State Department of Health Recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month

State is Partnering with Federal Agencies to Promote Health and Well-Being in Hispanic Communities and Highlight a Variety of Family-Focused and Educational Events

Celebration on Saturday to Feature Hispanic Entertainers at Free Event in Albany's Empire State Plaza

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 23, 2022) – The New York State Department of Health is proud to recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month, held September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the history, culture and contributions of New Yorkers with roots in Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, and by drawing attention to specific health programs focused on New York's Hispanic and Latinx populations. The Department will also use the celebration to reinforce its commitment to improve health equity for all New Yorkers.

"As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Department remains committed to ensuring all New Yorkers have access to health care that is free of the racial barriers that have hindered efforts to achieve optimum health outcomes for everyone," New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "Health equity is at the core of our work and we will continue to amplify efforts to expand access to healthcare by working with trusted providers in underserved communities."

The Department's Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention (OMH-HDP) also celebrates and honors the contribution of Hispanic and Latinx New Yorkers. Language access, health literacy and continued community based education and outreach are essential elements to better health outcomes and the Office is grateful for the statewide partnerships that provide access to safe, supportive and culturally responsive services and support.

The OMH-HDP is partnering with several federal offices and stakeholders to disseminate and expand bilingual education messages about disease prevention and health promotion. One of the programs being highlighted is the Kidney Disease Prevention Program. According to the National Kidney Foundation, both Hispanic and Black individuals show higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, all of which increase the risk for chronic kidney disease. Recent data presented by the foundation showed that 14% of Hispanic and Latinx adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the threat of COVID-19 has increased health risks for people with these underlying conditions.

The Office is also working with Capital District Latinos to increase awareness about chronic kidney disease (CKD), its risk factors and the need to provide services that are culturally responsive, bilingual (English and Spanish) and targeted to the Capital Region. A grant provided by the OMH-HDP will focus on providing education enrichment, health testing, the promotion of preventative activities like exercise and yoga and other related activities for those individuals who may need additional assistance with kidney disease-related conditions.

Funding was also provided by OMH-HDP to Bronx Health REACH, a program of the Institute for Family Health initiated Corazon Saludable, Vida Saludable. The faith-based initiative is focused on reducing hypertension (high blood pressure) in Latino communities in the Bronx and East Harlem by emphasizing healthy eating and active living for those at risk of developing, or who have been diagnosed with, hypertension. Since 2020, 13 churches and one community center have participated, with 219 participants completing the program.

Other notable events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at the Empire State Plaza:

  • The Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany will host a free event with music, dancing and traditional food on Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. Featuring musical artists Charlie Cruz, Amarfis, Fulanito and DJ Boy Boy, the event is free and open to the public. Learn more about the event here.
  • The Governor's Reception Room in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center is hosting a month-long display of artwork by notable Latino artists from the New York State Harlem Art Collection. Learn more about the exhibition here.

The dates chosen to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month when it was enacted into law in 1988 are meaningful. September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively; and Indigenous Peoples Day is October 12.

Additional programs to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, both in person and online, can be found by visiting