National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage month, September 15 to October 15

National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to celebrate and honor the generosity of Hispanic donors and their families, while also underscoring the critical need for people from this diverse community to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors.

While more than 6,000 Hispanics received organ transplants in 2019, myths regarding donation continue to be major barriers preventing many Hispanics from becoming registered donors.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, Donate Life Northwest joins the national Donate Life community in providing facts and educating people about the life-saving and healing benefits of donation to encourage them to give the gift of life.

 

We have two inspiring stories of Hispanic health professionals in the field of transplantation and donation:

  • Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez

A native to South Florida, Dr. Eduardo D. Rodriguez is the son of Cuban immigrants. “We are a resilient culture that knows how to overcome adversity and make the best of any situation. Cubans are hard-working people with strong family values, deep rooted traditions, and of great religious faith,” offered Rodriguez to Univision News in their honoring Hispanic Heritage Month.

Rodriguez and his team performed New York University Langone’s first face transplant in August 2015. Patrick Hardison – Mississippi firefighter who sustained serious burns in September 2001 while on the job – was the recipient. Discussing Hardison’s procedure Rodriguez said, “There is nothing that brings greater joy than to care for patients in need of surgical solutions.”

Citation: Núñez, E., Liendo, O., & Univsion. (2016, October 14). 23 inspiring stories of Hispanic health professionals. Retrieved October 2, 2019
  • Dr. Juan Carlos Caicedo

Dr. Juan Carlos Caicedo is an adult and pediatric transplant surgeon and director of the Hispanic Transplant Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

This Colombian has extensive experience in kidney, pancreas, liver and small bowel transplantation in children and adults. He has numerous achievements, including developing the first Hispanic transplant program in the country that educates the Hispanic community about organ donation and transplantation.

"Dr. Caicedo explains things in a way that people understand and in a way that can create consensus," says Raiza Mendoza, Hispanic outreach coordinator for Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network in Elmhurst, Illinois, who has worked with the doctor to build awareness about organ donation. "He believes in what he does, and he loves what he does. He's a good collaborator."

Citation: Univision & Monica Ginsburg