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Seven HPU students complete university’s first Spanish for Medical Professionals course

BROWNWOOD – January 14, 2021 – Seven Howard Payne University students were honored at the end of the fall 2020 semester for their completion of the university’s first Spanish for Medical Professionals course. Each student received a certificate recognizing his or her accomplishment.

Students who completed the course were Lesly Garcia, a senior from Cleveland, Texas, majoring in criminal justice; Landon James, a senior from Bangs majoring in youth ministry; Kylie Johnson, a senior from Abbott majoring in cross-cultural studies; Esmerelda Maldonado, a senior from Whitney majoring in strategic communication; Alek Mendoza, a junior from Bangs majoring in theatre arts; Pearline Minor, a senior from Brownwood majoring in criminal justice; and Brittany Rideau, a senior from Beaumont majoring in biology. Garcia, James, Minor and Rideau are fall 2020 graduates.

The course was offered through the Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies, in coordination with the School of Nursing. Certificates were presented to students by Dr. Danny Brunette-López, chair of the Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies and associate professor of Spanish; Dr. Nina Ouimette, dean of the School of Nursing and professor of nursing; and Dr. Laci Sutton, assistant professor of nursing.

Following the ceremony, Dr. Brunette-López emphasized the importance of bilingual speakers in healthcare.

“Being bilingual is very beneficial to our future healthcare professionals,” he said. “The number of non-English speaking people in the United States is growing very rapidly. Being linguistically competent in Spanish and having knowledge of Hispanic cultural norms is important in providing good quality healthcare in today’s world.”

As part of the course, students learned Spanish medical terminology and phrases related to the medical field. An area of emphasis in the course was the importance of maintaining good communication between patients and medical providers.

“Our future healthcare professionals will have the opportunity to connect with non-English speaking patients in a more meaningful way,” said Dr. Brunette-López. “They will help provide a more comfortable experience for Spanish-speaking patients, offer them a better quality of care by communicating in their native language, and better understand and assess their healthcare needs.”

For more information about academic programs offered at HPU visit Visit or contact HPU Admissions at or (325) 649-8020 for information on how to apply.


Cutline: Seven HPU students and graduates were recently honored for their completion of the university’s first Spanish for Medical Professionals course. Pictured are Dr. Danny Brunette-López, Dr. Nina Ouimette, Dr. Laci Sutton, Lesly Garcia ’20, Kylie Johnson, Brittany Rideau ’20, Esmerelda Maldonado, Alek Mendoza, Landon James ’20 and Pearline Minor ’20.