by Derrick Vander Waal
SIOUX CENTER – Pedro Ruiz hopes to serve as a bridge for patients in more than one way.
|Pedro Ruiz has assumed his position as|
a care coordinator/interpreter at Promise
Community Health Center in Sioux Center.
Among his duties, he will play a key role
in the integration of behavioral health
with primary medical care at Promise.
He will play a key role in the integration between behavioral health and primary medical care at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center. He also will provide interpretation and translation services to make care more accessible for Spanish-speaking patients.
In both ways, Pedro will help bridge a gap with his new care coordinator/interpreter position at Promise. He started in the role on Monday, March 23.
“I know that Promise has been doing a lot of great things, and they do a great job of reaching out to the Latino community, so that’s something I want to be part of,” he said.
Pedro graduated from Sioux Center High School in 2009 and earned his bachelor’s degree in social work at Northwestern College in Orange City in May 2015. Prior to starting at Promise, he also worked at Andersen Electric in Sioux Center since October 2013.
He said Northwestern professor Val Stokes – a “great mentor” for him – pointed him in the direction of the job at Promise.
“She said it was a perfect opportunity for me to get into what I wanted to do, which was working with the growing Latino community,” he said. “In being from this area, I just thought there was a lot of things I could provide as far as relating and being that bridge.”
Pedro will serve as an interpreter for patients who need behavioral health services and/or medical care. He will assist with translation of various documents to Spanish. He also will assist Promise’s outreach office with counseling patients to determine their financial eligibility for sliding fee discounts on health-care costs and to help them apply for various insurance programs, ranging from Medicaid to private insurance.
As a primary part of his role, he will work directly with behavioral health consultant Mike Inman as Promise implements the integration of behavioral health services with primary care. Pedro noted that more health centers nationwide are starting to embrace the new concept, so he’s interested in participating in that effort.
“There’s a lot of great potential with the new integration that’s happening, and I’m really excited about seeing where it will go and how it will look,” he said.
Pedro lives in Sioux Center. His interests include playing soccer and wrestling, watching soccer and football, listening to music, and hanging out with family and friends. He also serves as the assistant coach for the Sioux Center High School boys soccer team and as a volunteer for the youth AAU Riptide Wrestling Club in Sioux Center.
Promise Community Health Center, headquartered in Sioux Center, is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the far northwest corner of Iowa. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org.