SEATTLE-(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zócalo Health, a Latino-based healthcare service designed for Latino patients, announced the launch of its primary care memberships for residents in California and Texas. Starting today, members can access same-day virtual visits and care navigation services through the Zócalo website, introducing the Latino community to an enhanced and long-awaited healthcare experience built on trust, relationships and culture.
Zócalo Health, which premiered as an invitation-only service for select members earlier this summer, was founded by Eric Cárdenas and Marisa Hardin to strengthen the health and well-being of the Latino community by removing barriers to high-quality health care. This multi-state launch demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to providing affordable and accessible primary care that combines tradition with innovation and prioritizes relationships of trust between providers and patients.
Members will have access to a range of services and care options typically seen in primary care, including: mental health conditions, preventative and lifestyle needs, chronic disease management, emergency care and other more specific health conditions. The Zócalo model of primary care involves the use of Community Health Workers (CHWs) – or as they are known in the Latin American community, health promoters. Research shows that CHWs are critical to helping health systems reach their full potential as they work to connect patients to local resources and care. In the Zocalo, promoters work individually with members to coordinate their care within a team of doctors, nurses, and mental health therapists, as well as connect members to needed resources throughout the community.
Clinicians and promoters are employed by the communities they serve and can provide culturally competent care in both English and Spanish. By building care teams that look and feel like the communities they serve, the team is better able to foster a primary care relationship with patients. After establishing care with Zócalo Health, members have 24/7 access to chat with their health promoter receive individualized guidance regarding personal health goals and needs.
“Today, I am extremely proud to open Zócalo Health services to the community. As a child, I remember long waits at the community health clinic to see a doctor who often did not speak Spanish. I had to act as an interpreter for my mother about my own care and help her navigate her next steps. I felt guilty that my mom had to take time off work for my appointment and pay for any necessary prescriptions or extra care. For my family, not having a job meant not being paid, so going to the doctor was a heavy burden for everyone,” said Zócalo Health Executive Director Eric Cárdenas. “As the health care delivery landscape has changed with technology, our community continues to fall behind. The one-size-fits-all health care model doesn’t work for everyone. I owe it to my parents and my family to do better. Zócalo Health is focused on providing our people with a community built around their healthcare needs.”
Despite the great cultural impact that the Latino population has on the US and their increasing purchasing power year after year, the US health care system has been slow to adapt its services to the needs of this community’s unique health and cultural needs. Latinos still face disproportionate barriers to accessing health care, particularly in primary care, where the average wait time to see a doctor is 24 days. This long delay, combined with fewer in-person appointments, high-deductible plans, and high out-of-pocket fees, results in many Latino patients avoiding treatment, using informal networks (family/friends), or waiting hours in an expensive emergency room help rooms to seek care. In addition to existing disparities in access to health care, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impact have exacerbated health disparities for the Latino community, particularly regarding access to high-quality primary care and preventive services.
“I have always been community oriented and my role as promoter gives me the opportunity to help other Latinos manage their health and navigate a system that is unfortunately not adapted to our needs,” said Zócalo Health promoter Caroline Carbajal. “I am so excited to be able to guide my community through what can often be a stressful experience to provide personalized care management by someone who understands our culture and needs. Our Zócalo Health team is ready to advocate for our members and ultimately impact the health of our community, one person at a time.”
Zócalo Health’s membership and payment options are designed to make access to primary care easy and affordable for Latinos. Services are offered through monthly memberships, with pricing starting at $40 per month or a discounted $420 per year when paid in advance.
Patients in California and Texas can now purchase memberships and schedule same-day virtual appointments by visiting zocalo.health. Zócalo Health plans to expand to other states in 2022 and beyond.
About Zócalo Health
Zócalo Health is a Latin American based health service dedicated to Latin American patients. Our primary care model combines tradition with innovation and prioritizes relationships of trust between care teams and patients. Each member of Zócalo Health is paired with a health promoter (community health worker) to establish a relationship to better understand members’ goals and connect them with a Zócalo Health physician. Our community-hired team of physicians focuses on prevention, primary care, behavioral health and traditional practices that work together to support the health of our members. Operating in the states of California and Texas, Zócalo Health offers affordable and convenient care memberships that provide same-day access to culturally responsive providers.