In 1970, a Chicana/o student health organization was created at UCLA by a group of five Chicanas/os who realized the need for a group that could provide the moral support needed to endure and persevere the hardships of college life. They came together with the purpose of changing the health care system to better meet the needs of underserved communities.
Since then, Chicanos/Latinos for Community Medicine (CCM) has grown tremendously over the past years. It is an organization with strong leadership and large membership who is dedicated to the original cause: providing better health care to the Chicana/o/Latina/o communities. CCM is organized to include recruitment, retention, peer counseling and community service projects. We realize that Chicana/o/Latina/o health care rests in our hands, therefore our purpose is more than just being admitted to health professional schools. By providing the best medical treatment to underserved communities, we are going to be the leaders and role models of tomorrow. As we prepare ourselves for professional schools, we know that our struggle is not just for ourselves, but for our families and communities.
As an undergraduate Chicana/o/Latina/o pre-health/pre-med organization committed to improving the quality of the health care system available to our communities, our goals are the following:
Historically, Chicanas/os/Latinas/os and other minority groups have carried a disproportionate share of society's problems. Even today, in one of the most technologically advanced societies, we continue to suffer in all areas including inadequate access to health care. Minorities have a higher rate of almost every disease and miss more days of work due to illness and disability than all other groups. Furthermore, Chicanas/os and Latinas/os compose 27% of the U.S population and yet only about 5% are physicians. Besides having to compete for limited health services, Chicanas/os/Latinas/os suffer the added burden of coping with monolingual, monocultural health professionals who are ambivalent to their patient's language and cultural needs. To change this insufficiency we must produce health care professionals committed to serving these communities.