The event is dedicated to exchanging innovative ideas and best practices and advancing health for the Latino community. In its 18th year, organizers promote the Latino Health Forum as attracting healthcare experts and activists serving Latinos in the Pacific Northwest to participate in open dialogue and forums on current topics affecting the health of Latinos on regional, national, and international levels.
Gamboa, the child of Mexican immigrant parents, was born in Texas and spent his youth in Eastern Washington. After attending Yakima Valley Community College, he enrolled at the University of Washington in 1968. He earned an MA in History from the UW in 1973 and his PhD in 1984.
IN 1968, Gamboa became a leading student activist at UW, helping to start the United Mexican-American Students (UMAS) chapter in the Northwest. Among the many initiatives championed by the UW UMAS movement, the group worked to establish a Mexican-American Studies class through the College of Arts & Sciences. UW UMAS officially adopted the name MEChA in 1969.
Gamboa was chairman of the University boycott committee supporting the United Farm Workers’ boycott of non-union grapes. He was also instrumental in establishing the UW’s Chicano Studies program. Gamboa is an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Washington.
The Latino Health Forum is a platform for individuals in health care, social justice, public policy, and those working with underserved Latino populations.
Participants will have the opportunity to meet and network with practitioners, researchers, and community activists currently making impacts in the field of public health.
Latinos make up approximately 13 percent of Washington State’s population. However, they face several health disparities due to a variety of socio-economic and cultural factors.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, Latinos are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease compared to non-Latino whites. This disparity is primarily influenced by socio-economic barriers such as language, cultural differences, immigration status, and lack of health insurance.
Many organizations in the state are working to address these issues. For example, Sea Mar Community Health Centers provide culturally appropriate healthcare services to Latino communities. Gamboa’s service includes decades-long engagement with the Sea Mar Community Health Center and with the Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a Latino/a Culture, the first museum of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
Individuals attending the forum will gain valuable resources and skills for shaping health policy and creating more significant health equity for Latino populations in the Pacific Northwest region.
The 18th Annual Latino Health Forum will be held on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture & Community Center at 9635 Des Moines Memorial Dr S, Seattle, WA 98108.