By Ana P. Vera, Diversity & Inclusion Workforce Consultant
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15, 2018, the KP Latino Association business resource group would like to highlight a Kaiser Permanente employee for her great work with the organization and helping our limited English proficient members.
Meet Tina Rosario, an Ophthalmology Tech at the Kaiser Permanente Springfield Medical Center in Virginia. Tina was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has been in the U.S. for 31 years. She has been in the eye care industry for close to 29 years, 13 of which have been in ophthalmology, and eight of which have been with KP.
When asked why she chose the health care industry, she says it “chose her”. Tina started out in the accounting and finance business before transitioning to health care. She felt as though she needed more of a challenge and more interaction with people and the customers she was serving. What she loves most about her job now are the people and members. In her previous career, she was stuck in the office, behind a desk, and with little interaction or contact with others. She was highly motivated and willing to learn, which encouraged her to make the career change. Now, the best part of her job is knowing that she can help others.
In addition to her role as a tech, she is also part of the Qualified Bilingual Staff (QBS) Program for KPMAS. Tina provides Spanish language interpretation services to our limited English proficient members at the Springfield Medical Center. Many patients look for her when they have an appointment, whether it’s for her department or another. They identify and feel more comfortable speaking with her in their own language and find comfort that she is there to support and help improve the quality of their visit.
Tina is proud to be a QBS employee because she was in the same position of knowing little English when first coming to the U.S., and she understands the struggles and culture barriers that can present themselves when navigating our nation’s health care system or any resource. Tina has provided immeasurable encounter data information to the Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity Department, for the number of times she is called to interpret, which shows she is highly utilized for this service. Her most memorable experience working with KP and being a QBS is the positive feeling she gets when her members return from post cataract surgery. She observes the difference in her patients when their vision has improved, and they are able to enjoy seeing things they could not before; the feeling is very warm and rewarding.
Besides being a dedicated KP employee, Tina also enjoys volunteering in the community. She has participated in Mission of Mercy (Dental event) and Planned Parenthood fairs in the Virginia area providing interpreter services. Now that her kids are older, she looks forward to being available to do a lot more. Her favorite Latino holiday to celebrate is the “Parrandas” during Christmas. A parranda is when a small group of friends, family, and the community, gathers and goes from house to house to surprise another friend. It is the Puerto Rican version of Christmas caroling.
Final thoughts that Tina has shared is that “Here at KP, I enjoy that we are so diverse; I encourage we find each other to make a stronger network [such as KPLA], and to also learn from other cultures and to learn about other amazing people.”
Thank you, Tina, for your great work and support to Kaiser Permanente’s mission in providing great quality care to the communities we serve.