As an organization whose primary goal is to serve the healthcare needs of Hispanic/Latinas/os/es, the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (HNS) recognizes that meeting the needs of this population requires more than simply relying on the limited number of providers with linguistic diversity. As an organization, we acknowledge that meeting the needs of the Hispanic/Latina/o/es patient population means to think and act in intentional ways to resist the normative standards of healthcare practice that routinely marginalize people of color and low socioeconomic status. To “act intentionally” requires members to understand that the extreme health disparities that exist between Hispanics/Latinas/os/esx and their white, Non-Hispanic/Latina/o/e counterparts is born out of institutionalized/structural discrimination that is built into all major social institutions in this country, including the political, legal, economic, cultural, medical, and educational. Due to structural discrimination, Hispanics/Latinas/os/es (and other people of color) have been and continue to be overrepresented in positions of labor but woefully underrepresented in positions of power in every aforementioned category. Additionally, poor health is a direct outcome impacting minoritized communities given such an environment. As such, the HNS is committed to healthcare practices that are inclusive of all members from various backgrounds such as race/ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, language, immigration status, etc. Due to its commitment to solidarity through multicultural membership, the goal of the HNS rests on “intentional engagement” among all colleagues to not only reduce, but to eventually eliminate, health disparities locally and globally.
Roughly 19% of the United States (US) 2020 census respondents identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino/a/e.
The precise number of these respondents who speak Spanish, or any other official Latin American language/dialect is unknown. However, the census revealed that approximately 13% of the US population speaks Spanish, which is the predominant language in Latin America. Additionally, it is estimated that by the year 2050, 1 in 3 people in the US will speak Spanish. Estimates from a paper written by Sweet and colleagues published the same year show that Hispanic/Latina/o/e neuropsychologists comprise less than 5% of the practicing clinicians. The juxtaposition of these numbers evidences the shortage of neuropsychologists who can meet the cultural and/or linguistic needs of the Hispanic/Latina/o/e population in the US.