Catalyzing clinical change: The importance of representation in health care

American Heart Association National Hispanic Cardiovascular Collaborative Program Second Cohort Empowered Hispanic Healthcare Leaders

DALLAS, Nov. 16, 2023 — Health care disparities persist, with Hispanic and black adults reporting less satisfaction with their interactions with doctors, leading to poorer quality of care and health outcomes.[1],[2],[3] While 19% of people in the US identify as Hispanic, less than 7% of doctors do.[4] This lack of representation in health care delivery has been shown to exacerbate health disparities among underrepresented groups and is a significant barrier to achieving optimal health for the Latino community.[5]

In response to this challenge, the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, created the National Latin American Cardiovascular Collaboration (NHLCC). This initiative specifically brings together Latino volunteers, professional staff, and allied supporters committed to closing the gap in health disparities and ensuring that equitable health is a reality for all, everywhere.

The group launched its second cohort from the National Latin American Program for Cardiovascular Researchers during the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association, the world’s most important scientific meeting focused on cardiovascular disease. This NHLCC mentoring and professional development program aims to leverage the global gathering of scientific thought leaders to cultivate the next generation of Latin American researchers and health leaders, while in turn actively addressing long-standing systemic health inequities.

“The importance of representation in health care and research cannot be overstated. As the American Heart Association strives for equity in cardiovascular health outcomes, we are excited to support the National Latino Cardiovascular Collaborative to elevate the voices and experiences of the Latino community in an effort to eliminate health disparities and improve health and well-being.” , said Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, FAHA, chief medical officer for prevention at the American Heart Association and executive staff sponsor of the National Latin American Cardiovascular Collaborative.

The 2023 Scientific Sessions also included the inaugural NHLCC Symposium. The symposium, the first ever Scientific Sessions dedicated solely to Hispanic-Latin American health, focused on leading public figures in medicine, clinical research, and the social sciences. The session provided an opportunity for meaningful dialogue about the state of Hispanic health and healthcare in the United States, while exploring emerging trends and identifying strategies to cultivate the next generation of Hispanic health leaders.

Scientific research confirms that diversity among nurses, physicians and healthcare teams improves overall patient outcomes and breaks down cultural barriers.[6] Specific research conducted by Penn State University highlights the importance of addressing implicit biases within health systems and diversifying the physician workforce to better respond to patient preferences.[7] ,[8]

The National Hispanic Latin American Cardiovascular Collaborative also serves as an advisory group to the larger association, with a specific directive to assist the organization in achieving its goal of impacting health equity by 2024.

To learn more about the Collaborative and how to become a member, visit:

Additional resources

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations and supported by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for public health and share life-saving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us at, Facebook, x (formerly known as Twitter) or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For media inquiries: 214-706-1173

Elizabeth Nickerson Hill: [email protected]

For public inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and

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