Geronimo Rodriguez, Vice President, Diversity and Community Outreach
As a child living and working alongside those I loved in the migrant fields of Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Washington, I never conceived a place like Seton Family of Hospitals existed. My world was my parents, my school and the asparagus, strawberry, raspberry blueberry, orange and grapefruit orchards.
My family and I were so poor and removed from mainstream society – including hospitals – no one seemed to know we existed, let alone discriminated against us. A trip to the hospital under anything but dire circumstances would have been unthinkable.
Fast forward to a day in August 1986, at a gathering of St. Edward’s University freshman, where I heard the university president, a woman from Maine, speak the truth to me.
“Each of you is on a life journey that will challenge your values,” Pat Hayes said. “You will drop some values, add some, and strengthen others.” For me, family was the foremost value I strengthened because of our shared experiences forged a lasting relationship. Coincidentally, Pat would become chief operating officer of Seton Family of Hospitals. Later, I would join the same family to ensure Seton is able to deliver culturally competent care and be a strong reflection of the communities we serve.
Growing up, one of my favorite verses called on me to “do good, act justly, love mercy and walk humbly on this earth.” The work done by Seton Family of Hospitals associates, grounded in the vision of Vincent de Paul, Louis de Marillac and Elizabeth Seton, puts these words in action.
At Seton, we believe in our mission to provide health care to everyone, with a special concern for the sick and the poor. Seton treats every individual with dignity and respect, equal members of the human race.
In finding a place that I could not have imagined in my youth, I have gained hope that each of us in our respective lives and roles will examine what it means to do justice and love mercy with humility. Inclusion and receptivity to other cultures will help us on our journey to ensure every patient is given the best health care in the world.