Community Health Worker, Diabetes Educator
Alivio Medical Center
For as long as Lizette Martinez can remember, she has always felt a calling to a life of service. She was born and raised in Chicago’s predominately Latino communities. Considering herself a Chicana, Lizette wholeheartedly embraces her Latino roots, culture and heritage. As a result, she feels a strong commitment to help her family and community by reversing those health disparities that disproportionately impact Latinos. Recognizing at a young age the importance of meeting basic needs as a precursor to reversing disparities, this was the impetus to her becoming a Community Health Worker. For the last eleven years, she has participated in outreach activities in various Chicago Latino communities that have included community health fairs and soccer leagues where she has offered diabetes screenings, diabetes prevention education and cervical cancer prevention education. She has also provided support to cancer patients at Mt. Sinai Hospital, an urban teaching hospital serving a large proportion of poor, uninsured and underinsured patients. In 2003, Lizette had the opportunity to work with Community Health Workers in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, reaching out to indigenous villages and providing health information and resources specific to prenatal and postnatal health, nutrition and nutritional supplements and environmental health. Lizette plans to further her studies thus allowing her to make a bigger impact in the health and wellness of her community.