The Latino Medical Student Association–Northeast (LMSA-NE), formerly known as the National Boricua Latino Health Organization (NBLHO), is a Latino student group representing health professions students from the northeast region of the United States. Its mission is to recruit Latinos into higher education, educate the public and one another about Latino health issues, advocate for increased Latino representation in health related areas, and promote awareness about social, political and economic issues as they relate to Latino health. It also serves to create a support network for Latino students.
As NBLHO, this group was formed in 1970 at Harvard Medical School in response to the need for Latino medical students to organize in favor of rampant health discrimination both inside and outside educational institutions. Today, there are approximately eleven active medical school chapters, and 200 medical student members in the area between Washington, D.C. and Maine. New chapters and members are being added every year.
LMSA-NE is fully affiliated with the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), formerly the National Network of Latin American Students (NNLAMS). This is a national partnership between other regional Latino medical student groups to create one strong voice for Latino medical students throughout the entire United States.
Purpose and Goals:
Every person has certain inalienable rights. Foremost among these is the right of every person to live as free from illness and harm as the current status of knowledge and technology will permit. But health statistics show a strong association between the highest morbidity and mortality ratios with the poorest members of our society. For the Puerto Ricans and other groups of Latin American extraction who have migrated to the United States searching for improved living standards and opportunity, the end result has too often been a life of hard work, substandard housing, poor quality education and unavailable or inadequate health care. We are medical students, faculty and physicians representing the Latino community of the greater North Eastern United States. We are providers and consumers of health care services, who direct our attention to the inadequacies engendered with our community. In combating the ills of today’s society, we have come together as an organization in search of knowledge and common strength. Since the early 1970s we have sought progressive and equitable institutionalized changes, and have advocated for human rights as they apply to health care for our community.
To recruit and admit Latin-American scholars who exhibit the potential to benefit their community through the health professions.
Retaining our members in health professions programs by supporting academic and social support activities and by fostering close ties among members.
Educating ourselves in areas of concern to our communities which may not be part of the health profession or allied health school curricula, ie: preventive and community medicine, politics of health care systems, mechanics of urban city primary care, family practice, etc…
Orientation of our members towards actively accepting our principles of unity and aims of our organization.
Community involvement for the purpose of strengthening working relationships with community groups and the overall aim of benefiting the community. A means of mutual education.
Support and encourage prospective health professions school applicants throughout the admissions process.
Writing and circulating our ideas and fostering the refinement and development of research skills among our members.
Encourage the development of courses which better prepare our members to become high quality health care providers serving our community.
To educate and sensitize the entire Medical Community to the specific needs and differences of the Latino regarding health and human well being.
Improve the health care delivery to Latino communities.
Be advocates of the rights of Latino patients.
Participate in the planning and implementation of research activities designed to identify the health care needs of our community.
Networking with other organizations at the local and national levels to achieve common objectives.