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Iowa State University Extension

Latino immigrants to pilot health care discussion guide

Beverlyn Lundy Allen

This winter Latino immigrants in Sioux City, West Liberty, Perry and Mount Pleasant will be discussing health care, a hot-button issue in Iowa and throughout the country. According to ISU Extension sociologist Beverlyn Lundy Allen, they’ll be pilot testing a discussion guide on health care access issues facing immigrants as they navigate daily life in the United States. An ISU Extension community and economic development field specialist and a local bilingual facilitator will conduct the program in Spanish at each location.

After the pilots, Lundy Allen and Jan Flora, also an ISU Extension sociologist, will revise the discussion guide based on the groups’ recommendations. The guide is being developed to accompany Éxito en el Norte (Success in the North), a Spanish-language DVD series produced by Experience Education Inc., the Southwest Iowa Latino Resource Center and ISU Extension. Health care access is one of 10 topics in the series.

“We are beginning with health care access because it is one of the more difficult topics, since states have different policies and guidelines,” Lundy Allen said.

The discussion guide also will be a resource for Voices for Community Success, an ISU Extension program to increase civic understanding and develop leadership skills within local immigrant communities.

The sociology team hopes to develop guides for the entire Éxito en el Norte series, which also covers taxes, employment, public assistance, education, transportation, family finances, housing, the legal system and immigration law. For more information, contact Lundy Allen at

This article appeared in December 2007 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter