Hispanic Heritage Month: Honoring Our Latinx/Hispanic Group


Within the U.S., Nationwide Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM) is from September 15 to October 15. It’s a time to honor and have a good time the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx folks in our neighborhood and nation.

At UVA Well being, we’re happy with the various cultures that make up our affected person and crew member populations. For NHHM, we honor the efforts of our Hispanic and Latinx crew members. We’re highlighting the work and experiences of two crew members: Keyri Lopez-Godoy and Yeda Duarte-Pierce.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating Our Group Members

Lopez-Godoy is each an outreach and engagement specialist within the UVA Most cancers Middle and a neighborhood well being employee for the Each Lady’s Life program. (The Each Lady’s Life program helps ladies between ages 40-64 with out medical health insurance to get free well being screenings.) “We’re making an attempt to make a distinction and we’re making an attempt to assist folks the perfect that we will with what now we have and the time that now we have. And, I am simply grateful for the work that I am attending to do now,” says Lopez-Godoy.

A local of El Salvador, she got here to the U.S. at 8 years outdated. Earlier than becoming a member of UVA Well being, she hung out as an elementary college trainer. “I taught first graders, and that was a lot enjoyable! And it was additionally exhausting! It was draining. However, I cherished it, and I obtained to see simply how vital it’s to construct relationships, to construct widespread values, to construct neighborhood, and to determine a relationship based mostly on care and mutual respect, even at that younger of an age.”

Duarte-Pierce is Brazilian-American. Her household was a part of the U.S. army and her dad and mom met in Brazil. She’s a citizen of each the U.S. and Brazil. She is a supervisor for affected person entry for UVA Well being’s backbone division. “It is good to have that illustration as properly, personally, and all my different counterparts are from completely different Spanish-speaking nations. So it is good to have the Brazilian illustration,” she says.

She’s additionally a licensed bodily therapist assistant (PTA). “I wish to see the place I’ve made a distinction in somebody’s restoration course of,” she says. “Bodily remedy is a type of fields the place you’ll be able to actually see a distinction since you have invested a lot effort and time serving to the affected person progress again to optimum efficiency or near optimum ranges.”

Constructing Group, One Dialog at a Time

Upcoming occasion: Feria de Salud Latina (Latinx Well being Honest)

Organized by UVA Well being’s Latino Well being Initiative in partnership with many different neighborhood organizations, this well being truthful gives free well being screenings and companies in Spanish.

Each additionally work with UVA’s Latinx Worker Useful resource Group. Their aim is to assist Latinx and Hispanic crew members throughout grounds create a extra inclusive tradition for neighborhood and crew members by sharing sources, networking, and establishing occasions.

We requested them about how their experiences and views have formed their time right here at UVA Well being, and what they’re doing to have a good time the month.

How did you wind up working at UVA?

Lopez-Godoy: After 3 years of instructing, I made a decision to take a break. A member of the family who works at UVA and is aware of me, is aware of issues that I’m obsessed with and occupied with, she shared with me that there was a chance on this program at UVA Well being referred to as the Each Lady’s Life program. And she or he thought it could be a very good match. She despatched me the data, and after I learn via it, it was a direct draw. I used to be instantly curious and . And right here I’m a yr later!

Duarte-Pierce: After acquiring my grasp in enterprise administration (MBA), I wished to transition right into a management position that would offer me a chance to execute the skillset that I developed from medical observe as a PTA, along with the monetary elementary rules that I obtained inside my MBA program. My husband was already employed with UVA Well being as a supervisor for the Ambulatory Pharmacy division, the place he oversees the Transitions of Care and Meds to Beds program. The chance introduced itself for the position that I at the moment serve in, and straight away I knew this was the right profession transfer for me.

What impressed you to work in drugs?

Duarte-Pierce: I’ve at all times possessed the servant chief attribute whereas offering affected person care. The caregiver trait has at all times been ingrained in my mindset and actions. I wish to be a part of a affected person restoration course of and it’s rewarding to see a affected person progress and enhance from the preliminary interplay to discharge. In bodily remedy, constructing relationships with sufferers and navigating with the affected person throughout the restoration course of is inevitable and rewarding. Because of this I work in healthcare.

Lopez-Godoy: After instructing, I assumed, “What do I do know as an individual? What abilities do I’ve and the way can I exploit these abilities to switch into me my subsequent journey?” I wished to enterprise out somewhat bit into one thing completely different than being within the classroom.

UVA’s Latino Well being Initiative: Group Schooling & Well being Packages

UVA’s Iniciativa de Salud Latina (Latino Well being Initiative) serves the native Latino & Hispanic neighborhood via well being companies and schooling, with a number of neighborhood well being packages and a Spanish-language radio program (Poder Latino, on WXTJ 100.1 FM, Sundays from 10 a.m. – midday).

How has your background performed a job in your work and the way you work together with sufferers and others?

Lopez-Godoy: I really feel like due to my upbringing, due to the values that had been instilled from a younger age — respect, kindness, the worth of household, neighborhood, perseverance, arduous work — all these values have actually formed the best way that I talk, that I specific myself, and that I carry myself.  It’s virtually just like the cultural sensitivity is a byproduct of these values. And so my background has made a extremely huge distinction in the best way that I work together with sufferers.

I believe it has been illustration ­­— folks truly seeing that somebody that appears like me cares about these matters and is making an attempt to assist me. I believe it additionally has to do with the language — folks can relate and are available discuss to me in a language they really feel comfy in, utilizing phrases that they know.

Duarte-Pierce: My army and twin citizen background has molded the best way I work together with sufferers via being extra open-minded, and displaying acts of empathy whereas having the ability to perceive others. I can relate to the affected person on so many ranges.

Do you may have a reminiscence of an interplay with somebody that modified the way you thought or felt about your identification? What classes did you’re taking from this expertise?

Duarte-Pierce: Whereas working as a PT tech years in the past, I used to be cleansing tables and chatting with a affected person. I advised him I used to be making use of to PTA college and was excited. He in return talked about, “If PTA college doesn’t work out, you might at all times clear rooms.” That was a pivotal second in my life. I felt stereotyped and discriminated for my identification and tradition. As an alternative of permitting this expertise to defeat me and outline me as an individual, I used the expertise to ignite a flame of ardour inside me to excel in life that may by no means be eliminated. From that second on, I’ve challenged myself academically, mentally, and bodily in striving for excellence and by no means settling for mediocrity. Ambition is one thing that runs via my veins, and I’ll by no means enable a person to categorize me as inferior or subpar as a result of my of heritage and identification.

Lopez-Godoy: Inside my crew, when now we have conversations, now we have check-ins. “How are you doing? How are issues going?” After we do our check-ins, it looks like we’re in a college and we’re instructing and we’re studying from one another. And that is so particular to me. I’ve had such significant and enjoyable conversations over the past yr, about language, about meals, about music, about am I utilizing the correct messaging, ought to I be utilizing a special phrase? I believe it has so much to do with the kind of those that they’re and the experiences that they are bringing. And their capacity to only be open-minded and obtain somebody that has a special expertise. I really feel that my voice is valued and that my concepts are revered and really taken under consideration. And that’s big.

I am simply pondering notably of a affected person that I not too long ago talked with. We had a reasonably lengthy dialog. It went from truly speaking about her becoming a member of the Each Lady’s Life program to her sharing so many different limitations and wishes, and sharing her life story with me. She was taking that point.

And what’s fascinating about that’s, within the yr that I’ve labored right here, I’ve discovered as a rule the sufferers that I get to speak to, we do not find yourself simply speaking in regards to the Each Lady’s Life program and scheduling. We find yourself speaking about their household, and why they possibly held off on getting a mammogram for therefore lengthy, or why they did not even know {that a} mammogram was vital. Or we find yourself speaking about upcoming occasions with the household, or their youngster is within the medical subject. It has been actually particular. There’s a whole lot of gratitude between the affected person and myself, too. I am grateful that they really feel comfy sufficient to open themselves up somewhat bit extra and ask questions and discuss their expertise.

What ideas would you give folks for changing into extra culturally competent in direction of folks of Latinx/Hispanic identities?

Lopez-Godoy: I not too long ago got here throughout an article that I assumed was helpful. It was one thing like “Fourteen Issues You Ought to By no means Say to a Latina.” And there have been some that caught my consideration. So the primary one is, ‘You do not look Latina.’ I believe that goes for typically, any group. Everyone knows that there’s a spectrum of how folks look and sound on the earth. And Latinos and Hispanics are only a heterogeneous group of individuals ­­— we won’t generalize. In order that was one which resonated with me as a result of I’ve been advised that earlier than.

UVA Well being’s Workplace of Range, Fairness, Inclusion, & Group Engagement

UVA Well being’s Workplace of Range, Fairness, Inclusion, & Group Engagement fosters an inclusive neighborhood that embraces, values, and celebrates variety. We promote inclusion and fairness for sufferers and households, crew members, and neighborhood members all through the area by providing a variety of alternatives, sources, and occasions. 

After which the opposite one was, ‘The place are you from?’ And in the best way that this text says it, which is, ‘The place are you from? No, no initially.’ So, there are simply higher methods of asking if you wish to know the place any person’s from, and never assuming that simply because I’ll look unique, that I could also be overseas. Once more, it goes again to that concept that lots of the those that seem like us are nonetheless being born inside the US.

These caught out to me, and I wished to move these on.

Duarte-Pierce: To be open-minded, embrace the tradition, and never decide a e-book by its cowl. You by no means know who you’re going to fulfill and what their background is. Ask questions. It will solely can help you be extra educated. By no means make assumptions, however slightly at all times search affirmation when looking for solutions.

How have you ever celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month?

Duarte-Pierce: I went to Brazil not too long ago to go to household and introduced my husband and good friend for the primary time to benefit from the meals, climate, tradition, and all that the nation has to supply. That’s how I celebrated.

Lopez-Godoy: Rising up, I celebrated this month via church actions. And at college, we additionally did completely different actions. And it was a lot enjoyable, as a result of I obtained to focus on for my classmates actually cool issues about my very own nation. I felt like that was so particular.

In an even bigger means, via the neighborhood, we went to CVille Sabroso. Previous to the pandemic, I believe we went virtually yearly because it began. After which the pandemic hit, and sadly, they weren’t capable of have it. However they introduced it again once more this yr. So I’m excited to see what it appears to be like like this yr.


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