Dr. Marilyn Martínez, a dynamic Dominican Republic-born Medical Doctor and Healthcare Quality Manager who advocates for a healthier cardiovascular system.

Philadelphia, PA – February marks American Heart Month, drawing attention to a sobering reality: heart disease stands as the leading cause of death among Hispanics/Latinx in the U.S. To shed light on this critical issue, we spoke with Dr. Marilyn Martínez, a dynamic Medical Doctor and Healthcare Quality Manager born in the Dominican Republic. She advocates for a healthier cardiovascular system.

In-depth Interview with Dr. Marilyn Martínez, MD

Dr. Martínez emphasizes the importance of understanding the role of race and ethnicity in cardiovascular disease. «It is crucial to recognize how these factors contribute to the prevalence of heart disease within specific communities,» she shares.

Creating Awareness for High-Risk Communities

When asked about strategies for creating awareness tailored to the Hispanic community, minorities, and people of color, Dr. Martínez underscores the power of tailored focus groups and interactive presentations. By involving individuals who have experienced heart and brain diseases and are from similar backgrounds, positive outcomes have been achieved. Attendees receive informational packages in relevant languages, empowering them to connect with local support organizations.

Common Warning Signs and Preventive Measures

Dr. Martínez highlights the importance of education in recognizing symptoms that may differ between men and women. She provides a comprehensive list of preventive measures, urging individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and proper management of chronic conditions like diabetes.

Addressing Cultural Influences on Diet

Given the cultural significance of Latin food, Dr. Martínez recommends utilizing local resources and nutritionists familiar with traditional diets. Referring patients to organizations like MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance) and local health and wellness classes ensures they receive tailored guidance on maintaining a heart-healthy diet without sacrificing cultural elements.

Overcoming Communication Barriers

Dr. Martínez emphasizes the importance of using certified medical interpreters to address potential barriers related to language and cultural nuances, ensuring effective communication through in-person, phone, or HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)-compliant iPad interactions.

A Call to Action

Dr. Martínez invites the community to embark on a journey toward heart health, emphasizing that education is critical in preventing cardiovascular diseases. As American Heart Month unfolds this month, let us heed these insights, recognizing the importance of tailored approaches for diverse communities in the fight against heart disease.


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