Ibero partnerships aim to keep Rochester Latino community healthy

Ibero-American Action League has been supporting the Hispanic community throughout the pandemic through various partnerships with local organizations.

On Oct, 6, Ibero announced its partnership with both Trillium Health and The Father Tracy Advocacy Center to target the opioid epidemic in Rochester. The C.A.R.E. coalition (community, action, resources and education) will clean up used syringes in the North Clinton Avenue neighborhood and connect people to community and health-care services.

For more information, visit carerochester.org or call 585-210-4137 to report an area in need of a syringe cleanup.

Earlier in the year, Ibero had partnered with Foodlink, a nonprofit organization that supplies food to food pantries, to provide boxes of food items for Monroe County residents, according to Miguel Meléndez, Ibero’s chief community engagement officer. The food boxes were assembled by Ibero staff and other volunteers, and then the boxes were made available for contactless pick up or were delivered to individuals who had expressed a need, Meléndez said.

Foodlink’s next drive-thru emergency food box distribution is scheduled for Nov. 24-Dec. 5 . Individuals must preregister by calling 2-1-1 or texting 898-211.

To further support Latinos during the pandemic, Ibero set up COVID-19 testing centers throughout the City of Rochester. Masks also were distributed, and some of the locations featured Spanish-language interpreters on predetermined days. While there are no longer multiple locations for testing, The Father Tracy Advocacy Center continues to offer free testing and screening for COVID-19 as well as free flu shots. Rochester residents who would like to utilize these services can visit the center Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m. for shots and testing, and Thursdays from 3 t0 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for screening.

In addition to these initiatives, the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Lazos Fuertes (Strong Ties) program had a ribbon cutting in July for its newest location on North Chestnut Street in Rochester. The program, which provides health care for Spanish speaking families, was once hosted at the Ibero location on East Main Street before being relocated to the University of Rochester Medical Center prior to its move to North Chestnut Street.

Lazos Fuertes offers an array of services and treatments for people 18 years and older, including medication management for established patients, as well as individual, family, couples and group counseling. Staff members also specialize in cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, dialect behavioral and problem-solving therapy. Services are provide by a psychiatrist and therapist who are fully bilingual.

During the July 27 ribbon cutting, Ibero President Angelica Perez-Delgado said she was thankful the program had returned home (referencing its new downtown location), making it more accessible for Latino city residents, many of whom live in the area and struggle with reliable transportation. The program’s new location is accessible via public transportation.

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