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Health Partners Plans Proud Sponsor of Pennsylvania’s First-Ever Latino Health Summit

Historic Gathering is Aimed at Improving Health Outcomes for Pennsylvania's Growing Latino Population

Philadelphia, PA — Health Partners Plans (HPP) is a proud sponsor of Pennsylvania’s first statewide Latino Health Summit, to be held Wednesday, April 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Lancaster Marriott Penn Square in Lancaster. Organized by Latino Connection, the event will host hundreds of community leaders, health care professionals and health systems invested in addressing the health needs of the Latino community. At the event, HPP leaders will lead discussions focusing on existing cultural and language barriers to health care, as well as emerging strategies to eliminate them through outreach, programs and policy.

As an event sponsor, HPP leaders will help steer important conversations among statewide health professionals. Vice President of Innovations Bill Vazquez will kick-off the summit with opening remarks. Senior Medical Director Dr. Merleen Harris-Williams will address ways to prevent diabetes and offer comprehensive strategies to manage the disease, which is prevalent in Latino communities. And Director of Customer Experience Jessica Candito will moderate a discussion centered on cultural humility.

“HPP has been prioritizing service to diverse local communities since its inception,” said Ms. Candito. “Unfortunately, language and cultural barriers, along with lack of access to opportunity and information, often mean these communities face significant challenges. HPP has been a catalyst for addressing and breaking down these barriers for Pennsylvania’s vibrant, growing Latino population, and we’re excited to be a part of these conversations at the Latino Health Summit.”

Providing outstanding health care services to a wide range of diverse communities is a core part of HPP’s mission. During more than 32 years of operation, HPP has provided award-winning care to more than 284,000 people through its Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP plans. HPP is the only managed care plan in Pennsylvania, and one of just 11 in the nation, to earn a status of “Excellent” from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as of September 26, 2017. HPP has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to addressing health care disparities in local communities.

HPP was also the first plan in the nation to receive the NCQA Multicultural Health Care Distinction. The prestigious award recognizes organizations that understand and address health care disparities stemming from race, ethnicity, cultural differences and language. HPP is now a four-time recipient of the honor.

“As Pennsylvania’s Latino population continues to grow, so does HPP,” said Mr. Vazquez. “We’ve expanded beyond Greater Philadelphia, and in order to ensure our mission of improving health outcomes, we are continually working to do all we can to provide health equity and access to quality care in communities that are so vital to the state.”

“We are honored to work with Health Partners Plans as we address the growing health care needs of the Latino community,” said George Fernandez, CEO of Latino Connection and GACLA commissioner. “HPP has already made a significant impact in the communities they serve. I believe that their leadership at the Summit will help us to make even greater strides toward breaking down barriers and creating strategies to better serve the one million Latinos who live and work in Pennsylvania.”

The Latino Health Summit is organized in partnership with the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs. The event will also include a vendor’s expo, showcasing more than 50 health care representatives, organizations and universities. Admission to the Expo is free and open to the public. Tickets for the Summit must be purchased. For more information, please visit


Health Partners Plans, an innovative not-for-profit managed care organization, is the only Medicaid plan in Pennsylvania and is among just 11 Medicaid plans nationwide with an accreditation status of Excellent as of September 26, 2017. This is the highest status bestowed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Health Partners Plans serves more than 283,000 members in Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh/Capital region. It provides a broad range of health coverage options through its Health Partners Medicare, Health Partners (Medicaid) and KidzPartners (Children’s Health Insurance Program) plans. Founded more than 32 years ago, Health Partners Plans is one of the few hospital-owned health plans in the country. Learn more about how Health Partners Plans is doing it right at, and

Monet T. Irving
Director, Corporate Communications