OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - When it comes to communicating with minority populations, activist Ben Salazar says using any form of media is a must.
"Continue to have the working relationship with communities of color, don't go off into your own ways and just assume that because we have clinics and hospitals nearby that our people, our communities will be treated equally and fairly," Salazar said.
One example is a Telemundo interview with Spanish-speaking educators and healthcare providers from UNMC and the Douglas County Health Department.
Lead risk assessor, Diana Acero was a guest on the Telemundo program. She says it's important for every county to look at its population's demographics.
"One of the biggest mistakes and this is around the country, we did not prepare for the minorities and we did not prepare for the communities that speak other languages besides English, we saw that in the testing phase, they were behind to get tested," Acero said.
Some resources Douglas County offers are a call line with Spanish interpreters, translations on the Department website and vaccine clinics in South Omaha. Salazar also does boots-on-the-ground outreach.
"I have used radio PSAs, done Spanish-speaking doctors forums, on Facebook, on the health department that we've shared with television stations," Salazar said.
Acero says it is important to make a proactive effort to serve underrepresented populations.
"We don't need to wait for public health issue, we don't need to wait until the next virus hits our doors maybe in 10, 20 or 100 years," Acero said.
Below are some resources for Spanish speakers from the Douglas County Health Department.
For the community resources in different languages, people who have access to the internet can do the following:
- Get to our website www.douglascountyhealth.com/
- Go to the right upper corner (How DO I)
- Select their language preference
Almost all the content will convert into the desired language except for some of the graphics.
For people who do not have access to a computer (or internet access) they can always call the health department for assistance.
For specific COVID-19 issues, they can call 402-444-3400 and press 8 for Spanish.
If it is not a COVID-19 related issue, they can call the main line and somebody will help them in Spanish.