Encore Profiles La Clinica Staff Member
Mayra Castrejon, COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Manager at our member health center, La Clinica has a unique, intergenerational relationship with La Clinica that was captured in a recent Encore profile. Encore is a nonprofit founded on the belief that older, experienced generations and younger changemakers can work together cohesively to “…solve problems, bridge divides, and co-create the future.” They are exceptional at creating new and exciting models for a more multigenerational workforce. The Encore Intergenerational Vaccine Corps is a pilot — or, as AmeriCorps Seniors calls it, a demonstration program — designed to help develop best practices in intergenerational service. Learn more from Mayra’s perspective.
I’ve been with La Clinica for a little over 12 years now, climbing my way up to be a supervisor and then moving into Covid operations — starting with our testing team, and then overseeing vaccinations across our agency. I support each vaccination site that we have, and I manage a team of people who are handling different aspects of the operation.
For me, being at La Clinica has been a full-circle experience. I was what they called a ‘La Clinica baby’ – Mayra
La Clinica has 32 health centers, but only six are doing vaccination clinics. At the beginning, we tried running our vaccine sites with La Clinica staff. But bringing volunteers on board was a big help, because we were able to release our staff and allow them to return to day-to-day operations at the health centers.
During the summer, a lot of students volunteered. But now that school is back in session, our older folks have been our most stable source of volunteers. Some of the retired doctors only want to administer the vaccine and don’t feel like they’re doing as much for the community if they aren’t giving shots. But the administrative volunteer roles are just as important. To be able to run and sustain a vaccination site, it takes a village. Each role is very important.
For me, being at La Clinica has been a full-circle experience. My mother migrated from Mexico and, when she was pregnant with me, she went to La Clinica for prenatal care. I was what they called a “La Clinica baby” and I remained a La Clinica patient throughout my adolescence. Years later, when I was between jobs and pregnant with my daughter, I went to La Clinica for prenatal care and my daughter is a La Clinica baby, too.
La Clinica is my community. They were there for my mom and me when we needed them and I want to be there for others in the community that need the same kind of support. My sister works for La Clinica as well. It’s definitely a family environment.
Lear more about La Clinica HERE.
Learn more about Encore HERE.