In partnership with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the Charitable Healthcare Network (CHN) is pleased to announce Elvira Gomez as the 2023 Free Clinic Staff of the Year Award winner. Gomez serves as the Hispanic Outreach Manager at St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) Charitable Pharmacy in Cincinnati where she manages patient advocates and bilingual volunteers.
“In the past 4 years working at St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy, Elvira has performed nearly 5,000 patient certifications and has been the driving force behind the Charitable Pharmacy's goal of providing equitable care for Spanish-speaking patients. Patients are deeply impacted by her labor of love. When they laugh, she laughs. When they cry, she cries. When they are in need, Elvira ensures their needs are met. When I hired Elvira to do a job, she found her calling,” according to the nomination for this award.
Gomez has a passion for breaking down the barriers to healthcare access experienced by the low-income Hispanic immigrant population, empowering them to be self-sufficient, and helping them learn how to navigate the complex American healthcare system. Originally from Colombia, South America, Gomez came to the United States after working for several years as a Systems Engineer in her native country. In the United States, she has worked in healthcare with the Hispanic community in several states, as a community healthcare advocate, medical interpreter, and translator. In addition, she was an Assistant Community Coordinator for the Cincinnati Public School System.
Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) Charitable Pharmacy works as a last-resort safety net for those with no other way to access their prescription medications and is dedicated to the unique mission of providing free pharmaceutical care. Since opening in 2006, the pharmacy has dispensed over 717,000 free prescriptions, with a value exceeding $99MM. Each patient receiving free prescription medications at the pharmacy also receives clinical services to promote improved health outcomes. Find information about SVDP Charitable Pharmacy at svdpcincinnati.org/pharmacy.
The Ohio Legislature, through H.B. 320 of the 130th General Assembly, designated December as Free Clinic Appreciation Month (FCAM) in Ohio. As part of Free Clinic Appreciation Month, the Charitable Healthcare Network and the Ohio Department of Health recognize the accomplishments of Ohio's free clinics with Free Clinic Award presentations.