Compañeros En Salud

We would like to highlight this month the coalition Compañeros en Salud for their contributions in assisting member of the community access appropriate healthcare and social services since 1999. This group was organized and founded by Dr. Lulu Blacksmith the current Director of Government and Multicultural Affairs at Waubonsee Community College This group has focused on serving the Hispanic community and other diverse groups needing resources through their collaboration with several agencies in the Aurora area. “The hallmark of our coalition is our collaborative approach. We work with our membership (health and social service, educational and other organizations) to address access to health and social service barriers” Founder Dr. Blacksmith said. Family Service Association of Greater Elgin is a proud member of this group and supports their efforts to bring resources to the area.

Compañeros en Salud has accomplished many things throughout the years of existence. Some of their proudest accomplishments include the creation of Language Access to Healthcare (a free community-based healthcare interpreting service), conceptualization and assistance in the creation of a Diabetic Wellness Center, and distribution a bilingual directory. Dr. Blacksmith describes a purpose of this group as bringing awareness and trainings on diversity and cultural sensitivity. On March 13th the group will host a workshop focused on teaching participants the importance of cultural relevance and language access in health care and social services. This workshop supports their focus in raising awareness in the need to train and provide professional health care interpreters. For the past 15 years the group has hosted health festivals and provided free health screenings and information sessions.

If you would like to know more about this group including membership, events, and its rich history please visit them on their website We at FSA look forward to being part of this coalition and supporting ongoing efforts to increase access of resources in the Community.

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