Department: Spanish
Year: Senior
Major: Public Health

Joined VHIO: Fall 2020
Why VHIO? 
When I came to America four years ago, I remember going with my mother to the hospital for a physical exam. While in there, we couldn’t tell the doctor how I felt or ask any questions because we didn’t know English. This experience is one of many other experiences that depict the significant obstacles that immigrant patients from non-English speaking countries have to face in order to obtain proper health care. Now that I’ve become proficient in English, I want to help other people communicate. I chose to join VHIO because I have lived firsthand what many of the patients experience and therefore I understand what it is to be in the patient’s shoes and the frustration they may feel when they can’t understand what the doctor is saying. Not only that, but I am also very passionate about helping people access health care and I believe that VHIO’s mission to break language barriers in health care and serve underserved populations resonates with that.
Share one volunteering experience that was most memorable to you.
My first volunteering experience was last semester at an Operation Access event in Kaiser Oakland. At this event, I interpreted for three patients who had just undergone a colonoscopy procedure. While I remember feeling nervous at the beginning, I also remember feeling glad and grateful not only because I could see the light and relief on patients' faces but also because I was able to build meaningful relationships with them. Overall, it was a very gratifying experience that allowed me to give back to my community and be an advocate for them by helping the LEP population overcome language barriers in the healthcare system.
Future plans? 

After I complete my bachelor’s in Public Health, I plan to pursue an MD-MPH dual degree program with the end goal of becoming an academic physician who brings communities more equitable and compassionate service.