By Donna Parker
The adage, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” surely holds true for Amanda Martinez, who received a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in business administration in 2006 and a master of science in health care administration in 2008 from Trinity. Amanda currently is the pre-access manager for CHRISTUS St. Francis Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria, La. and the appointed liaison for the growing Latino community there.
“I’m directly impacting people’s lives, especially the Latino population in the area, and that is what gets me up in the morning. Just walking down the hospital hallways and talking to patients, hearing firsthand how our hospital has helped heal them, both emotionally and spiritually, is so rewarding.”
Amanda takes much pride in her education and the preparation Trinity provided for a career in the health care field. “I learned so much in the classroom and when you actually get ‘out there,’ you get to the heart of health care and I love it!” says Amanda, enthusiastically.
Amanda, who spent a summer abroad in Spain under the direction of Jorge Gonzalez, department of economics, says it was her internship at a health facility abroad that inspired her to work with this growing Latino population in central Louisiana, which in the past was home to very few Spanish speakers. She works closely with hospital administrators to increase their access to health care services and educates the population on important issues such as infant safety and disease prevention. In addition, she partners with the Mexican Consulate of New Orleans to bring necessary services to the area.
“There aren’t many bilingual speakers in central Louisiana, so I translate for our patients and assist with community events. I also teach a weekly English class to native Spanish speakers and this has given me the chance to see firsthand what problems they face and what their needs are. It’s worth it to see the look on their faces when they realize that I understand their needs and can respond in their native language of Spanish.”
Amanda entered Trinity with a strong desire to perform community service and, by her senior year, was the vice president of TMN and in charge of a group aimed at encouraging high school seniors to attend college. As a member of TUVAC, she mentored an elementary school student once a week, from her first year in undergraduate studies through her first year of graduate school.
“Trinity was such a multicultural network and encouraged service in so many ways. Socially, it was wonderful, too. I belonged to Sigma Theta Tau sorority and loved making new friends through the many student groups I was involved in.
“In addition to a variety of student groups, the Trinity curriculum was amazing and presented me with opportunities to take on challenges. Dr. Gonzalez was a tremendous influence on me, as was David Spener, department of sociology and anthropology. After I first began working with the Latino population in Louisiana I called Dr. Spener in a panic and said I didn’t know where to begin. I was overwhelmed by the great need for services to this population. He calmed me down and told me that I couldn’t change the world in a day, but to start small and find ways I could help.” Amanda took his advice and slowly found ways that both she and her hospital could make an impact on the community.
“I’m really Trinity’s number one fan—small classes in addition to people and professors who gave me the opportunity to grown and evolve. I was impressed by Trinity from the moment I stepped on campus as a prospective student. Although I began my college career with aspirations of becoming a physician like my father, I spent time thinking about what I really wanted to do and decided to pursue a different type of career in health care. In this small Louisiana town, I found my calling.”
You may e-mail Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org.