NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Beverly Reyes
May 26, 2023
Full name and title: Beverly Reyes, Project Coordinator
Years with NICHQ: 10 months
How has your background and experiences led to you joining a national children's health organization?
I think a big part of my background is being a child of Guatemalan immigrant parents, as well as having a family of mixed status. I've also had the chance to work with unaccompanied minors, which have all been experiences that have really allowed me to see the challenges and barriers to healthcare firsthand. This would include language barriers or not having the privilege to take PTO to schedule a doctor's appointment. In most states, also being ineligible for health coverage due to immigration status, regardless of age, seeing economic barriers.
Seeing all of these things, and the struggles people close to me go through can be difficult. Often, they're told, “Go to a community health clinic.” Federally funded health centers are very much needed and do great work, but they also have their challenges. Especially when they're receiving a lot of patients, and staff are sometimes overworked or not receiving the resources needed to support patients. With these challenges, you need to ask how much you can really help and tend to the people who need the services. For me, providing truly accessible and quality healthcare for anyone, but especially marginalized people, has been something that I really care about.
Having that experience and having people close to me who I've seen definitely struggle really humanizes a lot of these issues that we see in public health. It’s important to have people who have experienced and been through those challenges working in public health, and hopefully being able to serve other people who are also experiencing those same challenges.
Here at NICHQ, there's a very big emphasis on quality and quality improvement, which is something I very much appreciate because QI isn't just limited to NICHQ, but every other aspect of public health and beyond.
Can you share a little bit about what the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes: Developmental Impact of NICU Exposures (ECHO DINE) Project does and what your goals are on that project?
The ECHO DINE project is a research study. They have been following children who were born prematurely for many years, and the purpose is to research which environmental factors may affect these children's health in the long term. We have our coordinators who have been following participants, and they collect biospecimens and surveys to gather data from participants to be analyzed by other staff.
What does your role as a Project Coordinator entail, and what are some of your responsibilities on the ECHO DINE project?
Much of it is communicating with different site staff that we work with. We have eight clinical sites that we're constantly in touch with, along with the study coordinators who are in touch with participants in the ECHO DINE study, so working with them to ensure they have everything they need and they're aware of what they need to be doing and need to accomplish for the project. Essentially, I’m responsible for coordinating, as my title says, to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
In my role in the ECHO DINE project, I'm not talking directly to participants, yet I still feel that having my background and participating in research even in small ways is something that I didn't imagine I'd be capable of. From what I've seen, there aren't many people who can say they've shared the same experiences and are working in a field to help create change.
What’s one thing you are proud of since joining NICHQ’s team?
I don't know if there’s necessarily one specific moment that I'm proud of, but I would definitely say I'm proud of how passionate everyone at NICHQ is about the work. The people and the organizations we work with and on behalf of have definitely been very inspiring to me. I've had the chance to learn a lot from the people I work with.
After Action Reviews Improve Systems, Strengthen Teams
The National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) has incorporated AARs as a quality improvement tool for the past four years. Read a conversation with NICHQ Project Director Sandra Widland, MPH, and Associate Project Director Eliza Williamson about the ways NICHQ utilizes AARs in various projects and its benefits to healthcare professionals and others interested in improving systems.
Look for NICHQ at Upcoming Spring Maternal Child Health Conferences
Teams at the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality are preparing for an exciting spring 2023 conference season, where staff will give poster presentations and facilitate workshops at a variety of national maternal and child health conferences.
NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Ana Franklin, Development Manager
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Getting Started with Land Acknowledgements
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Gender-Affirming Healthcare Consistently Shown to Reduce Health Disparities for Youth
A February report from the American Medical Association confirmed that lack of access to puberty blockers or hormone therapy was strongly correlated with poor mental health and suicidal ideation among trans youth. Conversely, and powerfully, research released on March 29 shows that transgender and nonbinary young people who came out about their gender identity and had high family support reported lower rates of considering and attempting suicide in the past year.
How Clinicians and Providers Can Support Gender-Affirming Care
As physicians, public health professionals, and care providers committed to health equity, we have an obligation to support youth with unique healthcare needs who are at higher risk for negative health outcomes from discrimination, including bullying, physical assault, and suicide. Join us by engaging in meaningful dialogue about best practices for gender-diverse kids to improve quality of life, reduce mental health disparities, and most importantly, help the most historically marginalized kids achieve their optimal health.