FCA's Community Health Workers have been providing contact tracing and social services for those impacted by COVID-19. Below, Claudia talks about her experience in this role.
What’s your background?
I’m originally from Mexico City and have a degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Universidad Iberoamericana. I also have a Master’s in Marketing and Commercial Management from IEB in Spain and I studied Public Relations at NYU. I have worked in PR for pharmaceutical companies, but when I started volunteering as a Spanish translator with AmeriCares in healthcare I found my passion. I really enjoyed the opportunity to help people and be a part of the Latin American community.
Why did you decide to become a Contact Tracer?
My supervisor at AmeriCares knew I wanted to move to the healthcare field and passed along this position with Family & Children’s Agency to me. It seemed like a really great opportunity to help my community and connect with Spanish speakers.
What does your job entail?
Every day I call patients who tested positive for COVID-19 to help them stay home during their quarantine period. I work to build trust with them so they can be honest about their needs and challenges, and I try to find solutions to the problems they’re facing. I also do a lot of educating about COVID including how long they should stay quarantined, the risks to their family, and vaccine information.
What are some challenges our COVID positive neighbors are facing?
For many, being out of work for two weeks means they are worried about having food or paying rent. Because I’m calling the patients who speak Spanish, some are uncomfortable with their lack of English proficiency and are reluctant to call doctors, so I help them do that. And the virus is scary – many people are worried about their families getting it.
How is FCA helping?
We are able to offer those who are struggling a box of food or a gift card for them to get groceries delivered. I often refer people to FCA’s COACH program which helps people dealing with the stress of the virus. And because we build a rapport, they often call me back when they need help in the future, which makes me feel like I’m really a resource for them. Just to know that I’m doing something for them, that they are not alone and are very grateful, is very fulfilling for me.