Journal of Immigrant Health

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 79–87

Networks of Care: How Latina Immigrants Find Their Way to and through a County Hospital

  • Kathryn Pitkin Derose

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009533901752

Cite this article as:
Derose, K.P. Journal of Immigrant Health (2000) 2: 79. doi:10.1023/A:1009533901752


The purpose of this paper is to explore qualitatively the principal problems that Latino women face in getting health care for themselves and their families, how their experiences with the health care system affect them, and how they often overcome obstacles to get health care. Focus group and individual interviews with Latinas in a public hospital in Los Angeles County revealed that Latinas faced many challenges in getting health care for themselves and their families, and, as a result, many felt embarrassed, scolded, helpless, and discouraged from seeking care. Yet they overcame enormous obstacles to get into the system through solidarity with other Latinas, either friends or extended family, and connections with key health service personnel. These networks of care enabled Latinas to access a complicated health care system and offer lessons for providers and policy-makers concerned with improving the delivery of care to this population.

Latinos health care access social networks 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn Pitkin Derose
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health ServicesUniversity of California,Los Angeles, School of Public HealthLos Angeles
  2. 2.RAND HealthSanta Monica