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A core group of Hispanic physician leaders who met in 1993 at the White House during the Health Care Reform Task Force meetings of President Bill Clinton established the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA). From the beginning, NHMA has served as a unique resource for the White House, the Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies.

In 1995, NHMA convened a retreat with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) officials to recommend improvements to Federal programs that recruit Hispanic students and faculty to medical education. From 1995 to 1996, NHMA convened five regional meetings to discuss priorities for policy development from the greater health community in Hispanic key areas and presented these recommendations to HRSA. In 1997, NHMA established its Annual Conference on Hispanic Health to share model programs and strategies to Washington, DC. In 1998, NHMA entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the Office of Minority Health to develop a national physician leadership and cultural competence program.

NHMA advocates the development and enhancement of key Federal and State health care programs and policies that impact health care and mental health care delivery systems, prevention programs, medical education, and research and reduce health disparities for Hispanic populations’ health.

In 2002, NHMA convened the First National Hispanic Health Summit with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the HHS, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2007-2008, NHMA convened the National Hispanic Health Disparities Leadership Summit Series with HHS on Access to Health Care, Obesity and Diabetes Prevention, and Diversity in the Health Professions with key stakeholders invited to develop recommendations by consensus. The final report was presented in 2008 to the Health Policy Advisors of presidential campaigns at our Annual Conference, to Senator Kennedy’s health care reform team, and to President Obama’s Transition Team and several of the recommendations were incorporated in the Affordable Care Act.

Elena Rios, MD, NHMA President and CEO, and government affairs staff regularly meet with the White House, Congress, and Federal agency representatives on the implementation of the ACA , diversity in medical education and research, leadership development to increase cultural competence, and the improvement of health policies to be more relevant to Hispanic health. Starting in March 2020, the focus has been on policies to support the decrease in COVID-19 through education and vaccine uptake among Latinos.

We welcome you to participate with our advocacy, including our Hispanic Health Congressional Briefings, Congressional testimonies, Chapter policy forums, and national health advocacy coalitions. Our mission is to improve the health of all Americans. Contact us if we can be of help in your advocacy efforts.