Diana Centeno-Gómez, board member of the Hispanic Roundtable, said the social is a wonderful opportunity to network and welcome the Latino community’s involvement at University Hospitals; and welcomed the Hospitals new Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion -Donald Perkins. “We are looking forward to establishing authentic relationships… you are part of our family now,” she said.
Perkins said his ambition is to surpass expectations and set to exceed University Hospital’s mission and core values. He said medical care, health awareness, and access to treatment need to shift to match demographic shifts.
Thomas F. Zenty III, Chief Executive Officer, University Hospitals said the hospital is committed to excellence in providing excellence in service to a diverse community, with the help of an equally diverse workforce. “Studies show that patients are more comfortable being treated by doctors who look like them,” said Zenty, adding the hospital is actively recruits minority medical students ranking 6 percent higher than the national average.
As the Hospitals’ Vision 2010 comes to an end, Zenty reported it exceeded goals to recruit, and invest in the local economy by partnering with local firms and female owned business. He acknowledged strides the Hospital has made to combat disparities in minority health but added; “We have so much further to go.”
Dr. Jorge A. García-Zuazaga, a dermatologist at University Hospitals, shared in vivid details the symptoms of a disease many Latinos and other minority groups don’t think about: skin cancer.
“It is a misconception that non Caucasians are immune to skin cancer,” he said. García-Zuazaga said cases among Latinos are rare but often they are overlooked and discovered late when treatment is more difficult. He advises against tanning booths, excessive exposure to the sun, using sunscreen even if you do not tan, and monitoring wounds or warts that do not heal.
García-Zuazaga said skin cancer is an under-the-radar illness that is increasing in patients as minority populations increase. With a 99 percent cure rate, awareness is critical in combating the disease, which has many variations that affect each race differently.
“Remember the ABCDE of skin cancer,” said García-Zuazaga.
A- Asymmetry: While normal moles are symmetrical, cancerous ones are uneven;
B- Border: A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges;
C- Color: Suspicious hue, lightening or darkening of mole;
D- Diameter: A mole more than a ¼ inch or the size of a pencil eraser with symptoms A,B, and C; and
E- Elevation: The mole is raised above skin and has an uneven surface.
“If you experience any of these signs, or discomfort come talk to me or another dermatologist,” said Zuazaga.