Skip to main content
Update Location

My Location

Update your location to show providers, locations, and services closest to you.

Enter a zip code
Select a campus/region

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Leonila Echon

Leonila AAPI Graphic header template

May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an annual celebration honoring the rich historical and cultural legacies of individuals and groups in the US with Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry. The AAPI umbrella term includes people from the entire Asian continent—including East, Southeast and South Asia—and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Throughout history, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed significantly to many facets of American culture and society, including science and medicine, literature and art, sports and recreation, government and politics, and activism and law. This month, we’re recognizing some of our own at UF Health Jacksonville and the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, who are a part of the AAPI community making an impact in the health care service they provide.

In this feature we're recognizing: Leonila "Neil" Echon, CPC, a team lead in the Edit Department at UFJPI. Echon has worked at UF Health for 18 years.

What do you enjoy about working at UF Health?

I enjoy the community efforts between all departments to accomplish tasks and goals set by senior leadership that serve our patients and staff. That is the priority, our patients and the care we provide. Here at UFJPI, I find that co-workers stop to assist in any need that arises and they offer their helping hands without hesitation. This act of kindness makes such impact upon me that I put forth the effort to look for opportunities to help others with their needs. It gives me pride and makes me proud to be a member of our overall organizational team.

What does your AAPI Heritage mean to you?

Of course, my heritage, where I come from, plays an important role in my personal and private life. But I want to make it clear that one’s ethnicity is not better or more important than that of another’s. At the same time in order for me to understand my own traits, tendencies and way of thinking, I feel it is important to understand where I come from and where and how I was raised.

I was born and raised in the Philippines. My girls were born and raised in the United States. And I can see a difference between the two. What I am glad to see and miss the most and wish my girls inherited from the Philippines is being hospitable, close-knit relationships, respect for elders, unwavering religious faith and the value of education.

How is your AAPI Heritage reflected in your day-to-day work and other activities?

Filipinos are known for having a strong work ethics, dedication and resilience. That is easily applied in my day-to-day task. We have open communication and share a lot on my team. I am able to share our holidays, food and values. They know that for me, “Rice is life.”

For the media

Media contact

Dan Leveton
Media Relations Manager (904) 244-3268