Health care clinic with Spanish-speaking staff hopes to attract growing Latino population

The Centro Hispano, a Spanish-speaking urgent care center, announces its medical services in two languages.
The Centro Hispano, a Spanish-speaking urgent care center, announces its medical services in two languages.

Lexington's newest medical center is targeting one of the city's growing populations.

Centro Hispano is a Spanish-speaking urgent-care center at 450 East New Circle Road. It replaced one of Lexington Clinic's offices.

Dr. William Sanchez bought the building earlier this year from Lexington Clinic because he saw a need, he said.

"My idea was to target the Latino community in Lexington. I know that it has been growing so much," Sanchez said.

According to U.S. Census data, Lexington's 2014 population was estimated at 310,797, with Hispanics and Latinos making up 6.9 percent of that, or 21,445 people.

That number is up by nearly 1,000 from the 2010 Census, which lists Fayette County as having a Hispanic and Latino population of 20,474 people.

Since opening Sept. 1, Sanchez said, the clinic has seen "three, four patients a day." During that time, Sanchez said, employers of Spanish-speaking employees have inquired about the services available.

"We've been getting a lot of input from employers who have Latino (employees) because they would rather have a doctor that can communicate in Spanish."

Journalist Andrés Cruz, editor of Spanish-language magazine La Voz de Kentucky, said he hasn't had reason to go to the clinic yet, but he's thankful it's available.

With "traditional health care providers, I have seen high levels of cultural incompetency and a lack of cultural training," he said, "so, ... in an emergency, if it's not life-threatening, ... I would go with them. Why? Because I would be comfortable."

The clinic targets the Latino community, but Sanchez says it will see all patients. The clinic is open seven days a week and can treat a wide variety of medical problems, ranging from illnesses as common as allergies to more serious injuries, such as puncture wounds and broken bones. The clinic has on-site medical labs, an X-ray machine and pre-packaged medication.

And because Centro Hispano is an urgent-care center, Sanchez says, "If you're sick, you don't need to make an appointment. Just come right in."

Sanchez said Centro Hispano accepts most health insurance plans.

"Depending on your insurance, it could be $0 co-pay, or $10, $20, $30 for some," he said. For those without insurance, it costs $125 a visit.

Sanchez plans to expand by adding satellite offices across Lexington.

"I think the need is throughout Lexington," he said. "But my goal is to start with one here" and grow around New Circle Road. He'd like to have the first satellite office off Versailles Road within 18 to 24 months.