“My family, like many families in Little Village and Chicago, is uninsured. We are also undocumented. Living at the intersection of these two issues makes healthcare issues matters of life and death. That was the case for my husband who was hospitalized last year. We quickly learned that being uninsured was like having an incurable illness. We didn’t know what our rights were and navigating charity care was nearly impossible. By getting involved in Healthy Communities Cook County (HC3), I learned how to advocate for my family and my community and that by taking collective action we can pass policies that protect our community. It was an empowering experience to share my story and inform polices that would affect thousands of uninsured and undocumented families like mine.
Through my participation with HC3, I helped pass an ordinance that will establish a program to help low-income uninsured Cook County residents, regardless of immigration status, get primary care physicians within the Cook County Health and Hospitals System. The program is expected to help nearly 40,000 people in 2017. Now as a community health worker with Enlace Chicago, I talk to community members about their healthcare options, where they can access high quality healthcare services, and their rights. I am committed to increasing healthcare access for families across the city.”