In late 1989, a national forum was convened to bring together about 100 of the nation's most experienced researchers and administrators who are actively involved in studying and improving the health status of Hispanics.1,2 The purpose of that meeting was to draft a clear policy and research agenda that, if followed, could effectively solve health problems affecting the Hispanic population.
Much of the research on Hispanic health now in progress could be directly or indirectly related to the attendees at the forum. That accounted for a productive exchange of information among participants and, at the same time, reflected a serious deficiency—given the magnitude and the scope of the health problems facing Hispanics, too few scholars and researchers are engaged in clarifying and solving them.
A few explanations may be offered for the present state of the art. National data sets on health status, such as those compiled through the