13 Oct Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Cecilia Aviles
RMHC Bay Area Board of Directors Member Cecilia Aviles serves as the Sutter Health Operations Executive. Cecilia shares about her upbringing as a daughter of Salvadoran immigrants put her on a path to helping people
Like many children of immigrants, Cecilia was the primary translator for her family members, recalling a day in first grade when she was taken out of school to accompany her grandmother to doctor’s appointments. “(My grandmother) was a severe diabetic who could not speak English, and her doctor could not speak Spanish. At that young age, I didn’t necessarily have the language to express it, but I knew that it was so important to be able to communicate what my grandmother’s symptoms were and what the doctor was saying back to her… I just knew that my grandmother needed help.” Cecilia said.
The experience set Cecilia on the path in the medical field. Today, as a Senior Operations Executive for Sutter Health’s largest ambulatory division, her division’s clinics serve more than 350,000 patients in San Mateo County and parts of Santa Clara County.
To be able to help families through what oftentimes is their hardest journey, keeping them together and united – that in itself is healing. The way that RMHC was serving families 25 years ago isn’t the way it’s serving families now, and it’ll be different 25 years from now, but the core values remain the same: support, access, and healing. That’s exciting to me.” – Cecilia Aviles, Board of Directors, RMHC Bay Area