Wichita State coalition works to remove barriers to health care

Wichita State University’s efforts to improve vaccine equity are reaching throughout Kansas with the Increase the Reach grant program.

In recent months, the community engagement phase of the Vaccine Equity for Guatemalan Indigenous Communities project took Wichita State representatives to places such as Coffeyville, Arkansas City and Dodge City. They represent Alce Su Voz (Spanish for “speak out”), a coalition of Spanish-speaking Latinx families, interpreters, health care providers, community leaders and university faculty and students whose mission is to improve health equity for Spanish speakers and speakers of indigenous languages in Kansas.

“This is critically important due to the changing demographics of our state,” said Monique Garcia, community initiatives manager for the Public Policy and Management at WSU. “We have a lot of opportunity to engage with these communities and recognize the existence of barriers and be proactive to remove barriers so these folks are able to access quality health care.”