In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize and acknowledge the myriad of cultures and ethnicities that make up the diverse populations of Hispanic and Latinx communities and their many contributions to the growth and prosperity of the United States and to Alameda Health System (AHS).

This year’s theme Todos Somos, Somos Uno – We Are All, We Are One reinforces the diversity and inclusivity inherent within the Hispanic and Latinx population.

First observed in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, it was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15.

This is significant because September 15 marks the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico also celebrates its independence on September 16, followed by Chile on September 18. In addition, Día de la Raza is celebrated on October 12 to recognize the cultural fusion of indigenous America and Spanish heritage.

Today, Hispanic and Latinx patients comprise 36.9% of our total patient population. As a result of our patient- and family-centered approach, each patient is empowered to create healthier outcomes for themselves and their loved ones by receiving culturally and linguistically competent care.

One of the greatest strengths of AHS is the rich diversity of our dedicated Hispanic and Latinx staff who work at all levels of the organization and bring their unique cultural perspectives and life experiences to support our patients and each other.

At AHS, we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace by continuing to highlight the shared cultures, experiences and stories that are so important to Hispanic and Latinx communities.

Recently, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, members of our Latinx & Ally Affinity Group hosted a tabling event on the Wilma Chan Highland Hospital Campus to share information about the observance, invite staff to play a flag recognition game and gave out candy unique to various Latin American countries.

“The Latinx & Ally Affinity Group has members who work across the organization and include health advocates, community health workers and labor relations staff,” said Jeanette Hernandez, health advocates project coordinator. “Our members and their families have roots all over Latin America and Mexico and we welcome new members to join us and represent their departments.”

Together, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s continue to learn from, champion and support Hispanic and Latin Americans.