How One Community Health Worker Has Grown in Her Career Since Starting at NHC

Yesi Olvera manages a community assistance program at NHC which connects patients to services and resources.

Yesenia Olvera Campuzano began her career at NHC in the call center answering patient calls and now works as a Community Health Worker in the grant-funded COVID-19 Wraparound Services Program, helping at-risk community members affected by the pandemic meet their basic needs while quarantined.

Yesi’s story is one of growth, compassion, and a devotion to helping her community.  We sat down with Yesi to learn more about how her career at NHC has evolved and how she has been able to positively influence the community through her career growth.

Q:  How have you grown in your career since starting at NHC?

I started at NHC as a call center representative in June of 2019.  After six months in that position, the call center manager and I had a conversation about how I wanted my career to move forward and how my position in the call center could open a career path I never expected to be possible.

Thinking about where I ultimately wanted to be,

I dreamed of a position where I could help our patients and the community in their day-to-day struggles,

and that led me to start a new role as a Community Health Worker (CHW) in the Membership and Engagement Services team.  NHC helped me by supporting my Community Health Worker Course at Oregon State University, where I was able to earn my certification.

Almost immediately in that role, I was able to help launch the COVID-19 Wraparound Services Program with the help of the Membership and Engagement Services Supervisor Shae Ballenger and a community aid grant from the Oregon Health Authority.  Now an integral part of our community outreach efforts, this program helps patients and community members meet their basic needs when unable to work while in quarantine.  Over 700 families have received assistance through this program.

Now I am developing the CHW program which will assist our patients in addressing their social determinants of health and improve their quality of life.

Q:  How have your coworkers supported your growth here?

I have received a lot of support through growth, learning, and the opportunities that have become available to me working at NHC.

My team members have encouraged me every step of the way to expand my knowledge and pursue the career goals I have set for myself. Although it was unknown territory taking a brand-new position, my team members and supervisors have offered to help and support me in any way they could.

Q:  Tell us more about the work you do for the LatinX community.

Many families that are helped through the COVID-19 Wraparound Services Program are Spanish speaking, and the language barrier can negatively affect their ability to receive assistance without the help of this program.  I reach out to these Spanish-speaking households and help connect them to resources like grocery delivery, mortgage payments, and rent and utility assistance.  This is a big part of my work in my new project, too, connecting Spanish-speaking families to resources that affect their social determinants of health.

Q:  How has your job at NHC influenced that work?

Throughout my time in different positions on multiple teams, I’ve learned about the many ways NHC helps patients.

When I worked in the call center, I learned about the healthcare services we offer patients in our clinics, and now as part of the Membership and Engagement Services team, I learn more about the social services and additional resources available to our patients.

Within my CHW role,

I get to help patients meet their healthcare goals by addressing social determinants of health and helping them eliminate some of these barriers to their own health,

whether that is by connecting them to housing resources, helping them set up food delivery boxes, teaching them how to schedule medical transportation, or helping them apply for reduced fare bus passes.  Through the positions I’ve been in, I’ve seen the wide array of ways NHC can give or connect patients to the services they need in order to grow and thrive.

If you want to learn more about the COVID-19 Wraparound Services Program, read our recent press release.