The Healthcare Journey of Elias A.

Elias A. was experiencing the perfect storm of bad health and lack of access to culturally competent healthcare. The 71-year-old Hispanic man had end-stage renal disease, uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. He also was suffering from undiagnosed depression with social and cultural factors impacting his overall health.

Depression is at work in the workplace

According to an article in, clinical depression has become one of America’s most costly illnesses. Left untreated, depression is as expensive as heart disease or AIDS to the US economy, costing over $51 billion in absenteeism from work and lost productivity and $26 billion in direct treatment costs.

Culturally Sensitive Health Care Providers

Health care is an industry that has been, and always will be, steeped in compassion. It’s a necessary part of the job in order to heal both body and mind. However, in the pursuit of compassion for all, differences in cultures are sometimes forgotten and, in that misstep, we also miss providing the best health care that we can.