From September 15 to October 15 Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States. During this time the culture, contributions and history of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America are honored and recognized nationally. The Hispanic population has been an integral part to the prosperity of the U.S. and they have left a lasting mark on the country’s culture and economy.
Today’s spotlight features Bernardo Cuadra, BA, CWCM, Clinical Case Manager.
What do you find most rewarding about working with the patients/clients in your field?
Being able to provide guidance and solutions to those who come to us with many questions and little direction. I enjoy being part of a team that is in constant search of different and compelling solutions as we assist families with their long and oftentimes, challenging journey.
How do you feel you help grow the representation of Hispanics in the medical field?
In efforts to expand our programs, we would like to spread awareness to the community that it is accessible for them too. We intend to offer the same quality of services in Spanish that we offer in English, so that our patients feel more comfortable and that we’re not another barrier for them.
How does having representation in the medical field affect overall patient experience?
Having representation is a game changer for our Spanish-speaking families. It gives them an immediate sense of comfort and familiarity, enabling them to connect and communicate more effectively, and as a result, making it easier for us to provide direct information and clarification for their treatment. We have an exceptional team of providers, yet a good amount of information is unfortunately lost in translation and personability due to the language barrier.
How can we overcome language barriers to provide better health care?
At our center, we all come from diverse backgrounds and specialties. We strive to offer services to the entire community and try to be representative of that community with our staff. I believe in maintaining a mindful approach and being able to provide compassionate care for our families in a manner that is consistent with their culture. Ultimately, if we continue to hire individuals that represent different and diverse cultures, we will be able to overcome not only language barriers, but comfort level, quality of patient care, and hopefully, long term outcomes.
What does your Hispanic heritage mean to you?
I think I used to inadvertently take it for granted, prior to moving to Northeast Florida. Until I got here and truly felt the absence of my culture in the city. It is present in small doses, but not everywhere as I had been used to back home. As an English speaker, I have always been welcomed into the community with open arms. If I felt an absence of culture up here, I question how much greater the feeling must be for families who come from their homelands with only their native language. I take great pride in letting them know there is help here and that this is a wonderful place to bring our histories, languages, foods, music, etc. for generations to come.