BROWARD HEALTH CELEBRATES NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week. Broward Health, one of the 10 largest public health systems in the United States, celebrates the rich diversity of its caregivers and team members. Some of the Hispanic-American healthcare system employees share personal stories about their respective heritages.
Joel Camargo is a biomedical equipment specialist at Broward Health Corporate. He has worked for the system for 22 years. Raised in a Puerto Rican family, Camargo said sharing delicious food at family gatherings is one of the most special aspects of his heritage.
“Growing up in a Puerto Rican family, I have experienced many Latin traditions and customs throughout my life,” he said. “I think what’s most unique about my culture is the variety of dishes I get to try whenever we have a family gathering,” he said.
“My favorite foods have to be pasteles, pastelillos and bacalao. Now that my family has so many new members, Latin and non-Latin, from all walks of life, our food has always been a great way to bring those cultures together.
One of the reasons Camargo loves working at Broward Health is the sense of accomplishment he experiences every day.
“Whether it’s rebuilding a monitor, helping an anesthesiologist in surgery or a nurse in intensive care, the issues change from day to day, but the sense of accomplishment is always the same,” he said. he declares.
Elena Murarr is a Health Information Management Supervisor at Broward Health Imperial Point who has worked at Broward Health for six years.
“At Broward Health, every day is special. I love my job, what I do and share with my colleagues. They are my second family,” she said. “I enjoy helping patients, especially those who face technological challenges.”
Born in Guatemala, Murarr is proud of her beautiful and colorful heritage.
“I’m proud to represent both Spanish and Mayan heritage,” she said. “Twenty years ago, I came to this beautiful country, the land of opportunity. As Latinas, the rich flavors of our meals, our traditions, our dances and our movements make us unique in the world, and everything runs through our veins.
“We value family very much and contribute a lot to society,” Murarr said. “I am proud to be Guatemalan, to come from one of the smallest countries in Central America, full of colors and traditions. We are multilingual, we have 22 dialects, plus the Spanish language,” she said.
“In this photo I am wearing one of the traditional costumes, this one is from my favorite place Panajachel, Atitlan, Guatemala.”
Cheryl Kamarauskas, regional director of strategic development and community relations at Broward Health Coral Springs, describes the beauty of her Ecuadorian heritage.
“Ecuador has many unique regions for being a small country,” she said. “There are coastal areas, highlands, jungles and islands located west of the mainland called the Galapagos Islands. My family is from the coastal region, where we enjoy tropical climates and delicious fruit dishes from the sea, but you can also travel for a few hours and enjoy the magnificent view of the mountains in the highland region.”
Kamarauskas has been part of the Broward Health family for four years. She shared her fondest memory of working for the healthcare system.
“My most memorable moment at Broward Health was walking with the team in the Town of Coral Springs’ annual holiday parade and hearing the community graciously thank the hospital for the exceptional service we provide,” said Kamarauskas said. “It was truly a memorable moment to hear the community we serve salute the dedication and care that our physicians and staff provide to our patients every day.
Luiz Vazquez joined Broward Health a year ago as Associate Chief Financial Officer at Broward Health Medical Center.
Vazquez said one of his most memorable times at Broward Health was when his own family members needed care and he experienced the incredible dedication and compassion of our caregivers.
“My most memorable moment was when there was an unfortunate event that caused my family members to be airlifted to our hospital,” he said. “It was a tragic experience, but the love and support I received from goalkeepers and colleagues is something I will never forget. It was just an incredible example of what our team does on a daily basis and the impact we have on our patients and their families.
When it comes to its culture, one unique aspect, he said, is Noche Buena.
“I come from a large, culturally diverse family,” Vazquez said. “One of my favorite unique events is when our whole family gets together for Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and cooks a whole pig. It’s a full day of festivities filled with tons of food, dancing, laughter and of joy.
Cristina Padredi Leite
Cristina Padredi Leite has been a medical technologist in the laboratory at Broward Health North for 20 years.
Broward Health was Padredi Leite’s first job when she came to the United States from Brazil.
“The day I was hired as a full-time technologist at Broward Health North was my first full-time job since coming to this country,” she said. “I was very happy and proud, feeling comfortable like I had come home.”
When it comes to his Brazilian culture, Padredi Leite emphasized resilience.
“As Brazilians, we are very resilient people who manage economic and daily difficulties,” said Padredi Leite. “Despite the obstacles, we remain happy surrounded by family and friends.”
Vanessa Morales has been a Senior Education Technology Specialist at Broward Health Corporate for the past 11 years. She said the holidays are a very special time in her native Puerto Rico.
“There’s nothing quite like Las Navidades (Christmas vacation) in Puerto Rico!” said Moraux. “From our delicious food, cocktails (Coquito!) and parrandas (travelling singers), to a very long celebration that begins on Thanksgiving Day and ends a week after Three Kings Day (Epiphany) on January 6. We don’t remove our Christmas Decorations until mid-January.
As far as memorabilia at work goes, Morales’ most memorable moment at Broward Health was celebrating a decade of service with his colleagues.
For the past 13 years, Elizabeth Velez has served as First Steps Supervisor at the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center. Growing up bilingual in a Puerto Rican family, she shared the importance of language and how it can serve as a bridge between people.
“My culture is unique to me because I grew up bilingual with a strong influence from American culture,” Velez said. “Both my parents are of Puerto Rican descent, so I am 100% Puerto Rican. However, I am not only Puerto Rican because I was born in the United States and not on the island.
“I grew up with a lot of American influence in my home while learning to be Puerto Rican in school. I always hope to be a bridge for people on both sides of this divide in our society and be a point of contact between English and Spanish speaking cultures,” she said.
“Each language is a way of seeing the world, a perspective to see yourself better. It’s a unique aspect of my personal culture. As a citizen of the planet, see each person and be sensitive as one and continue to contribute to this unity.
John Giraldo, AART, has been the principal nuclear medicine technologist at Broward Health Coral Springs for 31 years.
Giraldo shared one of his most memorable moments serving the healthcare system: “In 2016, the nuclear medicine department moved to the outpatient area. It was a new department with new cameras given to us. I was very proud of my department and my team and what we have to offer our community.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Giraldo said these values are most important to him: “Family, unity, teamwork and commitment are very important values in my culture.”
Melissa Rosario Rivera
Melissa Rosario-Rivera is Pharmacy Reimbursement Specialist for Broward Health Ambulatory Services. She has worked at Broward Health for 16 years.
One of the things Rosario-Rivera loves most about her culture is delicious food, she said.
“We have a variety of foods rich in flavor and tradition,” Rosario-Rivera said. “Some of my favorites are Sancocho, pork, rice and peas.”
Regarding her work, she said, “Over the past 16 years, there have been countless memorable moments. The thing I love the most and reflect on the most is the fact that we have always treated each other like family.
Yamile “Yami” Cleter
Yamile “Yami” Cleter is a Registered Nurse at Broward Health North.
She said she loves the friendly and welcoming energy of her culture.
Yami recently joined Broward Health in June and said she was proud to be a part of some exciting changes in trauma services to better serve our patients. “I was involved in moving trauma to another floor and creating a trauma intensive care unit,” Cleter said.
“It allows us to create a stronger service line, with the resources patients need to better serve our trauma population,” she said. “It has been exciting to work with amazing people from different departments with the most incredible teamwork and commitment to patient care and safety.”
David Uro joined Broward Health four months ago as a human resources business partner at Broward Health Medical Center.
Uro said he loves his culture’s fun and family values. When it comes to his daily work, Uro considers a recent event to be memorable. “A memorable moment was when I met a 45-year-old employee at our service awards gala, who exemplified the incredible dedication and commitment of our team.