September 23, 2005 Fiesta time: MGH celebrates fifth annual Latino Heritage month
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September 23, 2005

Fiesta time: MGH celebrates fifth annual Latino Heritage month

Latino Heritage month kicked off at the MGH Sept. 15 with a celebration featuring speakers, artwork, ethnic food and salsa dancing lessons.

The MGH community gathered in the O'Keeffe Auditorium to hear guest speakers Marcela G. Del Carmen, MD, of MGH Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Cancer Center, and Uri Berenguer-Ramos, the Spanish announcer for the Red Sox who is currently the youngest announcer in the Major League. Del Carmen spoke about the health care disparities affecting Latina women and her community project at the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, which is designed to provide Latina women with an increased awareness for Pap screenings to help diagnose cervical cancer. "Cervical cancer is a preventable malignancy," said Del Carmen. "By educating the community about regular Pap screenings and providing culturally competent training to health providers, we can help decrease this health disparity in the Latina population."

Berenguer-Ramos shared his perspective about his experience as a cancer survivor. At age 2, he was diagnosed with bone cancer in Panama and began treatment. At age 3, Berenguer-Ramos and his mother left their home and family to receive treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. While neither one could speak English and Berenguer-Ramos did not have the opportunity to grow up like other children, they managed to make a life in Boston. Berenguer-Ramos now is cancer free. "No one in this world will hold me back from accomplishing anything," he said.

Left, David Marquez of Police and Security with Uri Berenguer-Ramos

The celebration moved to the Bulfinch tent where there was a wide range of ethnic foods. While MGHers drank tropical fruit drinks and dined on chips and salsa, guacamole, empanadas and fried plantains, they enjoyed a Hispanic-inspired art exhibit featuring work created by MGHers. The event ended as MGHers learned to do the salsa with flair.

The event was sponsored by the Latino Heritage Planning Committee — a volunteer committee of MGH employees from Training and Development, the Multicultural Affairs Office, Medical Interpreter Services, Speech Pathology, MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, AMMP and the Treadwell Library.

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