Middlesex County has launched the Latino Telehealth pilot program to focus on increasing the utilization of telehealth services within the Latino community and expand health care access to uninsured and underinsured communities.
While health care is the theme, Middlesex officials said the pilot program will assist underserved communities in many ways. The telehealth hubs will offer free internet and tech assistance. They also will have bilingual staff and translators at the physical locations to maximize assistance.
Board of county commissioners Director Ronald Rios said the program is about expanding access in many ways.
“Through the collaboration of local health care providers, community-based agencies and the county itself, the Latino Telehealth pilot program will provide easy, convenient and efficient health care resources to Latino residents and communities of color,” he said.
“By increasing awareness of telehealth options and providing support to our Latino community and communities of color, we are expanding access to the care those residents need, both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. For our Spanish-speaking residents, we are bringing health care to you, for you, in your language.”
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) said the program represents progress.
“Telehealth has transformed how we provide health care, and will prove meaningful in our approach to securing better health outcomes for our most vulnerable populations in New Jersey,” he said. “When we come to the table to talk with our communities, we not only listen, but we act, and the pilot program launched today is evidence of our commitment to asserting health care as a right, not a privilege.”
Raritan Bay YMCA CEO Steve Jobin said the facility is thrilled to be involved.
“Making health care accessible to everyone is an incredibly complex issue that cannot be addressed without key stakeholders such as community centers,” he said. “The Raritan Bay Area YMCA is proud to be part of such an amazing health care initiative, as our location will make accessing health care more convenient for not just residents in Perth Amboy, but the whole county.
“Access to health care benefits everyone, and telehealth is a step toward preventative care and a healthier community.”