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  • Writer's pictureTatiana Phillips

Introducing Our Project Director!

"Medicine is in my blood. It is one of the most talked about subjects during dinner time, but it is also one we all share a love for."

A young woman in a red dress is standing in front of a church and small pond

I sat down with our Project Director, Valeria Carrasquillo Rivera, to find out more about her and how she got involved with the program. Check it out below!

Tatiana: How did you learn about the HDCHW program?

Valeria: I learned about the CHW program through a former CFHC worker that worked on a direct partnership with the Executive Director and knew that the Director was looking for a Project Director to take on this newly granted project.

T: What seemed appealing about the position or program? Why did you decide to get involved?

V: The HDCHW program is a program that serves the community in an area that not a lot of people understand - healthcare. Once I heard of this program, I knew I was combining the two things I enjoy the most, helping people and healthcare from an administrative standpoint.

T: Have you worked with any other nonprofits before? If so, what were they? How were you involved?

V: I have not worked with any other nonprofits before, so starting as a Project Director for the HDCHW Program was definitely a program that was going to challenge me and my knowledge, and one that I was excited to take on.

T: How is the program involved in the community?

V: Our program is involved with Central Florida Health Care, Hardee Help Center, DeSoto Memorial Hospital, Advent Health, the Florida Department of Health in Hardee County, and the Healthy Start Coalition.

T: What is your favorite part about your job?

V: My favorite part of the job is when we get to go out into the community at different events. That's where you can feel and see the need of the community.

T: What has been the most surprising part about your job or the program?

V: The most surprising part of my job has been how much we have to advocate for a patient to providers. It is surprising to me that patients would need that much assistance in advocating for themselves in the services that should already be provided to them.

A rollercoaster

T: What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of work?

V: Outside of work, I love to go to church, sing, and spend time with my family. I also love going to theme parks since I am an adrenaline junkie.

T: Do you draw on any personal experiences to help you with your job?

V: I have always been surrounded by medicine. From having a professor of nursing in the family to having nurses and also doctors. Medicine is in my blood. It is one of the most talked about subjects during dinner time, but it is also one we all share a love for. Though on my end, I have learned that the facilitators of providers for them to provide quality care are the administration. The process of health care in any office, hospital setting, or even a CHW organization starts and ends with administration.

T: If you could wave a magical wand, what's one thing you would change about the world?

V: I would change many things, but keeping it to one thing, I would change indifference in mindset. Indifference to one's own health and that each person has the power to change themselves for the better. Because when one can change their mindset and starts to act upon that change, most of the time, everything else aligns (financials, health, appearance, etc.).

A group of men and women are working out together outdoors

T: Is there something you wish new patients would know before they utilize the program?

V: I wish patients knew that everyone should always have a CHW. They are a resource of information, and it's ok to ask for help from the right resource when it is needed.

T: Are there any current or upcoming volunteer or donor opportunities?

V: There are always opportunities for volunteering work and even more for donors. As of right now, our organization is accepting donors for a bariatric hospital bed for a member in need who is bed bound. There is always someone that is in need, and we will always accept any donation that you feel in your heart can suffice that need.

T: What's one local issue you think deserves more attention?

V: Our biggest issue that needs attention is transportation. We lack the transportation resource to be able to aid our clients in getting to their appointments.

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