A light for all those who struggle in silence.
Hispanic Health Council’s history begins before its founding in 1978 after the unfortunate death of a Puerto Rican girl. In the winter of 1973, an eight-month old infant died in the back of a police car due to dehydration. Her mother (Spanish-speaking only) could not understand the medical instructions provided during her multiple attempts to access care for her sick baby. This death compelled a small, energetic group of health researchers, healthcare providers and community activists to establish an organization focused on improving Latino health and access to health care. As a result, the Puerto Rican Health Committee was formed, mandated to address the cultural and linguistic barriers between the community and the health care system.
Over the next 20 years, the work of the Hispanic Health Council evolved, guided by research and issues of the times. For example, the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, led to research and services that made the Hispanic Health Council a leader in HIV and AIDS knowledge and a pioneer in the concept of needle exchange. In 1999 the Hispanic Health Council established the only Spanish-Language cancer support group in the region.
The Hispanic Health Council merged in July 2013 with Mi Casa Family Services Educational Center of Hartford and Hispanos Unidos of Meriden and New Haven, two community-based organizations serving Connecticut’s Latino population. With the merger, the Hispanic Health Council expanded its youth programming and HIV prevention and support services.
The Hispanic Health Council is a highly respected and trusted community-based organization with offices throughout the State of Connecticut. For over 40 years, the Hispanic Health Council has earned the trust and confidence (“confianza”) of the community and has worked to empower the community and strengthen their voices to impact policy at various levels in a variety of ways.