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US Surgeon General Addresses Latino Health at Salt Lake Convention

Andrea Smardon
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy speaks at the League of United Latin American Citizens national convention at the Salt Palace. (July 8, 2015)

The United States Surgeon General was in Salt Lake City Wednesday to speak to a national convention of Latin American citizens.

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy began his presentation to the League of United Latin American Citizens with his own immigration story.

“I stand before you as Surgeon General of the United States knowing that in no other country could the grandson of a poor farmer from India be given this extraordinary and humbling opportunity to serve,” Murthy said.  

He told the crowd that improving public health is everyone’s responsibility. He thanked members of the league for their partnership and leadership in extending health care coverage to 4.2 million Latinos in the last 2 years through the Affordable Care Act, representing a 12 percent drop in the uninsured rate. But Murthy said health disparities remain a challenge in the US.

“Obesity and many of the leading causes of death disproportionately affect Latinos and other minority groups. For example, roughly 31.9 percent of Latinos were obese in 2010, compared to 26.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites, and this disparity is even greater among women.”

Murthy said the way to a healthier country is to build a culture of prevention and address health inequities as a civil rights issue.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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