Aida McCammon

Founder and former President/CEO
Indiana Latino Institute, Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2009

Recognizing potentially grave outcomes for Hispanic immigrants who couldn’t speak English, McCammon developed a program to translate key medical forms and train health care providers to work with the local Spanish-speaking population.

Recognizing potentially grave outcomes for Hispanic immigrants who couldn’t speak English, McCammon developed a program to translate key medical forms and train health care providers to work with the local Spanish-speaking population.

Hispanic immigrants often arrive to the United States without knowing how to access health services. McCammon created the Indiana Latino Institute in 2001 to help meet that need and others for the state’s immigrant communities. She collaborated with Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis, to establish a program furnishing interpreters and Spanish-language health literature and forms to patients.

The effort has expanded to six Wishard clinics and has trained hundreds of health care providers in Spanish-language skills and cultural sensitivity. “For me, it has been – and continues to be – a privilege to make an impact on life or death issues for Latino families seeking help at hospitals,” says McCammon, 60. Her organization has also advocated for immigrant youth, establishing scholarships to encourage teens to finish high school and reach for higher education. And the institute has waged public anti-tobacco campaigns, including a smoke-free soccer league. McCammon says the institute has served more than 30,000 Hispanics directly through its various services and has provided scholarships to around 100 young people who are now attending college.