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Teresa Brings Hope to Her Community

Meet Teresa Hurtado Rosales, a volunteer interpreter at St. Mary’s Health Clinics.

The passion and commitment St. Mary’s has is so important – it doesn’t matter where you come from. As soon as you walk in no one judges you and they will help you, no matter what.

More than eleven years ago Teresa's mom was diagnosed with Diabetes and she can still remember the anger her mother felt about it. It was hard for her to accept not only because Diabetes was oftentimes a death sentence, but also because being told that she could no longer eat the staples of her culture was a terrible shock. Teresa remembers her mother being angry with the staff of St. Mary's Health Clinics for telling her what she could and couldn't eat and for setting a rigid schedule of appointments, testing, and dietary changes. She would fight against the doctors and hurl insults, but St. Mary's never gave up on her. The staff would continue to call her to check-in, schedule appointments, and make accommodations. Teresa says that she's certain her mom would not still be here if not for St. Mary's.

Many immigrant communities have been treated badly by Western medicine. Dishonest practices and testing of the past, and present, have left many hesitant to trust Western clinics and many choose to instead deal with medical maladies on their own or avoid seeing a doctor until it's too late. Through her volunteer work at St. Mary's Health Clinics, Teresa is hoping to change that for the Hispanic community living in the Twin Cities. After experiencing the excellent care that her mother received at the clinics over the years, and seeing the positive impact it has made on her mom's life, Teresa wants to show others that St. Mary's is a place to be trusted and that everyone deserves the type of care they provide.

Through St. Mary's Health Clinics Teresa's mother was referred for eye surgery, got glasses, has been treated for pneumonia, and gets a flu shot every year. Her mother believes that the care she receives from the clinics is superior to the care her friends receive but more than that, it's a place her mother feels safe. The clinics have been a constant for Teresa's mom and because of that, she can still garden and knows her six grandchildren.

Two women crouch down by a baby in a yellow ducky plastic pool.
Teresa with her mother and son.

Being a part of community pouring its heart into the care they provide is what inspires Teresa to volunteer with St. Mary's Health Clinics. She knows that she can make others in the Hispanic community feel comfortable and safe, and says that if she feels safe being at the clinics, they can too. She wants to continue to make a difference in the world and inspire others to seek out the care they deserve. She believes that if every clinic was like St. Mary's Health Clinics, things would be so much better.

I cannot say enough about the resilience of St. Mary’s. No matter what you throw at them, the core group working there is willing to fight for their patients and keep going.

For Teresa, it was an easy decision to start volunteering at St. Mary’s Health Clinics after witnessing the exceptional care her mother has received as a patient for more than eleven years. She recognizes and feels passionately about the unique way St. Mary’s makes the immigrant community feel cared for, listened to, and safe. By volunteering as an interpreter at the clinics she hopes to encourage people from her community to seek the care they deserve and reassure them that if she's there, they can feel safe visiting too.

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