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Erie Family Health Center


Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader Speech

April 5, 2011 | marketing

Were you unable to make the Geiger Gibson Emerging Leaders Award Ceremony? Have no fears! Here was the speech made that day by Erie’s very own Senior Vice President, Iliana Mora.

Good morning esteemed colleagues, friends and family.

I’d like to thank the George Washington University, School of Public Health & Health Services, for the Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader Award. And the National Association of Community Health Centers for co-sponsoring this symposium. I’d also like to recognize and congratulate all the nominees, finalists and award recipients.

I receive this honor with great gratitude and great humility. It is an award that not only celebrates our accomplishments in community health thus far but also the accomplishments that we have yet to achieve.

How did this happen?, I thought to myself. I realized, though, that I share the same beliefs as Dr. Jack Geiger and Dr. Count Gibson.

The belief that: health care is a right, not a privilege and that everyone deserves access to high quality culturally competent health care.

It is this strong conviction that energizes me to work harder everyday in a field that is not so easy to work in, where our patients come with complicated medical conditions, we make miracles from the our thin margins and often feels like we are at the mercy of what happens here in D.C.

It is for those reasons, I am also so grateful and indebted to our 350+ employees who work at Erie Family Health Center. In a challenging field, they like I, come to work with a smile on our faces ready to serve. And that’s why we at Erie are so committed to making the workplace a fun and rewarding place. And thank them for their commitment to working in community health.

It is that strong conviction that also keeps me wanting more for communities we serve, the communities in need. And why when a funder, partner, or legislator says “no” to support one of our efforts, that just energizes me more to find a way to get to “yes”. “No” really means “try another way” as my parents taught me. And it’s this conviction and determination that will help all of us reach higher levels of achievement, and live out the vision and dreams of Dr. Geiger and Dr. Gibson. This is what excites me most about receiving the award – the responsibility that it comes with to DO MORE. I am honored and excited to accept that challenge and responsibility.

I want to thank Erie Family Health Center’s President and CEO, Dr. Lee Francis for nominating me and being a wonderful mentor and supporter. To my husband, who keeps me going by reminding me that he is my “number one fan and cheerleader” – he keeps me going. And I dedicate this award to my parents for bringing me to this world, telling me I could be or do anything I wanted, and who help me everyday do what I do in community health by supporting me at home.

Thank you to the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services for this great honor and recognition.