There's a push underway at Mary's Center, a clinic in the Adam's Morgan neighborhood of the District of Columbia, to provide more health information to Latino patients with a bilingual, electronic kisok in its waiting room, the first of its kind in the region.
Latinos living in D.C. have a much higher rate of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure than their white neighbors. They're all health risks that have been well-documented at Mary's Center. With the unveiling of this new health kiosk, which is roughly the size of an ATM, they hope patients will get a better idea about the wide range of health risks affecting latinos by merely tapping a few keys.
"It's very user friendly, people can activate it using the touch screen or use the keyboard," says Jaime Gonzalez, who developed the kiosk for United Health Care. He says it also allows patients to print the information to take home for further review.
Mary's Center President Maria Gomez that information will generate a public health "ripple effect."
"They can take home something in writing to show their families," says Gomez. "So if you have diabetes, you can take the stuff. If it's the husband with diabetes, you can show your wife how you're going to cook from now on; how you're going to exercise."
Gomez and Gonzalez say the kiosks will encourage Latinos to use the latest technology to access health and wellness information.
Maria Gomez, President and CEO of Mary's Center, is a member of WAMU's Community Council.