Zócalo Health, a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for Latino patients, announced the launch of its primary care memberships for residents across California and Texas. Starting members can access same day virtual care visits and care navigation services via Zócalo’s website, introducing the Latino community to an improved and long overdue healthcare experience built on trust, relationships, and culture.
Zócalo Health, which premiered as an invite-only service to select members earlier this summer, was founded by Erik Cardenas and Mariza Hardin to strengthen the health and wellbeing of the Latino community by eliminating barriers to high-quality healthcare services. This multi-state launch demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to delivering affordable and accessible primary care that blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between providers and patients.
Members will have access to a range of services and care options that would typically be addressed in primary care including: mental health conditions, preventative and lifestyle needs, chronic disease management, urgent care, and other more specific health conditions. The Zócalo primary care model includes the use of community health workers (CHWs) – or as they’re known in the Latino community, promotores de salud. Research shows CHWs are crucial to helping health systems achieve their full potential, since they work to connect patients to local resources and care. At Zócalo, promotores work individually with members to coordinate their care across a team of physicians, nurses, and mental health therapists, as well as connect members to needed resources across the community.
Clinicians and promotores are hired from the communities they serve and can provide culturally competent care in both English and Spanish. By building care teams that come from and look like the communities they serve, the team is better able to foster a primary care relationship with patients. Once care has been established with Zócalo Health, members have 24/7 access to chat with their promotor de salud to receive individual guidance on personal health goals and needs.
“Today, I am immensely proud to open up Zócalo Health’s services to the community. As a kid, I remember the long waits in the community health clinic to see a doctor who often did not speak Spanish. I had to act as a translator for my mom about my own care and help her navigate next steps. I felt guilty that my mom had to take time off from work for my appointment and pay for any prescriptions or additional care needed. For my family, no work meant no pay, so a doctor’s visit was a heavy burden on everyone,” said Zócalo Health CEO Erik Cardenas. “As the landscape for healthcare delivery has changed with technology, our community continues to get left behind. The one-size-fits-all model for healthcare doesn’t work for everyone. I owe it to my parents and my family to do better. Zócalo Health is focused on giving our people a community built around their healthcare needs.”
Despite the major cultural impact the Latino population has had on the U.S., and their increased spending power year after year, the U.S. healthcare system has been slow to adapt its services to the needs of this community’s unique health and cultural needs. Latinos still experience disproportionate barriers to healthcare access, particularly in primary care, where the average wait time to see a doctor is 24 days. This long delay, combined with fewer in-person appointments, high-deductible plans, and high out-of-pocket fees, results in many Latino patients avoiding treatment, using informal networks (family/friends), or waiting for hours in expensive emergency rooms to seek care. In addition to the existing disparities in healthcare access, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impact have exacerbated health inequities for the Latino community, particularly when it comes to accessing high-quality primary care and preventative services.
“I’ve always been community-oriented and my role as a promotora gives me the opportunity to help other Latinos manage their health and navigate a system that unfortunately has not adapted to our needs. “I’m so excited to be able to guide my community through what can often be a stressful experience in order to deliver personalized care management from someone who understands our culture and needs. Our Zócalo Health team is ready to advocate for our members and ultimately impact our community’s health, one person at a time.”
Zócalo Health promotora Caroline Carbajal
Zócalo Health’s membership and payment options are designed to make access to primary care easy and affordable for Latinos. Services are offered through monthly memberships, with pricing starting at $40 per month or at a discounted rate of $420 a year when paid upfront.
Patients in California and Texas can now purchase a membership and schedule same-day virtual appointments by visiting zocalo.health. Zócalo Health plans to expand to other states in 2022 and beyond.
About Zócalo Health
Zócalo Health is a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for the Latino patient. Our primary care model blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between care teams and patients. Each member of Zócalo Health is paired with a promotor de salud (community health worker) to establish a relationship to better understand members’ goals and connect them to a Zócalo Health physician. Our team of physicians, hired from the community, focus on prevention, primary care, behavioral health, and traditional practices that work together to support our members’ wellness. Operating in the states of California and Texas, Zócalo Health offers affordable and convenient care memberships that provide same-day access to culturally-aligned providers.