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Community Resource Center Employees Share Their Passion and Points of View About Importance of Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan’s Local Resources

Our “People of Promise” series profiles employees who embody the vision, passion, and commitment that help Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan to achieve its mission to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality health care at an affordable price.

Recently, we asked employees in our Community Resource Centers (CRCs) questions about why they enjoyed their work, what are their favorite programs or events, and why people should walk through their doors. We also asked them to share something fun about themselves.

What emerged are profiles of passion and personality from dedicated employees who are providing important services and support to our Blue Shield Promise communities. Here are a few excerpts from those interviews.

What do you love about working at your Community Resource Center and what makes it special?

I love that I can help our members and community residents in person. Not only do we provide health and wellness classes, we also address the social needs of the community with the resources we offer. - Natividad Surio, CRC representative, Inglewood

Getting to meet and interact with members of the community is what I love most about working in our El Monte center. - Veronica Lopez, CRC representative, El Monte

I love working at Wilmington Center because we get to share our skills and provide attention and service to address the needs of each and every person who comes through our doors. - Janielle Torregosa, CRC representative, Wilmington

Collaborating with our members is the reason I love working here. Providing them with the services they need in a centralized location makes it easy for them to access preventative care services and support, which is so important. - Monica De La Torre, CRC representative, East Los Angeles

Why should people come to your Community Resource Center?

When people come to our center, they find community. We’re a safe place for everyone to come together and be active, healthy, and informed. We’re here to help our community navigate through barriers and feel heard and understood. - Viviana Castaneda, CRC representative, Pomona

People should come to our center because we’re a friendly, mission- driven staff, and we want to help everyone we can with our programs and services. This is a judgement-free zone, and everyone who works here wants the best for members and local residents who use our Center as a resource. - Kelly Brunsell, Community Health Advocate, Norwalk

Aside from engaging with awesome staff who are committed to helping the community, people could come here because we offer many services and resources that contribute to the wellness and care of the Wilmington community. - Janielle Torregosa, CRC representative, Wilmington

 What’s your favorite program, event, or feature at your Community Resource Center?

The food pantry is my favorite program because it provides groceries and other important essentials to people who need them. Also, physical activities we offer, like yoga, help keep people healthy. - Eddie Negrete, Community Health Advocate, El Monte

I like the Well-Educated Children class because members are encouraged to participate and express their feelings as parents. The instructor has a great vibe and is open to sharing past experiences, which helps members open up and speak their mind. - Nelly Hernandez, CRC representative, Palmdale

Our monthly food pantry is one of my favorite events because we help the community with their important needs. We also have several fun and interactive classes, like Zumba and Health Cooking, which are linked to a healthy lifestyle. - Jonna Gomez, CRC representative, Norwalk

If you could be some kind of fruit, what would you be, and why?

My favorite fruit is a lemon, so that’s what I would be. Lemons can be added to foods for flavor and zest, and they promote a health immune system. I like the quote “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” because it reminds you to try and always keep a positive view of life. - Veronica Lopez, CRC representative, El Monte

If I were a type of fruit, I would be a coconut because coconuts remind me to never judge anything by its cover. - Kelly Brunsell, Community Health Advocate, Norwalk

I would be an apple if I were going to be some kind of fruit. It’s a versatile, healthy fruit that can be used in many different ways, and I like to be involved in different projects in different ways to help those around me. - Viviana Castaneda, CRC representative, Pomona