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HPU student discusses traditional remedies used in the Hispanic community

BROWNWOOD – November 18, 2020 – Howard Payne University senior Rosa Muñoz recently made a special presentation to students of Spanish and nursing about traditional remedies used in the Hispanic community. The presentation also highlighted the importance of bilingual interpreters in the medical field.

Many of the featured teas and ointments are made using common plants and herbs including hibiscus flowers, garlic, oregano and eucalyptus. Muñoz, an elementary education major and Spanish minor from Grosvenor, noted that the remedies represent a strong connection to Hispanic culture and ancestral history.

“These methods have been passed down for generations, from parents to children,” she said. “In many cases, these remedies are derived from techniques dating back to pre-Columbian times in the Americas.”

Muñoz was joined by Francesca Martínez, a phlebotomist at Hendrick Medical Center in Brownwood. Martínez spoke about her personal experiences serving as a medical interpreter.

“In the hospital setting, a family member can interpret for non-English speakers, but they don’t have the knowledge of medical terminology,” said Martínez. “It’s very important to have bilingual healthcare workers for this reason – they are counting on health professionals for help. The look on patients’ faces when they know they can communicate with me is so valuable.”

Muñoz’s presentation was supplementary to the Spanish and Health Care Professionals class, instructed by Dr. Danny Brunette-López, chair of the Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies and associate professor of Spanish.

“As the Hispanic population continues to grow across the United States, it is important that our future healthcare professionals have a good understanding of language accommodation services, health literacy competencies and cross-cultural understanding to promote healthy lifestyles amongst the Hispanic community,” said Dr. Brunette-López. “We are very honored that Ms. Muñoz and Mrs. Martínez presented this helpful information to our students at Howard Payne regarding herbal remedies used by many Hispanic families.”

Visit www.hputx.edu/spanish for more information about the HPU Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies.

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Cutline: Rosa Muñoz, a senior from Grosvenor majoring in education and minoring in Spanish, recently presented traditional remedies used in the Hispanic community to fellow students of Spanish and nursing students.

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