Latino Kickoff


Responding to an American Cancer Society report that cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the United States, DC Cancer Consortium launched called LATINO, which stands for “Let’s Act Together in New Opportunities”. The initiative is designed to increase awareness of cancer and prevent death from the disease among the Hispanic population in the Washington metropolitan area.

The new initiative kicked off off at a reception, on Wednesday, March 27, from 6-8 pm, at the GALA Hispanic Theater, located in the Columbia Heights area of Washington.

“LATINO is an initiative that will move us closer to realizing our mission to ease the burden of cancer among low-income and medically underserved populations in the DC metro area,” said YaVonne Vaughan, executive director of the Consortium.

The kick-off event featured remarks by Dr. Elmer Huerta, a renowned oncologist and director of the Cancer Preventorium at Washington Cancer Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Huerta founded the prevention and screening clinic in 1994 and continues to use it as a vehicle for reaching the Hispanic/Latino community in the Washington area. His involvement with the Spanish-speaking community began more than 20 years ago, when he began his nationally and internationally broadcast radio and television health programs. Dr. Huerta remains directly involved in cancer research and is currently the principal investigator for the Latin American Cancer Research Coalition, a National Cancer Institute funded program.

As part of the initiative, the Consortium formed the LATINO Advisory Council, comprised of community leaders from health care, business and media, to spearhead a program of outreach activities. Plans call for the initiative to provide healthy food access and preparation guidance, cancer screening mobile apps, community forums, and a cancer support referral network of existing Hispanic community-based agencies.