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Getting to Know Dr. Juan, Chief Medical Correspondent for UCI

A trusted face in the Hispanic community, Dr. Juan Rivera is a renowned cardiologist, educator, researcher and Chief Medical Correspondent for Univision Communications, Inc.  With appearances across our on-air, radio and digital properties, Dr. Rivera’s efforts and all-encompassing health expertise reaches millions of Hispanics across the country each week.

Recently, I had the privilege of talking to Dr. Rivera  to learn more about his contributions to the community and how we can work together to further strengthen Hispanic America’s trust in the healthcare industry. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation:

You’re involved in several different worlds—academia, medicine and the media world.  What role do you think media plays in improving the health behavior of our community?

“Whether it’s through TV, smartphones, tablets or laptops, I find that Hispanics are increasingly using different sources of media to get their information; especially when it comes to healthcare. However, the level of interaction Hispanics have on digital is amazing. For example, on social media, I probably answer hundreds of health related questions each week. Not only does this give me the ability to educate, but it also gives me the opportunity to gain a real connection with Hispanic America as a trusted source for health information.

Another example is a web-based wellness campaign I created for Univision last year called ‘¿Cuál es tu Número?’ (What’s Your Number?). This is an online tool that generates an individual’s wellness score based on answers to a series of health related questions. Already, we’ve seen over 300,000 individuals participate in the program and learn about the different areas where they can improve their health.”

What can clients learn from your experiences building content for our community?

“I believe that if you want to be successful in reaching Hispanics you have to focus on services. For example, if you have a website about diabetes which provides information on how to diagnose it and how to treat, but you’re also letting them know about specialists in their area where they can seek help, then you are providing the service. Not only is that type of information greatly appreciated by the community, but it also gives them a sense of trust for the organization. “

What do you believe are some of the biggest challenges the Hispanic community faces in the healthcare industry?

“I believe that language barriers and lack of information are the biggest strains that prevent Hispanics from accessing healthcare in the United States. When you look at surveys that ask Hispanics ‘What’s at the top of your list of priorities?’ the answer is always healthcare. In fact, studies show that more and more Hispanics are listening and reacting to the information they receive from different sources, but because very few organizations are communicating with them, they are not able to exercise that priority.”

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