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2021 Wellness Wednesday Episode 4

Navigating Cultural Differences in Decision Making: Understanding Hispanic Family Systems and Cultural Constructs
The Hispanic population in the US has grown from 7 million in 1970 to 60.6 million today, and is projected to double by 2050. The number of those over the age of 65 is expected to increase > 200% by 2030, with cancer being the leading cause of death. In this presentation, Dr Moya will talk about the importance of providing culturally-sensitive care to the Hispanic / Latino population, framed within the Hispanic cultural constructs of familismo, personalismo, respeto y simpatia, machismo and marianismo, and fatalismo and espiritualismo. This presentation is for everyone involved in healthcare.

Watch the recording here!


Manuel A. Moya-Tapia, MD is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and a current fellow in the bi-campus hospice and palliative medicine fellowship program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/ Weill Cornell Medical Center. A native of Lima, Peru, he studied medicine at the Universidad San Martin de Porres. After graduating, he worked at the National Cancer Institute of Peru in oncology clinical research, as well as volunteering in the Peruvian highlands, delivering medical care through an international medical mission with a local religious organization. Dr. Moya later migrated to the United States, where he completed his internal medicine training at Bronx Lebanon Hospital. During his five years at Hartford Hospital, he spent two years in the inpatient oncology unit, where he became keenly aware of the deep suffering and needs of the terminally ill and their families, which lead him to pursue further training in palliative care. He has an interest in the impact of cultural awareness in the care of patients and families, as well as care of under-served populations in palliative care.


Eileen Z. Fuentes, MA, CHHC is a Health educator, community health activist and full-time Clinical Coordinator for breast and gynecologic oncology. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and since then has become a fierce advocate for all patients with a focus on the most vulnerable. For six years, she led a free bilingual wellness program for patients in collaboration with the Herbert Irving Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center where she now works addressing disparities in cancer care using communication and patient education strategies that are culturally appropriate. Eileen completed her graduate degree in Health Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Appointed by the Manhattan Borough President, she has served on the Community Education Council, where she led the health and wellness committee. In addition to serving as Patient Advocate for SIO, she was appointed as community advocate specifically to provide the perspective and lived experience of Latinx and other underrepresented patient populations for the SWOG Cancer Research Network. In addition, she is on the NCI’s Cancer Care Delivery Research (CCDR) Steering Committee and the leadership team for New York City’s Nutrition Education Network’s (NYCNEN). She was even recognized by the United States Dominican Consulate for her advocacy efforts. Eileen lives in New York City with her husband and 3 daughters

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