Friday, September 23, 2011

Honoring service to the Latino community

OUTSTANDING SERVICE: From left, Bedoya, Gonzalez
and Jacobo


NAMED IN HONOR OF Ernesto González, MD, an esteemed physician in the Department of Dermatology, the Ernesto González Award for Outstanding Service to the Latino Community is presented each year to MGH employees as part of Latino Heritage Month, celebrated in the United States from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Lisbeth Rodriguez, a medical interpreter and member of the Committee for Latino Initiatives, welcomed guests to the Sept. 16 awards breakfast in the Thier Conference Room. 

Following remarks by Jeff Davis, senior vice president for Human Resources, Bernice McField-Avila, MD, MHM, a 2010 González Award recipient and a primary care access coordinator for Emergency Services, spoke about her upbringing in Honduras and how it shaped the person she is today. González then presented the awards to this year’s winners – Melissa Jacobo, MSW, LCSW, a social worker at the MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center, and Andres Bedoya, PhD, a psychologist in the MGH Department of Psychiatry.

Jacobo, chair of the MGH Charlestown Diversity Committee, was recognized for improving access to mental health care for Latinos in the Charlestown community, as well as for providing excellent care to her patients from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and El Salvador, among other areas.

Bedoya was honored for his work as a co-principal investigator of a study addressing disparities in the treatment of depression among Latino adults within MGH Primary Care. Bedoya leads a yearly multicultural seminar with MGH psychology interns and supervises Latino undergraduates from Tufts University in order to provide them with clinical research experience.

In his acceptance speech, Bedoya asked the question, “Why do I do what I do?” His answer: “My patients are incredible. The impact you can have on someone can be so significant. That’s why I do what I do.”

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