tailored specifically for adult Latina women. This year, however, an emphasis was placed on Latinas pre-teen age and up to attend. Through presentations led by two keynote speakers, various break-out sessions, and an expert panel, the March of Dimes event focused on building communication between mothers and daughters. The topics discussed included physical and emotional development during female adolescence, healthy relationships and preventing teen pregnancy, all issues that are difficult to discuss among the Latino community’s mothers and daughters.

“This year’s event is structured slightly different in that we are encouraging younger women and teens to attend with a significant female figure in their lives to begin or further develop a dialogue about their reproductive health,” said Veronica Aranda, MPH, co-chair of the March of Dimes Latino Advisory Council. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Hispanics have the highest teenage population rate in the country. Nationwide, the birth rate among Hispanic teens is 70.1, compared to 59 for blacks and 25.6 for whites, per 1,000 females, the CDC states. Experts say parent-teen sexual risk communication is thought to be one of the most significant influences of adolescent sexual risk beliefs and behaviors. Keynote speakers from the day were Dr. Virgina Bishop, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Clinical Preventive Medicine; Feinberg School of Medicine, and Dr. Nike Mourikes, MD, Medical Director of Morton School Based Health Center in Cicero, Attending Physician.

Comments are closed.