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Gunnison Valley Health Hires Bilingual Patient Navigator to Support Spanish Speaking and Cora Patients

Gunnison Valley Health recently announced the creation of a new support position, funded by the Katz Amsterdam Foundation, designed to help Spanish speaking and Cora patients navigate their healthcare. The new bilingual navigator position is one component of a larger action plan designed to improve health equity, inclusion and access for all Gunnison County residents. Cinthia Saenz, a longtime Gunnison resident and community organizer, has joined the health system in this new role.

Gunnison Valley Health CEO, Jason Amrich, said that Saenz’s ties to the local community, lived experience as an immigrant and her training as a medical interpreter make her the perfect choice for this new role. 

“I am excited to have Cinthia step into the role of bilingual patient navigator. She has spent years serving as an advocate and has a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by our Spanish speaking and Cora patients,” Amrich said. “We recognize that GVH needs to continue to focus on and improve how we provide access, care and communicate to our Latino and Cora population. I believe that Cinthia’s passion and knowledge of the community will help us streamline and improve healthcare access for everyone in the valley.”  

Saenz is a proud immigrant, moving from Juarez, Chihuahua in Mexico to Gunnison 19 years ago. Saenz has raised her three children in the community and has built deep ties to the Gunnison Valley.

Saenz works as a certified medical interpreter and, for the last 10 years, has served as vice president of Inmigrantes Unidos de Gunnison. Inmigrantes Unidos de Gunnison is a nonprofit organization that helps the immigrant community integrate successfully into the valley.

Prior to her employment, Saenz had ties to the health system both as a patient and a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council. Her experiences as a patient are what shaped her desire to work in the health system and support her community to access local services.

When Saenz saw the job listing, she felt it was the perfect opportunity to help her community in a more official capacity. 

“I am so excited to serve my community and support our local health system,” Saenz said. “The community already knows me, and I have been doing this work in a volunteer role. I am excited for the opportunity to help other immigrants understand and navigate the health care system. I am so excited and proud to be a part of Gunnison Valley Health.”