The Bronx Healthcare Learning Collaborative works to increase the number of bilingual, Spanish-speaking healthcare professionals in order to improve the quality of care for patients in the Bronx.

The Collaborative meets community and industry needs through partnership with workers, employers, public agencies, community leaders and educators. Partners are listed below.

Why is the Collaborative Required?

Latinos in New York City are disproportionately affected by some of the most serious, chronic health conditions, including asthma, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Only 10% of the Bronx’s direct patient care professionals speak Spanish, while 60% of the patients in the borough are Spanish-speaking.  That disparity can hinder delivery of the highest quality care.

By working to decrease the language disparity, the Collaborative helps increase the quality of care provided.

Activity at a Glance: Growing the Bilingual Workforce

More than 1,400 healthcare professionals have received training in Spanish language skills, including workers in the following positions:


Registered Nurses (RNs)


Medical Assistants


Care Managers


Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)


Social Workers


Community Health Workers (CHWs)


Mental Health Counselors


Patient Care Technicians (PCTs)

BHLC Education Innovations

Colloquium Series

One-year bridge to college helps Spanish-speaking healthcare workers pass the City University of New York (CUNY) entrance exam.

Spanish for Health Care Workers

Students develop conversational skills to better communicate with patients and their families.

Care coordination, patient centered care and cultural/linguistic competency

Employers, the Union and the Training and Employment Funds developed curricula to support new models in healthcare delivery

Raising Awareness about Health And Educational Disparities

Forums and Symposiums

The Collaborative organizes events to increase awareness of the need for bilingual and multicultural healthcare professionals to treat existing health disparities, and to build stronger ties amongst colleges, healthcare employers and the Union to meet the changing needs of the industry.

Fostering Collaboration

  • Employer/Union

Labor-management committees focus on critical issues related to education and career advancement, as well as increasing the workforce’s cultural competency.

  • Bronx Education-Health Industry Partnership (Be-Hip)

Coalition of the three Bronx CUNY schools, healthcare employers, the Union and the Training and Employment Funds focused on improving college access and reducing time to degree completion for adults seeking allied health degrees.

Bronx Healthcare Learning Collaborative Partners:

  • 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds
  • 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (the Union)
  • Community-based organizations (CBOs)
  • Lehman College, Hostos Community College and Bronx Community College
  • Healthcare institutions (hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and clinics)
  • New York City Workforce System

Bronx Healthcare Learning Collaborative Co-Chairs:

Dennis Rivera

Dr. Steve Safyer

For More Information

Please contact Vilma Linares Vaughn at (212) 284-9247 or [email protected].

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